Should You Get a Dog if You Live Alone?

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Life can get lonely if you’re living alone for too long. While a furry friend can help you through the loneliest days, adopting a dog comes with more responsibilities than you may realize—especially if you’ve never owned one before. You really must consider every added responsibility and measure how they’ll alter your life before you finalize your pet adoption, even if you know you’re ready. If you’re on the fence about adopting a dog during this solitary stage of your life, we’re here to answer the age-old question: should you get a dog if you live alone?

Can You Handle the Needs of a Dog on Your Own?

The first topic you need to consider is the broad needs of a dog and whether you can handle them by yourself. Dogs need plenty of physical activity and time outside to stay happy and healthy no matter what age. Whether your home has a big backyard or lots of parks and walking trails nearby, making time to take your new dog outside is a major responsibility to consider.

It’s also important to know if you can handle tasks such as:

  • Taking the dog to the vet.
  • The expenses of food, pet supplies, training, and yearly vet visits.
  • Giving the dog attention.
  • Disciplining and praising the dog.
  • Taking care of an older dog once it grows up.

If any of those tasks are enough to make you consider relinquishing or rehoming the dog, you’re not ready to adopt one yet.

What Will You Do With the Dog When You’re Away?

When you’re living alone, you won’t have a roommate, partner, or family member to fall back on to take care of a dog while you’re away. If you go on vacation, you’ll need all-day care for the dog until you come home. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your dog can handle occasional or daily separation and that it has care when you’re gone for long periods.

Before you adopt the dog, weigh your options for regular or semi-regular pet care. You may have local friends or family members as an option, but if you don’t, you may need to look for a dog daycare or boarding service you can trust. Finding the perfect fit for dog boarding is challenging, but picking a business with transparency and credibility will help. The Barker Lounge daycare and boarding has a short blog on everything you need to know about dog boarding that will help you make the right decision when it’s time to find the perfect dog boarder!

Keeping all of this in mind, should you get a dog if you live alone? Of course you can! You just need to make sure you’re ready to handle the responsibilities that come with dog adoption. To lessen your stress levels, try adopting an adult dog instead of a puppy. Find a dog that’s one to three years old and bring it to training sessions to make your time together less focused on behavior or discipline and more focused on having fun with each other.

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About Author

Kate Romeo is a writer living in the greater Chicagoland area with a passion for animals. When she's not writing you will likely find her trying out new recipes in the kitchen or cuddling on the sofa with her pets, likely watching a movie she's already seen 100 times.

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