When thinking about getting a pet, it is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of adding a member to the family. Each household or individual has circumstances that need to be taken into consideration. Here are our top advantages and disadvantages to having a dog or cat in your family.
5 Advantages to Having a Dog or Cat
- Exercising More
Increasing your daily activity level is inherent with bringing a dog into your home rather than a cat. Dogs require a minimum of three trips outdoors each day with a total of one hour of physical activity per day at a minimum. This in turn makes your four-legged roommate also your workout buddy. The increase in physical activity reaps many benefits for the pet parent, where blood pressure and stress are reduced. The added exercise along with the pet might be what the doctor ordered and good for all members of the family.
- Connect with Your Peers
Have you ever wondered why some coworkers or friends just talk about their kids or pets? Does it seem like there is a secret society for members of these families? The shared experiences of pet owners create camaraderie. The network of animal lovers will band together and reveal their favorite pet stories at parties. Your pet not only builds an immediate family for you but extends it to animal lovers alike. Pets help humans foster human-to-human friendships and social support.
- Good for Kids and Family
Children develop a deep compassion for other life forms while growing up with pets. Socializing pets with children is important for the development of the children and the pets’ personality. As the children grow, the pet and children can share new experiences together. This added support from a dog or cat will help children feel confident socially and build human-to-human connection in the long run. You can read more about socializing pets here.
- Pets Teach You Patience
At the beginning of a new pet ownership, it does seem like your patience is tested often. However, you will see that your furry best friend is teaching you more than you expect. After weeks of potty training or leash training, you realize that you are more patient than before pet parenthood. Pet potty accidents and mishaps around the house will soon be forgiven as you realize their mistakes are unintentional. You can read more about puppy and kitty house training in our stories.
- Bring Joy Into Your Life
Pets bring a warmth and happiness into the home that cannot be substituted. The quirky personalities and wild energy fill a home with joy. No one will be happier to see you home from school or work than your pet. Your dog or cat will support and stay loyal through all stages of life. There is a correlation between bonds between pets and owners and the secretion of a happy hormone called oxytocin in humans. The companionship of pets is the gift that keeps on giving good health and longevity.
Although the list for disadvantages runs long for many homes, the benefit of happiness from the pet outweighs all the drawbacks.
- Nibbs Club Staff
5 Disadvantages to Having a Dog or Cat
- Time Commitment
Pets require a lot of attention and time. Many families and busy professionals find the time commitment the most difficult to adjust to. Dogs require time for feedings and walking several times a day. Earlier on in pet ownership, you spend a lot of time researching and learning about your pet and care. If your pet gets ill, you can spend lots of sleepless nights at Urgent Care or worrying up all night. Pet parenthood requires commitment to clean up after spills during inconvenient times. A schedule is uprooted when introducing a new furry member into the home.
- Financial Investment
The financial commitment of pets is a large factor why many pets end up in shelters. Pet insurance, high veterinarian bills, food, and toys are all elements of costly pet-care. Accidents or sudden health developments could leave pet parents with a hefty urgent care bill. Healthier food and snack options for dogs and cats often cost most more. Pets with special needs could require costly food and treats and surveillance to maintain health.
- Must Consider Their Boarding if Vacationing
Vacationing as a pet parent is not as easy as packing-and-go. You have to secure accommodations for your fur baby while booking reservations for yourself. If the pet is tagging along on the trip, their transportation has to be comfortable and the rental property has to be pet friendly. If your pet is not joining you on the trip, they need an attentive sitter or boarding house. All options require planning and commitment.
- Destroys Household If Untrained
An untrained dog or cat could run amuck unknowingly. Your pet can chew on anything lying on the floor or the furniture. If your pet is not potty trained, they could pee and poop on the carpet and floors. Counter surfing for food and treats could lead to damage of valuables. Rambunctious young pets are filled with energy and often inadvertently get into places they should not.
- Saying Farewell
It is never easy to say goodbye to a friend and it is especially difficult to say farewell to a pet. The pet becomes a family member after living and growing in your home. Closure after a pet passes on is painful for every member of the family. Hurt from a pet loss makes it difficult for many pet owners to introduce a new pet into the home.
The advantages and disadvantages of having a pet in the home is special to every family. Although the list for disadvantages runs long for many homes, the benefit of happiness from the pet outweighs all the drawbacks. The companionship and loyalty of pets fills the emptiness of homes. The important questions to ask is what type of pet suites your activity level and your lifestyle? Visit your local rescue and shelter to learn about your options.