life advice
How to Convince Your Spouse You’re Ready for a Dog
Is your marriage ready for a dog? You might think so, but how do you convince your spouse? Here are a few tips.

Getting a dog is not a decision to be made on a whim. So, before presenting the idea to your husband or wife, show that you’ve fully thought through each aspect of having a dog. Here are some things to take the time to consider:

  1. Dogs take a lot of time and energy: You could impress your spouse by showing that you know how much time and work it takes to raise a dog. Take it one step further and put plans in place. For example, a concern could be that you both work and the dog will be left alone. Present your spouse with options for pet sitters in your neighborhood along with corresponding pricing. It would also be helpful to give examples of areas to save money to balance the costs of a dog and have a plan in place for sharing responsibilities.

2. What kind of dog to get: Before discussing getting a dog with your partner, do some research on what kind of dog you would want. Small, big, old, puppy, rescue or breeder? Be ready to tell them why you chose the particular breed or mix. This will show that you have made a well-informed opinion and that this is not a whim.

3. Are we financially ready for a dog: Be prepared to address any financial reservations that your spouse will have. Talk about health insurance for your dog to help offset vet visits and be sure to discuss where the money will come from for things like dog food, toys, and any other expenses.

My suggestion would be to start living as if you have a dog now. Here are some suggestions:

* Show that you are ready to be a responsible dog owner by doing the little things around the house. Clean up after yourself and your partner. Be organized about your schedules (a new dog has to be on a strict schedule!). Keeping the house clean can show your husband or wife that you would be able to clean up after any dog messes.

* Get outside! Start walking or hiking or running now! This can show your spouse that you are ready to provide a dog with a healthy exercise routine. While doing so, you can drop hints about how it would be nicer to have a dog by your side!

* Get educated about dog training. Buy some books (and read them!) and research websites that could help with any behavior problems that might arise. This can help alleviate any concerns that you might not be ready to raise a dog.

* Start saving some money. Dogs cost a lot over their lifetime. By putting money aside for emergencies or extra spoiling, you can help your spouse not be as worried about financial costs associated with raising a dog.

Leading pet expert and “Human Trainer for Dogs,” Aly DelaCoeur, UW-AAB, is the founder of Why Does My Dog, a dog behavior platform designed to help people form a greater connection with their furry loved one. Aly’s amazing story began as an orphan in Siberia who worked to save the life of an aggressive dog in her adoptive California-based family. That experience inspired her to become a leading expert on practical dog interactions. She holds a certificate in applied animal behavior through the University of Washington and is a certified veterinary assistant, as well as an AKC evaluator. Based out of Seattle, Aly now tours the country making various radio and television appearances to share her unique positive reinforcement and extinction techniques. She is continuously expanding her network of like-minded pet experts and advocates in an effort to share key insights and information via

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