They say that to see if you're ready to have kids you should try getting a dog, but honestly, getting a dog together is pretty much as a big of a commitment. Because it's a still a living thing. That's why, according to the American Kennel Club: "If you are considering taking a dog into your life, you need to think seriously about the commitment that dog ownership entails. If you already have a dog, you need to consider if you are fulfilling all your obligations as its owner.".
And if you're getting a dog as a couple, you may as well consider yourselves together for life. It's easier to get a divorce then to deal with a breakup with a pet (OK, maybe not paperwork-wise but I'm pretty sure the emotions are neck-and-neck). And I'm not a pet person— I'm under the impression nothing smaller than horse should be cared for— but I've watched a few of my friends get dogs as a couple and they may as well have been exchanging rings. Or having kids. Or both.
Here are five ways getting a dog is a bigger deal then getting married or having kids, because you are in this for life:
1. You're Still Dealing With Poop
Yeah, moving in together and getting married may seem like big deals, but nothing will bond you like talking about poop. Especially if you have a puppy. It becomes when did she poop, how much did she poop, what was the consistency of the poop, who will deal with the poop. Seriously. POOP. The poop will bond you for life.
2. It Ruins Your Sleep Schedule
It's just like a baby. I came over to my friend and her boyfriend sleep-deprived and hallucinating like they had a toddler. Which they basically did. Up at 4 am with crying and 6 am for walks. Honeymoon phase is great, but seeing what your SO is like with 3 hours of sleep and a pile of poop is for real.
3. It Completely Shapes Your Day-To-Day
When you're living together or married you can still have pretty autonomous lives, but when you have a puppy together the world needs to revolve around the puppy. Suddenly your schedules need to coordinate, you need to be in constant touch to make sure walks and feedings are happening when they need to. You have to be a team, people.
4. You'll Stay Together... For The Dog
So my friend says that in terms of staying together, a dog is more permanent than a marriage certificate: "We have an agreement that if we break up, whoever gets dumped gets to keep the dog. But we love the dog more than anything... so basically we can never break up. Ever."
5. Even If You Break Up, You'll Have To Deal With Co-Custody
Speaking of breaking up. With a divorce, you can walk your separate ways. But with a dog there's visitation rights, shared weekends, awkward family photos. The dog may come from a broken home, but dammit, you both still love him! So that other person is in your life forever.
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