Becoming a pet parent is filled with tons of laughter, excitement, and responsibility. Yes, pets are cute and cuddly, but there’s much more to them than that. Being a pet parent comes with more responsibility than most people realize. Not only do you have to ensure to feed your pet a healthy diet, ensure they get exercise, and keep up with their annual vet wellness visits, but they require tons of time and attention, especially when they’re young.
Dogs, in particular, require more of your time. When they’re young, they must be housetrained and go outside for potty breaks multiple times throughout the day. They also require daily exercise, and depending on their breed, they may need more exercise than you think, and a simple walk around the block in the morning may not be enough. Dogs are a lot of work, but they’re worth it. If you’re considering adopting a dog, here are a few things that need to change.
1. Type of Home
If you don’t currently own a home, you might consider becoming a homeowner so your dog has a backyard to play in. While owning a home is not a requirement, and anyone pet parent can be a great pet parent even if they don’t own a house with a yard, it will be more convenient to take your dog outside for their potty breaks if you can open the door and let them romp around in the fenced-in yard on their own.
Of course, if you live in an apartment, you’ll need to pay a pet deposit and monthly pet rent. That being said, apartments can be good homes for dogs, especially smaller dogs that don’t require too much space. Still, you’ll need to take them outside multiple times a day and ensure they’re getting enough exercise.
2. Your Schedule
Depending on your current schedule, you may need to make some changes after becoming a pet parent. For example, cats are easy as long as you leave their food out for them at the same times throughout the day. However, dogs are slightly more complicated. Since dogs need to be walked and taken outside throughout the day, your schedule will change in some ways. For example, you may need to wake up earlier to ensure your dog can relieve itself as soon as they wake up in the morning. In addition, you’ll need to take them outside before bedtime.
You may need to stop spending too many late nights at the office if you work. Dogs should not be left alone for too long because they should be allowed to relieve themselves. In addition, many dogs are prone to separation anxiety. If possible, consider coming home on your lunch break to let your dog outside and ensure they have everything they need. You can also hire a pet sitter or dog walker to care for your dog while you’re at work.
3. Your Lifestyle
If you want to be a pet parent, you’ll need to put your pet first, which means spending time with them. If you love traveling and spend many months away from home, pet ownership might not be for you. However, if you’re willing to stop going on vacations or traveling to stay home with your pet, it may be well worth it. As we’ve said, dogs can’t be left alone for too long. However, cats can be left alone for a few days as long as they have a clean litter box and plenty of food to last. Therefore, while you can leave your cat alone all day, you can’t do the same to your dog because they rely on you much more.
If you’re someone who is never home, your lifestyle must change when you get a pet, especially a dog. No dog should be left home alone all day without any mental or physical stimulation and regular potty breaks. In addition, dogs become very attached to their owners, so spending too much time away can cause them to develop anxiety and destructive behavior.
4. Mandatory Exercise
Some people love being active, while others prefer to sit on the couch after work. However, you won’t have a choice once you adopt a dog. This is especially true for apartment dwellers who need to take their dogs outside on a leash. Dogs require daily exercise, but how much your dog needs depends on its age and breed. For example, if your dog is a high-energy breed, it may need multiple walks a day to get rid of some of its energy.
A bored dog can be destructive, and one that’s not exercised enough can quickly find other activities, such as chewing up furniture. Exercise will become mandatory when you get a dog, but luckily, most dogs are happy with a few short walks around the block multiple times a day.
Pets can be destructive and messy, so while you may keep your house clean, they can still cause a mess. For example, dogs can have accidents indoors, while cats spray furniture and may kick around their litter. As a pet parent, you’ll clean more often than you normally would to remove pet stains, odors, and fur. For example, if you vacuum once a week now, you should vacuum twice a week when you have a dog or cat, especially ones that shed a lot. In addition, you should have some enzymatic cleaning solution on hand in case your pet has an accident in the home. While dogs typically ask to go outside once they’ve been housetrained, accidents can happen when your pet isn’t feeling well or they ate something that didn’t agree with them, so it’s always good to have pet cleaning products in your home.
There’s no better experience than adopting a pet in need. Your furry friend is adorable and loving, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need you to change a few habits and parts of your life to ensure they’re happy and healthy. Cats are much easier than dogs for most people because they don’t have to go on walks or be let outside for potty breaks. However, dogs are loyal and fun-loving and can keep you healthy. Taking care of your dog is crucial, but that means changing a few things about your home and lifestyle to ensure their health and happiness.