If you own an animal, or if you’re part of a household with multiple pets, you probably realize there are some positives and negatives that go along with that. On the other hand, if you have no pets but you’re thinking about getting one, it is not a poor idea to take some time to think about everything that goes into it.
We’ll talk about pet ownership a little more in this article as you attempt to decide whether this move works for you at this stage in your life.
You Have to Get Someone to Care for Your Pets When You’re Out of Town
We’ll start by talking about some pet ownership potential negatives. It is undeniable that if you have pets, it can make travel more difficult. If you’re someone who does like to travel a good deal, pet ownership might be a possible impediment to that.
One issue is that there are always plenty of potential perils in your home. Household products can pose a danger, for instance. Just recently, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission warned consumers about 39 Peloton-related injuries and one child death.
The point is that there are products in your home with which your pet can interact that might injure them. If you’re there to help them in those moments, they may survive. If you’ve left them alone in the house, they might not be so lucky.
You’ll need to either board your dog, if you have one, or else you’ll have to rely on a neighbor, friend, or family member to come by and see how the animals are doing. If you have a cat, they usually do a bit better on their own.
You Have to Think About Walking Your Dog During the Day
If you decide you want to get a dog, that will also restrict you in certain other ways. For instance, if you work outside the home, you’ll need to come back at some point during the day, so you can let the dog out to do their business. If the animal is energetic, they will want you to walk them multiple times per day, so they don’t feel bored.
Cats don’t have this issue since you leave them alone all day, and they have their litter box right there that they can use. With dogs, though, you need to plan your schedule around getting them their exercise and bathroom breaks as well.
You can always add a doggy door to your back door if you have an enclosed backyard. That’s not always the best solution, though. If your doggy door is big enough to let a decent-sized dog in and out, it might also be large enough so that a clever burglar can crawl in that way.
They Provide Companionship
On the positive side of things, it’s true that if you decide to get an animal, they will provide you and the rest of the family with some companionship that you might feel like you need. An animal will not judge you. They will love you faithfully and completely if you care for them and show kindness.
Dogs are pack animals, and they love to be with you. Cats are a little more aloof, but you will find that they like to be around humans as well if you give them a chance.
You can always go with other animals, such as birds, turtles, mice, etc. Some of them make decent pets, though it’s hard to say that something like a turtle has as much personality as a dog or cat.
You Can Teach Your Kids Responsibility
Having a pet is useful because it’s a proven way to teach your kids some responsibility. You can tell them that they can get the dog or cat they want, but they must care for it. They will have to handle walking it, feeding it, cleaning up its messes, etc.
This often works, and your kids can indeed grow and become more well-rounded through animal care. The reality is, though, as much as you tell your kids they need to care for the animal, they can’t handle everything animal-related.
As the adult, you will still need to take the pet to the vet, not to mention pay for the litter box, vet appointments, medication, food, and so forth. You have to think about all of those expenses before you pull the trigger and buy that animal.
The Animal Death Cycle
It’s also notable that a dog or cat will probably die at some point during your lifetime since humans live longer than the average cat or dog. Because of this, you can teach your kids about death when they see an animal they loved pass away.
You might regard this as either a negative or positive. It’s a negative in the sense that it’s very hard to see a beloved pet die. It will be just as hard on you as it will be on your children.
The positive is that your kids can see that death is a natural part of life. It’s not an easy notion to learn, but everyone must accept it and experience it firsthand at some juncture.
You might start a cycle where you buy a pet, have that animal for its whole life, and then, when it dies, you’ll buy a new one and start all over again. This might be okay for you if you accept that the animals you have will die at some point, and you’ll have to experience the grief and mourning that go along with that.
Some people are willing to do it time and again, while others are not. You’ll have to think about it. A time might come when you realize that you love having the animals, but you can’t handle their deaths anymore, so you opt out of the whole cycle.
You must thoughtfully consider the pros and cons we’ve mentioned if you have a possible pet on your radar.