Dogs are awesome creatures. We’ve had Chili for years now and he adds interest and depth to our lives. In this post we’ll go over the general pros and cons of having a dog and additional benefits and challenges we find as a couple. Chili has been having strange behaviors recently, which is the inspiration for this post.
We don’t have much time to be bored, but sometimes when we’re just hanging out on the weekends or the evenings, it is more fun to interact with Chili, a living creature, than our phones. Yes, we interact with each other too. Chili can be pretty funny. We have been working on training him to do new tricks. We just got him to do roll-over. Now he’s started doing this fake roll over where it looks like he’s chasing his tail while sitting.
Pro: Instagram Content
Run out of stuff to post? Here’s a cute dog photo. Well, Evan would say a weird dog photo because he doesn’t think Chili is cute, but even so he could be Instagram content. I even had a separate Instagram account for him for awhile, but then I got too busy to post. I think I also forgot the password. It’s connected to my personal Instagram, but if you want to see a ton of pictures of Chili, DM us on IG, email or contact us through one of the other ways we have available and we’ll give you Chili’s username.
Pro: Something to Love
Again, we do love each other, but it is also nice to have another thing to love. We work together to take care of him, train him, entertain him, etc. If you’re fighting, you’ll still have something to cuddle when you’re upset. Dogs are loyal. If Evan and I are annoyed with each other, Chili is still going to love both of us. When we’re annoyed with Chili, he still loves us. Like right now we’re both frustrated with him, but he’s just asleep on my legs. It’s a simple unconditional love that is different from what you get from other people.
Pro: Company When you Can’t Be Together
Chili was originally my dog. I’ve had him for about 5 years. I adopted him from Animal Friends Rescue Project. When Evan was deployed and had training, I still had Chili to help me feel less lonely. Yes, I had friends too. Cuddling your dog is a little less weird than cuddling your friends though. You probably won’t be with your significant other all the time. Even if they’re not military they might have training or a conference for work, or a family thing to attend. But you’ll still have the dog love. Also, if you break up, you’ll still have a dog to love, unless you got the dog together, in which case you may or may not get the dog, so uh that’s a drawback.
Pro: A Way to Connect with Others
Dogs are an easy way to start a conversation. You could meet new people while walking your dog. When I was still job searching, I took Chili for a walk and ended up having a long conversation with a couple of our neighbors about places to apply to and places to avoid. Chili and Evan are the two reasons why I have interacted with neighbors.
Pro: A Reason to Get Out of the House
Especially right now, it’s good to have a reason to leave the house and just get outside. We just go for grocery shopping, going to the garage gym, and walking Chili. We’re both so busy we probably wouldn’t go outside if we didn’t have a reason to. The pros and cons of having a dog lean more on the pros side during coronavirus times.
Pro: Loves You More Than Cats
I used to be a cat person. I had two cats growing up and then lived with family who had four. But they were indoor outdoor cats because we lived in the country. They would just kind of do their thing, but come back inside when they wanted sleep or attention. Then I met indoor cats. Since they’re stuck with you all the time, you get their mean moods as well. One of the important pros of the pros and cons of having a dog is dogs are more loving on a consistent basis.
Con: Can’t Travel Freely
Every time we want to go anywhere for longer than 12 hours, we have to find a dog sitter. Finding a dog sitter can be a process and requires more work and planning than just packing and leaving like you could with a cat or no pets. If you’re a spontaneous adventuring couple, having a dog might be difficult. You could also bring the dog, but that gets annoying because you’d have to leave them at the hotel to get food, find a dog friendly hotel, and if you’re flying it gets more expensive. Here’s a post on our move including how we moved here with Chili, How We Planned Our First Move Together
Con: Schedule is Based on the Dog
We can’t be out anywhere too long because we have to be home at some point in the morning and in the evening to walk Chili. It’s not really in our nature to be out all day or go anywhere at night, but for those of you that are, your lifestyle is something to take into account before getting a dog.
Con: Weird Behaviors
Chili has randomly started peeing in the apartment. Not sure why. He is housebroken. We haven’t changed how much water we give him or how often we take him out. I just took him to the vet for other reasons and nothing seemed wrong. So he’s just being weird and it is a pain in the butt. He’s done this sort of thing before, where he gets in a phase for a few weeks or months and just keeps doing the same neurotic behavior. Not a clue why he does this. It’s an annoyance. Other dogs probably aren’t as crazy as he is, but they all have their little issues.
Con: Probably Won’t Get Your Deposit Back
Like I just said, Chili has been peeing randomly, so the carpet in the apartment is stained. Granted it was pretty stained when we moved it so Chili’s damage isn’t that bad. In our last living situation, the evil cat literally pulled screens off windows, wood off the floor, and also peed everywhere. So basically if you want to get your rental deposit back, don’t get pets. Even if your dog is super well-behaved, there might be one time when you’re out an hour too late and they have an accident. It happens.
Con: Disagreements Over the Dog
Typically we both love or hate the dog at the same time. But if we have different ideas on how to train him or only one of us is annoyed with him, then that can cause disagreements. Nothing serious by any means, but we tend to be likeminded on most things. If you’re a new couple and still getting to know each other, you may learn a lot about each other based on your interactions and issues with the dog. This could be good or bad. If you tend to have more conflict, the pet and their issues may fuel that.
Chili spent half of the time I was writing this post in my face or forcing me to pet him. He shoves his head under my hand and walks under it. He’s like pet me or I’ll do it myself using you. The other half he spent lying on my butt on the floor. Distraction is a clearly evident con out of the pros and cons of having a dog. He’s just always around, almost always wants attention, or just looks really cute so we feel obligated to pet him/bug him. The cuteness of dogs is pretty distracting. If you’re still in school, dogs can easily distract you from studying.
Dogs are expensive. If you’re young and trying to save up money to do things like get married and get a house, pet expenses may not be something you want to add on. I took Chili to the vet about a week ago. It was over $100 just for an exam and an anti-itch injection. He’s supposed to go to the vet every month for another issue and that’s usually $15-25 a visit. He only eats one grain-free pricy type of dog food because other ones upset his stomach. If you have a dog with longer fur that needs grooming, that’s another cost. Dogs aren’t cheap. They can be a pretty big financial con of the pros and cons of having a dog.
We love Chili. Dogs are great, but can also cause issues. This list covers a majority of the pros and cons of having a dog we’ve found as a young couple.