1. Commitment. You cannot have a pet without commitment, especially if you have dogs. You have to take them out and walk, play with them and you have to bathe them at least once a week or more if necessary and if they’re going to bed with you. (I know it’s not good to share your bed with dogs, but I can’t help it!)
2. You’re good at controlling your temper. Now, I’m not going to act like some kind of a saint who smiles and laugh while his dog is rubbing his itchy ass on your favorite yoga mat or destroying your favorite pair of shoes. No! All portals to hell open up when this happen, but no, I don’t physically hurt them (or at least intentionally!) I just let myself go out of whack for a few minutes then going to convince myself to calm down, go into conscious breathing *inhale…exhale*, and be an adult. Life goes on.
3. Time. Perhaps one of the most detrimental but often overlook aspect for being a dog or even any pet parent. You cannot just have a dog or cat and let them live. No! You have to have time allotted just for them no matter how busy you are. You have to play with them, cuddle with them, pet them, bathe them and talk to them. They’re social animals and they look at you as their parent so act like one.
4. Financially stable. No, you don’t need to be like Bill Gates or Oprah to be a dog parent. You can have a normal paying job but still take care of them… It’s just sometimes, expenses for having a pet (or pets!!!) is too overwhelming for a newly graduate, independent and young person like me (or you). I hope someone warned me how dog and cat foods cost per month, their shampoos, brush, leash or harness chew toys, vaccinations and other shots! and the vet! God! It’s like I have a human kids! *panting*
5. Prepare yourself for the imminent furry home. I mean literally. When you have a dog there’s no part of the house that will be completely fur-proof, everywhere, from your study table to your bed covers, lampshade and even your cabinet will have fur everywhere. Not to mention your floor, you have to sweep them or vacuum them at least twice a day for people to recognize that you’re living in a human house, not a dog house. Oh! I cannot stress enough on how you’re going to work every day with some fur on your shirts…. *ugh!* You can never get used to it.
6. If fur isn’t enough, prepare yourself and your home to smell like dogs. (That’s why bathing them on a weekly basis is important!)
7. Be irritated often. Perhaps this belong to controlling your temper but sometimes you cannot help it especially when they don’t obey when you call them or an endless barking session every middle of the night… Not to mention when they are a very picky eater and buying new brand of dog food every time they don’t eat the last one but only to see them sniff at it and leave….. acts like a boss! God! I sacrificed my budget allotted for a shirt and McDonalds’ just to buy dog foods for you!!! Hello! I need appreciation!
8. Prepare to be grossed out! Especially when you have a puppy who’s just learning his schedule of pooping time. Inevitably, when you have a dog or cat, coming home with a poop around the corner of the house is completely normal…. or at least you convince yourself to be. The good news is, when they are fully trained, they will try their best to control their pooping and wait for you to take them out. There’s hope!
9. Prepare yourself to be overly dramatic. Sometimes you can’t help it but feel genuinely distressed about why they’re not eating, or when they seem weak or when they have skin infections. Every time something’s wrong with them you always caught yourself panicking on what to do. Warning! Don’t you dare look at petmd.com or any pet website because it’s like you’re searching for the reason why you’re coughing and feels a little bit sick to only find that it’s one of the symptoms of HIV or cancer. No! Your best bet is to consult your vet!
10. Prepare yourself to be emotionally and physically attached to your pet. Even when you convinced yourself you’re ‘drama-free’. No! it’s impossible when you have pet, you just can’t get enough of them and it’s pretty inevitable to have an attachment to them…. and it’s okay!
11. At the end of the day, no matter how many things you have to consider on having a dog or cat, it’s all worth it. Their loyalty, love and caring for you is worth more than anything. Sometimes pets are a better companion than human, they don’t judge you whether you’re wearing a lame pajamas every night or fart at them. They will love you unconditionally and you should reciprocate. It’s worth it. They might seem like a phase or a chapter to your life but to them you’re their whole story. I can never get enough of my pets or as I like to call them…. my kids!