If you and your partner have decided between you that you have reached the point in your relationship, working life and home life that getting a dog is the right decision, both of you will need to do a lot of research and talking about it all before you rush out to buy or adopt!
Bringing a dog into your home is a big change and also a big responsibility, and while having two people to love and care for your dog can make the whole thing somewhat easier and mean that your dog has two people to love them and share the workload, bringing another living being into the mix (even if that is a four legged baby!) can also be challenging too.
Once you have agreed as a couple (or a family) to get a dog, as part of your planning, researching and looking around, you should also take the time to hash out a few basics between yourselves, to make things a little easier when you get going and to avoid any bickering along the way!
In this article, we will look at seven things that you should talk about and agree upon with your partner before buying a dog. Read on to learn more.
First of all, if both of you want the dog, then both of you will likely want to be involved in playing with and bonding with the dog, but don’t forget about the less-appealing elements of dog ownership too-such as cleaning up pooh from the garden, walking the dog when the weather is horrible, and how you will split the workload and adapt over time based on your working patterns and other commitments.
While it is important for both parties to feel involved and that they have a say in important decisions about the dog, one party should ideally be in overall charge of making important decisions, such as what the dog is fed, which vet to use, and what type of insurance to purchase for the dog.
Other decisions too will come up over time, and it is wise to look at how these will be considered, and who will have final say if necessary.
Every dog needs to be trained and socialised, and both of you should understand how this is going to happen, and assist in the procedure. But one party should be designated as in overall charge of dog’s training, such as deciding how to train them, structuring the sessions, and involving the other party in what the dog is and is not allowed to do!
One of the most important conversations to have is how the care of the dog will be funded, and how much this is likely to cost. If you both decide to share equally, this is fairly simple, but if one of you has a higher income, or if your finances are not intertwined to any great degree, it is a good idea to hash all of this out first!
Most couples go away on holiday once or twice a year, and owning a dog can really throw a spanner in the works where vacation time is concerned! If you own a dog, your holiday options will be different, and you will need to factor in things like kennelling or dog sitting, not going on holidays in future at all, or only going on holidays that your dog can come on too-make sure that you are both on the same page about all of this, to save later arguments!
Having “the conversation” about what would happen if you split up at some point in the future is something that most couples will try really hard to avoid, but it is very important to have a conversation about what would happen to the dog if your relationship broke down.
This means talking about who the dog would live with, what rights the other partner would have to see the dog, and how the dog’s care and financial needs would be split as well.
Planning in advance for your new dog is important, and laying down an understanding of how dog ownership is going to work for you both is a great idea. But getting a new dog can turn your life upside down (usually in a good way!) and so agreeing to review things after the first six months and then on an annual basis is a good idea, as until you get down to the day to day realities of life with your dog, you won’t really know how everything is going to shake down!