5 Reasons You Should Get A Dog In Your 20s
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5 Reasons You Should Get A Dog In Your 20s

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself." -- Josh Billings

5 Reasons You Should Get A Dog In Your 20s
Emily Rader

Having a dog has been one of the best experiences of my life so far. And I don’t mean “having” as in calling the dog yours, but your parents pay for it’s food, veterinarian bills and training. I mean having as in having a life that is dependent on you. I got my dog a couple years ago, when she sauntered up to my house at six weeks old, and I fell in love with her immediately. She’s taught me more than I ever thought I could learn from a dog, and now, I can’t imagine my life without her. My family even calls her my "dogter" (like daughter, but it’s a dog) Now, I’m going to share why I think you should get a dog too.


Having any fur baby is a lot of responsibility. Between vet bills, food and toys (my dog has a lot of toys), my money dwindled fast because I was still in the mode where I was the only one I was paying for, but being forced to choose between that super cute top and shots for my pup, I realized that she was more important than adding to my pile of clothes I thought I was going to wear, but never did. With my pup being my first heavy dose of responsibility, I believe she has helped me understand and gladly accept responsibilities such as moving out of my parent’s house and being on my own all the way to the responsibilities of homework that I don’t feel like doing.


Because dogs can’t be cooped up all day, I started walking with her. Then we tried out hiking, which we both loved. I’ve even started taking her camping. She literally doesn’t give me an option on whether I take her to get her exercise, and she’s the perfect motivator for getting myself to leave the house on those days that I feel too lazy. I even started to lose weight and gain muscle tone, which has definitely helped boost my confidence. So really, dogs equals confidence.


If you have a dog, then you’re never alone. And I mean never because they will follow you everywhere. Oh you need to use the bathroom? Expect them to follow right behind you and watch while you pee. You’re trying to do homework? Expect them to be sitting right next to you begging to play fetch. But, at the same time, my pup is a fantastic Netflix and chill buddy, and she and I can really jam to some music. Plus, I feel comforted knowing that she’s watching over the house and will let me know if anything is up. Knowing that I have companionship through her took other pressures off me, like needing to find a boyfriend or constantly be out with friends, and I’m able to focus on creating the best possible future for my little family.


Ever since I got my "dogter," my understanding of trust and what it truly means has heavily developed. I mean, I understood what trust was, and I definitely trusted my small circle, but having a life that blindly trusts you was eye opening. The fear of disappointing my dog was overwhelming for me. So I strive everyday to make sure that she never feels that disappointment. What makes it all worth it, though, is the satisfaction you get when you achieve a certain level of trust between the two of you. The saying, “A dog is a man’s best friend,” is true on every level, and one that every person should experience.


I know you’re wondering how in the world having a dog leads to clothes, but what I mean is clothes for your pup. I never thought that I would be the kind of dog parent that dresses up their pets, but let me tell you how much fun it is. First of all, they look cute in everything. The winter is when I do most of her dressing up though because the summers are way too hot for that in Georgia. I even dress her up for Halloween – she was a policewoman last year. Second of all, dog clothes are usually cheaper than clothes for you. And when I say usually, I’m speaking from a time I went into Aeropostale and found a super cute sweater for her...for the same price as a pair of jeans. Third, you get all the compliments in the world for how cute they are in their sweater. From the amount of pride I feel when someone compliments her, you’d think she actually was my own child.

Having a dog in your early 20's (or ever) is by no means easy, but how rewarding it feels makes it worth it. She is my pride and joy, and I’m beyond thankful I get to learn from her this early on in life and be able to carry her lessons with me as long as possible.

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