Five things you’ll have to give up when you adopt a dog (and why it’s totally worth it)

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Many of us have been working from home full time this year, whether it was our decision to or not. This has led to some interesting lifestyle changes for a lot of people and hopefully more free time for us to spend with our families and loved ones.

If you are able to work from home full time, you may be thinking about getting a dog.

Perhaps you’ve always wanted a dog but never had the time to devote to one. Maybe you were worried about leaving them home alone if you are often away for long spells. Now might be the perfect time to make yours, and your new best friend’s, dreams come true.

If you’ve already decided that you have the time and energy to dedicate to a new companion, you’ve probably started checking the adoption sites and animal charities to find your new best bud.

Deciding to adopt a dog is a life changing decision and shouldn’t be made lightly. You will lose some of your freedom as your new pet will need lots of exercise and attention, but most people agree it is absolutely worth it.

Here is a list of a few things you should be prepared to give up when you get a dog, as well as reasons why you won’t regret letting that special someone into your life.

Dignity

It’s not really so bad, but you will have to pick up their poop while they look at you like you’ve lost your mind. This is probably one of the least enjoyable things about dog ownership, but it’s just a very small part. Your dog will repay you for this small indignity a thousand times over with endless love and laughs.

Dogs often like to test the limits of their digestive systems by eating things they find out on walks or around the house. Once you’ve had to deal with the consequences of this, nothing will faze you again. You will, however, always remember to move the tray of eggs, cakes or lasagna away from the edge of the kitchen counter in future.

When you do have to pick up your dog's poop, it can be a good chance to note the consistency of it. This seems gross I know, but a dog’s poop can tell us a lot about their general health. If they are getting everything they need in their diets, the poop is quite solid and light brown in color without undigested artefacts. It means everything is good.

If your dog has very loose bowel movements or very dry ones, this can mean they have an upset stomach or are not drinking enough water. It’s good to be aware so you can monitor this to ensure your dog's good health.

Lazy mornings in bed

You may want to lie in bed on a Saturday morning and catch up on some sleep, but your dog might have very different ideas. Every morning is exciting to your dog. If they are separated from you overnight, they will be very happy to see you and puppies, especially, may be full of uncontrollable energy.

Your dog will likely have been shut inside all night so they are also gonna need to pee. Not getting your house peed all over is usually enough motivation to put on your sneakers and get out there.

Though it’s sad to think about, compared to humans, dogs live relatively short lives. They have so much to experience and so little time to do it, so give them all the fun and happiness they deserve. Build nice routines and memories together because every day should be cherished.

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Privacy

When you have a dog, you can say goodbye to privacy. Wherever you are, your faithful friend will want to be there also. They love to be with you and will often lean against you unexpectedly, or place a paw on your foot if you haven’t given them attention recently. This is normal and it’s just part of what makes dogs such great companions.

Occasionally, dogs can be too clingy which may seem cute, but can be bad for their mental health. This stems from overdependence on whoever is the primary caregiver. It is best to socialize your pet with other people and pets as much as possible. This can stop them becoming too fixated on one person to the point that they suffer anxiety when that person is not around.

Your spare cash

Dogs are not the cheapest pets to keep, but food will be the main expense for your dog. Depending on their size, they can eat quite a lot, but you should always opt for a high-quality well-balanced food.

Regular trips to the vet can be necessary for check ups and vaccines in the first years of their lives. It’s best to have insurance for dogs so if they need emergency treatment, the cost is covered.

While out on walks, dogs can easily get minor injuries to their paws and feet which can get infected if not treated. Often minor cuts and scrapes are nothing to be alarmed about and will heal by themselves.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on bedding, treats and toys for dogs. Most dogs are happy to sleep on any comfortable old blanket and you can make healthy treats at home that your dog will love. Many dogs love to chew and it’s also good for their teeth and gums, so a good chew toy is a must.

It’s important that you take the time to play with your dog, as this is a way to keep them mentally stimulated and it helps burn off excess energy. As they say, “A tired dog is a happy dog.”

Loneliness

You will never be lonely with a dog for company. They are always there for you and love nothing better than having all of your attention. Give them lots of love and affection and they will return it to you over and over.

There are many dogs in shelters that desperately need adoption. Many are older dogs and will struggle to find new homes through no fault of their own. They may be a little slower and a little grey behind the ears, but they still have so much joy and friendship to bring to you.

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