8 Signs You're Finally Ready To Become A Dog Mom Or Dad

Is being a pet parent right for you?

woman with her dog Getty Images via Canva

Dogs are so amazing and they bring joy into every room they walk into. Owning a dog is a great idea because you have someone who you know will love you unconditionally, so it's natural to wonder: should I get a dog?

How do you know if you should get a dog? Is there some sort of paper that shows up on your door or someone comes and leaves a bag of dog food to show that you have been chosen?

Neither of those things will determine if you should have a dog, only you can. You’ve entertained the idea for so long that maybe it’s time you add another name to the holiday card.


RELATED: What The Type Of Pet You Choose Says About Your Personality

Dogs aren’t toys and are a major responsibility. But if you’re reading this, you’re already in the right mindset of being a dog person.

Here are a few ways to really tell if you’re capable of being a pet parent.


8 Signs You’re Ready To Get A Dog

1. You've taken the time to research.

Seeing videos about dogs being cute is one thing, but actually having that same dog in your house is another.

By doing the research behind different dog breeds and reading up on how they behave, and what they enjoy and dislike, you’re going in the right direction.

And doing research doesn’t stop there. If you live in an apartment, you have to look into if your building allows dogs in the apartments, and if they do what the fee is.

Other things to look into include the different veterinarians in the area and doggy daycares, if needed. Make sure they are close enough in case of an emergency and read up on their reviews so you know your dog is getting the best of the best.


You also have to keep an open mind when it’s time to pick your dog. The puppies at the front of the local animal shelter do look cute and are very small, but the older dog hidden in the back may be the perfect dog.

2. You know you have time in your day for a pet.

Some people like the idea of a dog but, in reality, they know they can’t give their dog the time it needs. You, however, know you have a job that allows you to come home at a decent time to spend it with your dog.

Having a dog is nice, but just having it to have it is not the best way to go. Knowing if you have the time is what makes the best dog owners, as they are able to show their affection and care for the dog and avoid neglect.

3. Others in your life are okay with having a dog.

If you live with roommates or with your family, the talk about having a dog has been a dinner table discussion for weeks or months. It’s one thing to bring in a dog, but it’s another to bring one in when other people who are sharing your space aren’t on board.


If they are fine with it, the next step is to make sure they know how to handle being around a dog, especially with children, as you don’t want your dog to snap at them by accident and you're forced to bring them to the shelter again.

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4. Getting up at any time isn't hard for you.

Just like a child, a dog could get into something very easily. And it’s different when it’s in the middle of the night.

If you are someone who will be able to think fast when your dog goes bump in the night, then you should be good. Because you don’t want to wake up and find Fido stuck in the pantry all night.


5. You ca dog-proof your house.

Dogs like to get in everything they think is interesting and smells different. But they won’t be able to get into anything dangerous if it’s hidden away.

You understand the need to make your living space safe for your dog and are willing to rearrange things. Because it’s not about looks and convenience, it’s about making sure your dog doesn’t have access to something that could make them end up at the vet.

6. Dealing with what comes out of your dog is something you’re okay with.

Messes are something that just happen with a dog present. And this includes mud, dirt, water, and more gross things that come out of both ends.

You're ready for a dog if you're okay cleaning up after them, and are not okay with the idea of neglecting messes. If dogs had the ability to clean up after themselves which doesn’t include licking it up, things would be easier.


7. You have money saved for doctor’s visits and other dog-related expenses.

Having a pet takes a lot of responsibility, and that includes spending money on them. This includes dog food, toys, beds, collars, treats, vet bills, trainer fees, and occasional dog-sitting.

But if you’re fine with spending money on your dog, have no fear. You're ready to be a doggy parent.

8. You have the patience to train your dog.

Many people forget that house training can be a frustrating and long process when you get a dog. You have to make sure the dog is housebroken and listens when you command them.

Remember to be patient with them as they learn; no one understands things the first time, but repetition and consistency help.


If you're ready and willing to dedicate a certain amount of time each day to training your new furry friend, or are able to take them to training classes, you should get a dog.

Should you get a dog?

The short answer is yes. If you have taken all the correct steps and are ready to welcome a new pet into your home and life, you should absolutely get a dog!

Having a dog is nice, as you are committed to a friend for life. The good news is they are committed to you also without hesitation.

But you have to take things into consideration before going through with adopting a dog. Because the idea of a dog is different than actually having one. Remember, dogs (and pets, in general) aren’t toys and can’t just be thrown around.


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Isabell Tenorio is a writer, former contributor to YourTango, and an opinions editor for The Pine Log. Her work covers astrology, pop culture, and relationships.