Wondering whether you’re truly ready to add a dog to your life? Keep reading as I talk about 8 signs you’re ready to be a dog mom.
We’ve all fallen in love with a homeless mutt at the animal shelter or looked adoringly at those black lab puppies for sale. So many of us have dreamed of what it would be like to have our very own dog because, let’s face it, dogs are amazing, beautiful, and the best friends you’ll ever have.
But dogs are also a lot of hard work, cost a lot of money, and will completely change your life, so you need to be really sure that you’re ready to bring one home before you make the leap.
With that in mind, here are a few sure signs that your time to be a dog mom has come.
8 Signs You’re Ready to Be a Dog Mom
1. You’ve been thinking about it for a long time.
Getting a dog isn’t something you should do on a whim. So many people pick up a puppy after seeing how cute it is, only to find themselves unable to manage after a few weeks — a situation that isn’t good for you and it definitely isn’t good for the dog. That means you shouldn’t head out and get a dog the second it occurs to you to do so.
If, however, you’ve been thinking about it for a while and the urge hadn’t lessened over time, that could be a pretty good sign that you’re ready to have a dog in your life.
But before making your decision, keep reading.
2. Your loved ones want a dog, too.
Of course, unless you live alone, this isn’t just about what you want. It would be unfair to bring a dog into your home unless everyone who lives with you is on board with the decision.
Sure, you might be willing to take on the feeding, playing, and walking duties all by yourself, but the rest of the family will have to share time and space with the new arrival too. And there will inevitably be times when, for whatever reason, they have to pick up your slack. This is why you must make sure the entire family is cool, and that means laying out exactly what living with a dog will look like for you all.
3. You can afford it.
Being a dog parent might not be quite as expensive as raising human children, but it is still quite the financial commitment. There’s food, toys, vet’s bills, grooming costs, and pet insurance to consider, and that adds up to thousands of dollars over the course of a dog’s life.
These are all things you have to pay for if you want your dog to be as healthy and happy as possible, so before you bring home a dog, sit down and take a good honest look at your finances. If you really can’t afford to provide the best care possible, now isn’t the time to add a dog to your life.
4. You have some spare time.
You don’t just get a dog and leave it to its own devices — your pooch needs lots of undivided time and attention.
From regular walks and training to playing with your dog and giving her lots of love and attention, you’re going to need at least a couple of hours of free time each day to dedicate to your dog.
Dogs are social animals. It’s important to them to be an active part of your life, so spending time with them is a must. If you are unable to devote this time to your new pet, perhaps now isn’t the right time to bring a dog home.
5. You have outdoor space.
This isn’t a deal breaker, but it’s a definite plus if you’re thinking about adding a dog to your family.
Dogs need a lot of space to exercise to stay happy and healthy, which means, in an ideal world you will have a decent sized yard where your dog can spend some of her time.
Check out my tips for creating a dog-friendly backyard.
If you don’t have much outdoor space, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a dog mom — if you live nearby a dog park or some other outdoor space where your dog can get some exercise, run, and play, that will also work.
6. You aren’t too house proud.
The thing about dogs is that they have no concept of a clean home. They don’t really care if the floors are sparkling or the couch is fur-free; they just do their thing and if things get messy, well, no big deal!
But what does that mean for you? If you’re the kind of person who’s constantly cleaning, who has to immediately get up and wipe away a smudge on the window or a bit of dust on the carpet as soon as you see it, getting a dog might not be the best decision for you.
When you have pets, you can have a clean home, but you have to understand going into pet parenthood that a dog will mean extra work in order to keep your home as pristine as you like it.
7. You’ve done your homework.
A lot of people think that living with a dog is as simple as feeding, watering, and walking your pet, but it isn’t quite so easy. There’s more to being a great dog mom than just meeting your mutt’s basic needs.
If you want to truly take care of your dog and give her the wonderful home she deserves, you must do your homework so that you’re prepared for this new phase of your life.
You must read up on breed temperaments so that you can choose a dog that really fits into your lifestyle and your family.
You also need to understand the basics of dog training, as well as how to keep your dog healthy, what to feed her, and… oh about a million other things.
8. You’re not afraid of hard work.
In case you haven’t noticed already, mothering a dog isn’t exactly a walk in the park, well, except for when you’re actually walking her in the park.
Dog mom life is amazing, rewarding ,and so much fun, but there is a lot of hard work that comes with it, too. It takes a real commitment and dedication, some patience, and a whole lot of love to raise a dog to be a healthy, happy, lifelong companion.
If you adore dogs, you can’t imagine not sharing your life with one, and you know that you can put in the time, effort, and money to take really great care of a mutt, chances are you’re truly ready to be a dog mom. I think you’re going to do great!
How did you know you were ready to be a dog mom?
Tell me about your experience in a comment below, or stop by my private Facebook group for dog moms and join in the conversation there!