It took me about 5 seconds to make the decision that I wanted a dog. It’s weird – I am painfully indecisive about some things (just go out to dinner with me), but when it came to getting a dog, I didn’t blink twice.
In hindsight, I think I should have spent an extra five minutes going through the decision. I was ready (luckily!), but it’s also so easy to get tunnel vision when you have your mind set on a soft-eared, wide-eyed puppy.
So…for all you puppy-on-the-brain friends out there (ahem), I’ve conducted a fun little quiz, because there are SO many things to consider. I didn’t even cover half of it, but it was still fun to make. Grab a piece of paper and pen and right down your answers. Here we go…
The Puppy Quiz
1. The hardest part about raising a puppy will be:
a) Housebreaking it.
b) It isn’t going to be hard, it’s going to be the best.
c) Overall adjustment to life with this new creature.
2. It is a gorgeous spring day and you’re out on a date, which is going really well. But you have to go home and take care of your puppy. You:
a) Exchange a kiss and head home. A puppy’s gotta go!
b) The worst that can happen is the dog will go in the house, right?
c) Push it an extra hour. This will build up the dog’s holding time!
3. The puppy you get is high energy and needs ~2 ½ hours of exercise a day. You…
a) Invest in a treadmill! That’s legit, right?
b) Carve out that time in your schedule.
c) That’s BS. No one needs 2 ½ hours of exercise a day.
4. Depending on the size of pup that you get, you can spend upwards of $55 on dog food a month. That’s $660 a year. A visit to the vet can run you ~350. Plus, there’s the cost of a dog walker. Overall, you expect to spend:
a) I don’t believe you.
b) I can just get by with the cost of dog food.
c) As much as I have to. But I can afford it.
5. Your pup is tirelessly barking and yelping the second you step out the door. Your neighbors have complained—twice. You…
a) Lock the pup in the bathroom while you’re away.
b) Cross your fingers that it will stop barking soon.
c) Sign up with a trainer who can give you a few tools on how to handle your puppy’s separation anxiety.
6. You’re at the dog park and an older, dominant dog has decided to attack your puppy. You…
a) Pull it away from your puppy by its hind legs, throwing off its balance.
b) Try to pick your puppy up and away from the harm.
c) Yell for the other dog’s owner.
7. A crowd of strangers has taken interest in your puppy and is taking turns petting it. But your puppy’s tail is down, and looks overwhelmed and fearful. You…
a) Ask everyone to take a step back, and suggest they let the puppy approach them first.
b) Try to comfort the puppy.
c) Exposure to this kind of situation is good!
8. Consider the following: your black sweater may have fur all over it for the next ten years, your car may continually smell like dog vomit, you’ll still have to go outside when it’s raining.
a) My dog won’t have these issues.
b) Sounds shitty — bring it!
c) I tend to see things more as a glass half full than a glass half empty.
9. You have access to:
a) A park, a dog run — a general place for off-leash playing and dog socialization.
b) The woods, but it’s a hike to get there.
c) I live in midtown, and hate parks.
10. Your living situation…
a) Changes frequently — I’m a nomad.
b) May change at some point, but I’m aware that having a dog will affect where I live.
c) For now it’s stable. Who knows where I’ll be in a year…
To figure out your score, write down the number that corresponds with the letter you chose, then add it all up:
1) a=7, b=2, c=10
2) a=10, b=2, c=7
3) a=7, b=10, c=2
4) a=2, b=7, c=10
5) a=7, b=2, c=10
6) a=10, b=2, c=7
7) a=10, b=7, c=2
8) a=2, b=10, c=10
9) a=10, b=7, c=2
10) a=2, b=10, c=7
If you got…
74-100 points: Sounds like you’re ready.
You’ve thought it through, and you’re aware of how much a commitment this will be. Good luck!
44-74 points: Give it some time.
It sounds like you’re on the fence about it. Think it through, and revisit the idea in a few months. In the meantime, offer to watch your friend’s dog for the weekend. That might help you figure out whether or not you’re ready.
20-44 points: Walk away.
For now! You may be in denial about how much work this will be. A cat may be a better option for you. : )
That was fun. Everyone, take the quiz! Let me know what you get. I had so much fun creating this.
Photo of Juniper by Dee Sullivan