Want a dog? Hold on!

Nobody relishes the company of dogs more than we do. But before you take plunge, we think it’s only fair to warn you: dogs are demanding as well as rewarding — kind of like kids.

They need attention every day, several times a day. They need training, socialization, exercise, and plain old love and affection. Of course, some of this is a pleasure. Still we can guarantee you won’t always feel up to the responsibility. Like when he needs a walk and it’s raining sideways. Or when your pals invite you on an impromptu weekend camping trip — and when you get there you’re greeted with a “no dogs” sign.

What else? Canines can be hard on the home and wardrobe. They can leave 10,000 little white dog hairs on your little black dress, mud tracks on the carpet, scratches on the door, and piles of barf, or worse, on the floor. They can be loud, they may turn your favorite shoes into chew toys, and they cost money.

Seen from a practical perspective, bringing home a dog is a ridiculous idea. But for most people, it turns out to be kind of like having a child: a bad move if you look only at the cost to your freedom and bank account, but well worth it when you experience how much more interesting and full life can be.

Still on the fence? Take our Ready or not? challenge and find out if now’s the time to bring a dog into your life. If so, meet your dog match on DogTime’s Matchup.