Should I Get a Dog? 10 Reasons to Add a Furry Friend to Your Family
Wondering whether a dog would be a good addition to your family? Here are 10 reasons why it's an awesome idea.
You may have had a beloved dog as a child, or maybe you wish you had one when you were growing up. Perhaps your kids are begging for a dog right now. As you ponder the question "Should I get a dog?" keep in mind that you could be joining a very large group. According to The Humane Society of America, 62 percent of households in this country have at least one pet.
Of course, adopting a pet is no small task. Dog ownership involves time, money and, frankly, a good bit of mess. Puppies have accidents (sometimes on the brand new rug) and chew your favorite shoes. But there's also a happy side to getting a dog: wet kisses in the morning, a warm head in your lap and endless games of catch in the park. If you play your cards right, you can please the kids and get them to pitch in with the care and keeping of your new pet.
Still on the fence? Here are 10 convincing reasons you should answer yes to the question, "Should I get a dog?"
- You'll Laugh -- A Lot
Dogs are silly creatures and can keep you in stitches. The laughter and pure, unadulterated fun that comes from watching a dog chase its own tail is the perfect antidote to a hard day at work.
- Many Dogs Need a Home
By bringing a puppy into your life, you'll be giving an animal something he really needs: a stable, loving environment. The ASPCA reports that 3.9 million dogs enter animal shelters every year. In fact, you should adopt two!
- You'll Gain Companionship
Are the kids out with friends? Is the house too quiet? You've always got a pal when you have a puppy. He's a loyal friend who's always ready to play, snuggle or take a walk. He'll even hang out when you're in a bad mood!
- The Pounds Could Melt Away
How often do you stand up in the middle of the day and take a 15-minute walk around the block? You'll do it regularly if you own a dog. He needs to stretch and do his business -- and you'll become an outdoorsy person in the process.
- Your House Will Be Cleaner
Who doesn't want a spotless house? With a pet at home, you'll have no excuse but to drag out the mop and stay on top of paw prints on the floor and fur in the corners (and won't your mother-in-law be impressed!).
- The Kids Will Gain
Your children may learn some valuable life lessons when tasked with taking care of the dog. Helping to groom, feed and walk him teaches kids about being on time and being responsible.
- You'll Be Less Frazzled
Owning a pet can be a zen experience. Dogs love to nap and lounge around the house -- and so can you! Petting his head, scratching his belly and gazing out the window can be a great form of release for you both.
- You'll Be Safer
Yup, a dog might just save your life. Dogs have been known to rouse their owners in the event of a house fire, and some make a ruckus if their owner seems unwell. And if you get a big enough pup, you might gain a guard dog too!
- You Can Be Lazy
Dogs who fetch slippers and the newspaper don't just exist on the silver screen -- they can be a part of real life as well. If you train your pet, you won't ever have to lift a finger!
- Love, Love, Love
It can't be overstated: owning a dog means you'll be surrounded with affection. Pets nuzzle their owners, follow them from room to room and (usually) come when called. What could be better than that?
Adopting a dog is a big decision, in terms of time, money and your own level of energy. But if you start this journey, it may be one of the most rewarding ones you've ever taken.
Not sure you're ready to adopt? Read 10 Signs Your Family is Ready for a Pet.
Jennifer Kelly Geddes is a New York-based writer and editor who specializes in parenting, health and child development. She's a frequent contributor to Care.com and the mom of two teen girls.