Is Your Relationship Ready for A Dog?

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is your relationship ready for a dog? relationships are already time consuming, take work to maintain and improve so how do you know if you’re ready? kids are a whole other animal (pun intended) so let’s not go there right now but focus on our furry four legged friends!

Is Your Relationship Ready for A Dog-

here are a few things to consider:

are you prepared for attention to be directed elsewhere?

there is someone else now that looks a lot cuter than you when someone says “who’s at the door??” and that’s your new dog. maybe instead of snuggling on the couch, your partner would rather play fetch or wrestle with your dog. be prepared for both your attention and your partner’s attention to shift. also, have you heard your spouse’s “puppy dog voice” and does it make your blood curdle? take this into consideration as well.

are you willing to spend your money differently?

dogs are not cheap. first there is the adoption fee, then they have to eat 2 square meals a day. vet check-ups are spendy, flea and heart-worm medication adds up and get ready to pay out the nose for teeth cleaning. you also have to watch your dog like a hawk so they don’t accidentally eat something that would require surgery. did you hear about that dog that ate 43 socks!? i guess you also have to put aside money for more socks too. boarding a dog when you go out of town is a huge expense too! what are you going to spend less on to be able to afford this dog and how are you splitting this cost?

oh. and they need toys and holiday sweaters of course. OH and birthday parties!

relationship ready for a dog

are you ready to be more extroverted?

this one is more for me because i really don’t like talking to strangers (stranger danger people!) but when you have an adorable dog, people want to know things. “is that a boy or a girl? how old is she? where did you get her from? what’s her name? what breed is she? how much does she poop?”**

people are weird and nosy and now i have to talk to them, which i truly never considered before owning a dog.

is your lifestyle ready for it?

if you both work crazy long hours or love to go out right after work, who is available to let your pooch out? these dogs’ little bladders can only hold it for so long so is one of you available to make this happen first thing in the morning, mid-ish day/early evening, when you get home from work and then before bed?

if you don’t live in a house that has a backyard, are you prepared to put on clothes, get on your apartment’s elevator and take your dog for a walk every morning and then a few more times a day?

who is responsible for what?

have you figured out an agreement for who is walking the dog and when? for us, i take the morning shift (that elevator ride in the morning always seems especially long), we share the daytime ones and my husband takes the night shift. this is mostly due to the fact that i’ve watched way too many law & order shows to know what happens to ladies who walk their dogs at night.

if you have a backyard, who is on pooper-scooper duty? what about feeding and bathing that sweet and super dirty dog of yours?

how do you train your dog?

are you going to go to a dog training class, read books or watch videos on how to discipline your dog? what if they chew up your favorite slippers or eat a whole loaf of bread? is that a light smack on the nose or a snap in the face with a firm “NO! AND YOU OWE ME PUMPKIN BREAD, YOU ANIMAL!” what about giving a little piece of meat from your plate at the table? are they allowed in the kitchen? so much to think about and both of you have your opinions and visions for this.

three might be a crowd, especially in bed:

depends on how you train your dog or if he’s allowed on the bed but this is very important to consider. do you know what kills the mood quickly? a dog licking your toes, that’s what. where is your dog going to sleep because if it’s right in between you two, that’s going to get more awkward than adorable real quick.

there is no one thing that can perfectly determine if your relationship is ready to add a dog (or other animal) to it but it is important to have frank and thorough conversations around this. it should also be noted that they add something very special to your relationship too and bring you great joy but it’s important to consider the above points!

what else would you add to the list before getting a dog?

**please pass these answers on to the potential strangers i may encounter while walking her: “she’s a girl, she’s about 4, her name is sugar, we rescued her so we don’t know exactly what breed but maybe maltese/terrier/poodle/sweetness breed! and gross, don’t ask that unless you want to clean it up.”


  1. Melissa Camacho

    December 8, 2014 at 10:52 am

    SUCH a great post!! It’s something that probably not a lot of people think of. And what if y’all already have kids? Is the potential new family member going to do well with kids? Lots to think about. <3
    Melissa Camacho recently posted…There’s a Fungus Among Us!!!

    • chelsea

      December 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      thanks melissa! i had a lot of fun writing it because i realized just how much of a change it can make in a relationship. super true about already having kids and then adding that to mix because i’m sure it changes things!
      chelsea recently posted…Is Your Relationship Ready for A Dog?

  2. Elizabeth T

    December 8, 2014 at 11:28 am

    YES!!! I love this post for so many reasons! Especially about the whole extrovert thing……I always get told our dog is huge….just randomly by people who happen to be walking by when I’m taking him out or walking him. I honestly wish we would have invested in a sign for him to wear!!
    Elizabeth T recently posted…What to Include in a Christmas Care Package

    • chelsea

      December 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      haha sounds like you need a “yes, he’s huge i already know, thanks!” sign for your dog, elizabeth! i was really unprepared for how much people talk to you when you have a dog…it’s nuts!

  3. Rachel G

    December 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    hahahaha and this is why I’d rather have a baby. If I’m going to do all that work, I might as well get a person out of it. 😛 Sorry, I suffer from fear of dogs. We had two outdoor cats in Michigan–it was the perfect balance for us, Angel got something cuddly, it wasn’t indoors so it didn’t make his allergies act up too much, and I’m not scared of cats and they are very independent so it wasn’t too much commitment, just what we wants!
    Rachel G recently posted…Angelisms, on Hong Kong Disneyland

    • chelsea

      December 9, 2014 at 9:07 am

      haha fair enough rachel! i always just consider that at least i don’t have to buy diapers with a dog 🙂 a fear of dogs would also make sense why you’re less interested in having a dog. sounds like the cats worked out well when you were back in michigan! it’s true…they are much less of a commitment than both dogs and humans!

  4. Amanda

    December 8, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Definitely sweaters! I would also add, “Are you willing to scrub diarrhea or vomit out of the carpet at 3 a.m.?” Been there. Sigh.
    Amanda recently posted…DIY Photo Coasters

    • chelsea

      December 9, 2014 at 9:08 am

      hahahah ewwww. but yes, that should also be added amanda 🙂

  5. Debra

    December 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    You are so cute! I love reading your posts. We adopted a cat when we were first married. Baby steps. Cats don’t require quite the attention a dog does. 🙂

    • chelsea

      December 9, 2014 at 9:09 am

      thanks for reading and commenting, debra! a cat does sound like good baby steps because dogs do require a lot more attention!

  6. Lauren Coburn

    December 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    love this post! ;o)

    • chelsea

      December 9, 2014 at 9:17 am

      thanks lauren!! looks like you have some sweet puppies of your own 🙂

  7. Amanda Wood

    December 10, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I love this! People sometimes don’t realize how much work goes into have a pet, dogs especially.
    Amanda Wood recently posted…Through The Lens – November Moments

    • chelsea

      December 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      it’s so true, amanda! i mean i had dogs growing up but never fully appreciated how much time or money my parents spent on them!