Sometimes the most responsible pet ownership decision is not to have a pet at all. Here, Andy from The Everything Dog Site tells us why he decided not to have a dog…
Ever since I can remember, I had a dog. My dad always used to bring Dachshunds home. Not sure why it was always Dachshunds! So from an early age I was used to having a pup around to play with and take care of.
But one day, my work sent me to the United Kingdom for a two year rotation. Moving to a new city can be daunting, much less moving to a new country! When I arrived in the UK, I was very tempted to get myself a dog. It could keep me company since I did not know a single soul and it would have been nice to explore my new surroundings with a pup on a leash. Dogs are a big part of British culture and it would certainly have been fun to have a dog.
But I decided not to get a dog. And here is why.
I Did Not Have The Space
I was living in a two bedroom apartment with no outdoor space. While there are some dog breeds that are suitable for living in an apartment, I just felt that I would want my dog to at least have a little patch of grass that it could roll around on. I also lived on a busy street, which meant I would have to keep my dog under a constant close eye to make sure it did not wander outside and get run over.
The building I was living in was not pet friendly, so I would have had to move to a new building at extra cost.
I Did Not Have The Time Or Energy
I firmly believe that if you have a dog, you should have the capacity to be able to give it the love and attention that it needs. Too many times I see dogs that act out and become depressed because they get little to no attention from their owners.
Being in a new country and having a very demanding job meant that I would not have a lot of time to spend playing with a dog (some days I only got home at 9pm!) and I was usually too tired to do much besides eat and go to bed. So I would definitely not have been able to give a dog the attention and time I felt it would need.
I Did Not Have The Money
Even though I was earning a good salary, my priorities were to save some money up and also do some travelling (I had always wanted to see as much of Europe as possible!). And while a lot of people think keeping a dog does not cost a lot of money, I know how quickly vet fees, doggy toy fees and dog training fees can add up. I certainly do not want to get a dog and then not be able to take care of it to the level that it needs to be taken care of.
My Future Was Uncertain
I was to spend at least two years in the UK, but after that I did not know where I would end up. For all I knew I would end up moving to another new country (which ended up being the case). So realistically I could not commit to a dog for just two years, and I knew moving a dog to a new country is extremely difficult. There would be no way in the world that I would consider giving up a dog for adoption so I could move somewhere else. You have to be willing to commit 12 to 17 years to a dog.
Getting a dog would have been fun for me, but I would have been selfish if I did that. I knew I would not be able to take care of a dog to the level that I would want/need to.
Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding things in my life. A dog brings happiness and unconditional love into one’s life. But before getting a dog, you should be 100% sure that you are capable of taking care of a dog, and also willing to make the commitments that goes with owning and taking care of a dog.
About this article
This article was contributed by Andy from theeverythingdogsite.com, which is a blog dedicated to promoting responsible dog ownership.