While I’d be among the first to claim the pluses of dog ownership outweigh the minuses, there are some inconveniences.
Make that, nuisances.
If you’re considering adding a fur-kid to your household, you might want to factor in the following:
1) Picking up poop. Of course you’ll need to scoop your dog’s waste during his walks, but you might also have to in your yard. Especially if your dog, like mine, has a propensity toward eating his own waste. Nasty habit. Nasty doggie-breath, too!
2) Walking in inclement weather. Dogs are like that ad the U.S. Postal Service used to run: ‘Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.’ Sadly, few of them read the word “swiftly.” Nope, they saunter along, sniffing every blade of grass and trying to leave evidence they passed by. And they don’t care if it’s 90 degrees outside or if it’s 25 with snow on the ground.
3) Chewing. Puppies chew. They’re teething, and their gums hurt, so they try to ease the pain by chewing. If you don’t provide acceptable things for them to gnaw (like toys and bones), and if you don’t train them NOT to, you’ll find them chewing furniture, staircases, your good shoes, whatever they can get their jaws around.
4) Jumping. Perhaps it’s just a dog’s nature, but most breeds seem to want to get right in a person’s face and they rise to their back legs to do so. People who are jumped on — whether they know or don’t know your dog — can be frightened, especially if the dog is large. Responsible owners will train their pets not to jump on people.
5) Separation anxiety. Some dogs get so tethered to their family that they “unwind” when they’re left behind. The family leaves for town, and these poor creatures cry, bark, race around the house and up and down stairs. They take their frustrations out on furniture, magazines, etc.; some even “forget” they’ve been housebroken, and you know what that means — a mess for you to clean up upon your return!
6) Vomit. Gross, I know, but think about it. If your kid gets sick, you clean it up. Same thing goes for your dog.
7) Finances. Take a dog into your life and you’re responsible for his needs (food, shelter, medical, entertainment) for LIFE. If the dog gets sick, you pay for his treatment (and most insurance policies don’t cover pets). If the tiny fur-ball grows into a 150-lb. “horse,” you still have to feed him!
8) Time. Some people are just too busy for a dog. Maybe they travel; maybe their lives are filled with work, friends, volunteering. A dog needs lots of attention, and it’s cruel to expect him to live in a crate 24 hours a day.
Okay, can you think of other reasons not to get a dog?