7 Ways a Dog Will Change Your Life

Something that many people aspire to in life is to have a pet that they can look after and incorporate into their family. It’s an exciting prospect, but one that naturally comes with many changes to the way that you live your life. These aren’t inherently negative or positive, but understanding what some of them might be can allow you to prepare for the adjustment in the healthiest way possible.

After all, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you resent your dog or yourself for getting the dog due to the changes that have come along with that transition.

1. More Exercise

Not all of these changes have to be negative, and while the idea of walking your dog regularly might not seem appealing at first, it’s important to be aware of the positive impact that this can have on your health. With a full-time job and other responsibilities, it can be difficult to find the time to exercise. Having this decision taken out of your hands and instead requiring a walk to be part of your schedule for the health of the dog can make you healthier over time. This is a straightforward enough benefit in theory, but then in practice, you might also find that it has a knock-on positive effect on your mental health as well – both due to the exercise and the increased time spent outside.

It could even be something that inspires you to go further with it, constructing holidays and trips around hikes and camping that can allow you to take your dog with you on natural adventures.

2. More Time Inside

This won’t be the case all the time, though, and sometimes you might find that you’re spending more time inside than you would otherwise. Dogs can be highly dependent animals and that can mean that they become stressed or anxious when they’re left alone. If this means that you or another member of your household needs to spend more time inside, it might mean that you also need to get used to the idea of inside activities. Fortunately, there are several for you to choose from. Even if you don’t consider yourself an avid gamer, you might find that a more casual entry point like an on-line casino can help you to form a connection to the rhymes and rhythms of what the medium has to offer.

When it comes to your friends, this can simply mean that you become the hosting house with increasing regularity. If none of your friends or family members have a problem with dogs, this could even be quite enticing as visiting you also gives them a chance to visit your pet and become familiar with them.

3. The Shedding

Spending all of this time inside, though, is bound to have an impact on that environment. This can happen in a few ways, but most notably may well be the shedding. Obviously, this is going to be more noticeable when it comes to fluffier dogs, but it’s something to be aware of if members of your household are susceptible to problems like asthma that might become exacerbated as a result of this. Beyond this, though, you might also expect some destructiveness to take place. Some dogs can resort to biting and digging when bored, which can naturally have an impact on your belongings. It might not be your belongings that are most important here, though, as all of this biting might lead to them eating things that aren’t healthy for them – meaning that you need to keep an eye on them at times like this.

To take that point further, this might impact how you decorate your home. For example, some plants can be toxic or otherwise dangerous to dogs, which is something worth bearing in mind. Additionally, you might want to restrict access to rooms like the kitchen so that your dog can’t get in and start eating things that are exposed – both for the sake of the health of the dog and your supplies. This mentality can even extend to your bedroom if you feel as though your dog is likely to start eating your bedding or clothing when you take your eyes off of them. This might be able to be avoided through child-lock gates on the stairs, which can often prevent them from getting any further.

4. The Caregiver

As you’re starting to see, taking care of a dog is a big responsibility. It can be so easy to think of it as being a small adjustment to your life, but this might not be remotely true. In some cases, you might find that your life needs to bend and flex quite significantly in order to accommodate your new pet. That’s not to say that it can’t be worth it, but it’s paramount that you know what to expect before committing.

If you’re able to do so, you might find that taking care of a friend’s dog is a good way to gauge what it would be like, though even here, you might find that this experience differs quite heavily from the real deal due to the scope of what ownership is actually like. There are other pets, after all, and if you’re looking for something that’s more casual by nature, you might be interested in other pets like cats. Again, that’s not to suggest these don’t require any sort of responsibility, but looking after a dog can be quite intense in nature at times – though this does depend on the dog.

5. Interactions with People and Pets

Another aspect that depends on the dog is how your interactions with other people change. As you think about your life now, this might not matter too much. What you think about first could be how your dog engages with your friends and family members when they visit, though you might find that this is something that you can often improve by simply allowing the dog to become familiar with them.

However, as a part of your new life with your dog, you might naturally find that you’re going on a lot of walks with them, which is bound to take you to open spaces involving other members of the public and often their own dogs. If your dog is one that has difficulty interacting with people or other dogs in a calm manner, this could lead to problems. Therefore, it’s worth taking the time to investigate some quieter areas or knowing how to be responsible – as protecting these other people from your own dog is absolutely your responsibility.

6. Various Expenses

The responsibilities seem to pile up the more that you look into this process. This can be daunting, and it’s important to examine how realistic of a prospect this is for where you are in life, which might be no more apparent than it is when you look at the financial side of dog ownership. Straight away, you might find that you’re having to spend more money on dog food, waste bags and things like toys that they might get through on a regular basis. Furthermore, you have to take into account the vet bills. Sometimes, these might only arise occasionally – as and when your pet encounters a problem that needs addressing. Other times, though, there will be more routine considerations like shots or operations that are required in order for them to live comfortably.

Scrutinizing your own financial situation doesn’t just mean knowing whether or not a dog is realistic for you, but it means you can plan ahead as to when it will fit more neatly into your life.

7. Where You Go

As mentioned before, having a dog can be something that encourages you to live your life in a more varied way. Having your eyes opened to including more exercise in your life can lead you to hiking holidays or trips that explore more vast and natural landscapes. While camping might be involved here, that won’t always be the case, and looking over your options for accommodation is going to quickly lead to another conundrum – not everywhere accepts dogs. Some places will be more restrictive on pets, and that might naturally lead you to more expensive areas or options that are less convenient. Of course, you could find solutions to this that might allow you more control, such as a camper van or something similar that can allow you to essentially travel with your accommodation.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just holidays where you might encounter this issue. If you’re renting where you live at the moment, you might find that landlords are variable regarding how they feel about pets. This can make renting difficult, and while simply buying a house might seem like an obvious solution, that’s not always going to be financially realistic – or even a proportionate response to simply wanting a pet.

None of these points are about deterring your desire for a dog, as it can be an incredibly fulfilling addition to your life, but about allowing you to gather as much information as possible to make it a smooth transition.

Brenda Thompson

Brenda Thompson is an expert in dog behavior with over a decade of experience, and she is also passionate about working with cats and birds. In addition to contributing pet content to petdogplanet.com, she is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. Brenda received her Bachelor of Science in Biological and Biomedical Sciences & Philosophy from Colorado College in 2014. She has taken classes in writing and remote animal behavior consulting, as well as courses on how to manage aggressive dogs and litter box issues. In 2016, she obtained her dog behavior consulting certification and joined the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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