10 things I wish I knew before we got a dog

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Happy Gotcha Day to Aengus the Airedale! I can't believe we brought home our puppy for the first time a year ago! To be honest, it seems like longer. Thank goodness for the Snapchat memories feature because I'll be able to recall how cute and teeny Aengus was forever! Aengus (and now Keltie) is very much a part of our little family. I mean, why else would they have first AND middle names?

While I can't imagine our life without our two pups, there are quite a few things I wish I knew before we got a dog. Here's my list of things to consider before buying or adopting a new furry friend:

  1. They need a lot of attention. Our cats are pretty self sufficient. The dogs on the other hand really rely on us to keep them happy. They like when we spend time with them playing and taking long walks. 

  2. They get jealous. Aengus cannot stand for us to pet Keltie. Poor little girl needs some love too! Keltie also gets a little overprotective of her food when Aengus is around. They have their own little personalities.

  3. They cost a lot of money. Between shots, check-ups, dog food, and monthly flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, those bills really start to add up! They also go through toys like they're going out of style  we have a hard time finding toys that they can't rip to shreds in an hour.

  4. There will be no more alone time. Sometimes you just feel like being alone. Having a dog is just like having a baby. You can't let them fend for themselves. Sure we can crate them for a little while, but I'll never have 100% alone time anymore.

  5. Puppy training can be frustrating. Trying to teach them not to bite, potty in the house, or steal things off the counter is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot more patience and consistency than I can provide sometimes. We're still working on how to greet people without jumping up. 

  6. Your travel plans will change. My mom, sister, and mother-in-law are the absolute best for keeping our dogs fed and happy while we're out of town. It saves us a ton of money on kennels. We've yet to take the dogs with us on vacation because it limits the places we'd be able to visit since we'd have to bring them along with us everywhere.

  7. Having a routine is key. We're so lucky that I can come home and let the dogs out at lunch every day. Otherwise, I'm not sure what we'd do to make sure these two get plenty of time for potty breaks, meals, and exercise throughout the day.

  8. Everything you love will be destroyed. I can't tell you how many things we've had broken, chewed, or stolen between our two dogs. We only have one toy left from the first month we brought Aengus home and it's on its last leg. Nothing in our house is ever clean. Our rugs and sheets always have puppy prints and our windows have tons of smudge marks from nose kisses.

  9. They never get tired. You'd think after a trip to the dog park these two would be tired but they're ready to immediately go outside and play around in the backyard. The only time they've been tired recently is when Alex had them walk over 5 miles.

  10. Your puppy will make friends for you. People are always so interested in what kind of dog we have. He's an Airedale but we've heard everything from a Schnauzer to a Doodle. We usually forgive them for not knowing their dog breeds. It's always a conversation starter, that's for sure! I think they're always surprised to find out that Aengus is indeed a puppy. 

If you're a dog owner, I know what you're thinking... yes, this list is totally obvious but worth reiterating to anyone considering getting a pet! I grew up with a dog but it's easy to forget just how much work it can be with an already busy routine.

What tips do you have for making life with dogs easier and less stressful?