I hate a word like ‘pets’: it sounds so much Like something with no living of its own.”

Elizabeth Jennings, Poet

Pros and Cons of Owning a Pet

advantages and disadvantages of getting a pet

Many people in our nowadays society own a pet. In fact, pets are quite important for millions of people around the world and they are often considered to be a valid family member.

Apart from the many advantages of getting a pet, there are still some problems related to it.

In this article, the pros and cons of owning a pet are examined in detail.

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Advantages of Owning a Pet

  1. Pets can reduce your stress level
  2. Owning a pet can make you more responsible
  3. Pets can help you to overcome difficult periods of your life
  4. Can improve your overall quality of life
  5. Pets can help to cure mental issues
  6. Pets are companions for a lifetime
  7. Owning a pet can help you to teach your children responsibility
  8. Can help to reduce loneliness
  9. Many people feel a deep connection with their pets
  10. Pets are much more loyal than humans
  11. You can save animals from a shelter
  12. You may learn patience
  13. Especially important for older people
  14. Owning a pet gives you the incentive to get in touch with other pet owners
  15. People who have pets are often more empathic
  16. Pets can protect you in case of emergency
  17. Pets can assist disabled persons
  18. Can give you the incentive to exercise

Pets can reduce your stress level

One major advantage of owning a pet is that pets can help to reduce our overall stress level. In our current state of the world, many people work in quite demanding jobs and have to take care of their kids at the same time.

Moreover, since we are often flooded with excessive amounts of information on a regular basis through our smartphones, many people simply cannot deal with all this information in a proper manner and suffer from excessive stress levels, which can turn into serious mental problems.

If you currently suffer from those issues, getting a pet can greatly help you in this regard. In fact, many studies have proven that owning a pet can help to lower our stress levels quite a lot.

Owning a pet can make you more responsible

Having a pet also implies that you have to take care of another living organism. You have to feed it on a regular basis and you also have to make sure that your pet feels comfortable. All this can make you much more responsible since your pet relies on you in order to survive.

Hence, especially if you are a rather irresponsible person and want to mature, pets can be a great way to make you more responsible and to shape your character.

Pets can help you to overcome difficult periods of your life

Pets can also help you to deal with your emotions, especially in difficult times in your life when you feel lost and nobody seems to care about you. In those dark times, owning a pet can really help you to stay on track and to overcome those periods since they will give you a purpose to get up in the morning and really seem to enjoy your company.

Can improve your overall quality of life

Proponents of owning a pet also often claim that pets can really improve our overall quality of life. They are there for you in difficult situations and give you plenty of emotional support in case you need it. They will also make your life more exciting since you never know what the plan of your pet will be and once a while, you will be quite surprised when you wake up in the morning.

Pets can help to cure mental issues

Another advantage of owning a pet is that pets can also help to cure serious mental issues. In fact, studies have shown that pets can really make the lives of mentally sick people much better and many of those people can even be cured of their diseases.

Hence, owning a pet can also greatly benefit you on an emotional level, especially if you currently struggle with your mental state and search for some sort of relief.

However, if you suffer from serious mental issues, getting a pet will often not be enough and you should definitely also approach a psychologist in order to overcome your issues.

Pets are companions for a lifetime

Pets are also companions for a lifetime. Once you get up in the morning, your pet will already wait for you. When you go to bed at night, your pet will be quite sad. Hence, your pet will always be there for you and will be a reliable companion every single day.

Thus, if you search for a partner whom you really can trust, pets may be a better choice compared to humans 😉.

Owning a pet can help you to teach your children responsibility

Owning a pet can not only make you more responsible, it can also teach your children how to behave in a responsible manner. For instance, if you have a pet, you can delegate some tasks to your kids so that they learn this sort of responsibility.

For example, it may be your kid’s task to feed your pet. In turn, your kid will learn that your pet will rely on him or her and your kid will likely learn a higher level of responsibility compared to a kid which didn’t have this experience.

Can help to reduce loneliness

Pets can also be quite helpful for people who don’t have a partner. If people live on their own, they often don’t have too many social contacts and therefore, owning a pet can greatly help those people to feel less lonely.

In turn, a feeling of companionship can greatly improve the overall quality of life of those people since they will no longer feel alone anymore.

Many people feel a deep connection with their pets

Some people even claim that they have a deep connection with their pets. In fact, if you look in the eyes of pets, it often seems like they can understand what you feel right now and that they really understand what bothers you.

Pets are much more loyal than humans

In general, your pet will also be much more loyal compared to your friends or even your spouse. Humans are not loyal at all and if something better appears, chances are that your spouse or your friends will be gone quite soon.

In contrast, your pet will never leave you behind and therefore, if you search for loyalty, chances are that you will find it by owning a pet instead of putting your trust in people.

You can save animals from a shelter

If you really want to do good, you can also rescue an animal from the shelter. Many animal shelters are quite crowded and you can do an animal a real favor if you rescue it from those shelters.

Hence, if you consider getting a pet, you may also want to consider getting a shelter animal instead of buying one from a conventional breeder.

You may learn patience

From time to time, your pets will also stress your nerves. However, in the long run, chances are that this will also lead you to develop a higher level of patience and that you will take the world and yourself not that seriously anymore.

Especially important for older people

Owning a pet can be especially beneficial for older people. If people get old, they have often lost many friends and don’t have too many social contacts anymore. In turn, those people often feel lonely. In such a case, pets can be a great way to light up the world for those older people and to give them a new purpose in life.

Owning a pet gives you the incentive to get in touch with other pet owners

If you own a pet, chances are that you will also meet many new people on a regular basis. For instance, if you own a dog, you will have to go outside on a regular basis. Chances are that you will also meet many other dog owners over time and you will also be able to make some really good friendships.

Moreover, from time to time, you will also have to bring your pet to the veterinarian and also in this location, you will get in touch with many other people. Hence, owning an animal can also be a great way to socialize.

People who have pets are often more empathic

Another upside of owning a pet is that you can also learn a greater level of empathy. Over time, you will build a deep connection with your pet and in case your pet suffers from a disease, chances are that you will suffer with it as well.

Empathy is quite important, not only in the context of owning a pet but also to connect to other people and through owning a pet, you can greatly improve this important skill.

Pets can protect you in case of emergency

Pets can not only be your best friend, they can also protect you in case of emergency. For instance, if you sleep and a fire starts at your house, your pet can warn you and save your life.

Moreover, if a thief wants to attack you, your dog will do everything to defend you. Hence, pets can also be great to improve your overall safety level.

Pets can assist disabled persons

Pets can also be a great help to assist handicapped persons. For instance, if people lose their vision due to accidents or other causes, they will have a hard time going outside and to navigate through traffic in a safe manner. In such a case, dogs that had been trained for this purpose can greatly help those people in their daily life.

Can give you the incentive to exercise

If you own a dog, you also have to go for a walk with your dog on a regular basis. Even in winter when it is cold outside, you will have to get out, even though you might not want to do so at all.

However, this need to go out will keep you fit and you will also have a bigger incentive to exercise on a regular basis.

Hence, owning a pet can also help you to improve your overall fitness and health level in the long run.

Disadvantages of Owning a Pet

  1. Owning a pet can be time-consuming
  2. Some pets can be quite expensive
  3. Significant costs for food
  4. You have to bring them to the veterinarian in case of sickness
  5. Your pet may get involved in an accident
  6. Hard to say goodbye
  7. Owning pets can be dangerous if you have small kids
  8. Animals are unpredictable
  9. Some people are allergic to certain animals
  10. You are responsible for damages to third parties
  11. Pets may disturb your sleep
  12. You have to clean your home more often
  13. Some pets are not house-trained
  14. You have to find a pet sitter for vacations
  15. You have to play with your pets on a regular basis
  16. Pets may damage your furniture
  17. Many pet owners don’t have sufficient knowledge
  18. Owning a pet can lead to social isolation

Owning a pet can be time-consuming

Even though having a pet can have many important benefits, there are also some problems with owning a pet. One important disadvantage of owning a pet is that it can be quite time-consuming. Every day, you have to feed your pet and have to make sure that it has everything it needs.

Moreover, you also have to deal with diseases and other issues. All this takes time and especially if you work long hours in a demanding job every day, chances are that you will not have this time or also that you will not be willing to invest those amounts of time for your pet right now.

Some pets can be quite expensive

Also the purchase price for pets can be quite expensive. If you want to have a pedigreed dog, chances are that you will have to pay several hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a puppy. Hence, also make sure that you have enough money to buy the sort of animal you want to keep as a pet.

Significant costs for food

Apart from the purchase price of your pet, you will also have to buy food for it on a regular basis. Depending on the size of your pet, this can add up to plenty of money over the course of the year. Therefore, in order to reduce food costs related to your pet, you may want to go for smaller animals since they often need less food than bigger ones.

You have to bring them to the veterinarian in case of sickness

In case your animal gets sick, you will also have to take it to a veterinarian. This will not only cost you plenty of time, treatment costs will not be cheap at all and you should factor this in when it comes to the decision whether you want to get a pet or not.

Your pet may get involved in an accident

If your pet has access to the outside world, it may also get involved in accidents. For instance, if your cat crosses a street, it might get hit by a car and may get seriously injured. In many cases, it will even die and you should be prepared that your cat may not come back at one point.

Hard to say goodbye

In general, if you own a pet, it is also time to say goodbye at one point in your life. Since you will take care of your animal on a daily basis and your pet will be around all the time, chances are that it will be quite hard to let your pet go. Pets can become real family members and many people really love their pets.

Hence, it can be quite hard to say goodbye when the time has come and especially if you are quite attached to your pet, you may need a long time to get back to normality after your pet died.

Owning pets can be dangerous if you have small kids

Owning a pet may also not be a good idea in case you have small kids. For example, if you have a big dog and small kids, your dog can seriously hurt your kids, even if this was never the intention of him. Thus, in such a case, make sure that you never leave your kids alone with those big animals in order to avoid any incidents.

Animals are unpredictable

In general, animals are unpredictable and even though they might seem to be trained and peaceful, they still have instincts deep inside. Therefore, even though you might think that your pet will never harm you, be prepared for unpleasant surprises and don’t treat your pet like a senseful human. It is actually not and being a little bit careful can protect you against possible attacks.

Some people are allergic to certain animals

Also in case you are allergic, owning an animal may not be for you at all. In fact, some people develop serious symptoms when they get in touch with certain pets and if you know that you have a dog allergy, you should simply never get a dog.

Hence, you should make sure that you don’t suffer from allergies before getting a pet in order to avoid that you have to give it away to a shelter soon after you got it.

You are responsible for damages to third parties

Another problem of owning an animal is that you will be liable for any damage your animal will do to third parties. For instance, if your pet bites other people, chances are that you will be responsible to cover the expenses for medical treatment.

Therefore, if you want to get a pet, make sure that you get covered by proper insurance in order to avoid unpleasant financial consequences in the long run.

Pets may disturb your sleep

Your pets will also be awake far sooner than you are on a regular basis and in case you haven’t closed your door properly, chances are that your pet will enter the room and will wake you up in the middle of the night.

This can greatly harm your overall quality of sleep. Consequently, if you get a pet, make sure to take measures to avoid that your pet wakes you at undesirable times.

You have to clean your home more often

If you own a pet, you will also have to clean your home more often. Pets often lose hair and in order to keep your home tidy, you have to clean it quite often. Hence, if you currently don’t have the time or the motivation to tidy up your home almost every day, chances are that you should not get a pet right now.

Some pets are not house-trained

Especially when they are young, pets are often also not house-trained yet and chances are that you also have to clean your home more often in this regard. Therefore, make sure that you are willing to clean up pee or other unpleasant things before getting a puppy pet.

You have to find a pet sitter for vacations

Another disadvantage of getting a pet is that you also need a pet sitter for vacations. Quite often, you will not be able to take your pet with you and someone has to take care of it. This not only requires some time to find a sitter, it can also be quite costly. Thus, make sure that you also factor this in if you currently consider buying a pet.

You have to play with your pets on a regular basis

Owning a pet also implies that you will play with it on a regular basis. Most pets love company and need a certain level of attention to stay healthy. Hence, make sure that you have enough time to take care of your pets so that they will not get neglected over time.

Pets may damage your furniture

Some pets are also known to damage the furniture in a home. For example, cats often scratch on various different things and if you have precious belongings, chances are that you want to hide them properly so that they can’t get damaged by your pets.

Many pet owners don’t have sufficient knowledge

There is also the problem that many pet owners only have insufficient knowledge regarding how they should treat their pets in an optimal manner. Quite often, people are eager to get a pet fast and don’t inform themselves in a sufficient manner.

In turn, animals are often kept under quite poor conditions. Consequently, before you get a pet, make sure that you have proper knowledge to keep it as best as possible.

Owning a pet can lead to social isolation

Many people who own a pet also take the love for their pet way to far. In extreme cases, those people just lose all their contacts to the outside world and spend almost all their time at home with their animals.

In such a case, many people will suffer from a serious level of social isolation, which can turn into severe mental issues in the long run.

Top 10 Owning A Pet Pros & Cons – Summary List

Owning a Pet ProsOwning a Pet Cons
Owning a pet can help with emotional painOwning a pet can be costly
Can reduce our stress levelsTaking care of pets can be time-consuming
Getting a pet can give you some companyYou may need a veterinarian
Good for people who live aloneYou will be liable for your pet
You can do good if you get shelter petsPets can be unpredictable
Companions for a lifetimeOwning a pet can hurt your sleep
You will learn patience with a petYou have to clean your home more often
You can mature in characterYou will need a pet sitter for vacation
Owning a pet will make you more empathicPets may damage your furniture
Pets can protect youOwning a pet may lead to social isolation

Should You Get A Pet?

We can conclude from the previous analysis that there are many important advantages and disadvantages of owning a pet.

Whether you should get a pet or not depends on your individual preferences and also on your overall circumstances and goals in life.

Also make sure to check out all the pros and cons of owning a pet mentioned above in order to be able to make a profound decision.

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-health-benefits-and-risks-of-pet-ownership

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/pet-central/

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/11/pets-animals-john-bradshaw/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet

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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