should you get a dog?

It has been over a year now that I’ve had my very own dog. Raising a puppy was literally on my bucket list. Cruising through online classified ads is how I found “ellie,” my boston terrier/french bull dog mix. This dog is energetic, sassy and smart – kind of like me. 😉 After lots of research, I thought I wanted to get a french bulldog. But when I came across the photo online of ellie and her sister, I knew I found the right match for me.

Before I arranged to meet the lady who was selling her, I did a ton of research. I looked online for the best types of dog food, more information on the breed, some training tips, and anything else I could read or watch online before making the next step. Everyone has a different lifestyle and this is a big factor on if you should get a dog or not.

For me, I work pretty set hours through out the week. I don’t go out often during the week after work, so I am able to give ellie the time and attention she needs. Another positive is that I am able to bring her to work with me when I need to. I don’t everyday because I feel guilty having to take her out for bathroom breaks and for having to keep an eye on her when I am working. But it’s awesome that I can bring her in with me. For example, if I know I am going to be going out after work then I’ll bring her. This way, she isn’t alone all day and night.

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ellie likes to run and loves to play. Luckily, she is a small dog and wouldn’t require as much exercise as a big dog. I have to walk her everyday, but with Winter here – she doesn’t like to walk as much. If you live in a condo or somewhere with out a backyard, maybe a bigger dog isn’t the best idea. Another thing to keep in mind is the financial commitment that comes along with owning a dog. I saved money up before getting her. I knew I needed to cover the cost of not only the dog but all the expenses that come with it. Can you afford to spay/neuter? Can you pay for the vet bills that come along with owning a dog, especially a puppy? What happens if there is an emergency, can you handle that bill? For me, I always keep a chunk of money safe in case anything happens to her. It’s also a good idea to consider pet insurance. Also, having a credit card (that isn’t maxed out) is reassuring for me.

Not only do you have to be mindful of the vet bills, but remember you need to purchase leashes, collars, toys, likely a crate, treats and food. The list doesn’t end there.. be mindful of other things like bags for poop and the cost of anything they might chew or break too. I was lucky that ellie hasn’t been a big chewer. As long as she has a chew toy, my stuff is pretty safe.

Something else to consider is where will your dog go if you want to go away for a night, or for a week? Can you bring your dog to family events like Christmas or Thanksgiving? I leave town for two weeks in the Summer for work, but my family has always been there to watch her overnight at their places. Would you be comfortable with/can you afford a dog sitter or a boarding kennel? These are only some things to consider before getting a dog.

I have to say, being a dog owner has been awesome for me. I love how excited she gets when I see her. She is well behaved around other people and with other dogs – but she’s still a puppy. I was lucky to have a super easy housetraining process with her. Even though I said I would never get a dog in the Winter, last Winter I took her out every hour for the first week or two so that she wouldn’t have any accidents in the house. I love dressing her up in fun clothes and costumes too. Best of all, I love having a personal heating pad to keep me warm and to cuddle up with when I am lazy, hung over or tired.

If you recently got a dog, or are thinking of getting one then check out my post on Raising a Puppy. You can also follow ellie on Instagram: @elliethefroston

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