Key reasons for getting a dog - share them here - chance to WIN £300 NOW CLOSED

(396 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-May-16 13:46:40

Calling all dog owners, or previous dog owners - please share your key reasons for getting a dog in the first place. What prompted you to get a four legged friend? Was it for you, for the kids or the family as a whole? How has having a dog improved your life? Does having one make you go out more? Has it taught your children to be more responsible? And are dogs something your family have always had or were you new to dog ownership when you got one?

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Whatever your advice, please add your comment below and you'll be entered into a prize draw, where one MNer will win a £300 voucher for the store of their choice.


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OP’s posts: |
Theimpossiblegirl Tue 24-May-16 21:00:02

I love having a dog. He is a member of our family. If we didn't have him, we wouldn't go on nearly as many lovely walks, there would be no-one to eat the children's crusts and our home would feel empty.

UnagiZanshin Wed 25-May-16 09:40:52

Having a dog is for the whole family.
It does help to teach kids responsibilities, but much more importantly, it's giving them a friend that is always there for them, and love them unconditionally. It's a friend to cuddle with, comfort you when you are unwell or sad, a friend to play with and to spend a lot of time outdoors with. Animals also help to boost kids immune system.

A dog is a wonderful thing for elderly people too: it's a companion and a reason to go outside for a long walk at least twice a day (plus little outings in between obviously).

Houses without dogs feel empty.

BombadierFritz Wed 25-May-16 09:46:14

Family walks
Its all good! I am so much healthier since i got my dog but also happier - he cheers me up

CMOTDibbler Wed 25-May-16 09:50:13

Our dogs were for the whole family, but I never expected them to be such a strong, loving, figure for my son.
We love how we go out walking more, and how they are such a conversation starter wherever we go.

Collymollypuff Wed 25-May-16 09:58:35

A dog is a great healer; when you are sick, a dog is the best comfort and companion. And snuggler.

A dog also offers perspective on exam stress...they don't care about your results, they love you all the same, and they still want you to throw that ball - which is the most important thing in the whole wide world.

OhHolyFuck Wed 25-May-16 10:03:44

Someone to cuddle
Company when the kids have gone to bed, especially as they'll always agree with me
A 'reason' to go out, especially when the kids are happy inside on devices


ShatnersBassoon Wed 25-May-16 10:08:32

Dogs exist to remind us all how good and clever cats are.

<dodges 5000 Kongs thrown at me>


Callico Wed 25-May-16 10:16:18

I would so love to own a dog but due to lack of space, I know that can't happen. Had pets when growing up and it was lovely having a dog that idolises you and you him. Great for your health too as daily walks are a must!

brodchengretchen Wed 25-May-16 10:45:51

As his owner you will always be his favourite person and he will never lie to you. What person do you know that will do that?

FiveHoursSleep Wed 25-May-16 10:48:43

Less hoovering and gets the kids out of the house.
Also they are always happy to see me, unlike my teenagers.

EDisFunny Wed 25-May-16 10:52:13

For health! Petting them lowers your blood pressure, walking them gives you exercise, they provide companionship, they help you be less selfish, and they teach patience. Dogs are great!

SingingMyOwnSpecialSong Wed 25-May-16 10:55:04

Because we both grew up with dogs and wanted our DC to have that experience.

Because our pets were a huge comfort when we were going through a miscarriage and struggling to conceive again.

Because the house felt so wrong after our old girl dog died that we had to sleep with the hall light on.

To offer a rescue dog a happy forever home.

For the walks, playing and cuddles.

exLtEveDallas Wed 25-May-16 11:01:19

We got the MuttDog after losing FatJess and being dogless for a couple of years. We were living in Cyprus and had a BARC on camp (British Army Rescue Centre). DD and I used to go up there with treats and DD was desperate for a dog of her own.

DD is an only child and used to complain about 'not having anyone to talk to'. It was heartbreaking. When we got back to UK we got the MuttDog, primarily for her. Mutt was tiny; she'd been dumped with her sibs far too early to be away from her mum. That decided DD - she was a premature, tiny, SCBU baby (and we'd told her all about it) and she announced that MuttDog was the same as her. Well, how could we argue with that!

So, she was rescued for DD to have a friend, but she has bought far more to our lives. We are fitter from the walking, we get unlimited cuddles, we have warm feet at night, we feel protected in our home (rarely lock the doors), our garden is a cat free zone and my sofa is pre-warmed when I get back from work!

She's DDs best mate and confidant, but oh she is my world too smile

cosytoaster Wed 25-May-16 11:02:44

I got my dog following redundancy and the opportunity my payout gave me to reorganise my finances and work part time. I've always been an animal lover and wanted a dog and I also wanted my children to have the enjoyment and responsibility of a dog. We all adore him -it's great to come home to him and his ridiculously over the top welcome, I enjoy getting out walking him and just having him snuggle up next to me on the sofa reduces my stress levels.

voyager50 Wed 25-May-16 11:09:11

To have someone that will be there to greet you, always be happy to see you, never be grumpy with you and will always make you smile when you are down.

Taking the dog for a walk is also a great excuse to get away from the chaos of the home for a while to get some time and space for yourself!

BabyGanoush Wed 25-May-16 11:17:07

Key reasons for getting a dog for us were that we all LOVE dogs, that my husband and I both started working a bit less so we were at home more, and most importantly: we always went for long walks as a family and we thought the walks would be enhanced by having a dog enjoying it too!

Having a dog is amazing and we love how she makes us smile every day and is always happy to see us. We walk a lot more and it keeps us all active.

And best of all, she is there for the boys to cuddle when they have exams and are stressed. Stroking the dog is a great way to feel calm and regroup when you are feeling frazzled.

We could never be without our dog now.

Dogs give a lot more than they get, they are a positive presence in your life smile

Sammyislost Wed 25-May-16 11:25:51

As far as I have experienced with my first dog...

They are loving animals, always wanting cuddles and to be loved. This does mean a giant dog will assume it can jump on your lap without you minding, and lick you in the face right after they've licked their butt.

They need regular walking which means you will need to be more active, great! We're all health concious aren't we!? But that does mean in all weathers, so you'll need to enjoy walking in the rain and cold and own a decent pair of wellies.

Speaking of wellies, the dog chewed mine, I refused to buy more, so they have bites out of the top. Also had to throw away 4 dining room chairs, 3 solar lights, numerous children's toys, etc (endless list) oh and explain to the children where their haribo that Father Christmas gave them went. I could go on....

Our dog has a skin condition so she needs special shampoo and medicine. And her stomach issue means she needs specific food too, and any other food makes her poorly (try picking THOSE poops up!!). Rather expensive!

No one wants to look after her when we go on holiday, so it costs us an extra £200 every holiday. We couldn't fit luggage and a large dog in the car, so we don't have a choice!

The kids love her, one of their best friends, they really love her. No negatives here.

Oh I vacuum twice a day as she sheds like mad!

But seriously, if you're thinking of getting a dog. Think about the cost. Not just the initial puppy cost, but also the insurance, the food, the toys, the beds (she's had 4 in 2 years), the things they destroy, the training classes, the extra time you need to walk them and clean up after them. If you're okay with all of that, then you'll absolutely adore having a dog in your life smile

FeelingSmurfy Wed 25-May-16 11:58:28

Teaches responsibility and helps increase activity levels, including motivating you to go out even when it's wet and cold

insertsomethingwitty Wed 25-May-16 12:01:26

Got my first dog six years ago. She was bought just for me because I wanted her. I work from home so she is my constant companion and the bond that we have is very special, she is genuinely my best friend. I love the fact that she gives me a good reason to get out the house twice a day and I walk places I would never normally go if I didn't have her to take out.

For me there are no negatives of owning a dog. It does mean holidays cost us more as we have to plan in her stay in kennels in the cost.

I am not sure having her has made my children more responsible as they are too young to walk her alone and I do all of the care in the house for her. It does teach them about love though and the bond that humans and animals can have. It teaches them to be kind an gentle and they understand how to read her subtle body language.

I adore my dog and actually feel a bit teary writing this and thinking about her.

xBITTERxFROGIEx Wed 25-May-16 12:26:43

For me, my main reason for getting a dog was for support. As I'm currently going through a high risk pregnancy, having my puppy there is amazing. She always knows when there's something wrong and cuddles me or places her head on my stomach. She is my best friend, a companion and she takes my mind off of all the stress.
If I need some fresh air she's there begging to go on a walk.
If I need some food she's there nudging here food bowl.
If I need a nap, she's there curled up next to me. My dog is amazing, and it was the best decision I have ever made to get her.

ItsaTenfromDen Wed 25-May-16 12:32:37

Our dog was for the whole family, of course he turned into my dog, mainly as I was the one around more, so did more of the walking and feeding, although we all mucked in and enjoyed spending time altogether.

He was a lovely little thing with a massive personality.

Sadly due to old age/illness we had to say goodbye to him last month. To say that we are all heartbroken is an understatement. Personally I feel like I am living with his ghost, as I can still see him everywhere and find myself talking to him as I usually would.

I have nothing but happy memories that will last forever.

Give your dog an extra pat from me, I miss doing that myself.

CopperPan Wed 25-May-16 12:33:41

A dog has been amazing for our autistic DS. He brings DS outdoors when he used to want to stay inside most of the time, and provides companionship that he always longed for. Having a dog has been great for all the family, of course, but the difference has been noticable with DS as it meant a dramatic change in his behaviour and outlook.

theredjellybean Wed 25-May-16 12:49:33

unconditional love
makes me go out and walk and enjoy the beautiful bit of the countryside
the new puppy (EDD 1.7.2016) is to replace last baby leaving home smile

RainbowsAndUnicorns5 Wed 25-May-16 13:12:30

We got a dog because I thought it would make us all walk as a family grin Also for company because I work from home

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