The Very Worst Reasons to Own a Dog

Are you considering adding a dog to your household? Suppose you’ve never experienced dog ownership before. In that case, you may only be considering the positives of owning a dog and not considering the time involved in keeping your dog happy and healthy.

Many people purchase a pet on a whim without considering the consequences, which is one reason shelters are so full of unwanted animals.

Here are some of the worst reasons to own a dog:

child substitute

Some people who have been unable to conceive decide their next best option is to purchase a dog to serve as the child they cannot have. Even though they have no particular fondness for dogs or any experience with them, they rush out to buy a dog without research or knowledge of how to care for one. This can be a recipe for disaster.

Before purchasing or adopting a dog, be sure you want it because it’s a dog, not because you want to turn it into your firstborn child. Please spend some time around dogs and get to know their personalities and habits before deciding you want to make that fifteen-year commitment.

guard dog

This is another bad reason to own a dog. Although dogs are known for their willingness to protect their owners from harm, this should never be the sole motivation for getting one. That’s why they make household alarm systems.

Unless you have a fondness for dogs and the time to exercise, feed, and train one, don’t bring one into your home. A dog is a costly alert system when considering the time and money required to keep them healthy and content.

Sad dog in cage
Sad dog in a Cage

You’re a clean freak

Let’s face it. Dogs are messy. If you’re the type of person who likes everything clean and in its place, you’re not going to be happy when dog hair sticks to the carpet, or the new puppy chews up the corner of the couch.

If owning a dog isn’t more important to you than the cleanliness of your home, you’re better off enjoying your friend’s dogs or interacting with dogs at a local shelter rather than bringing one home.

The kids want one

This is not a good reason to own a dog. Although most kids who want a dog will promise to feed and walk the dog every day, this task eventually ends up falling to mom or dad when the kids get busy with school, go to summer camp, head off to college, or any of a host of other commitments arise.

If you’re unwilling to take on this additional responsibility of caring for a pet, you’ll be doing the dog an injustice by bringing him into your home.

Do you like someone else’s dog?

You’ve fallen in love with your friend’s perfectly trained Golden Retriever and now feel you can’t live without one. Before you rush out to buy a Golden Retriever puppy, consider the time, energy, and money it takes to turn a rambunctious Golden Retriever puppy into a model canine citizen, then decides if a dog is right for you. It’s not fair to the dog otherwise.

For the right person, owning a dog can be a source of joy and inspiration. It can be a losing venture for the wrong person for both human and dog, with the dog generally getting the short end of the deal.

If you want to own a dog, take the time to do your research. Read books on how to raise a dog and learn the characteristics of different dog breeds. Volunteer at a local animal shelter and find out if you bond with the dogs you meet. Talk to friends who have had dogs and learn from their advice and experiences.

If you decide to add a dog to your family, don’t forget the possibility of adopting a shelter dog. You may end up giving a dog discarded by an uninformed dog owner a second chance.

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