Should You Get A Dog When You're Newly Single?
By Jane Williams
Tue, Mar 30, 2021 at 8:28AM

Should You Get A Dog When You're Newly Single?

A relationship breakdown can be one of the most stressful events you can encounter in your lifetime, as found in standard ‘stressful life events’ lists such as the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, or you are simply stressed about matters pertaining to your breakup, you may wonder if adopting a dog can be of aid. Study after study has shown that having pets can significantly improve one’s mental health. One Ohio State University study, for instance, found that stressful situations can somehow seem more bearable when one has a loving pet around. Pets provide companionship, unconditional love, and boundless entertainment, yet it is important to weight up the pros and cons of pet ownership to see if a dog will fit in well with your current lifestyle.

The Benefits Of Dog Ownership

One of the hardest things about a breakup for some people is missing the companionship that their ex offered. Some obsess over romantic reconciliation and put all their energies into ruminating over what could have been, or strategizing in order to win their ex back. Some even fall prey to so-called experts promising to help them achieve this aim, as unrealistic as it is in some cases. Most psychologists recommend that people who have just broken up with their partner should begin with a no-contact period, taking the time to work on themselves before even considering romance. During this time, caring for a dog is an excellent mindfulness pursuit that can help battle stress and anxiety, provide opportunities for exercise (and meeting new people at the park), and provide one with daily responsibilities. Pet owners exercise more, socialize more, and sleep better. They are absent from work less, pay their doctor fewer visits, and are less lonely.

Budgeting For A Dog

Before heading out to adopt a dog, research into the costs involved so you know from the outset whether or not you have the budget to become a dog owner. The average monthly cost of owning a dog starts at around $125, reports The Spruce Pets, though the first year of pet ownership is always more expensive because of costs such as neutering, vaccinations, and the like. Of course, if you adopt an adult or senior dog, then your first year will cost less than if you were to adopt a puppy. Expenses include food, yearly vaccinations, treatments for illness, and grooming products.

Making The Time For A Dog

Your dog will require one or two good, long walks a day so ask yourself if you have the energy to get up a little earlier and take a second (or even third) walk when you get home from work. Dogs that are sedentary can become obese or display negative behaviors, since exercise is a key component of their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Your dog will also need grooming (nail, hair and teeth cleanings), socialization with other dogs, and regular visits to the veterinarian.

Dogs can boost human health and happiness in many ways. Before adopting a dog, it is important to conduct research into the costs and time involved in dog ownership. If you can meet these obligations without a problem, then inviting a new pup into your home can be a wonderful way to heal your body, mind and soul. It can also encourage you to stay active and meet others - two factors that can be key when you are rebuilding your life.

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