Unconditional love. Cuddles. Kisses. Yes, this is what you get when you have children. But it’s also what comes along with pet ownership. I know so many people that have dogs and absolutely adore them. They’re excited to see you when you come home. They offer protection and comfort and can be a companion for the entire family. But when I think about getting a dog, I also contemplate the responsibility that comes along with it. From obedience training to choosing the best puppy food to taking them on walks and shedding.

Here’s my list of dog ownership pros and cons.

Pros

Companionship

They aren’t called “man’s best friend” for nothing. Dogs provide unconditional love to their owners. Dogs have an unbelievable way of sensing when their owners are sad, sick, or upset. This is one reason why canines are used as therapy dogs. They become very in tune with the needs of their owners. If you live alone or have an only child, a dog helps ease feelings of loneliness or sadness. What’s better than a nice wet kiss or nose on your face at the end of a long day?

Protection

This is especially true if you live alone. Though some breeds may offer more physical protection than others, all canines are protective of their owners. This means barking at the sense of danger or an intruder. If you do live alone, having a dog present somehow makes you feel less vulnerable and safer.

Advertisement

Physical and Mental Benefits

Dog ownership can give you a sense of accomplishment. A dog is something to take care of, talk about, and essentially “show-off” to friends, family, and those you meet at the dog park. That’s another great bonus for dog owners - increased exercise. You’ll need to walk your pup unless you plan to build a fenced in yard. But even so, your dog will need to play and run. But did you know that dog ownership actually means improved physical health? This can include increased longevity, reduced stressed, and lower cholesterol.

Advertisement

Cons

Expensive

One of my biggest concerns when it comes to owning a dog is the cost. Not so much the initial cost of purchasing the pup, though that can get pricey too, but more about the upkeep. Vet bills can average of $1,200 in the first year and $500 each year to follow. And that’s if your dog has no medical complications. You also need to consider the cost of food, bedding, grooming, boarding (if needed), toys, and other unexpected expenses. Though dogs will cost you less than a child, it’s still a financial burden to consider.

Advertisement

Clean-Up

Whether you choose a dog that sheds or a small breed, all dogs come along with some amount of clean-up. Large dogs that shed include huskies, German shepherds, and golden retrievers. You may find that your dog likes to chew on household items like furniture, shoes, and anything they can get their mouth on! Clean-up may also include messes your puppy makes during the training process. Leaving your dog home alone for extended periods of time may also result in accidents.

Advertisement

Time Consuming

Dog ownership takes time and dedication. You can’t purchase a dog if you’re not willing to put in the time. This means time for walking, playing, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Dogs need interaction in order to develop and flourish. If you vacation often or work long days, your pup will be home alone. This isn’t the healthiest scenario. If you travel often and can’t bring your dog along, that means finding a sitter or boarding them. As much companionship as dogs offer, they need the same level of attention in return. It’s important to consider whether or not your lifestyle is conducive to dog ownership.

Advertisement

Treat it as a Big Decision

Too many people decide to buy dogs without considering all of the things that come along with it. From the bills and upkeep to the time and attention. But if you know that a dog would better your life, then they really do make some of the best pets around!