When would you feel ready to get a dog with your SO?

posted 2 weeks ago in Relationships
Post # 2
530 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

househippo25 :  I think waiting a little longer is okay. Adjust to your new place together and let the cat adjust. Try not to read into his “reasons” too much if things are going really well. It sounds like you both are in a happy place and should just wait until the time is right to get the dog. Dogs require a lot of attention so if he hasn’t had one then timing might be important.

Post # 3
345 posts
Helper bee

For me personally I wouldn’t have gotten a pet with someone until marriage. I wouldn’t have a kid before marriage. I wouldn’t have a joint account before marriage. The whole point of dating to me is to decide if you’re suitable. It should be easy (except emotionally of course) to pack up and walk away from a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. I think you’re both already too entwined for the level of commitment you’re actually at. But you do you.

Post # 4
8520 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

It’s pretty early and you have a lot else going on – I think your boyfriend is wise to wait on the dog. We got our pup about 9 months after the wedding. With wedding planning behind us and a break in our home renovations we finally had time to dedicate to a new pet. Even still I was a bit hesitant (even though the dog was my idea lol) because it’s a huge responsibility and we were also TTC at the time. BUT we went to an adoption event and met our dog and it was just meant to be – the dog and I fell in love at first sight. He’s a family dog for sure but I think if push came to shove he’s a total mama’s boy. 

Post # 5
680 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

If I could give one piece of advice to any non-engaged couple in a serious relationship it would be –

Do not get a pet together. Be married, or engaged at minimum before getting a pet together.

Hate to be harsh but man, I’d be a rich woman if I had $5 for every couple I’ve seen or known get a pet and then end up breaking up, then the animal gets the short end of the deal in most cases. Idk, its just a pet peeve of mine I guess. I don’t understand the rush to get a pet while dating – like I don’t need a pet to make the relationship feel more “serious”.  DH and I didn’t get a dog together (as much as we wanted one before) until a month before the wedding. Even then, we were like “omg should we do this because its a big fricking step”

I’m with your boyfriend on this one, I think he’s got a good frame of mind going into the getting a dog thing together…. Like I said, I’d at least want a ring to know things are serious before a dog, lol.

Post # 6
1112 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

It honestly seems like the worst time to be getting a dog, especially a puppy!!

Post # 7
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I wouldn’t get a dog with my partner until we were engaged. If we’re not both explicitly committed to spending the rest of our lives together (or at least the next 15 years!), then it is irresponsible to jointly take on a 15 year commitment. Obviously, nothing is 100% certain and divorce can happen, but if you’re not even at the level of being ready to get married then you are FAR more likely to break up than a couple that has made that commitment. If you can’t commit to each other yet, don’t jointly commit to another living thing.

Post # 8
12528 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Before marriage is too soon as far as I’m concerned. Personally, we waited much longer, until we had children old enough to contribute under supervision to their care. Unlike a cat, a dog, and most especially a puppy, is a tremendous amount of work and responsibility that we didn’t want at a time when we had unlimited freedom to come and go as we wished. In some ways a puppy is even more of a challenge and limitation than a baby since babies can go almost anywhere. Like a PP, I’ve seen too many couples split up, or decide a dog is not right for their lifestyle, where the dog suffers the consequences.

I realize this is as much about what it says about the uncertain nature of your boyfriend’s commitment as it does about wanting a puppy. Another reason I’d forget about the dog. 

Post # 9
6730 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

househippo25 :  I think waiting to get the dog sounds smart unless it belongs to just one of you – and you document and fully understand that. I also wouldn’t have joined finances though, so our priorities may be different (I did get a joint home before marriage without spelling anything out, which was probably stupid). But definitely wait until all your ducks are in a row… no one needs to deal with training a puppy on top of all those other life changes you’ve listed!

Post # 11
656 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

So, my now-husband and I got a dog exactly one month after moving in together (about 16 months pre-engagement), and with the hindsight I have now, I wouldn’t advise people to adopt a pet together unless you’re A.) engaged or B.) have explicitly and candidly discussed that yes, you intend to be together forever but aren’t engaged (yet) for very specific reasons that have nothing to do with maturity/uncertainty. 

The reason is, good god I love this dog. I grew up with dogs, but getting your own dog is something entirely different. I’m SO THANKFUL our relationship worked out, because if I’d had to lose our dog, I would have been destroyed. Call me a crazy millennial pet parent, but she is my child and I love her so much that I low-key worry I won’t love an eventual human baby this much. I took a risk, and it paid off for us, but man…if it hadn’t, I can’t imagine. 

Post # 12
1423 posts
Bumble bee

househippo25 :  The two of you are too intertwined for an unengaged/unmarried couple. You shouldn’t be making large joint purchases for the home, for instance, unless you have a way of dividing it upon a possible split. 

Don’t make this more complicated by involving a pet. Get engaged, then get a dog. 

Post # 14
848 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

We got our first pup when we were engaged. I wouldn’t want to “share” a pet with someone before we were committed to marriage. A dog is 12+ year commitment  and it can get really messy when you jointly adopt a puppy and then split. It’s like a lower level of figuring out child custody except you’re without the help of the courts. 

There was a really lengthy post on here about a couple seeking “joint custody” of their dogs…I’d read that. 

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