7 Signs You Shouldn't Get a Dog

5. You're neurotic about your immaculate house full of white furniture. OK, we're joking just a little bit. But don't expect to adopt a Golden Retriever and not find his light hair all over your dark-colored living room rug. Getting a dog means committing to more cleaning than you're used to, and that goes for vacuuming inside and cleaning up outside after he does his business. Especially when your mother-in-law is coming over. *Sweats*

Kid With Dog
Kids should definitely pitch in to help raise a dog, but you shouldn't expect your children to care for him without a lot of your help.

6. You think your kids are going to do all the work. This is a big one. Your little ones are rapidly turning into caring, responsible preteens, and they deserve that dog they've been begging for over these past few years. But thinking that your kids can raise a dog without your help (and a lot of it) is unrealistic. Mikkel Becker has some great tips for how to include children in your dog's training, but ultimately, the dog's welfare is the obligation of the adult.

7. You're not in the right place in your life to commit to having a pet for the next dozen years or so. Once you've fallen in love with a dog, his short lifespan (compared to ours) is never enough. That's why you need to make sure that you're ready to have another living, breathing being depend on you for at least the next decade, and maybe, hopefully, even longer.

We don't think your baby-boomer, empty-nester parents want the dog that your college buds thought would be awesome to have at the frat house for all of one semester. Thinking about dropping everything to move across the country and work on a farm for a year? This might not be the right time to get a dog. Raising something even as tiny as a 7-pound Maltese is a much bigger responsibility than you may think. So just make sure you're ready.

How did you know you were ready to bring home a dog? Let us know and share your stories in the comments below!

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