The Pros and Cons of Having a Puppy

The pros of having puppies: They are lovable, cute, and provide great company. They can help you to develop better routines and give you an exercise buddy.

The cons: They also require a lot of responsibility, energy, and hard work. They can be messy and expensive, and sometimes require sacrifice.

Don’t let cute puppy videos on the internet fool you. Puppies definitely are adorable and have their funny moments, but they’ll also do things that don’t make you feel like laughing at all!

They may frustrate you when they don’t listen during training, track mud into the house, or have an accident on the floor.

Of course, there will also be heartwarming moments when they cuddle into your chest or perk up when you buy them a new toy. (My dog loves unwrapping presents, and it’s the most adorable thing!)

Like most things in life, adopting a puppy comes with both pros and cons. It’s the right choice for some people, and the wrong one for others.

In this article, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of having a puppy so that you can decide if it’s right for you.


The Pros


They’re Great Companions

There’s a reason we call dogs “man’s best friend.” They have a way of sticking by us through it all and providing companionship through the best and worst of times.

Whether you want a hiking buddy or you’re lonely living on your own and want someone to chill out on the couch with, adopting a puppy can be a great choice.


They get you up and Moving!

Puppies are great if you are looking for an exercise buddy to keep you on track. They won’t let you forget when it’s time to walk or play!

If you love going on walks or runs but don’t want to go alone, a puppy will happily go along. Just make sure you choose a breed that suits your energy levels so that you don’t end up carrying them halfway through!


There’s a Breed for Almost Anyone

Although there are some similarities common among all puppies, there are so many dog breeds that it’s difficult to make generalizations.

There are energetic breeds for those who are always on the go and want a buddy to experience the world with. There are couch potatoes for those who just want a quiet lap dog to relax with.

If you hate the idea of dog fur all over the place, there are breeds that shed less frequently.

You can adopt an independent working breed to guard farm animals or clingy companions who will cuddle by your side in your apartment.

The possibilities are almost endless.

Of course, this also makes it extra-important to research a breed before adopting so that you can provide them with the best life possible, and you don’t get in over your head with their care.


They’re Adorable

Of course, I can’t not mention how cute puppies are!

From their big eyes to their floofy ears, I’ve personally never seen a puppy that I don’t think is adorable.

When you see them sleeping peacefully in their bed or clumsily chasing after a ball, that just adds to the cuteness.


Puppies are Entertaining

I don’t know about you, but I could watch a puppy play all day and be completely entertained.

Puppies also have a way of surprising you in the funniest ways. One time when my dog Charlie was a puppy, he decided to play a game of hide-and-seek.

The thing was, I didn’t know we were playing! I definitely panicked for a minute wondering where he’d gone, as just a second before he’d been running around in the snow with my family.

When I found him crouched down playfully behind the garbage can, I laughed so much!


They Can Help with your Health

Studies have shown that the companionship of a dog may boost your mental and physical health.

This isn’t surprising, since life with a puppy can bring joy, peace, and movement into your life. Some people find themselves happier with a dog, establishing a better daily routine, or getting more exercise throughout the day.

However, it might also be the case that healthy people are more likely to adopt a dog, or that they’re more likely to have the means for pet ownership.


Puppies Provide a Sense of Safety

Puppies soon grow up and then they are great for this. My black Labrador is a sweetheart, and I don’t think he’d hurt a fly—or a burglar. Still, he has a big, deep bark!

I definitely feel safer with him in my home, because I know that he’ll alert me to anything strange he hears or sees—and likely scare it off before it becomes a problem for me.

Large dogs, and especially guard dogs, can provide a sense of safety if you’re living alone, or even with a family. They often form close bonds with children and would do anything for them.

Small dogs can also help to alert you to what’s happening, even if they can’t provide much by way of true protection.


The Cons


Puppies are Time-Consuming

Of course, along with companionship comes time. All dogs require a lot of time and energy, but with puppies this is even truer.

If you think you can spend a couple of hours with your puppy between working and going out at night, then they aren’t the pet for you. Even independent breeds require attention including training, grooming, and just having you around.

Puppies really shouldn’t be left alone for more than a couple hours at a time due to their care requirements. For example, a two-month-old pup can only hold their bladder for up to two hours. Any longer, and you’ll return to a mess on your floor!

Puppies also tend to have many bursts of energy throughout the day when compared to grown dogs. While puppies need many short walks and play sessions, adult dogs may be satisfied with just a longer walk or two throughout the day depending on the breed.

Not providing enough exercise and play will make for a bored pup and they’ll likely begin making trouble.


Puppies are Hard Work

Puppies aren’t just a constant stream of fun and cuteness—they’re also hard work.

There may be mornings when you want to sleep in, but must wake up to feed them breakfast anyway. Or busy days when you don’t want to play or go for a walk, but your puppy needs the exercise.

Dogs with long coats have to be brushed regularly, sometimes daily depending on their breed. If you skip this, they’ll develop painful mats in their fur.

Training a puppy can be difficult and frustrating, but is also vital to the two of you living happily together.

Many of these things can be fun, but for most people the novelty wears off after a while. The thing is, your puppy will still have needs all throughout their lives and can live for a long time.

It’s important to think about whether you’ll still want to put the same work in 10, 15, or even 20 years down the line.


Puppies are Expensive

From food to toys to vet visits, your expenses will add up fast when you adopt a puppy.

As I’ve discovered far too many times when shopping, stuff for dogs is very cute and it’s easy to go overboard with your spending!

Even if you stick to the bare essentials, you’ll still find that it’s like having another bill to keep up with as your puppy will regularly need food and, at first, they may go through chew toys very quickly!


Puppies can be too Hyper

Of course, the other side of the coin with them being great at getting you up and moving is that, for some people, puppies are just too hyper.

Even breeds with lower exercise requirements can be bouncy and energetic when young, and some people may benefit from adopting an older dog or choosing a different pet.


Puppies make Travel Difficult

It’s not impossible to travel with a puppy, but they do make things more complicated.

You’ll have to find someone to care for them while you’re away, or be able and willing to bring them with you when you go on a trip.

Depending on your method of transportation, this can be incredibly tricky. For example, only small dogs can fly with you on a plane. But many small breeds don’t do well with air travel for various reasons. For example, brachycephalic (short-muzzled) breeds are more likely to die on flights due to respiratory problems.

This means that, even if they’re the correct size, you may not be able to bring your puppy onto a plane.

Air travel is also quite stressful for dogs, especially if they cannot travel in-cabin with you.

Road trips with dogs are easier, but you still have to work out the logistics of stopping to let them do their business and making sure they get enough exercise while you’re on the road.


They can be Messy

You may have to say goodbye to your clean house if you adopt a puppy, or at least commit some more time to keeping it that way!

I’m constantly mopping muddy paw prints from the floor. Dog hair gets on the floors, furniture, and even the clothes I’m wearing.

It’s a constant battle to keep the house clean when you have fur babies, and this is especially the case for puppies because they go outside so frequently.

Until they are potty trained, you also have the possibility of them having accidents inside that you’ll have to clean up.


And Gross!

I love my dog, but he can be absolutely disgusting. I think this is true of most pups!

Puppies just don’t abide by human manners or social norms. They communicate by sniffing other dogs’ butts or the places where they’ve peed.

They might use the back yard as a hunting ground and bring you dead “presents” as an attempt to show their affection.

My dog Charlie loves to roll in things such as wild animal feces or dead birds in the yard, and it’s always, always when I don’t feel like bathing him! (And often when I’ve just done so a few days before!)

And if you have a cat, chances are you’ll find your puppy seeking “treats” in the litter box.


They Need Training

Training a puppy is time-consuming and can be frustrating for both of you. It isn’t like adopting an adult dog who already knows how to behave in a home, and is likely already housebroken.

You have to anticipate accidents in the house, teeth marks on your favorite pair of shoes, and your puppy flat-out refusing to listen to you sometimes.

It’s also a good idea to look into how to train a dog before you adopt. Be sure to look into methods that use positive reinforcements—trying to dominate your puppy will not work, and the theory itself has been debunked.


They Grow Up

Unfortunately, there are people out there who adopt a puppy for the cuteness factor only to lose interest when they’re grown and they don’t find them as cute, or the novelty of having “something new” fades away.

This is terrible for the puppy, who hasn’t done anything wrong. They get used to being in your home and with you, and then they have to adapt to something completely new.

If you aren’t in it for the long-haul, you shouldn’t adopt a puppy. Remember, most breeds live for around a decade or longer. Smaller breeds tend to live longest, sometimes reaching 20+ years of age.

Most of their life won’t be spent as a brand-new, fluffy puppy, but as a full-grown dog who still wants love and affection.


They Can’t be Alone all Day

Unfortunately, many people’s lives aren’t suited to adopting a puppy. This is because they can’t be left home alone all day.

While some grown dogs can tolerate being left alone while you work, puppies require care throughout the day that makes having them this less feasible to some people.

Puppies are best suited to families where there’s usually someone home, or to single people with unique schedules, such as those who work from home and have a flexible routine.

Your puppy will need care and attention every couple of hours, especially if they are very young when you adopt them.


Other Pros and Cons


They’ll Change Your Life


As a lifelong dog owner, I can confidently say that dogs have changed my life for the better. I would never want to be without the companionship and love of a dog.

However, change is difficult even when it’s good—and a new puppy will create many changes in your life. Some of them might not be welcome!


Your routines will have to change to fit around your pup’s needs. For example, when potty training and until your dog is old enough to hold their bladder, you’ll have to bring them outside constantly.

When I adopted my dog Charlie, he was only 10 months old and loved to chew. I had to change the way I organized my house so that things like shoes and socks were out of his reach.

You’ll likely also have to puppy-proof your home so that your pup can’t get into anything that is dangerous to them, or chew up anything that’s valuable to you.

If you aren’t ready for a huge change to your life, then you aren’t ready to adopt a pet!


They Thrive on Routine


If you need some accountability when it comes to sticking to routine, look no further! Puppies thrive on consistency and will quickly learn when to expect meals, exercise, and whatever else you do from day to day.


On the flip side, if you’re someone who likes to be more spontaneous or struggles with routines, then you may have trouble keeping up with a puppy. They can adapt to your lifestyle to a point, but you can’t miss vital things such as feeding them on a set routine or giving them consistent potty breaks throughout the day.


Writer: Katelynn Sobus

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