With Valentine’s Day recently ending, you and your significant other may be thinking of taking things to the next level: getting a dog together.
However, like every relationship milestone, you may want to take a couple steps back and reflect. Here are a few considerations that can determine if your relationship is ready for a furiend.
You’re both financially ready.
When you have a pet, your money will be spent differently. There are not only the annual vet check-ups along with vaccinations but also possible medication needed for your future pup. Plus, you will need to get food for your dog, and you will have to choose what kibble food is best or if you’re going to cook for the pup. There’s money for the groomers, and you may have to budget for walkers if you work long hours or sitting services if you want to travel. You will also end up spending money on toys and other supplies. The costs aren’t outrageous, but you do have to keep a budget in mind.
You’re prepared for jealousy.
Okay, this is more of a bonus, but the reality is dogs demand attention. Sometimes, it will be you, and other times, it will be your partner. Both of you should expect to feel at least a little jealous your partner is doting on your furry companion, but as long as you train the dog properly to not interfere too much and work it out, your relationship will be okay.
You’ve discussed the responsibility.
Dogs are a lot of work but worth the effort. Dogs need play time, walks, and lots of attention. You and your partner need to discuss splitting up the responsibility, so neither of you feel overwhelmed and create frustration. Examining both your work schedules is a good starting point. Does one of you leave earlier for work than the other? Is someone always home before the other? Working out the details before you get a dog will smooth the transition.
You and your partner also need to discuss what you’re prepared to take on in a dog. Are you adopting a puppy, an adult, or a senior? Are you willing to take them to train or pay for obedience school? Shelters are great about telling where a dog is in life, so all you need to do is decide what will work for you and your partner.
You’ve discussed your future together.
A surprise dog for your one-year partner may not be the best idea. Every relationship is different, but it would be best for both if you were fairly settled with your significant other. This means you live together, are familiar with each other’s routine and see yourself with your partner in the long run. Dogs live about eight to 15 years old, and they form intimate relationships with their pack. You want to make sure your pup doesn’t end up having to choose sides if things don’t work out.
BONUS: You’ve had a plant together.
Keeping a plant is hard if you’ve never done it before, just like taking care of a dog. If you two are unsure about your readiness, go to your local garden shop and get a fern. Take care of it for a couple of months, keep it alive and thriving. It is not nearly the same responsibility as a dog, but it could be a way to check to see where you are.
Adding a dog to your relationship can be stressful, but if you are both ready and discussed the topic, it should be a wonderful experience. A dog can make you more extroverted and active and bring you two closer than before.