How dog ownership can change your human friendships

How dog ownership can change your human friendships

Pet Psychology

When you are planning to get a dog, you will certainly be aware that a whole number of different things in your life are likely to change as part of that, including your home routine, how much time you can stay out of the house for, places that you cannot take your dog to, and scheduling regular walks.

However, a whole lot of other things are apt to change too, including your relationships with your friends and possibly family, and some of this will prove to be positive while other areas will need some work if you wish to maintain the status quo! In this article, we will look at some of the ways in which owning a dog may change your human friendships and relationships, to give you an early heads-up! Read on to learn more.

You’ll possibly see less of your friends that don’t like dogs

If you have a friend that either doesn’t like dogs, is allergic to them or is afraid of them, the chances are that you’re going to need to make an extra effort to keep in touch with such friends, and may end up seeing them less.

Friends that cannot or would rather not be around dogs if they can possibly avoid it are likely to not want to visit you at home when your dog is there, and will probably not be willing to let you visit them with your dog in tow either. Added to this, some of the things that you may have previously done with such friends, such as popping out for a walk or meeting up for coffee may be harder if taking your dog along as well is not an option.

If you wish to maintain your friendships with friends who are not keen on dogs, you should talk to them before you get your new pet, and decide upon some ways in which you can maintain your relationships.

You will make new friends

Getting a dog will also open up a whole range of new options for friendships to you as well, and you are likely to find that after just a short time as a dog owner, you will have lots of new dog owning friends as well! Just walking your dog regularly usually means that you’ll keep running into the same dogs and owners at the dog park or on the streets, and as your dogs make friends and get to know each other, so will you and their owners.

You might also find that you start to visit new places; that coffee shop that you love might not welcome dogs, but there is sure to be another one that places a welcoming bowl of water for dogs outside of the door on hot days, and which is often populated along the outside tables with dog owners and their pets!

You’ll become very dog-oriented!

If you use any form of social media, you will probably be very familiar with the fact that most new parents (of children or pets!) tend to use their feeds to post continual status updates about their pets or kids, along with plenty of cute pictures! This can be endearing or annoying, depending on your views of their child or pet, but the chances are that when you get your dog you’re going to start doing it as well, so you may as well get used to it!

You will soon find that some of your friends are as excited and enthused as you are to share what your dog is up to and what they have done, while other friends will have nothing to add to the conversation, and so may end up feeling a little left out.

You may also find that you run into day-to-day situations that you never really expected to happen to you, such as never being able to pass another dog without saying hello to it, stopping off at pet stores when you don’t need anything just to see what they have, and thinking that the village fete dog show sounds like an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

You may have to make some lifestyle changes

While it is obvious that you cannot take your dog everywhere with you, dog ownership means that you will likely have to make some lifestyle changes to accommodate for your dog, and include them in your life as much as possible. This may mean small changes, such as your choice of coffee shop as mentioned above, but can also mean a whole range of other implications as well, which may affect not only you personally, but also some of your friends.

You may find that you end up picking a pub for a summer drink based on whether or not they welcome dogs inside, or having to cut short evenings out with your friends or miss after work drinks if your dog needs feeding, or has been left alone for too long.

While these things will tend to happen naturally and possibly, without you even really noticing how things are changing, friends and family that may be affected by such changes may not always realise that these small alterations that also have an impact on them are due to your ownership of your dog, which is a much more acceptable explanation than leaving them thinking that you are just being difficult about what you want to do and where you want to go, or that you are avoiding them altogether!

Again, good communication with your friends is key, in order to maintain your important relationships whilst also taking care of your dog.

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