Recently, I was talking to someone who said they wanted a dog and they immediately launched into reasons that a dog was a lot of work and responsibility. I can appreciate the concern. Most often, the best reason to get a pet doesn’t reveal itself until you’ve gotten one so the commitment fear can easily take center stage.
There are a lot of great reasons not to get a dog. I personally have several for not getting a 2nd dog. But there are a few common “concerns” that always come across as more of an excuse. It’s funny, I hear the same type of list for dogs as I do for kids. I’m not sure why people think they need an excuse for not wanting to take on a living creature (pet or child). Just admit you really don’t want one right now, it’s all good.
Some of my favorite
- Dog’s need walked. Why are people such haters about walking? Your couch will still be there when you get back. Yes, it can be tough to head out on a blustery day, but a walking dog is a reminder to stop and sniff. That life is not all stress and lists and deadlines. Sometimes it’s about fresh air and cadence. Studies show that dog owners live longer, it’s probably all the dreaded walking.
- Limiting spontaneity. Sure, with a dog, you can’t jet to Fargo on a moments notice. But think about it, does anyone currently have a bag packed for a trip you may want to suddenly take sometime in the future? My guess is no. You’ll have to dust off the suitcase, measure out your 3-ounces of liquids, and pack. You’ll have to call someone in your life and either invite them or tell them where you are going. You’ll spend some time comparing ticket prices, figuring out if you have points/wondering why you didn’t sign up for points cause Fargo is pretty expensive to fly to, and weighing the odds on a 1-star motel versus a 5-star resort. You’ll call a dog service to walk and feed the dog. Wait, see how easy that task fit in to the grand plan? Dog care is a booming industry so you can jet whenever you’d like. Also, since you’ll be living longer, you’ll have time for more trips.
- “I don’t have time”. If you really don’t have time for a dog, definitely don’t get one. But if you are one of those people who also says things like ‘I didn’t have time to text’, then perhaps admitting that you lie about how busy you are would be time better spent.
In all seriousness, the decision to get a pet needs to feel right to you. It’s not for someone else to say that you should do it. It is a lifelong commitment. Just be sure to make room for all the positive asspects on the list while you are counting out all the fears. Fact is, most dog owners I know can barely recall what their concerns were before getting a dog, only what the benefit is now that they have one.