Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The pleasure and pain of owning dogs

The pleasure & pain of owning dogs

As an owner of two rescued dogs, I've often been asked by friends if we'd recommend them to do the same. And for most we say the same thing: Dogs are wonderful to have, but they're also a lot of hard work. They'll change your life forever, and you need to be ready for that change.

I've been thinking about this more and more lately, since we've recently moved into a house with a fenced in backyard, making our lives with dogs much, much easier.

But at the beginning it was not so easy.

To anyone thinking of getting a dog, here are what I consider the pains and pleasures of owning dogs.

  • If you want a puppy, be prepared for the hard work ahead of you. Make sure you have enough money to spend on things like training and vet visits. And have the patience to continue training the dog even after she's eaten five pairs of your favorite shoes. 
  • Two words. Potty training. 
  • Needing to walk the dog multiple times a day in the cold, heat or rain. And don't forget picking up the poop! Hubby and I would actually fight over who's turn it was to take the dogs out for their walks...more than once. 
  • Dogs make traveling hard. For every vacation you need to plan $$ for the boarder as well. This eats up a vacation budget pretty quickly. 
  • Dogs also make being spontaneous difficult. No crashing at a friends house after a night of drinking or picking up and flying to Vegas for the weekend without planning ahead and dropping the dogs off at the boarder. 
  • Thousands of dollars lost from clothes & home goods turned to chew toys. 
  • Finding pet friendly housing (if renting) and pet friendly neighbors. Hubby and I got evicted after we first saved Roxy as she had separation anxiety and whined during the daytime hours. Our elderly neighbors didn't appreciate the whining during their nap time...
  • Your belongings (even your clothes!) are always covered in dog hair! I need to sweep our floors at least twice a week just to keep up. 

  • I know it is cliche, but dogs provide you with unconditional love. They're always excited to see you.
  • You'll always have a cuddle buddy & a comforting puppy kiss if you need it. 
  • They say owning a dog has a ton of health benefits like reduced stress, reduced blood pressure and increased happiness. 
  • Dog owners are typically more fit than not, as you have a constant running or walking partner. 
  • Dogs can help you to be more social and make new friends. People often strike up conversations when their dogs meet on the street or in dog parks. You never know who you'll meet! 
  • Dogs can help you to become a better person - through training them, you'll learn patience and selflessness. Patience was something that I learned a lot from my two dogs! 
  • And lastly, they really are adorable. 
Pretty Puppies

Now, while the number of pains are greater than the pleasures, I do think those pleasures make it all worth it. If you're in a position that you're able to provide the dog with what he or she needs, and you're willing to put in the hard work required to be a good parent then I would recommend getting a dog to anyone that asked.

Maybe just skip the puppy stage....


  1. I agree with this nearly 100% My husband and I rescued our dog, Pippin, almost two years ago when she was just a pup. She was a lot of hard work at first, but now, she's absolutely a member of our family. The rewards of having a dog are invaluable. Your dogs are just darling - and I'm so glad you rescued :)

    I'm a Minneapolis native living an hour south of the cities, so it's super fun to follow your blog and see some of my favorite places!!


  2. Thanks for following Brynn! Love that I've got a local following along. We Minnesotans need to stick together. :)