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After you’ve been with a man for a while—you’ve lived together, you’ve overcome challenges together, you’ve become a part of each other’s family—the inevitable happens: you want to have…a pet! (The pet comes before the baby, duh!) But, like with any big commitment you make with a man, there will be some issues. Here is what to expect when you’re adopting a dog with your boyfriend.

Someone will do all of the walking

Whichever person wakes up earlier will inevitably be stuck walking the dog each morning. The second a person gets out of bed, the dog is waiting by his leash, tail wagging. The early riser isn’t going to let the poor pup wait until the other person wakes up, so he’ll get stuck with the task day after day.

The compromise

The person who doesn’t have to walk the dog every morning should take over other shifts. Any time the other partner needs a little help—maybe he’s caught up cleaning the kitchen, but the dog needs a walk—the late sleeper should take the dog out.

Vet visits

Vet visits can get very expensive. Any time your dog displays a symptom, there will be one of you who wants to rush him to the vet and one of you who wants to be conservative, hoping to avoid a $600 bill for nothing.

The compromise

Get insurance. You’ll be so glad you did. When you have pet insurance, taking your dog to the vet isn’t that big of a deal. Most plans have a tiny deductible, like $100 or $200, that covers nearly everything.

Bedtime

The dog is going to want to sleep with you. You’ll want that, too. It’s freaking adorable. But, before you know it, you’ll realize you and your partner haven’t been cuddling at night. This can create emotional distance fast.

The compromise

It won’t be easy, but you have to make a point to put the dog in his own bed and teach him to stay there sometimes. He’ll get over it, but if your partner and you don’t get to cuddle, your relationship may not get over that.

Sex

This one will take you by surprise. The first time you want to have sex with your partner after bringing home the pet, things will be getting hot and heavy when…a dog jumps on the bed! That’s pretty weird.

The compromise

The dog is going to feel like a part of the Three Musketeers. He’ll want to be included in everything. But when it’s sexy time, put him in a separate room with a bone. Like having to sleep in his own bed, the dog will get over it but your relationship may not recover if you stop having sex, all to be courteous to the dog.

Attachment

The pet is going to become more attached to one of you than to the other. That’s just how it goes—dogs like to pick one human to bond with. Whoever isn’t that human will be a bit jealous.

The compromise

If the dog chooses you, you’re going to have to be extra sensitive to give your partner a lot of affection. Extra affection. This may sound silly, but when a pet loves one owner more than the other, it can cause an emotional rift in the romantic relationship. So snuggle your partner, even though the dog is begging you to snuggle him.

It will bring you closer

Don’t be mistaken: a dog doesn’t only cause problems, it brings you closer. He’s like your baby: you both become obsessed with taking pictures of him and sharing stories about cute things he did. Having something you both love deeply brings you closer. That being said, you may talk about the pup too much. You might forget to catch up on your own lives.

The compromise

Just like when you have a kid, and you need to cut off kid talk, there’s going to come a time when you have to say, “Okay. Enough doggy talk. Tell me about your day.” If you don’t do it, you’ll fall out of touch.

Feeding the dog

This is another responsibility that will fall on whoever wakes up first in the morning, or gets home first in the evening. You’ll see: you can’t say no to a begging dog, even if it’s your partner’s turn to do the feeding!

The compromise

What do you do when one person cooks dinner? The other cleans the dishes! Your pet’s bowls/place mat needs to be cleaned, too. Whoever doesn’t do the feeding can do the cleaning.

Cleaning up

If you have a yard, great! Your dog can go to the bathroom out there! But it’s also not so great because poop piles up fast. If one person does all the pick-up, he’ll start to resent the other person.

 

The compromise

One person might be home way more than the other, so it just makes sense for them to pick up poop. But the other person should, in that case, pick up the other unwanted chores like bathing the dog or taking him to the groomers.

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