Dating and Relationship Advice

Pets are the best. We literally don’t deserve them. Like, the other day, I wasn’t feeling all that great (don’t worry, it wasn’t Covid) and my dog came over, snuggled up next to me on the couch, and rested his head on my lap as if he knew I needed some extra love. I CANNOT EVEN.

As much as I and every other pet owner love our furry friends, getting a pet is a big life choice. Especially if you’re getting one with your significant other.

Getting a pet with your SO means that you both are ready to make the long-term commitment of keeping an animal alive—and this is by no means easy. After all, as Spider-Man once said: “With great adorableness comes great responsibility.” (I might have remembered that quote wrong…)

Let’s say that you and your amazing, super-hot partner adopt a dog together. Yay! But then you break up. Bummer. That means that, in addition to dealing with the general breakup awfulness, you’ll also have to deal with who gets the dog or work out some kind of joint puppy custody agreement. Not much fun for anyone involved, including the dog.

That’s why you need to have some serious conversations and think really carefully before you get a pet with your SO.

Want to know where to start? Here are three signs that show you and bae are ready to get a pet together.

You’ve Talked About Your Future Together

You don’t necessarily have to exchange rings before bringing an animal into the equation, but you definitely need to be on the same page about your future as a couple. Have a serious convo with your partner about what your relationship will look like down the road. Are you able to map out the next steps in the relationship and your lives together? Are you living together or plan to be soon? If you’re able to confirm a commitment to one another in some way, pets can for sure be on the table.

You’ve crunched the numbers

Pets are pricey. There’s no getting around it. From food, toys, and grooming to regular vet visits, dog sitting, animal airplane tickets, or even emergency medical care, a pet will take a big bite out of your income (pun 100% intended).

You need to be sure that the two of you can actually afford a pet. Sit down for another tough convo, and this time, bring the receipts. Do you have enough extra income for the added expense? Are you trying to save for other big purchases like a wedding, home, or car? Are you still paying off student loans? You and your SO also need to come up with a specific plan about who will pay for what when it comes to your fur baby.

You trust your partner

Yes, you need to trust your SO in general, but you really need to know you can count on them if you want to get a pet together. General rule of thumb: if they walk out of the room and you feel a strong urge to go through their phone, you might not trust them as much as you should.

And honestly, it’s pretty telling if it’s really hard for the two of you to have these pre-pet conversations. If you can’t trust one another enough to talk about the future or about money, you probably can’t trust each other enough to get a pet together.