Although dogs are man's best friend, they are also a heck of a lot of work. Many dog owners compare living with a dog as the same as living with a small child in terms of time, money and mess. Dogs will give back far more than they are given, but for someone not used to living with dogs, the adjustment period can be nothing short of culture shock.
Dogs need to be walked every day. Even small breeds with short legs need a daily outing. Dogs are opportunistic eaters and will rapidly put on weight unless they have regular exercise. What's so bad about a fat dog? A fat dog will soon be a very sick dog, prone to arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. A daily walk also helps to stimulate the dog's mind and raises their quality of life considerably.
Walking a dog involves commitment, a certain tolerance of wet weather and proper equipment. There may also be very few safe areas to walk a dog. Sadly, many dog owners in urban areas are targeted by criminals. Some people also seem to like nothing better than to wave a gun at dog walkers when they either near their lawns or their bicycles.
Liz Palika, author of The KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy put it best when she wrote "Puppies make a mess. It's that simple." Puppies aren't too different than dogs in terms of making a mess. Usually in adult dogs, the mess comes from muddy paws, knocking over a table or shed hair rather than housebreaking accidents.
Dogs also put off a wide variety of peculiar odors. Some breeds like the English bulldog are notorious for farting. Beagles put off a strong "doggy odor" because the oils in their skin and hair help keep them weatherproofed. Dogs also periodically have trouble with their anal glands. Although the anal glands tend to empty whenever the dog excretes, sometimes they seem to work with a mind of their own. This leads to a strange, strong fishy scent that can last up to 24 hours.
You will never know how many people hate dogs until you get one. Dogs are banned from many buildings like banks, cafes and libraries, even though they are better behaved than the human customers. Landlords hate dogs or dogs over a certain weight. Even disaster rescue services like the Red Cross are not allowed to bring animals into their shelters.
Racism still runs strong - when it comes to how people view dogs. Many people hate dogs of certain breeds and are unwilling to let them in their neighbourhoods. Meeting these people, you sure will appreciate your dog a lot more and will not mind walking or cleaning up messes so much.