Listed below are five of the worst reasons for considering getting a dog; if you can check all five of them off as not being relevant to you, then carry on! If you tick one of the boxes have a rethink 1. Personal protection Dogs are undeniably loyal and protective of their owners, and will often go out of their way even at the risk of injury to themselves to protect their owners from harm. Similarly, many dogs take to the role of guarding the home very naturally, and one of the side benefits of ownership of all types of dogs can be feeling more secure with your dog around, and knowing that they are acting as a deterrent to intruders in the home while you are out. This is all fine, but if you are considering getting a dog simply to guard your property or to make yourself look intimidating when youre walking down the street, think again. Using your dog as a weapon or to stand in your place in the case of an altercation is not only often illegal, but is completely irresponsible and should be quickly discounted as an idea. 2. As a fashion accessory Small handbag dogs may look like cute cuddly toys, but they are still dogs and need to be treated accordingly. You may think that porting a teacup Yorkie or Chihuahua about in a handbag is cute, but how will you feel about cleaning up their poop, feeding them, walking them and training them? There is nothing wrong with appreciating the appeal of a smaller breed of dog, and there is no reason why you shouldnt carry a small dog in a specially designed underarm pet carrier. But dont forget that there is much more to it than that, and that you will still need to train them, exercise them and take care of all of their needs in the same way as you would with any other dog. 3. Because your children are demanding one Even if you are not particularly enthusiastic about the idea of having a dog, constant cries of can we have a dog? Can we have a dog? from the kids can soon wear down even the most stalwart of parents. Do not give in to your childrens demands for a dog unless you are also fully on board with the decision, and willing to commit to caring for and loving the dog in question for the duration of its hopefully long life- whether the appeal wears off for your children or not. 4. If you work all day or are away from home a lot The idea of coming home to a happy, loving dog that is really excited to see you and lets you know it is an appeal for most dog owners. A dog can make your house feel like a home, and give you something to look forwards to at the end of the day in a way that few other things can. But if you are out at work all day, travel a lot or are not home much, a dog is not likely to be a good fit for your lifestyle. It is not fair on a dog to be left alone for more than a few hours at a time, or to be regularly kennelled or cared for by strangers while you travel about. Consider waiting until your situation changes in the future before getting a dog, to make sure that you can give them the time and the attention that they deserve. 5. When you cant afford to make a long term commitment You might have lots of free time and enough cash to buy and take care of a dogs needs now, but are you as sure as you can be that your situation wont change unduly in the future? What if you got a new job, found a new partner, moved house or had children? Would you still be willing to make your dog your number one priority, and not make any changes to your lifestyle that would adversely affect them or push them out of your life? Are you willing to accept that you may potentially have to miss opportunities, and compromise in many areas to make sure that you do the best for your dog? Similarly, funding the cost of owning a dog while they are young and healthy may be well within your reach, but what about as your dog ages and their needs change, or if they were to get ill or injured? Could you still provide for them then? If the answer is no, then please think again.