Confession: I am a crazy dog lady. I have pictures of dogs in my room, on my desk, on my phone, and on my clothing. I have been known to walk ten blocks in the wrong direction just to look at a cute pup. My voice gets about 5 octaves higher whenever there’s a pooch within a 10 foot radius. Oh, and I follow more pets than people on Instagram. But here’s the problem: I don’t actually have a dog.
The most logical follow up question is “why?” It’s definitely not because I don’t want one. I actually spend hours on Petfinder looking at all the possible pups to adopt. But the truth is I know I’m not ready. Because loving dogs and actually being ready to own a dog are two completely different things.
When I first moved to New York, I decided to test out my pawrental abilities. I looked into local shelters and decided to try fostering a dog. For 4 weeks, I took care of an adorable beagle mix that I lovingly named Shorty. She was cute, cuddly, and quite the handful. This little pup was still working on her potty training habits and getting along with new furry friends. For someone with a full-time job, this was a lot to handle.
I learned a lot about myself in those 4 weeks, mainly that I was definitely not ready to be a full-time pet owner. Actually having a pup takes way more time, dedication, and money than you think it does. So before you jump into buying a new furry friend, really think about what you’re getting yourself into. Do you have the time to commit to training? Do you have enough money saved up for any unplanned vet bills? Do you have anyone to take care of your pup if you get sick or have to go out of town? These are just a few of the questions you need to consider.
Fostering a dog is a great way to find out if you’re ready. It’s a short-term commitment that’s pretty much like a trial period to owning a dog. Plus, you get to help a needy shelter pup that might otherwise be stuck in a cage.
Dog walking or dog sitting are other great ways to get your pup fix without the long-term commitment. Apps like Wag or Rover are great for finding walking gigs, and DogVacay is great for pet sitting. They can help you earn some extra cash while playing with some canine cuties.
Owning a dog is a wonderful experience that definitely should not be taken lightly. The next time you walk by your local pet store, maybe think twice about that adorable little doggy in the window. Just remember that the average lifespan of a dog is about 11 years, and if you walk that dog at least once a day, that adds up to over 4,000 walks. If you think you can commit to that and so much more, then you might be ready to find your best furry friend.
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