Would You Get a Dog or Not in These Circumstances?

Updated on May 19, 2016
M.S. asks from Omega, OK
29 answers

I am uncertain what is best so I could use your wisdom. I would love to get a dog but my hubby doesn't want one. He has given his blessing but I can tell he is far from thrilled with the idea. Throughout our marriage I have never made a big decision that he wasn't fully on board with so this would be a big switch. For example, I wanted another child and he didn't so we stopped after our first one. Ok so now I'll plead my case: We are a blended family where my oldest daughter leaves to go to her mom's house for several days in a row. My youngest talks a lot about being lonely and missing her sister. I am thinking a dog would be good company for her. She has asked for one for years. Also, selfishly I would love a dog! I always dreamed of a big family with lots of commotion. I feel very blessed with our family now but I find myself dreaming of a dog. I feel like 9 times out of 10 I defer to him but this time I am having a hard time just giving in to him. He didn't want in dog for 10 yrs and now let's have one for 10. On the other hand, I feel badly because I know he doesn't like them. I never knew he didn't because he talked a lot about his childhood dog while we were dating. Hubby's case: He doesn't like dogs, hates the smell, doesn't want the added responsibility, worries about the added expense. I also worry about the added expense because I am extremely practical about money. We could afford a dog but they are expensive. What would you do?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for everyone's responses! I am still on the fence but I am leaning more toward not getting one. I am so afraid of the $$$ for something my hubby doesn't want. If I let the dream go, I'll need to work on letting my resentment go. It is hard and will take some work.

To answers some of the questions asked:
-Yes we have a fenced in yard
-Our best family friend is a Vet that I totally trust. My husband's college roommate ( how ironic😀)
-I have a neighbor and we watch her dog often. She has agreed to be our pet sitter if it ever happens. We already swap kids and her dog all the time so she is on board with watching our dog.
- I work from home except one and a half days a week. Our Vet friend has techs that have agreed to let the dog out and go for a walk on the two days I work. It will cost $30 a week for that service.

Ugh! I am talking myself back into it.

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answers from Denver on

I would get a dog. If you are resentful towards not having another baby when you wanted one you will start to be even more so if you cannot get a dog. You don't have to spend that much on a dog. There is the vet bills and food but they aren't that expensive unless they end up with some health issues that require a lot of vet visits. one of my dogs has allergies so we have to buy the good food (although I would highly suggest doing that anyway) I spend about $210 a month on food. But this is 3 dogs, 2 big dogs and 1 small dog. The small dog eats a cup a day, that bag would last forever if it was just him. My children adore all of the dogs. The dogs are 10.5, 5 and 1. I cant imagine not having dogs for so many reasons.

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answers from Washington DC on

ETA: My dog eats everything in site - he ate a sewing kit two weeks ago - cost me $2200 to keep him safe....I love my dog. it was a VERY stressful 24 hours when my dog was puking up blood and thought he might have to have surgery.


A dog is like having another child, in my opinion. Vet expenses. Food expenses. It's great that you can afford it. But there's more to this than just being able to afford it.

Do you have the time to train the dog?
Who will care for the dog during the day if you work outside the home?
Who will walk the dog daily?
Who will pick up after the dog daily?

I wouldn't get a dog or ANY pet until everyone was on board. This isn't just about you. The dog isn't going to replace a sister when she's gone to her mom's house. This is an addition to your family. It's not a cat where minimal attention is needed...a litter box and some toys...this is a pet that will need to be let out several times during the day, walked, picked up after, trained, etc.

You need to find a dog that gets along with everyone in the family. If your husband is NOT open to this? The dog will sense it and react. Which could cause a LOT of barking, growling or fear with the dog.

Sounds like your husband gets his way a lot in your home. Like you bend to him frequently. What compromises has he made for you? I know I would NOT be pleased if my husband showed up with a dog one day - and I'm a HUGE dog lover.

Good luck!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I have questions that you are not answering:
Is someone home all day to take care of the dog, or would it be alone all day?
Do you have a fenced yard?
Do you take walks/go running daily? (it's hard to change habits, and if you don't currently do this, will you REALLY do it once you have a dog?)
Are you prepared to pick up dog poop daily?
Do you travel or go on vacations annually? If so, what would you do with the dog when you go?

I ask because these are the reasons I don't get a dog. My DH and I both LOVE dogs. My son would LOVE a dog. But, we both work, we don't have a fenced yard, we are always running my kids to their activities and aren't home in the evenings much, and we love to travel (and I have heard really mixed responses about kennels, some dogs just can't be kenneled because it triggers anxiety). So for all these reasons (and any one of them would be enough), it would not be fair to the dog if we adopted one. So, even with a whole family of dog lovers, this means no dog for us. Do you have a lifestyle that is really conducive to having a dog? How much you want a dog is really secondary to this question, IMO.

ETA: Now that I've read your SWH, I don't see any big red flags. Since your husband is (grudgingly) on board, I don't see a reason not to.

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answers from New York on

He's given his blessing. I'm not sure I even got that from my husband but I'm still so glad we got a dog and I think he is now too. I said I would care for the dog and have lived up to that. My husband rarely has to walk the dog. And the kids and I get an incredible amount of joy from the dog. Research even says pets are good for kids' development. I would just get a small to medium sized dog, short hair, and not a puppy. If you look at rescue clubs, they are usually good about telling you about a dog so you can find one that is low key. Our house doesn't smell bc of the dog btw. The car can if he's in it a lot but not the house. And keep the dog off the furniture from day 1. We let ours on the couches and that bugs my husband bc of all the hair but my husband gets allowances from me on things that bug me. He knows how important the dog is to me and the kids so he deals. He has said now that he sees the joy it brings our kids, he kind of likes the dog too. And of course the dog loves him which has worn my husband down. I see him sneaking him treats etc. So if you get a good one that is housebroken and not a constant yapper and you don't expect your husband to do the nightly or morning walk, I'd go for it. A psychologist even wrote a letter to the editor about the importance of a pet for kids as they hit tween and teen years. He said the kids may not talk to parents when they're upset but they will always turn to the pet for comfort.

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answers from Boca Raton on

as long as you know, dog care will fall on you, then yes i would get one.
dogs aren't that expensive unless you get one who ends up needing frequent medical care. we got our first dog three years ago (i didn't want one), and while i said my kids and hubby were to be in charge of taking care of him, i ended up doing all the work (walk, feed, vet visits etc), and i wouldn't give him up for anything in this world. he is my son now.

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answers from Norfolk on

No I wouldn't get any animal under these circumstances.
A dog is pretty much like having another child.
They can live 12-15 years give or take depending on the breed.
You have vet bills and you have to walk them, pick up their poop, deal with worms and fleas, brushing, shedding, grooming, training, neutering/spading, find a kennel for them or a pet sitter is you go on vacation, they can damage your house, yard and shoes or what ever they chew on.
Dogs are pack animals - they need attention, need to have someone with them all the time and they need to know their position in the pack - otherwise you get behavioral problems.
Eventually they grow old and die, then the kids are upset and you have to find a pet cemetery or bury them in the back yard if it's permitted in your area.
A dog would be YOUR responsibility because - let's face it - the kids will dump it on you soon as the novelty wears off - which is a lot sooner than you think.
If someone is lonely - sign up for taekwondo, or swimming lessons, or a craft class or plant a garden, or read a book - there are plenty of ways to deal with loneliness without getting a pet.
The kids will be older in a few years (it happens faster than you think) and thinking about dating - and a pet will get ignored.
The kids don't take pets off with them to college.
You can have plenty of commotion without adding pets into the mix!

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answers from Chicago on

My husband always wanted a cat. When we got married, I told him I didn't like cats. So we made an agreement: if he gets a cat, I get a ferret-an animal he never wanted.

Flash forward 15 years. We have a child that longs for a kitten. She asks and asks, I keep saying, no, no. Then my husband promises her a kitten within the year. She then ask for one for her 8th birthday.

We ended up getting two kittens because it's easier. In any case, I still don't like cats, but I wouldn't change a thing. My kids are in heaven!

I have no ill feelings towards hubby about this. This isn't about me or hubby. This is about our daughter that longed for a certain pet.

If your youngest daughter longs for a dog, then let her ask for one for her birthday. Maybe hubby won't want to disappoint?

I honestly don't understand parents who deny kids pets because of the work. Pets have such healing powers when you feel sad or need a friend. Yes, they smell, are dirty, and expensive. But they bring so much joy. Like kids.

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answers from Santa Fe on

My husband and I have been together 23 years. Back in our 20s he said he was a cat person and didn't want the responsibility of a dog. But he also knew I am a huge dog lover and as soon as we lived some place that allowed dogs I was going to get one whether he liked it or not. He was skeptical and showed no interest in our first dog for a while and then over the years he became hooked! He loves the dogs we have had/have now. He takes our dog when he goes for a run. He definitely changed. Anyway...my point is if you really want a dog I think you should get one. I have always had husky-mutts (this is what you find at the pound in Alaska where we used to live) and they are very social and do not smell like some breeds do. Not all breeds smell. My sister's lab can get very stinky, so that is a breed that can smell. Before you get a dog be sure you are happy and excited to do puppy training school, and obedience class or two (they are really fun!), and a walk(s) EVERY day. Know that the dog will be "your dog" and you will be responsible for the dogs care...feeding, bath, walks, etc. I love having a dog because I get out walking on a trail every single morning. I love it! After school the kids and I take our dog on another walk. On the weekends our dog comes with us on hikes, bike rides (on trails), and walks. Our dog is very spoiled and happy. The key to a good and happy dog is lots of exercise and plenty of training the first few years.

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answers from Portland on

If it were me, I wouldn't do it. Sorry. With pets, both adults need to be on board, not just for the sake of the relationship, but also for the animal's sake.

What if your younger daughter and the dog don't actually 'take' to each other? Then you have *your* dog. There are no guarantees this is going to fill a hole for her. So, what happens if she gets bored with the dog?

Just my perspective, but I was recently down for about a month with a medical issue; my cats were enough work as it was and my husband did the bulk of it during that time. My son brought the bowls up from off the floor for feedings (I couldn't bend over well) and took care of their dry food needs. I couldn't imagine having to care for a larger mammal who needed daily walks, cleaning, poop scooped, etc. You have to keep in mind that, were something to happen to you, that would fall on others to do. I would be hesitant to put other people in the position of caring for a pet unless they were totally on board to begin with.

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answers from Washington DC on

I would go back and look at what MyNewNickname posted below. You need to sit down and write out the questions she poses and answer them.

Do not expect your child to care for the dog, no matter how much she says she will do so; she may have good intentions and be a responsible kid, but the reality of pets is that others in the family -- including your husband at some point when you and daughter are not there -- WILL have to provide care, and while for a cat that might mean just feeding and cleaning the litterbox, for a dog that means feeding plus walking/exercise play, which is a big commitment. Whatever you do, don't sell this idea to your husband by saying things like "It will help Daughter learn more responsibilitiy" because while a dog can indeed do that, it's a living creature, not a lesson plan, and its needs must be met by someone, which will mean you some of the time and him at times too.

I would find out the costs of a dog. Do some research. Different breeds are going to have different expenses in terms of food, vet care, grooming needs (which are part of their health care and can't be ignored), dental care, etc. Some breeds bark more, some bite more, others are better with kids and chaos, others need quiet, some need a lot of walking and stimulation and play (don't get any kind of terriers, for instance, unless you want to engage that dog a LOT with high-energy exercise.....). Find out more before you commit. It really is an all-family commitment.

I would want to know if husband's dislike of dogs is deep enough that he would say, "you can have a dog but I will not care for it myself. If you or daughter isn't around I won't deal with the dog." That would be a huge red flag that a dog is a bad idea -- do not expect your husband to "come around" or warm up; that might happen but also might never happen, and he could end up resenting the dog and you for having it. And if he is worried about money, what will he say when you and he realize you have a week vacation planned and you have the new, added expense of boarding the dog somewhere for seven days?

I am not against dogs or your getting one! But there is a lot to consider. Your post indicates, to me, that you kind of feel he "owes" you this dog because you have always made big decisions together, and he could let you just win this one dispute, despite his objections...but an antipathy to something like a pet isn't something a person can just get over. That animal is in your home -- your husband's home, too -- 24/7, and if he's nervous around dogs and hates the smell, that will never end.

What about being a foster family for dogs instead? That can be hard on a kid, because you have to give up a dog that has lived with you for a time. But it also could be a way to find out if a dog truly fits with your expectations and way of life. It also gives your husband the "out" of saying, "We had a dog for three months and while I liked Fluffy, it only confirmed for me that I do not want a dog in our lives full-time."

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answers from Portland on

I think if you were absolutely certain and no one could convince you out of it - then maybe.

But you're on the fence. And your husband isn't sold. So my answer would be no.

I know - because our family is in the exact same place.

My sister who has two dogs said "Listen, unless you're fully committed, there's not even a chance this will work out".

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answers from Phoenix on

I was raised an only child with a ton of pets so I understand the companion aspect of it for your kids, and you.

If I were you, I would get a small dog, and NOT a Chihuahua or Yorkie Terrier. They are not good family pets IMO. Too nervous and pees all over and barks a lot. I wouldn't get a big dog either because of the poop in the yard and all the shedding and the cost of food.

So if you can find a smaller dog that doesn't pee all over the house or shed a lot, I think your husband will be fine.

We did have a chow/black lab mix but had to give him to my husbands ex when we were moving. It was very difficult to find a rental that would take a 75# dog and his ex lived on an acre. Then we didn't have one for a few years and then ended up finding a Chinese Crested (hairless)/terrier mix. He is the best dog ever. Never had an accident in the house, doesn't have much hair so he doesn't shed and I'm not allergic to him, he's only 10# so little poops and super cute! He's on FB...Tank, Ruler of Chandler

You also need to have at least TWO places who will watch him when you go on vacation. I have my BFF and my mom. I don't trust the kennels so that isn't an option for me.

Pets should not be a financial burden so don't get one if you don't think you can afford it. If you find the right one, I don't think your husband will have a problem. Good luck.

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answers from Dallas on

I would not do this if my husband was not on board with it.

Getting a new dog is adding another child into the family. You cannot predict the expenses. They are work and time consuming.

Last August our 10 yr old Cocker died and it is one of the most heartbreaking things you go through. She was the 5th dog we've had. Most of our dogs have lived until about 15. We had a toy poodle 1 yr younger who had grown up with her and he was lost. We were debating on what dog to add to our family because my poodle was lost and then my husband died suddenly and my poodle was thrown into a huge emotional turmoil just like the rest of us.

Fast forward... I started a search for a dog in February. 6 weeks ago I adopted an adorable mix breed for a guard dog for $25 at the shelter. The check up to make sure she was ok was $150, then later on, she went through a bout with parasites. After going through the parasites and then adding the heartworm and flea preventatives I have already spent over $500 on my new pup.

The expenses cannot be predicted. My toy poodle at age 7 had a sudden cataract that blinded him overnight. We had a choice to fix it and he would be good for the rest of his life OR, take our chances that it would not happen in the other eye and he would be completely blind. We opted to fix this eye $6000 and know that he would have a good eye because his life span is predicted to be around 17. He should have a good 10 years left.

Another Cocker we had broke something in her back/neck when playing at age 2. We spent over $2000 to fix her up and she lived until 15.

Also consider the expenses for care when you are away and out of town. Doggy boarding, day care and house pet sitters can get pricey. I paid $500 in March for the poodle's care while we were away for about a week. My plane ticket was not $500!!! Also consider the training needed for the dog which is time consuming and pricey.

I think it is important to consider the responsibility and commitment you make when you add a pet to your family. If you end up with a pet that is yippy, sick, stinky, cost $, etc when you have a husband who already is not cool with getting a pet, you could end up with some resentments toward you which could harm your marriage.

Everyone needs to be on board because this is a huge commitment and responsibility. You don't just try it out then take them back to the store or shelter because it didn't work. You are looking at a commitment of anywhere from 10-17 years depending on the breed and health of the dog.

Who knows, you hubby might have a change of heart if HE is in on the process. I love my dogs and will always have a dog in my life.

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answers from Sacramento on

The first dog we got before kids was totally my idea. My husband was a cat person. The second we met Daniel at the shelter event, Daniel bonded with my husband and my husband melted. They ended up cuddling together on the sofa and our dog turned him into a dog person. Dogs have so much personality, it's hard not to fall in love with them.

I would do it. If he ends up not in love with the dog, he doesn't have to handle the care. My big tip is to be sure to get pet insurance. We liked Healthy Paws. We got it after our last dog cost $10,000 in medical expenses in six months (needed two different surgeries).

Our last dog just passed away very unexpectedly last weekend at the age of four. Despite how painful it's been, we'd do it all over again. She was an amazing part of our family.

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answers from Boston on

Many good responses below.

If you were home more, I'd suggest you consider fostering a dog that's super stressed out in a shelter and looking for a forever home. That's a good way to do an important service while seeing how others in the family relate to the dog. But if you're gone for long periods of time, that's a problem for a dog already feeling abandonment and readjustment.

My husband wasn't totally on board when we got our rescue dog but that was mostly because he was still mourning our prior dog, who had died 18 months before. After 3 days, he was in love again.

While your daughter longs for her older sister right now, in a few years she'll be busy with her friends and activities. And a dog is forever. Having adopted a rescue (twice abandoned and probably abused), I can tell you it's difficult make them feel secure. If you're gone most days, it's going to be very hard on the dog - VERY. We cannot board our dog or leave her for more than 3-4 hours. We made the commitment knowing what it was, but it's not for everyone.

You have the advantage of getting one that's housebroken and whose personality is known (at least in a good shelter), and they are far less expensive than new dogs, especially thoroughbreds. (That's what we had the last time, and we could leave her longer and we did board her a number of times.)

Neither of our dogs could be left outside at all - they were virtually non-shedding dogs and didn't have enough of a coat to withstand the cold, and we live near woods so a small dog is just food for coyotes or even loose dogs (my neighbor lost hers to a dog attack).

And as the novelty of a new companion dog wears off for your daughter, and with a less-than-enthuastic husband (although that may wear off too), you have to realize that this is YOUR dog. YOU will go out a 6:30 AM in the snow and 11 PM in the driving rain, handle the vet and the training and cleaning up the vomit.

I really think people have to get a dog because they want to give the dog a wonderful home, not because they want the dog to have a "job" of keeping someone company. Usually, the dog fills that role too, but you really have to be more dedicated to the animal than you want it to be to you.

I understand your longing for an animal - and for that reason I want you to get one. I think they're good for kids to build affection and caring and responsibility. But relying on a neighbor to take care of the dog during a long day while you're at work? That's going to be a strain on the neighbor if you get a puppy, and it's going to be a horrible emotional strain on any older dog who has been given up by a prior owner. I'd say you could consider 2 dogs (lots of times people have given up 2 dogs because they can't care for them - so the 2 are already bonded) but I'm not sure your husband could handle that!

Let us know what you decide.

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answers from Boston on

I got a dog without my hubby's full buy in on it. I work at home so I was there to do 100% of the work and paid 100% of the expenses. Now 7 yrs later the dog likes my hubby better (although he listens to me better) and the work is split about 50/50. It took a while for my hubby to really pitch in but I wasn't counting on him to do anything so I was good with it.

I think you need to look at your household and lifestyle to see if a dog really fits. My oldest daughter's household is crazy busy and although everyone wanted a dog they ended up with guinea pig and some mice. When they want to walk a dog they call a neighbor and pick up her dog to take walking.

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answers from Binghamton on

A good friend who is a vet and you're still this concerned?? The money isn't all that bad. As someone said, get insurance. Even my parents who don't love dogs got us one as kids. They just felt it's part of growing up. Aside from your husband, you have a great set up. And it doesn't sound like he hates the idea so much he will be furious. He would rather not but said ok. Go for it! I bet he will learn to love the dog. Almost everyone does. Maybe get a hypoallergenic one. They don't shed and also don't smell I think. And lots of dogs don't smell. He can do this for your daughter. My dad did and even had to walk the dog 2 miles every night even on freezing cold nights and in snow storms. If you do the walking, your husband really doesn't have a right to be that upset. Marriage is about compromise. Sounds like you do your fair share already.

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answers from Phoenix on

Do it. Get a dog, but adopt a rescue. Not a puppy!! Getting our dog was one of the best things we've ever done.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Dogs need to be walked. Every day. No matter how cold or wet it is outside. You have to pick up the poop. Travelling will become difficult as you will either have to find someone to look after the dog or bring the dog with you. Dogs require a lot of training. Dogs smell, so they need to be bathed often. Do you really have that much extra time in a day? Will you have to deny you child fun activities because of the dog (ex. the dog isn't allowed at the beach or at the zoo)? Do your kids have activities? This time of year we are on the go from 8:00am to 10:00pm daily with school, work, end of year concerts, sports etc. What would a dog be doing at home alone that time? I know too many people who have gotten rid of their dogs after a few months or a year, when they realize they don't have the time or energy to properly care for it.

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answers from Miami on

What pops out to me is that you don't seem to feel that you have much say in your marriage. That's a problem in my view. He gets to say no to any major decision and you feel that your opinion doesn't matter?

I understand that for a large purchase that isn't necessary, or like you said, having another child. But you seem to carry it too far.

Get the dog. Yes, you and your daughters will need to take care of it.

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answers from Honolulu on

Is there any way that your youngest child could have a more active role in caring for your neighbor's dog? Is she old enough to walk the dog every day? Or could you and your youngest daughter volunteer together at a shelter one afternoon or evening per week? Often, kids have to be 16 to volunteer, but with a parent, they can be younger. That way your youngest child can have some time with animals but you won't have the constant responsibility and your husband won't have the dog in the house.

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answers from San Francisco on

Often animal shelters require that you submit an application and part of that is an assessment about your ability to take care of a dog. This process might help you figure some of these things out. I have had dogs my whole life and could not imagine not having one. A few days ago my youngest said to me that he could not imagine having kids without having a dog. Through every phase and age of my kids lives (they are 13 and 17 now) the dog was there when they needed the kind of unconditional love and support that comes from having a furry brother or sister. I would suggest that you consider adopting from a shelter and makes sure that you sign up for dog/owner training classes. You might not want to start with a puppy since you have never had a dog. Puppies are amazing but of my gosh they are a lot of work and stress.

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answers from Amarillo on

I always say the following: If you have a kid you have a pediatrician. If you have a pet you have a vet. Don't go to the cheapest doctor or the most expensive but one that you like and the pet likes.

You want the dog you husband does not. He may never be fully on board with the dog and thus not interact with it much. Your child may not bother with the dog much after the novelty wears off. Guess who is in charge of the animal for everything? YOU.

As far as expenses it is like having another child to do it right. Also who would care for the dog if you get sick or have to be hospitalized? Dogs cannot be left alone for several days as a cat can. I know from experience I could leave my cat up to 5 days by herself. Of course the lights were on in the home and a radio played to keep her company and I came in and out as much as I could while hubby was in hospital and feed, played and changed the litter box.

Right now it does not seem that your family needs a pet. A pet is another member of the family that should not be discarded like yesterday's newspaper. It is not fair to them and they do not know why they are not with you any longer. They do have emotions. Think about this for a good six to eight months and then do it. Just because little sis is lonesome does not mean that she should have a pet. Get her involved in sports or something to keep her busy.

the other S.

PS We hubby and me have a new kitten that is three months old and we have had her for a month. I forget what babyhood was like with a pet just like a child the ups and downs but we are doing fine - he is home during the day and I work. Someone is with her at all times and we enjoy each other. I would love another dog but with hubby's health issues it would not be a good fit at this time.

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answers from Boston on

IMO you only need one adult committed to a pet. As long as the other person isn't allergic or vehemently against it, then go for it. He doesn't need to be thrilled with it for you and your kids to enjoy having a pet.

FWIW, I'm the one in my family who doesn't particularly like pets at all. I have enough to do without worrying about yet another living creature. Yet we've had two dogs, countless fish, some turtles and an eel. I never had to take care of any of them. When my husband moved out last September, he couldn't bring his dog with him and was going to re-home her. The kids went nuts so only then did I agree to keep her so I guess technically I have dog now but other than buying the food I don't do anything and the kids feed, entertain and walk her. I don't dislike her anything - she cuddles on the couch with me and more often than not sleeps in my bed - but the kids wanted to keep her so it's their job to care for her and they're doing fine. So even though I wouldn't go out and get a dog on my own, I'm happy that she's part of our family. Your husband will most likely end up feeling the same way as long as you and the kids take care of the dog and don't expect him to do anything, he should be fine.

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answers from Albany on

Best thing I ever did for my kids was get a dog. My husband too was not so crazy about the idea, turns out he loved on that dog the most.


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answers from Chicago on

My daughter wanted a dog, my husband would like a German Shepard. I do not want a pet, of any kind.
My daughter convinced me 5 years ago to get frogs, African Dwarf frogs. I caved because my husband thought I was being ridiculous about not wanting any pets. Fast forwarded and no one cares about these frogs unless I tell them they don't care about their frogs. I am the only one that feeds them, and that's only twice a week!!! I am the only one that cleans the tank and changes the water. Also, when we go on vacation we still need to find someone to keep the frogs and feed them since they only eat twice a week! Guess who has to find a sitter for the frogs?
I get that frogs are not loving like a dog or a cat may be but...
I am smart enough to know that I am going to be the one taking care of said dog. I see the families on our block that have dogs, the mom of the family is almost ALWAYS the ones walking the dog and taking the dog to the vet! No thanks!
You are the mom. You will most likely be the one taking care of the dog, but I think that it is a big deal to not have both parents on board. Money, cleaning up the yard, cleaning up dog hair that could possibly be everywhere, having dog hair on your clothes when you don't like dogs let alone dog hair, that's a lot to ask someone to deal with, who doesn't want to be an active participant.
Like others have posted you are looking at a possible 10-15 year commitment. You need to ask yourself where you want to be in 10 years?
A pros and cons list would be good to do as a family. Maybe it would change your husband's Mind or maybe it would change your mind?

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answers from New York on

Being a dog person, that's tough. I'm thinking chances are he would fall in love with the dog and the fog with him lol. However that is no guarantee. Wish I could help but that's a toughie. If you do opt to get a dog, make sure you get Pet Health a Insurance.

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answers from Chicago on

Honestly, I wouldn't. However, if your husband is kind of in it if you really want to, how about fostering a dog. You sign up with a shelter and after they check everything out, you take in a dog until they get a forever home. I know some people that did this. The dog went to their forever home after 9 months and they decided it was just not for them so they stopped.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I don't know. When we decided to get a dog, we were both ready. It is a big responsibility, and not one to take on without full consideration of what you are "signing up for"...

Ok, so you know your husband has no desire to do this, and doesn't like the way dogs smell. What are your plans regarding this? Do you plan to keep the dog outside to reduce the smell in your home? Then no, don't get a dog. Do you plan to keep the dog inside all the time, with you, and only go out when family goes out, or when you take it out to go to the bathroom, and give it regular baths/grooming? That is better for the dog and for your family.

What about sleeping arrangements? Do you expect this potential dog to sleep in the laundry room? Then no, don't get a dog. Will it sleep in your room, in a designated crate/bed, or one of your children's rooms? Then ok. Do you expect the dog to snuggle up in bed with you? Then no, don't do it. Husband doesn't want this.

Are you willing and are you able (do you have the time to devote to it, and the energy on top of everything else going on in your life) to spend time daily training the dog? Will you be resentful when husband doesn't participate in the process? When you are the one cleaning up the messes from accidents early on? Or later when the dog is old and develops incontinence issues? Or is sick?
What plans do you have for vacations and other travel? Can you afford to board the dog? Or hire a pet sitter? Are you comfortable having someone come into your home? Can you afford to pay someone to do it? Can you FIND someone willing to do it when you will need the service (summers and holidays, typically)?

Can you afford vet bills? Dogs aren't just food, treats, toys and bedding. They are annual vaccinations/preventatives (shots, plus heart worm preventative, flea/tick preventatives, etc)... An average annual vet visit for us runs around $400. And that's a healthy dog.
Are you prepared to cover additional expenses if your dog develops any chronic conditions? Our dog went into a series of major seizures around 6 years old. She's now 12. For the last 6 years we've had to buy anti-seizure medications and thyroid medications, plus a delivery method (pill pockets so she will actually eat the medicine), plus regular (a few times a year) blood work ups to determine if her dosage is correct, etc. All of this costs money. I'm guessing around $90/month just for the meds and blood work. Not including her regular food budget, or kennel/boarding, etc. Are you prepared to commit to that? Can you afford it?

Of course, those things might not happen. You might get lucky and have your dog be perfectly healthy and never have an issue until the day it dies of old age... at 14 years old. Are you prepared to still be dealing with the responsibility 14 years from now?

Like I said, I can't say what I would do in your circumstances, because I'm not you. I don't know your finances, your household, your disposition, how badly you want a dog, or how you intend to incorporate it into your family.
But maybe going through these items I've mentioned will help you get closer to figuring it out for yourself.

Our old lady (German Shepherd Dog) is 12 now. And has arthritis getting slowly worse. She is still magnificently healthy, all things considered. But getting in/out of the car is an issue for her now. So even taking her to the vet is a bit of an effort. LOVE her. The whole family does. My teen son (graduating this weekend and going off to college in the fall) tells her goodnight every single night, and greets her when he comes home. Absolutely loves her. My husband sometimes gets annoyed when she chooses to lie in the very middle of the walkway, but hates to make her get up b/c of the progressing arthritis. He loves her, too. When my daughter was 4 years old, she called her Mommy. The older we all get, the more we let her get away with things (like creeping up onto the sofa when no one is home). It's sad to see her slowing down and unable to fully enjoy all the things she once did (tennis balls and frisbees were her favorites). She can't run full out like she once did. And she tires easily now. Still the sweetest in the world.

So yes, having a dog can be a beautiful gift you can give yourself and your family. But there are other considerations. Please do consider them.

-- ETA
And yes, there are the unplanned emergencies that can/do happen. My SIL had a lab that went counter surfing when she was out of the room and ate a pot holder. (apparently it had some spillage on it and the dog thought it would be good to eat.) It was consumed, in its entirety, but the threads came apart and got all tangled in his intestines... emergency surgery. $$$
Stuff like that happens. Even when you are careful.

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