Do you like being woken up in the middle of the night by loud — and sometimes strange — noises?
Do you like walking outside in the wind, the rain, and maybe even the snow?
Do you like picking up pieces of poop with plastic bags that may or may not have holes in them?
Most people could probably respond to all of those questions with a simple answer: hell to the naw naw naw.
But if you plan on getting a dog, those are things you’re going to have to get used to.
Sure, there are plenty of reasons to get a dog: a built in best friend, a cuddle buddy, a security guard, and a ‘chick [or, whatever the male version of chick is] magnet’. But being a pet owner also comes with LOTS of responsibility.
Since our 20s are usually a time when most of us are doing everything we can to avoid being responsible, this may not seem like the best time to get a dog. But welcoming a dog into your life during your 20s might be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make, and I’m about to tell you why.
Keep reading for 5 of the best reasons to get a dog in your 20s.
You’ll Learn To Be Responsible…Whether You Like It Or Not
I had just turned 25 when I got my dog, Yogi.
I was in my last year of grad school and working part-time as a tutor. In some ways I was more responsible than a lot of people my age, but in a lot of other ways I was about as well put together as a 7-year-old.
The thought of having to think about anything other than what kind of frozen pizza I was going to eat for dinner was overwhelming. How the hell was I going to deal with another living thing depending on me?!
I was going to learn – with the quickness.
When I got Yogi, I found myself becoming more and more responsible every day. I had to make sure he was fed, walked, healthy, and entertained.
My life suddenly went from being all over the place to having a set routine.
I learned how to take care of Yogi and how to balance his needs with the rest of my life.
You’ll Become More Social
I have a tendency to be pretty anti-social. I don’t really like pointless small talk, and I usually avoid large groups of people as often as I can.
TWhile I’ve accepted that this is just a part of my personality, I’ve also accepted that human interaction is good for the soul (in doses).
If you have trouble meeting or talking to people, consider your dog the greatest icebreaker of all-time. When you have a dog, you’ll find all sorts of people are interested in starting conversations with you. Of course, they’re really interested in talking to your dog, but they’ll usually settle for talking to you.
Whether you’re walking through the neighborhood or hanging out at a local dog park, having a dog will bridge the gap between you and lots of other dog loving people.
You’ll Experience True Love
You’ve probably heard lots of people say that they like their dog(s) more than they like people. If you’ve never had a dog before, you might think that mindset is a little crazy. But, let me tell you this: there’s nothing quite like the love dogs have for their owners and vice versa.
Your dog may shit on your carpet every once in a while, but it’ll never let you down.
When you need a hug, or someone to listen to you without cutting you off every two seconds, your dog will be there.
Plus, no one, and I mean NO ONE, will ever be as excited to see you walk through the door as your dog.
You’ll Learn A Lot About Yourself
Getting to know yourself is what your 20s are all about. It’s a decade meant for learning what you need out of all sorts of relationships.
Having a dog can help you learn things about yourself that you never imagined.
Personally, I can say that out of all of the reasons to get a dog in your 20s, this is the one that has been the most rewarding for me.
Having Yogi in my life has taught me SO much about myself. I’ve learned that I’m much more patient and compassionate than I thought.
I’ve also learned that I’m pretty damn good at taking care of things and doing what I need to do to make sure my little guy is good.
You’ll Get a Crash Course In Parenting
Okay, I know having a dog isn’t the same thing as having a child so please don’t lecture me. But there’s no denying the fact that there are lots of similarities.
Having a dog teaches you how to put someone’s needs before your own, how to make sacrifices, and how to be accountable.
I’m not saying that being able to take care of a dog means that you’re ready to start popping out babies, but it does mean that you’re headed in the right direction.
If you can’t even taking care of a dog…well, you know where this is going lol.
The Reasons To Get A Dog Outweigh The Reasons Not To
Getting a dog isn’t all rainbows and butterflies (I’ll talk about that in another post), but can be VERY worth it. Of course, this isn’t my way of telling you to run out and adopt the first dog you see, but if you’re on the fence – pet parenthood can be a risk worth taking.
I’m definitely glad I did, and I’m a [much] better person because of it.