It's not a nice thought, but so many dogs are abandoned this time of year and as a dog owner I feel like I need to champion the cause for adoption. The logistics can be daunting, stepping into unchartered waters can also come with its own trepidations, but the positives that come with being a dog owner are insurmountable.
However, it's only fair to give you a balanced view on what both the pros and cons are for being a dog owner.
Training a dog can be time consuming. You'll need to have patience and develop skills of understanding that as much as we like to humanise our pets, they are still pets at the end of the day.
You might seek professional help from dog trainers to instil some obedience. This could cost more time and money. Get help from dog trainers if you are struggling with a disobedient dog.
You may have to forego that precious rug you brought back from India. Dogs will have accidents, every now and then they will remind you that they are still dogs and if left unattended, will proceed to empty the trash bag in the kitchen, chew through the bean bag, eat all your Easter eggs including the foil. *Chocolate is bad for dogs, so here is a list of foods that can be toxic to dogs from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
You simply cannot have a dog without insurance. It will cost you a fortune in the long run when things start to go wrong and horrible, inevitable decisions need to be made.
A quick Google search will give you some indication on how much does it cost to insure a dog. With reference to an article on Bought By Many, "The average annual premium for pet insurance costs UK dog owners £287 - equating to just over £23.90 per month, according to Consumer Intelligence data from quotes between May 2017 and May 2018." Although pedigree dogs such as my Charlie (French Bulldog) can cost more, mine is currently at around £120 per month and increases year-on-year.
2. As well as insurance you'll need to fork out on food, toys, dog sitters, especially during the holidays.
A dog doesn't have the words 'but it's freezing out there' in its vernacular. They love a walk, they're indifferent to the temperature and they somehow revel in finding puddles to wade and roll through. (Charlie gravitates to all puddles).
Ok enough depression, let’s talk about some of the positives of being a dog owner?
No need for an alarm clock
Dogs have an amazing internal clock and love routine, so therefore they can act as your alarm clock. You will find yourself becoming a morning person and reaping all the benefits of getting a head start, getting yourself centred before the tirade of Monday morning emails arrive.
Cheer you up
Dogs are wonderful, doting companions when you're down. I've had a few rough serves this year that has left me down in the mouth. Charlie has become a great wingman in getting me out of the house and bringing a little sunshine to my grey skies.
Great for fitness
Why else would you want to go for a walk at 7am in the morning in the freezing cold? A dog will leave you no choice and you will easily get to your 10,000 steps a day if you're walking your pet day and night.
Charlie is a great icebreaker when I'm out in public. He has no agenda and people love to come up and pet him and introduce themselves. Having Charlie on Instagram also is a lot of fun. Sharing tips with other dog owners and engaging with other people outside of the influencer world brings a little levity to my day.