Everyone knows that dogs are man’s best friends, and it goes without saying that they’re cute little nuggets. But despite loving dogs, a lot of people in their twenties forego dog-owning because it can be a drain on time, money, and energy.
It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re too busy or too young to take on the responsibility. And while it’s important to consider this and make sure you’d give a dog a good home, more twentysomethings need to consider becoming dog parents.
Here’s why being a dog owner is a great move at this stage in life:
1. It makes you less self-centered.
When a cute and fuzzy thing depends on you for everything, your wants and needs sometimes have to take a back seat. It doesn’t really matter how much you want to stay in bed an extra hour if your dog is scratching at the front door like it’s the end of the world.
Your twenties aren’t just a time to be selfish — they’re a time to learn how to be a functioning adult. And being a functioning adult requires juggling responsibilities, and sometimes, being selfless.
2. It gives you some perspective.
Having a little pup to snuggle gives you some perspective on what really matters when you’re stressing out over the fact that you could have just left swiped your soulmate or messed up an email to your boss.
Sometimes you need to give your anxiety the night off and roll around on the floor with some chew toys.
3. Dogs are actually a fun way to meet people.
When you have a pup, you develop this weird kinship with all other dog owners.
When your dogs inevitably run up to each other and probably hump in public, you’ll get embarrassed and commiserate with the fellow dog owner. Chances are, you’ll stop and chat for a bit. It’s a pretty stress free way to be social.
4. Naps get even better.
Naps were already one of the greatest pastimes, but now you get to add a furry cuddle buddy that thinks snuggling up to you is the best activity in the whole world. It’s an ego boost like no other.
5. Even lounging on the couch turns into an exciting activity.
Pups are always up to something, so festering on your couch while watching Netflix becomes an adventure. Maybe you’ll wrestle with pillows or try and steal each other’s shit. It’ll make some cute snapchats.
6. You learn to plan ahead.
Pups need vet appointments, babysitters, and all kinds of things that require planning ahead. If you go out of town without your dog, you need to arrange something for him/ her in advance.
Practicing this kind of organization will serve you well in all areas of your life — you’ll get better at making (and sticking to) plans, finishing tasks on time, and carving out free time in your schedule.
7. You have the most enthusiastic adventure buddy a person could want.
Sometimes, being in your twenties can feel a little lonely. Maybe you’ve moved to a new place for school or work. Maybe you and long-time friends have drifted apart as you’ve grown up.
If you’re ever short on people to hang out with and want to go do something, your pup is more than happy to join. Anytime spent with you is the best time ever.
8. It helps you stay active (and avoid the gym).
Since treadmills are soulless death traps (I might have a teeny tiny phobia…) it’s always good to find physical activity that you enjoy more than a stuffy gym. Your dog will gladly take you hiking, run around with you at the dog park, or (for some) even go swimming. By the end of the day, you’ll both be tired out and ready to spoon.
9. You have the world’s cutest alarm clock.
Even that sort of soothing guitar strumming sound on your phone can’t coax you out of bed in a good mood. Dogs are by far the best way to wake up. They’ll wake you up with kisses and get so excited to hang out with you for the day. Your heart will burst into a zillion pieces every time.
10. It helps you stick to a routine.
Dogs tend to need consistency and stability, so being a pup parent involves keeping them on a routine. They need to eat / go out / sleep around the same times every day, and this helps you stay on a schedule. This is a decent adult skill.
While spontaneity is an important part of being in your twenties, owning a dog is good way to ease yourself into some life skills for later.
11. You’ll have to conquer your perfectionism.
If you have a dog, chances are your house won’t always be pristine and your makeup won’t always look amazing. Sometimes things will get messy and your dog will certainly slobber all over your face.
You learn to love your situation for what it is and stop demanding perfection at all times. This is actually a great way to prepare for adult life — recognizing that things don’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.
12. You develop a pretty good sense of humor.
The first time your dog accidentally knocks over the flour in your kitchen and spreads it all across the floor of your home, you get upset and overwhelmed.
But then some time passes and it’s funny — and you learn to not sweat the small stuff. Dogs are the best partners for goofing off. They’ll help you find your inner kid.
13. You get some unconditional love during the time when you need it most.
When you’re in your twenties, you’re usually living away from home and tackling the challenges of adulthood for the first time. You’re going to make mistakes, have occasional meltdowns, and change directions.
This can be difficult to do on your own. Having a dog gives you a little family to love and support you no matter what.
And ultimately, giving belly rubs is good for the soul.