“There’s something bizarrely funny about a guy who doesn’t realize he’s, in essence, a dog chasing his own tail.”
Brad Anderson, Director
Pros and Cons of Owning a Dog
Owning a dog is quite popular in many countries all over the world. For millions of people, dogs are their favorite pets.
Apart from the many advantages of getting a dog, there are also some downsides related to owning dogs.
In this article, the pros and cons of owning a dog are examined.
Advantages of Owning a Dog
- Dogs can be your best friends
- Dogs are loyal
- Can help you to overcome mental problems
- Owning a dog can help against stress
- Especially helpful for people who don’t have a partner
- Older people may get back a purpose in life
- You can learn patience through owning a dog
- Dogs can help to improve the overall safety
- You can improve your fitness by getting a dog
- Owning a dog can help you to socialize
- Dogs can help you in difficult periods of your life
- Can help handicapped persons
- Your dog can become your second baby
- Higher life expectancy
Dogs can be your best friends
One key advantage of owning a dog is that dogs can be your best friends. Many people feel a certain emotional connection to their dog. Some people even claim that their dogs understand them and they understand what the dog is thinking right now. Thus, many people really build a deep connection with their dog.
Moreover, you will also have to care about your dog every day and over time, your dog will likely become more important to you than most of your friends. Hence, especially for people who are new in a certain area and don’t have too many connections yet, having a dog can be a great way to have companionship.
Dogs are loyal
Dogs are also quite loyal animals. When you take care of your dog from an early age on, chances are that your dog will follow you wherever you go and that he will be there for you in case of emergency. This also means that your dog will likely defend you against possible attacks, although he might have to risk his life for it.
In general, compared to most other pets, dogs can be considered to be one of the most loyal pets and you can be sure that your dog will always be on your side. In fact, dogs are often much more loyal than humans.
For instance, if you lose all your money, chances are that your partner will leave you at one point in time. However, in contrast, your dog will still stay with you and will stay with you, even in the darkest times of your life.
Can help you to overcome mental problems
Many people in our nowadays society also suffer from serious mental problems. This is due to the fact that most of us are flooded with excessive amounts of information on a daily basis and many people are not able to process all this information in a proper manner.
Getting a dog can be a great way to overcome those mental issues since dogs can help you to heal your soul and can give you the motivation to carry on and to push through difficult periods.
Many studies have shown that owning a dog can be a great help for people who suffer from depression or other mental issues.
However, if you suffer from those mental problems, getting a dog is no magic pill and you will still need treatment and consultation from a good psychologist to fully overcome your issues.
Owning a dog can help against stress
Many people who own a dog often also report that those pets can help them to overcome serious stress. Especially if you work in a demanding job and also have to take care of your family, chances are that you will be quite stressed or even suffer from burnout in the long run.
If this is the case, getting a dog may provide great relief for you since dogs have the potential to calm you down and you will also realize what’s really important in life.
In turn, chances are that you will be more relaxed in various parts of your daily life, which will lower your stress level and also improve your overall health level in the long run.
Especially helpful for people who don’t have a partner
An increasing number of people in our society also lives alone without a partner. These people often become quite lonely over time. If you are one of those people, chances are that getting a dog can greatly improve your overall quality of life since you will get companionship and you will no longer feel lonely anymore since your dog will always be on your side.
Consequently, if you feel lonely right now since you don’t have a partner or due to various other reasons, getting a dog can help you quite a lot.
Older people may get back a purpose in life
Especially for older people, having a dog can be a great way to get back a purpose in life. Many old people lost most of their friends and often also don’t have too much family who takes care of them. Thus, many of them don’t have a real purpose in life anymore and develop serious mental issues.
In such a case, taking care of a dog can be a great way for those people to have an incentive to get up in the morning and to feel that they do something senseful with their time.
You can learn patience through owning a dog
Another benefit of owning a dog is that you will learn patience over time. Many people in our current state of the world have to do many things every day and don’t have too much time left to relax and to slow down.
However, if you take care of a dog, you will have to learn to slow down from time to time since you will often be confronted with unexpected tasks and over time, chances are that you will become much more patient and empathic.
This is not only important for taking care of a dog, but also to succeed in various other parts of your daily life.
Dogs can help to improve the overall safety
When you own a dog, you will also benefit from a higher overall safety level. Dogs can guard your property and thieves and burglars will be less likely to rob you. Moreover, if you get attacked when you go outside, your dog will be there for you and defend you against those attackers.
Hence, by getting a dog, you will also be able to greatly improve your overall safety level, which may also give you a better feeling since you know that you are protected in case of emergency.
You can improve your fitness by getting a dog
If you have a dog, you will also have to go outside with him on a regular basis. Especially in winter or when the weather is quite bad, this can be quite annoying. However, you will still have to go outside, which can greatly improve your overall fitness level over time.
Especially if you currently suffer from overweight or even from obesity, getting a dog can be a great way to lose weight since you can exercise together will your dog and through an increasing level of exercise, you will be able to lose plenty of weight over time.
Owning a dog can help you to socialize
Since dogs are one of the most popular pets, you will also meet many dog owners when you go to a park. Over time, chances are that you will also be able to make really good friends since you will always have new topics to talk about.
Hence, getting a dog can also be quite helpful for you to socialize with other people, especially if you are a rather shy person and making new friends is not easy for you at all.
Dogs can help you in difficult periods of your life
Another upside of getting a dog is that those animals can greatly help you in difficult periods of your life. Every one of us experiences moments when the world seems to collapse around you sooner or later.
In those times, it is extremely important to have emotional assistance in order to prevent you from doing unreasonable things that you might regret later on.
Therefore, dogs can also be a great support to give you emotional strength in the darkest hours of your life.
Can help handicapped persons
Dogs can also be quite helpful for handicapped persons. For instance, if you lost your vision through accidents or due to various other reasons, dogs can greatly help you to manage your daily life. Some dogs are trained to guide people who lost their vision to get through traffic in a safe manner.
Some dogs are even able to detect certain dangers to the health of people and bark in case a person needs to take certain medicines. Therefore, dogs can also greatly help people who suffer from serious health issues to manage their daily lives.
Your dog can become your second baby
For many people, dogs are not just pets. They are much more than that. In fact, many people consider their dog to be their second baby. Especially if they get their dog at an early age, the dog will become a valued family member and will be quite important to everyone in the family.
Hence, if you don’t want to have kids, chances are that getting a dog may give you the opportunity to still feel like a parent to some extent.
Higher life expectancy
Studies have shown that owning a dog can also lead to a higher average life expectancy for people. This is especially true for older people who don’t have too much company from other people anymore.
Dogs can give those older people a purpose in life and therefore, chances are that those people will live much longer compared to a state in which they don’t own a dog.
Disadvantages of Getting a Dog
- Owning a dog can be expensive
- Dogs are time-consuming
- You have to visit the veterinarian from time to time
- Your dog’s needs don’t care about the weather outside
- May lower your quality of sleep
- It will be hard to say goodbye to your dog
- Dogs can change your plans
- You will need a dog sitter from time to time
- Dogs can be annoying
- Traveling with dogs can be complicated
- Dogs can be dangerous for small kids
- You have to train your dog
- You will have to clean your home more often
- Dog puppies are usually not house-trained yet
- Dogs may damage your furniture at home
- You will be liable for any damage to third parties
- Some people take it too far
- Social isolation
Owning a dog can be expensive
Apart from the several advantages of owning a dog, there are also some problems with it. One disadvantage of getting a dog is that these pets can be quite expensive.
In fact, the bigger the dog, the more food he will need and you should definitely factor this in when it comes to the decision regarding which dog you want to get.
If you are currently on a budget, you should go for smaller dogs in order to lower the costs associated with them.
Dogs are time-consuming
Owning a dog does not only cost significant amounts of money, but it can also be quite time-consuming. You will have to feed your dog every day, you will have to go for a walk with him and you also have to play with your dog in order to provide him with the best life possible.
Hence, even though taking care of your dog can be fun, it also requires plenty of time and you should make sure that you have this time before getting a dog in order to avoid getting into time trouble sooner or later.
You have to visit the veterinarian from time to time
Another downside of getting a dog is that you will also have to visit the veterinarian from time to time. If your dog gets sick, you need to get proper treatment for him. Your dog will also need vaccinations from time to time.
All this not only costs significant amounts of money, it is also quite time-consuming. Therefore, make sure that you are ready to make this kind of commitment before you decide for owning a dog.
Your dog’s needs don’t care about the weather outside
Independent of whether it is rainy or storming outside, you will still have to go for a walk with your dog on a regular basis. This can be quite unpleasant if the weather is quite bad or if it is quite cold outside.
Yet, you will have no choice other than to bring your dog outside. Hence, you will also have to suffer a bit for your dog since you have to go outside with him whenever he needs to.
May lower your quality of sleep
Dogs may also significantly impact your quality of sleep. If you forget to close the door of your bedroom, chances are that you will wake up in the middle of the night with your dog lying in your bed.
Hence, if you want to have a good sleep at night, make sure that you always close the door of your bedroom in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
It will be hard to say goodbye to your dog
One of the hardest parts of owning a dog is to say goodbye to him when the time has come. You will often take care of your dog for many years and you will see him almost every day of your life. In turn, it will be quite hard for you to finally let him go when it is time to die for him.
Many people are not able to deal with their emotions in those difficult moments, especially if their dog was the only social connection that was left for them.
Thus, if you are a quite sensitive person and can’t deal with those kinds of moments, chances are that you may also suffer from serious depression due to the death of your dog.
If this is the case, it might not be a good idea for you to get a dog in the first place.
Dogs can change your plans
Quite often, your dogs will also surprise you. However, this doesn’t mean that those surprises are always welcome. For instance, if you want to go on vacation but your dog starts to suffer from some disease the day you wanted to start your trip, chances are that you will have to change your plans and to stay at home instead of going on this trip.
Hence, your dog may also change your plans from time to time in a rather unpleasant manner.
You will need a dog sitter from time to time
From time to time, you may also need a dog sitter. Especially if you want to go on vacation and don’t have the option to take your dog with you due to various reasons, you will have to find a person who takes care of your dog while you are away.
Dog sitters can not only be quite costly, but it may also be hard to find someone who takes care of your pet. Consequently, you should also take this fact into account before getting a dog.
Dogs can be annoying
While your dog will give you plenty of joy most of the time, dogs can also be quite annoying once in a while. For instance, if you work from home and have to get plenty of work done in a rather short period of time, you don’t want to get distracted under any circumstance. However, your dog may not understand this and may bark at you.
If this is the case, chances are that you will get quite annoyed over time and that your quality of work may suffer as well since you will no longer be able to focus on your work in a proper manner.
Traveling with dogs can be complicated
Having a dog can also be quite problematic when it comes to your travels. Quite often, if you want to take your dog with you for your vacation trip, you will have to get many different vaccinations for your dog and those requirements may also differ across countries.
Moreover, it may also be difficult to transport your dog to your vacation destination, especially if you go by plane since many dogs are afraid to stay in those narrow dog boxes that are used in plane travel.
Thus, also take into account that it may become problematic to take your dog with you while you are traveling and that you may have to figure out an alternative.
Dogs can be dangerous for small kids
Another problem of owning a dog is that dogs can also be quite dangerous for smaller kids. Especially if you have a young kid and a big dog, you should never leave your kid alone with your dog.
Even though your dog may not want to harm your kid, he still has wild instincts and if your kids annoy your dog too much, chances are that he will react in a dangerous manner sooner or later.
Thus, in order to assure the safety of your kids, make sure that you never leave your kid alone with your dogs.
You have to train your dog
You will also have to train your dog from an early age so that he learns boundaries and knows what he is allowed to do and what he should not do at all.
Training a dog can be quite time-intensive and if you don’t want to invest this time by yourself, you will have to get a dog trainer who takes care of this important task.
However, dog trainers are not cheap and you will have to spend significant amounts of money on them.
You will have to clean your home more often
If you get a dog, you will also have to clean your home more often. Your dogs will lose hair and will also carry some dirt into your house. Especially if you hate cleaning your home, this may be another important issue which may prevent you from getting a dog.
Dog puppies are usually not house-trained yet
Puppies usually also take a while until they get house-trained. Therefore, especially in the first few weeks or months, chances are that you will have to clean your home even more often since you will have to remove the poop on a regular basis. Hence, if you are not willing to do those rather unpleasant tasks, chances are that you will be better off without a dog.
Dogs may damage your furniture at home
Dogs have quite different characters and while some dogs are rather calm and don’t have too much energy, others are quite vigorous and run around all day long. If dogs have too much energy and don’t get sufficient exercise, chances are that they will also damage your furniture sooner or later in order to release stress.
Hence, you should make sure that you don’t have too many valuable things that are in reach of your dog. You should also walk your dog on a regular basis so that he will not accumulate excessive amounts of energy so that your dog stays mentally healthy and also in order to protect our furniture at home.
You will be liable for any damage to third parties
Another issue of owning a dog is that you will also be reliable for any damage your dog might do to third parties. For instance, if your dog bites another person, you will be liable to cover the medical treatment costs for it. This can be quite costly and you should therefore consider getting proper insurance so that you are covered in case of emergency.
Some people take it too far
Even though many of us love our dogs, some people also take this love too far. In general, you should never become too emotionally dependent on your dog since he will die sooner or later and if you have built a too strong connection, you may not be able to deal with the death of your loved dog in a healthy manner.
If your dog becomes your number one priority, chances are that you will also neglect your family or friends sooner or later. If this is the case, you may also suffer from serious social isolation over time, which is not a healthy thing at all and can lead to all sorts of mental problems.
Top 10 Dogs Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Dogs Pros||Dogs Cons|
|A dog can be your best friend||Owning a dog can be time-consuming|
|Owning a dog can reduce stress levels||Dogs can cost significant money|
|Good for your mental state||You will have to clean your home more often|
|Can give you the incentive to exercise more||May not be suitable if you have small kids|
|Getting a dog can improve your quality of life||You have to bring your dog to the veterinarian|
|Dogs are quite loyal||Owning a dog is difficult if you want to travel|
|Companions for a lifetime||You may need a dog sitter|
|Good for people who don’t have a partner||You have to train your dog|
|Having a dog can improve your safety||You will be liable for damages to third parties|
|Higher overall life expectancy||Owning a dog can lead to social isolation|
Should You Get A Dog?
Dogs are great and owning a dog can significantly improve your overall quality of life. Yet, there are still some problems related to owning a dog and you should evaluate all the pros and cons of getting a dog properly in order to be able to make a profound decision in this regard.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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