Owning a puppy for the first time can be so much fun, but it can also be a learning experience! Puppies require a ton of attention, hard work, and you may need to make some lifestyle changes to accommodate them. That being said, there are many benefits to owning a puppy and there are a lot of things you can learn from having a dog.
Throughout the course of raising my dog, Blue, I have certainly learned a lot about him, but I’ve also learned a lot from him as well! In honor of National Puppy Day (March 23rd), I wanted to reflect on some of the unexpected life lessons that I have learned from owning a puppy.
Being a dog mom to Blue has definitely made me a more responsible person in general, but it’s also helped me manage my time better. Procrastination is something that I have struggled with for years. Owning a puppy does not leave much time for you to procrastinate. Puppies have accidents, puppies need care, and puppies need activity. It’s even harder to get things done when you need to take a pet to the vet or clean up after them.
Patience is another lesson I have learned from owning a puppy! Again, dogs have accidents, especially when they’re in a new environment. It takes a lot of patience to not get upset with them when they do something wrong. They’re not going to understand everything at first, and it takes practice and repetitive training to get them to behave the way you want. Being patient with Blue when he was adjusting to his new home, made me start to be more patient with myself and others around me.
3. Unconditional Love
Spending time with Blue has taught me so much about unconditional love. He never cares what I look like, if I’ve been eating “bad” food, or if I’ve not been so great about exercising that week. He doesn’t judge me for not being perfect. He’s always there for me at the end of every day regardless. I’ve really tried to incorporate Blue’s ability to love unconditionally into my everyday life. Not only towards others but towards myself as well.
Loyalty and trust are super important in most relationships, and it’s no different when you own a puppy. When I first got Blue and brought him home, I’m sure he was a bit scared, but he trusted me blindly. He trusted me to feed him, give him attention, and take good care of him. In return, I trusted him to not chew on things when I was gone and to not have accidents in the house.
We both mutually trusted each other from the very start and as our relationship grew stronger, so did our trust. In contrast, when Blue did break my trust there were consequences. The same should go for any balanced relationship you have in life. There has to be mutual trust but also consequences when that trust is broken.
5. Trust Your Senses
Puppies are constantly using all of their senses and instincts as they go about the world. If they hear a noise they don’t like, they’ll growl, or they’ll try to avoid wherever they think the noise is coming from. If they don’t like the way something smells they won’t eat it. They use all their senses as a way to look out for themselves and to make sure they survive. They have unwavering trust that their senses won’t fail them. Watching how Blue has so much faith in his senses has really taught me that I need to trust my own instincts when deciding to do what’s best for me.
6. Listen to Your Body and Take Naps!
This one might sound funny, but hear me out! I’ve always admired how dogs do whatever they need to do without even thinking about it. Blue plays when he wants to play, eats when he’s hungry, and sleeps when he’s tired.
Yes, these are simple actions, but it serves as a constant reminder to me that I also need to listen to my body. As humans, we get so busy in our day-to-day life that our diet and rest can easily go to the wayside. Let’s all take a lesson from Blue and take the nap when your body is tired!
Not only are dogs just super sweet and loyal beings by nature, but they can also help teach you things about yourself that you probably wouldn’t have known otherwise.