For many people, getting a pet can be likened to having a kid, although it’s not as long-term and doesn’t require as much of an adjustment to your lifestyle. It does, however, still require a lot of thought and consideration before you take the plunge. For those trying to weigh out the benefits and drawbacks of having a pet, we can hopefully shed some light on both sides of the argument to help you make an informed decision.
Pros of Having a Pet
It doesn’t matter what type of pet you get, they will impact your life in some way or another. Take dogs for example, they are excellent companion animals that can enrich your life in so many ways.
Love and Affection
For individuals that get lonely and would like someone to welcome them when they come home, be there for them 24/7 and share a strong bond that consists of a ton of love and affection, then these are just some of the pros of getting a dog.
Your pets can also teach you patience, persistence and understanding. As many dog owners will say, the first few months and perhaps thereafter of getting a dog can be compared to having a new baby or toddler in the house. You will have to deal with crying, cleaning up poop and pee, and constantly watch over your dog to make sure he doesn’t get into anything and up to know good.
It’s difficult for the first little while to say the least, which is why you will learn patience, understanding and persistence among many other things during this time.
A bond between you and your pet goes both ways. Sometimes you get lonely, had a tough day, or life in general is tough on you for the time being, your dog can feel it and understand it. It’s like having an empathetic friend when you need them the most that will listen to your problems and hardships and return nothing but love and affection.
Improved Mental Health
Once you get over that initial hump that can really put a person to the test, a dog has been proven to do wonders for those who have decreased mental health. Dogs are often used as therapy and service animals for a reason, and one of those reasons is their empathetic and compassionate nature.
For someone who has depression for example, it’s hard not to focus on the negative aspects of life, but having a companion to split your focus keeps your mind occupied and off of the what ifs and should’ve, could’ve and would’ves in life that contribute to a downward spiral.
You Can Save a Life
If you choose to adopt, you could very well be saving the life of a pet that would otherwise have a much more depressing fate. Saving a life will definitely uplift your spirits and the bond you share with a rescue animal can arguably be even stronger.
Cons of Having a Pet
Of course, when there are positives, there are downsides as well. A running theme throughout the pros of having a pet section has been the responsibility and the difficulties of the early stages, which starts off our cons list.
If you are not ready to dedicate a portion of your days or a significant portion of the next decade or so to another living creature, then we would advise against getting a pet. A cat can do better on its own as they are quite independent animals that do not need excessive amounts of attention as a whole, but dogs are different.
On the contrary, a bunny or a bird or fish can require even less from you. The type of pet you decide on having will impact the responsibility level and the effort required of you.
Like we also mentioned, the first stages of getting a pet when you’re just getting to know each other and establish ground rules is very difficult to say the least. Some people who aren’t very cut out for pets may not get through this initial phase. Make sure you are resilient enough to get through the first few weeks or months.
If you are a single person, the dynamics in the household will only affect you. However, if you are a couple or have kids or even other pets, how your dog fits in can be an issue. If the new pet plays too rough with the kid or doesn’t play well with the older pet, then you can have a host of problems on your hands.
We saved the most obvious point for last – the cost. The budget for each dog varies as the size, breed and health matters. How good of a lifestyle you want to provide your dog with will also impact the price. If you feed him average food with a minimalist lifestyle, it may not cost as much as a pet owner that enrolls their dog in classes, gets him plenty of outfits and feeds the best food.
There are even brand specific dog foods you can get that cost a little more. For example, as a pug owner, you will want the right dog food for your pug. There are also size specific dog food such as small breed dog food or large breed kibble. While costs can be saved, such as dog clothing and shoes, some things cannot be spared such as medical costs and nutrition.
Similar to having a kid, you will not have the definite answer to the question of whether getting a pet is a good idea until it actually happens. What you can do is plan for the occasion as best as you can with due diligence. Research the breed you want and get to know their temperament, general health issues and more.
Aside from that, you should also learn how to puppy proof your home and what accessories getting a new puppy requires you to purchase.