Published by Katherine Sullivan.

Are you thinking of adopting a dog? Read on to see if you have any business caring for a canine companion.

1. You Think Dog Balls Are ‘Manly’

From Neuticles to glittery gonads, some dog guardians have made their obsession with their dogs’ balls known.


If you’re one of them, know that your complex with your dog’s “manhood” is a you problem—Fido will absolutely be better off without his stones.

Neutering your dog is more important than your macho complex. >>

2. You Think Crate Training Is Great Training


Well, how would you like to be confined to a crate? Exactly … love means never putting your loved one in a cage. If you want to be a prison warden, visit—but leave dogs out of it.

Why crate-training is akin to puppy prison >>

3. You Choose the Snooze Button Over the Morning Walk

Here’s a hypothetical: It’s 7 a.m. and your alarm clock goes off. In order to be at work on time and have time to walk Fido, you need to get up, but those seven tequila shots you pounded last night are weighing heavily on you. What do you do:

  • You get up—Fido needs his walk.
  • You hit the snooze button and let Fido suffer.

If your answer isn’t a resounding “(a),” then shame on you.


It’s not Fido’s fault that you’re a mess. He needs to pee. He needs to explore, sniff, and roll in the grass. Walking and peeing are two of a dog’s most basic needs—if you can’t meet those, then you are not up to the task, my friend.

More on how important walks are to dogs >>

4. A Little ‘Poo’ Makes You Squeamish

First rule of dog walking: Always carry a poop bag. Nobody likes guardians who don’t pick up after their dogs. Canine companions give us so much—love, laughter, friendship, doggie kisses, joy, comfort, and an exercise partner who never bails at the last minute—the least we can do is scoop the poop.


Cleaning up after our animal friends is a small price to pay for their friendship.

More on dog walking and dog park etiquette >>

5. You’re Doing It for the Gram

Dogs don’t need Instagram fame. They need a safe, loving, caring home. If you’re just in it for the “likes,” consider a less harmful way of garnering those double-taps. If you do share cute pics of your well-cared-for adopted pup, use your Instagram prowess for good, not evil …

… include #AdoptDontShop to remind your followers to avoid buying from breeders and pet stores.

More on why dogs suffer when used as Instagram props >>

6. You’re a Clean Freak

Most people like to keep a clean, tidy home—we get that. But Fido will shed. He might even vomit. He could knock over one of your prized Star Wars memorabilia figurines with his tail. Living with dogs is like living with toddlers—things can get messy. But you love them no matter what, slobber and all. And leaving Fido chained up or penned outside is not an option. If you’re overly worried about the amount of time you’ll need to spend vacuuming, maybe consider a nice houseplant instead.


How to care for dogs properly >>

Being a Dog Guardian Is No Joke

If you’re someone with the time, money, love, and patience to make a lifetime commitment to an animal, then by all means, adopt (don’t shop)! But if Fido’s well-being is less important to you than his balls or your couch, please reconsider. We’re PETA—we want every dog to find a home for life—but only if that home is loving, caring, and safe.

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