Thinking about getting a dog? How exciting! Bringing home a new animal companion is an amazing experience, and is sure to result in much laughter, joy, and unconditional love for years to come. There’s nothing quite like the love of a dog; they see us as perfect and are not afraid to show us how much we mean to them — sometimes even more than we’d like them to!
However, one very important step is to be sure that everyone in the house is on board. If you’re married, it’s possible you may have a little trouble convincing your husband to get a dog. The weight of responsibility, mess factor, and general commitment can be off putting to some people, which is totally understandable. Some care more than others about the details, and maybe your husband is one of them? That’s ok, we’ve got you covered. Your dreams of owning a dog are not dashed just yet!
There are plenty of ways to show the man in your life that having a dog will benefit both of you. Here are 10 tried and true methods to help your husband (or boyfriend) see that getting a dog will be a great addition to the family:
1: Time it Right
There’s no worse way to get someone’s approval than to start an important conversation at the wrong time. For example, bringing it up after he’s just come home from a long day at work will likely be a very short conversation that ends in frustration. Don’t do this to yourself! Waiting for the right time, having all the facts and talking points ready, and being willing to listen are all key elements to any important conversation.
Try waiting until he’s in a good mood, maybe going for a walk together (passing by a neighborhood dog park, perhaps?), or making him his favorite meal. In any case, you’ll at least be able to get your point across when he’s in a more receptive mood, and possibly even convince him to approve right then (if you’re lucky)!
2: Share Your Research
When I was looking for my dog, I spent a LOT of time researching. Finding all the local rescues and shelters, perusing their websites, even picking out a dog or two that might work for my family — this is what we all do when something excites us! I’m willing to bet you’ve been doing some research of your own, especially if you’ve been thinking about this for a while, right? This can be a big help in your strategy!
Sharing your research with your hubby will show him that this is something you’re serious about, and not likely to lose interest in anytime soon. Also, the very fact that getting a dog is this important to you will likely make him consider it. Any husband that dotes on his wife wants to make her happy, right? Not to mention that getting a dog will make him happy, too — he just needs a little nudge!
3: Exploit the Cuteness Factor
If I was the one trying to convince my husband to get a dog, I might take him to visit a local shelter or rescue. Seeing all the adorable faces of dogs that need homes is equal parts heartbreaking and “Aww” inspiring, which could very well make it easier for him to come around. Talking about getting a dog is one thing and might make the difference on its own, but seeing actual dogs and how cute they are is a whole different story!
Some shelters allow potential adopters to take dogs for walks around the property or play with them outside the kennels. If you’re able to do this, it could really help your hubby open up to the idea that having a dog of your own might not be such a bad thing after all. Let him hold the leash or throw the ball — and watch his heart melt in the process!
4: Talk from Your Dog’s Perspective
If you’re trying to convince your husband to get a second dog, you’ve won half the battle already. Having one dog means he’s already agreed once before, and it’s highly likely that he adores the one you have! Talking to your husband from your dog’s perspective can work to pull on his heart strings, in the cutest way possible. Personally, I’d be silly about it and talk in my dog’s “voice,” but you can put your own creative spin on it!
Telling hubby that Fido (excuse the generic dog’s name) is lonely and needs a friend, or that he wants a little brother or sister to play doggy games with might break the seriousness barrier and even get a few laughs. This is where you want to be: making him laugh and reminding him of the fun side of having a dog could very well get him on board, and faster than you think!
5: Be Willing to Put in the Work
If it’s the responsibilities that come with dog ownership making your husband shy away from the idea, this is an easy fix. Agreeing to do all the work involved with doggy parenting is a sure-fire way to bring him around, as long as you keep your word! The kids can help with this one, too (if you have them), and you can even make a game of deciding who gets to do what once your new family member comes home.
A chart of dog responsibilities can be even more helpful, so there’s no question about who does what! Create it as a family and put it in the kitchen, or anywhere in the main area of the house so it will be seen easily. Not only will this help your husband to come around, but it’ll be a great experience for you and the kids to work together as a doggy caregiver team, too!
6: Get an Adult Dog
Getting a puppy can be super fun and exciting, but it doesn’t come without hard work. The chewing, potty training, and general baby duties can get old, and fast! If I was having a hard time talking my husband or boyfriend into getting a puppy, I’d offer to compromise by adopting an adult dog. They come potty trained (for the most part), are done with the annoying puppy behaviors (usually), and if you’re lucky, they’ve been trained (or at least partially trained) in obedience already!
It’s a myth that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and it’s been proven by many an adopter (including myself) that the opposite is true. Plus, adopting an older dog that’s been left in a shelter or had a bad experience in the past only makes them love you more for simply giving them a new home! Who doesn’t want even more unconditional love from their dog? No one, that’s who!
7: List the Pros
There are so many amazing benefits that come with having a dog, it would be impossible to list them all. If it were me, I’d think about what mattered most to my husband and play to those qualities. For example, if he’s gone for work a lot, having a dog around will be protection for you, putting his mind at ease. Or, if he’s been wanting to get more exercise, getting a dog would basically force him out of the house!
Giving the kids a playmate could be another reason getting a dog is a good idea; as well as giving your husband a special friend of his own to bond with, or even giving you both someone to love together — the list goes on! Whatever works with his wants and needs, use it. It’s more than likely there’s at least one way (or two, or three) that getting a dog could be a big help, to him and to the whole family!
8: Try a Trial Run
If all else failed and I still couldn’t get through to my husband, I’d consider offering to do a trial run. Temporarily having a dog in your home can really take the pressure off if making the decision is causing stress and can help your husband to see what it’s like to live with a dog — but with no commitment required. It’s very likely that by the end of the trial run he’ll see how fun having a dog can be and come around to the idea of getting one!
Some ways to go about doing this might be having a friend or family member’s dog come stay for a few days, agreeing to foster a shelter dog short-term, or even just going to people’s houses that have dogs a few times if nothing else works. Chances are high that he’ll fall in love and getting a dog will suddenly seem like a great idea!
9: Use the Health and Wellbeing Excuse
It’s a widely known fact that dog owners are healthier people in general. Whether it’s due to being more active, having regular companionship, or being exposed to allergens that create stronger immune systems or all of the above, there are so many health benefits of owning a dog! If your hubby is a health-conscious guy, this could be a great strategy to use to your advantage. There are many studies proving this argument, which you can pull from your knowledge arsenal for added effect!
Try showing him this article that talks about the correlation between owning pets and mental health, this study that proves living with a dog lowers children’s risk of developing asthma, or this piece that discusses all the health benefits of owning a dog. There’s so much proof out there, he’ll want to get a dog ASAP after reading it all! Plus, the fact that you bring this up shows that you truly care for his well being. Win-win!
10: If All Else Fails, Bribe!
Ok, so it’s highly unlikely that none of these strategies work, but I’ll share one last secret with you just in case. If your husband is being extra stubborn or for some reason isn’t interested in any of the other methods you’ve tried, there’s no shame in some good old-fashioned bribery once in a while! The good news is, you know him best, so you know what he likes. This is a slightly sneaky option, yes. But if it works, it works, right?
You can try offering to do a chore he hates, commit to giving him back rubs on a regular basis, or cooking him his meal of choice once a week — whatever he wants that you’re willing to do, offer him that! Chances are, once he gets to know the new dog he’ll fall in love anyway, but it never hurts to show some extra love to the special man in your life!