Nothing has ever made me regret getting a dog. They are the best. If you give them love and take good care of them, there should be no regrets. However, I personally know some people who were pretty enthusiastic and formed an idea into their minds of how it would be like taking the dogs for walks, playing fetch, plenty of cuddles, etc. before bringing home a new dog; but later regret it.
I have been approached for advice a couple of times by people who were looking forward to bring home a dog. I have been asked questions which are always of cosmetic nature than practicality. They ask me which breed to buy, the cost of keeping a dog, the life span of the dog, etc. But it is only when I start asking them questions in return is the time they realise that bringing home a dog is just not “for my son/daughter” or “a status symbol” or anything which is cosmetic in nature, but way too different than that.
Nevertheless, they still bring home a dog and regret it later, because the reasons of getting a dog were always wrong and never backed by knowledge and a strong foundation.
Regrets can affect anyone. Whether it’s your first time bringing home a new puppy or a dog. I completely agree that it is not a piece of cake when a new member enters the house. However, if you are prepared and aware of the efforts to put in, there won’t be any regrets.
Often times, after getting a dog, people feel like they can’t do anything right, or the dog and they don’t have a meaningful connection, or they feel their freedom has gone for a toss. You may also have irregular sleeping schedules, and sometimes you can’t even catch a break. Most common sign of regret is feeling trapped, helpless and guilty. Please remember that these signs or regrets don’t last forever. It is a just human to feel all kinds of emotions when any new member enters your house, whether it’s a human or a dog.
Allow me to throw some brutal honest light on what you should know before bringing home a new puppy or a do:
- Every member in the house should agree to welcome the dog
- Don’t get a dog just for your child. After the initial excitement wears out, it is you who will have to take care of the dog and not your child
- Puppies require a lot of attention which will consume a lot of your time
- Your sleep will be disturbed for some weeks
- The initial few months will be a little heavy on your pockets
- Never bring a dog in a congested and a small house
- Your furniture, clothes, walls, wires, etc. can get destroyed till your puppy is teething and trained
- You will be restricted to travel for long hours for some time as you cannot leave your puppy alone
- There will be times when you will have to even cancel plans
- There will be poop and pee in the house till your dog is trained. Even after being trained, there will be accidents, plus vomits. Be prepared to clean it up by yourself
- Lower your expectations
All the above may seem overwhelming in the beginning or to even read it. But trust me when I say this; if you bring home a dog as a permanent family member (right reason), you will fall madly in love with him/her and you won’t be able to imagine your life without them.
Always consult a good vet and follow their instructions well. Besides the initial hick-up, getting a dog is the best decision in the world. Their unconditional love and loyalty is unbeatable. The fact is, dogs make us more Human, and I cannot explain this in any other better words. If there are problems, do not give up on the dog or beat them up or keep them tied. There are solutions to every problem. Do not give excuses like “I am getting married, so I have to put up my dog for adoption” or “my partner/child is allergic to dog” or “I am relocating”, etc.
Understand that there are teething problems, whether you start a new business, enter a new relationship or have a child. You don’t go around replacing or abandoning everyone and everything right! Just because dogs are voiceless, doesn’t give you the rights to abandon them.
While everyone’s circumstances and experiences are unique, you aren’t alone. Remember that on the other side of regrets of getting a dog are many years of love and friendship with your dog. Feelings of regrets are completely normal, but temporary. Don’t make a permanent decision on temporary feelings. I am no different. I too had puppy blues. But I was determined to get through it and today, I cannot imagine my life without my dogs.
Try to understand, your puppy has just been taken away from everything he has ever known by alien creatures (humans). He doesn’t even know what “good boy/girl” means yet. He’s still trying to figure out where he is and why he’s there. He doesn’t know this place is home yet, and he doesn’t know who his owners are. He’s scared. Day by day, the more you feed your dog with love and care, and the more you bond with him, he will begin to realize that you are his family. It will get easier with time. Whenever I got too frustrated or upset, I tried to remind myself how hard this must have been for Casper and Junior as well.