October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Every year, an estimated 4 million unwanted, abused, neglected, or misunderstood dogs (and cats) enter animal shelters. These sweet pups want to feel love and affection just as much as the rest of us – and dogs crave our love more than anything. If you’re considering whether or not you should bring a new furry friend into the family, here is a list of pros and cons.
To your new pup, you are everything. You supply food, shelter, comfort, socialization, training, supplies, toys, veterinary responsibility, and anything else you can think of when it comes to caring for an animal. While walking into a shelter and making a connection with a pup is a beautiful thing, be thoughtful about how much your new friend will truly depend on you and be honest about whether you can meet those needs and cover those expenses for the next decade or more.
Say goodbye to last-minute vacation plans – unless you can find a pet sitter or take your pup along for the adventure. So long to the days of crashing at your friend’s house for the night after bar-hopping or working a 12-hour day. You need to feed and let your pet out for regular relief breaks. There are most certainly ways to get around this, like hiring a service or asking a neighbor or friend to help out. But getting a dog brings along an entirely new world of responsibility.
The bonding that can happen between a human and a dog is something incredible. When you and your new friend start building a special relationship, you feel it at your core – and your pup does too! What can compare to that?
Con: Learning Curves
Adopting a new pet means bringing home an individual with a unique personality. Your new friend could be aggressive around other animals, they could have separation anxiety, they could struggle with health issues or potty training. Bringing a new dog home from a shelter requires an absolute commitment and you need to be willing to devote time, training resources, and money into the learning curves that coincide with a new pet.
Pro: Companionship & Security
Dogs can offer some of the best cuddles, laughs, and overall companionship. How many hilarious videos have you seen of dogs doing silly things? Wouldn’t it be great to have a pet to snuggle up with on a lazy evening while you watch a movie? How awesome would it be to have an adventure buddy for outdoor activities? Many dogs also make great home alarms, alerting you when someone is at the door or in your yard, and potentially scaring off intruders by barking.
Remember to do your research, spend time with a dog at the shelter before taking them home, learn about their traits, and make sure you are completely committed before bringing your new furry friend home.