Feb 15th, 2021, 12:15 PM

Why You Should Have a Dog in Your 20s

By Hara Vanna Martin
Image Credit: Hara Vanna Martin
The reasons why having a canine companion is the best thing that can happen to you!

Having a dog in your early 20s is a life learning experience. I got my dog, Junior, almost seven years ago when I was still in high school. I had always dreamed of having a dog. However, at 15, I did not measure the responsibilities of having a little pup and consequently did not form any apprehensions beforehand. I trusted the universe that I would be able to care for this tiny animal. Since that day, my life has changed, and I couldn't be any happier, especially during a pandemic where we are all spending most of our time at home. It might seem inconvenient and burdensome to some to have such responsibilities at such a young age. However, after reading this, I hope the following reasons may change your opinion and if in that case, always remember, "adopt don't shop!" (even if my 15-year-old self made that mistake).

Image Credit: Hara Vanna Martin

Reason 1: A great way of meeting new people.

In most Parisian neighborhoods, you will always find a small community of dog owners, which in these strange times help and encourage us to have social interactions outside of the house. Personally, seeing someone with another animal always warms my heart and makes me smile. These moments which may be considered insignificant can be the most significant in these challenging times. These interactions became the highlights of my confinement as well as my daily walks.  

Image Credit: Hara Vanna Martin

Reason 2: Ability to go outside past curfew as walking a dog considered a necessity. 

Now that the curfew has been extended to 6pm-6am, it is nice to stroll around the city and enjoy nocturnal walks around an empty Paris. It also gives you the chance to explore your neighborhood and discover new areas of the city. 

Reason 3: Constant company during these endless hours at home.

Having someone by your side 24/7 who will give you unconditional love is what has personally helped me be mentally stable during this pandemic. Indeed whenever I feel down, I just take a look at my dog and remember that whatever happens, we will always be together for each other. His gaze is the cure to all my pains.  

Reason 4: Having an obligation.

Having an obligation at such a young age helps you create a routine and forges your sense of responsibility, which is crucial at this stage of life. Also, having a routine has been a necessity for our mental health during the pandemic. Indeed, a study published by Health&Medicine Week has found, "Emerging evidence supports the physical health and social benefits of dog ownership," because having a routine has a direct, positive impact on our mental health.

Image Credit: Hara Vanna Martin

Reason 5: Daily exercise.

Having a dog means at least -- in my case -- 3 walks a day. The Mayo Clinic has shown that there are numerous benefits to being active daily. Exercise helps controls weight; it also combats health conditions and diseases. Exercise improves the mood and boosts energy, but it also promotes better sleep and increases your libido. 

Bonus: Never late to morning classes.

Last but not least, having a dog forces you to wake up early, which means there's no excuse to be late to your 9am classes!


After reading this, I hope you may consider adopting a dog or if you think it is still too much of a responsibility, but you love dogs, you may want to consider dog sitting. In my case, having a dog has been a blessing, and even though it may have taken some of my freedom away, I would not trade it for anything in the world. 

Here are some links to some adoption center in Paris and France if you seriously are considering adopting a dog: