5 best things about owning a dog*

When I was little, I always wanted a dog but my mum and dad weren’t so keen – I even pretended that our next door neighbour’s dog was ours, that’s how desperate I was to have one. As soon as I got old enough I got my own puppy – Alfie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. That was eight years ago and although our lives together have been full of ups and downs (ups: long walks together on sunny days, cuddles in front of the TV at night-time, visiting the seaside. Downs: an eye operation, night-time barking, bath time) I wouldn’t change it for the world. Here are my top 5 reasons to get a dog…

1. You’ll never be lonely again

There’s literally no better feeling than coming home to a dog. Think waggly tails, jumping up and sloppy kisses, every time I step foot through the door Alfie races downstairs to greet me and it’s truly delightful. Not got anyone to Netflix and chill with? A dog is an excellent substitute (well, not for the chill bit but we all know what’s more important right? New series of Orange is the New Black, anyone?!). They give warm cuddles, don’t talk during episodes and will be great company throughout all the latest boxsets – plus, you ALWAYS get to choose what you watch! Ever felt heartbroken or upset? Your dog will know. And they’ll never stop trying to cheer you up with their cute puppy dog eyes or they’ll just be there for you 100%.

2. It gets you out of the house

I used to be quite outdoorsy growing up but when I got a bit older and other things got in the way (cleaning the house, writing the blog, uni work, etc) I stopped going on walks so much. Well, with a dog you HAVE to take them out – and it’s usually lots of fun! I’ve even thought about buying a dog bike trailer so we can go on a bike ride together! Little dogs like mine don’t necessarily need a walk every day if they have a big garden to run around in, but since we don’t I usually take Alfie out three times a day. I love taking him in the woods and on the playing fields and meeting other dogs – I could watch them interact all day! This is also great for keeping you fit, take your iPhone with you and build up your steps for the day. Remember to think about your dogs safety when you go on walks. You don’t want them to run away or go somewhere dangerous so maybe look at these Harnesses recommended by JugDog.

3. You’ve got something to care for

If you’re a nurturer at heart but you don’t want to have a baby just yet, a dog can be a great halfway house (in fact, my mum says looking after Alfie is harder than a baby!). If you ever get stuck, there are so many blogs and websites available to have a look at. Visiting sites like Central Park Paws can provide a great insight into what is required to be an owner. They’re totally reliant on you to feed them, walk them and show you affection and will reward you for it with their love and loyalty.

4. The accessories

Ok, there are a million and one cute things that you can buy for your dog – it’ll probably cost you more on leads, bowls, etc, than you spend on your own wardrobe. Especially cute are the things that you can buy when they’re a puppy – soft toys and blankets in pastel shades are the best. Although we’re hardly Paris Hilton and Tinkerbell, I do dress Alfie up on special occasions (usually his birthday or Christmas). There are some great pieces available from Top Dog Apparel. Adorable!

5. You are top dog

Have you ever asked your dog who they love more and then waited for them to go to one of the family members? If you are the dog’s owner then you’ll be their number one, and it’s always nice to feel special to someone.

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