With two cats and two horses, the last thing my husband wanted was another animal! But, the kids and I did. We wanted a puppy. We put our beloved dog down two years ago, and our home has not been the same. We missed Max. Now it was time to get another dog. Convincing my husband of this was not easy, but now he loves our new dog dearly and we couldn't imagine our home without him--the dog that is!
- Ease into the discussion. It's not a good idea to be demanding and tell your husband you want a puppy and you don't care what he thinks. He might be all for it, and he might not be. Start bringing up the subject here and there. If you're at the mall, swing by the pet store and croon over the puppies. Ask him which one he likes. Note what his reaction is to the puppies. By the way, never buy your puppy at a pet store. Most come from inhumane puppy mills! More on that later. Visit websites online of rescue shelters and point out that you could get almost any breed and age at a rescue shelter. But at least at the mall, you have a quick and easy access to puppies and can rate your husband's reaction. Listen to his concerns--never disregard them and acknowledge that you understand where he is coming from. Most likely, he has very legitimate concerns.
- Let him know you will be responsible. After I kept bringing up the idea of getting a puppy (and the kids helped on this, too), I let my husband know that the kids and I would be completely responsible for the dog. I would take it to the vet, walk it at 3 in the morning, feed it, train it, bathe it, and clean up after it. My husband would not be asked to do anything, unless he really wanted to help out. This seems to take some of the pressure off of my husband and he started showing a little more interest in looking at dogs online and in shelters.
- Let him know you'll pick up the expenses! After all, owning a puppy can be quite costly. Determine ahead of time how your finances will allow you to have a puppy. Remember, you don't only need food, collar, leash, bedding, and toys--you need to keep those vet bills in mind. Puppies need to visit the vets (for vaccinations) about every 4 weeks until they are several months old and a vet bill can easily run over $100. You also need to get your puppy spayed or neutered. Talk openly to your husband about these costs and come up with some creative ways you can pay for them. Maybe part of your paycheck will go towards these costs. Maybe pet insurance is something else you'd want to consider.
- Search the rescue shelters for that perfect pup! There are thousands of dogs all over the country needing a good home. Many are puppies. We found our dog at a shelter. Obie was brought to a kill shelter where he would have been put down at just a few weeks old. He was rescued and we adopted him. If you want a particular breed, you can almost always find it at the shelters. Let your husband play a part in picking out the new puppy, too! Listen to his likes and dislikes in a dog. But no matter what, please don't buy your puppy from a pet store. Puppy mills, where most of these puppies come from, are horribly cruel places. By buying a puppy from a pet store, you are encouraging the puppy mills to stay in business!
- Include your husband in the fun stuff! Once you have your puppy picked out and a date to adopt him, take your husband shopping for fun stuff like doggy toys! Your excitement in getting this new member of the family can rub off on your husband.
- Have a plan. No matter what you need to do to convince your husband, have a plan and share the plan with your husband. Let him know why you want a dog so badly and all the benefits to having a family dog. Show him how the responsibility of owning a dog is off of him. This will change in the end, as your husband grows to love the puppy.
Puppies take a tremendous amount of hard work and time. They are demanding, but will love you unconditionally. Much of the convincing your husband to get a puppy actually happens once the puppy is home and bonds with family members. Remember to stick to your plan and promises in taking care of the dog. With that pressure off your husband, he can focus on playing and training the puppy and making him the perfect pet!