How Your Life Changes With a Dog

Agnes’ Hoomom is here, to chat today about how your life changes when you get a dog. Unless you always have dogs in your family, life does tend to change when you get a dog (more so than with most other pets). I firmly believe that pets are just as important as any other member of the family, and can make as big or a bigger difference in our life as any person. I’m highlighting the biggest ways that your life can change with a dog and what to expect!

How Your Life ChangesWith a Dog

1) You’ve Gotta Be Home 

So, I am one of those terrible dog owners that has a full time job and can’t come home at lunch- if my dad isn’t at home to take her out a few times/hang out with her, she is kennelled. (She is kennelled at night from about 9pm to 530am, and she does well- puppies can sleep for 18+ hours a day.) So, while I don’t have any issue with kennelling her, I make sure that I am home as soon as possible after work- she gets a walk and play right when I get home, because she needs a potty break and I want her to get as much play in as she can!

I would argue that if you don’t enjoy being home a lot of the time, a dog might not be the best fit- very few of us can take a dog with us everywhere we go, so you are most likely leaving them home when you go out. As long as you are home to let them out in a reasonable amount of time, you can certainly go out, but I wouldn’t recommend always heading out- that means your doggo is just home on their own. You can also look into doggie daycares and dog walkers but that can get expensive very quickly!

Puppy playing with a ball

2) You Need a Financial Buffer

Dogs, and pets in general, can be quite expensive. When you add up food, treat, toys, grooming supplies, classes bedding, play areas/fencing, medication, and whatever else pops up, it can get expensive pretty freaking fast. Thankfully, my brother and friends were very realistic with me about what costs can spring up and what to plan for, but I would always have $3-500 set aside at least in case something springs up. I’ll be honest when I say that most surgeries (including spaying and neutering) will cost more than $500, but it’s better than nothing. What seems like a “regular” vet visit can suddenly go from costing you $70 to $250 with absolutely no notice, and in a lot of places you have to do tick and/or heartworm and/or flea medication that aren’t cheap (six months for me of tick and heartworm meds runs me about $200 CAD). Even treats for puppy class cost me somewhere in the neighbourhood of $50/month because of how fast you go through them. Budget extra, and be glad when you don’t need it!

Westie puppy sitting in class

3) They Will Scratch/ Eat/ Bite/ Destroy Things

No matter what breed they are, unless they are toothless and nail-less, they will eventually destroy something. They will rip apart toys, they will eat shoes, they will pee on your carpet, they will chew on baseboards, and much, much more. Unless you have them constantly kennelled, it will eventually happen, unfortunately. You can keep them on a leash with you all of the time, but eventually you will need to let them off of the leash and let them explore (or it can have consequences later on). In order to combat it, I would recommend buying toys that keep them occupied for a longer stretch of time and are durable enough to last heavy chewing and rough play, buy things like bitter apple and cherry spray to deter them from chewing things, and just taking the time to play with them so that they aren’t bored enough to be destructive. Also, try to move/ put anything away that you would be heartbroken if it didn’t make it! (My shoes live in a Rubbermaid bin to prevent this.)

Agnes Hockey Game

4) Your Schedule and Rhythm Will Change

This kind of ties into needing to be home, but is it’s own separate point- dogs have their own schedule. You can try to fit it into your own schedule, but much like children, when you want to relax and read a book or watch TV, your dog might choose that moment to be a crazy nutso who wants to play with you and get the worst case of the zoomies that you have ever seen in your life. Or you might be ready to head out for a walk and get some exercise in and they want to do is sleep. You have to learn how to adapt and work with their schedule; if you only want a pet who will fit your schedule, you might want to consider a fish or hamster. (That’s not a flippant suggested, they are wonderful pets who happen to allow for a very flexible schedule!) Dogs are very much their own creatures and have their own rhythms , and they may not look like ours So, you may have to change the rhythm of your day to accommodate play, naps, walks, and whatever else your pupper needs.

Agnes Park Booties

Do you have pet? If you do, did your life change? 

Until tomorrow,
The Historian
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30 thoughts on “How Your Life Changes With a Dog

  1. Lucy Blackall June 2, 2018 / 2:52 am

    I love dogs and have always had dogs. I now live in a flat and have a hamster who isn’t as flexible, he just sits in a cage asleep until about 7-8am / 9/10pm. I’d prefer him to be awake 6-9pm! But I work around when he wants to come out. He isn’t like a fish who has to stay in water. He does change how I live.

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    • anhistorianabouttown June 2, 2018 / 7:43 am

      My hamster did make changes in my life, but I rather meant that if you are out for an evening, they are typically okay for that night! ☺ I am very much a dusk/dawn person,so hamsters and rabbits have fit very well with me- in truth, I like to be a home so most pets suit me! What breed of hamster do you have??

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lucy Blackall June 4, 2018 / 12:22 pm

        Makes sense :)! Thank you for clarifying! I have a Syrian! He’s so cute. We’re currently possibly about to adopt a cat! X

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        • anhistorianabouttown June 9, 2018 / 8:38 am

          Oh, that’s so exciting!! My good friend has two Syrians, and they get very upset if their cages aren’t right beside each other but obviously they can’t be in the same cage. They are too adorable 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. jay June 2, 2018 / 4:01 am

    I have a dog. He’s the fourth one, each has been different. Anyone who thinks that personality is unique to humans, or that it is entirely created by environmental factors has never owned dogs. As well as the excellent points you make, you need to think carefully about breed, and buy from a proper breeder, or if you take a rescue, be as informed as possible about your pet. This one is energetic, has his crazy moments, is happiest when wecan take him for a two hour walk in the forest, or along the beaches. That’s to be expected from a Springer, bred from hunting stock. It’s taking him far longer than the others to get the hang of walking to heel, and he has virtually no interest in food treats as a training aid. In fact, food is way behind fun in his priorities. It is vital to recognise that you can get big vet bills. I think it’s also vital to recognise that your dog isn’t a human, and there may come a time when you should make the hard choice and say goodbye. It’s tough, but love is.

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    • anhistorianabouttown June 2, 2018 / 7:57 am

      I do have a guide for choosing the right breed for you ☺, https://anhistorianabouttown.com/2018/02/12/guide-to-choosing-dog-breed/! I think it is important, incredibly so. I don’t get into it a lot though because I get a lot of anger from people I don’t know who think everyone should rescue. (I volunteered with our local humane society for 3 1/2 years, and tried to rescue a westie, but it’s near impossible where I am- no one gives them up!) I am lucky that Agnes is treat motivated haha, it makes training quite a bit easier.
      My parents always instilled in us the thought that you have to be ready to let an animal go when they’ve lived their life, and it’s just cruel to keep an animal suffering with no quality of life. As the hoo-mans, it’s our responsibility. It’s sad, but it is!

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  3. Hannah June 2, 2018 / 6:20 am

    I’ve looked after my brothers friends dog a few times and it’s been great but totally shows how much of a commitment it is, especially for going out etc.

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    • anhistorianabouttown June 3, 2018 / 9:21 pm

      It really is- it is a lot of fun, but there is quite a bit of responsibility that people can easily forget about!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. gigglingfattie June 2, 2018 / 7:00 am

    The vet bills are the worst! My dad has started getting his flea and tick meds from TSC or something like that I think. Instead of hundreds of dollars for one dog, it’s something like $100 for both.

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    • anhistorianabouttown June 3, 2018 / 9:21 pm

      I know a few people who have had issues with off-brand meds, so I’m hesitant to try them when she’s still so young. The heartworm meds are only $38 for 6 months, but the tick meds are about $140 for the same. It’s crazy to think hwo much they have jacked up the price!!! (Also, apparently if you have more than one dog and can buy in a 12 pack instead of 6, you save quite a bit!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • gigglingfattie June 4, 2018 / 6:27 am

        Oh wow! Thankfully our dogs haven’t had any issues. Or at least none that I’ve been told about Haha. But yes thats insane how much they cost!

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        • anhistorianabouttown June 4, 2018 / 7:32 am

          I knew it was part of getting a dog, but $20-30 per month for one pill, that every dog will need, is NUTSO!

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  5. katedaysaweek June 2, 2018 / 7:50 am

    I think you forgot point #5: you discover the true meaning of unconditional love 😉

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      • katedaysaweek June 4, 2018 / 3:46 am

        Just as I’m having breakfast, I’m thinking about #6: if you drop food on the floor, you’ll never have to clean it up again

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        • anhistorianabouttown June 4, 2018 / 6:21 am

          Haha, my puppy isn’t allowed human food just yet, so I still have to pick it up for now! 😂

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          • anhistorianabouttown June 4, 2018 / 8:12 am

            Hahaha, I know it will happen eventually, but I want it to be a treat for her. I’m actually shocked I haven’t caved yet!

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Meryn June 2, 2018 / 9:35 am

    I am definitely a cat person. Growing up I’ve had two different ones. Biggest issues are waking up at 6am to them just staring at you and you know they’re asking “why aren’t you up getting my food?” And, since they were both indoor and outdoor cats, opening the door and waiting while they thought about going out for awhile- especially in the winter while the heat escaped. Nice that they can just do their own thing, and are willing to be petted- most of the time.

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    • anhistorianabouttown June 3, 2018 / 9:18 pm

      Do cats need to be fed on any sort of schedule? I find that Agnes’ day is very “off” if I don’t maintain her schedule! And it’s nice to know that every animal waffles between staying in and going out haha!

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  7. tahenryauthoress June 2, 2018 / 10:19 am

    I’ve had many a pet and they all come with their unique needs. My current dog is by far the best ever but he’s also the only pet I was home with and trained properly. He is also by nature very flexible. His usual walk is at seven but he’ll wait until nine if you let him out briefly for a bathroom break. He doesn’t destroy or chew things but if I’m gone too long he will take my pjs from the bed, move them to his bed so gently there are no teeth marks, and sleep on them. Lol

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    • anhistorianabouttown June 3, 2018 / 9:27 pm

      Aww, that is adorable!! Agnes does still my clothing, but it is usually to maul them with her tiny puppy teeth haha. I’m hoping to do another class with her in the summer or the fall to continue her training- the number one piece of advice I seem to get, is to keep training!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. jay June 2, 2018 / 10:29 am

    There are good reasons to take a rescue dog, but no-one should be pressurised into a decision that isn’t right for their situation. That wouldn’t be fair to the animal.

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    • anhistorianabouttown June 3, 2018 / 9:28 pm

      I am a big fan of people making informed decisions- as long as you have done your research and aren’t supporting questionable organisations/people, I’m for adopting a rescue or from a breeder!

      Like

  9. dawnkinster June 3, 2018 / 9:49 am

    All true. My girl is almost 12 and my life pretty much revolves around her. Luckily I’m retired now so she gets lots of attention, but when I worked it was good my husband and I were on different shifts. And when he was out of town I hired a dog walker to let her out each day once while I worked long hours. It DID get expensive, but it was the right thing to do for her. She likes to go on all sorts of adventures, but now that she’s older she likes to stay home and nap too. Whatever she wants is usually what we do.

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    • anhistorianabouttown June 3, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      I’m finding this in between time tough- she’s only 5 months old, so I have to limit her play and exercise until 10-12 months (or I could risk joint problems later on), when all Agnes wants to do is go on adventures!! I just need to get her to the point where she can actually relax haha!

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  10. waggytalesblog.com June 6, 2018 / 7:15 am

    It’s changed my life but I don’t regret it, and I dog sit my daughters dogs so she can go off on holiday. I couldn’t leave mine behind!

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    • anhistorianabouttown June 9, 2018 / 8:25 am

      I am going to the UK in February for 10 days (I have many many flight points to use before they expire by the end of 2019), and I’m already not wanting to leave Agnes!! My whole day is about her now!

      Liked by 1 person

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