15 Reasons Not to Own a Dog

Updated on May 24, 2019
BigBrains profile image

Since graduating university, Paul has worked as a bookseller, librarian, and educator. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

Dogs can make great pets, but they do have their downsides.
Dogs can make great pets, but they do have their downsides. | Source

A Popular Pet With Downsides

Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the world. They are loyal to their owners, playful, and affectionate. They can also serve well as guards of people and property.

However, there are also some disadvantages to owning a canine companion. They need plenty of regular exercise. Dealing with the poop is unpleasant and time-consuming. Dogs can bring with them odors, hair, fleas, and chew marks, all of which are undesirable. Then there are also the vet bills, which can be astronomical if the pet is injured in an accident or falls seriously ill.

The 15 Main Disadvantages of Owning a Dog

  1. Poop
  2. Exercise
  3. Attention
  4. Veterinary Costs
  5. General Maintenance
  6. Food Expense
  7. Many Necessary Extras
  8. Fleas
  9. Going Away
  10. Allergies and Phobias
  11. Digging
  12. Early Waking
  13. Barking
  14. Pee
  15. Lifespan

I explore each of the disadvantages in more detail below.

When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem.

— Edward Abbey

1. Poop

Dogs poop—and they do it a lot. An entire section of your life will be taken up with cleaning up their mess. This state of affairs will last as long as you have the dog.

2. Exercise

They require regular exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy. It sounds okay until you have to get up early every morning before work or school to take them for a walk, then take them out at the end of a long day. You also may have to interrupt or curtail social engagements for the sake of your dog.

3. Attention

Dogs are social, pack animals and they look to you for leadership and approval. That means they require lots of attention. They need petting and play on a regular basis. If you don't do this, the dog will be unhappy, and may even engage in destructive behavior such as chewing up your furniture and possessions.

You need to consider the veterinary bills that owning a dog can incur. Basic medical attention such as shots are necessary early on, and costs can quickly rise if the dog suffers an accident or a serious illness.
You need to consider the veterinary bills that owning a dog can incur. Basic medical attention such as shots are necessary early on, and costs can quickly rise if the dog suffers an accident or a serious illness. | Source

4. Veterinary Costs

Veterinary costs can be huge. Your pet will need some basic shots and care in the early stage of life. If the dog has an accident, illness, or starts getting old, the costs of care can go up dramatically.

5. General Maintenance

The types of maintenance required may vary according to the breed of dog, but there is always work to be done. Whether it is brushing them, clipping their nails, giving them a bath, or dental treatment, a keeping a dog healthy requires dedication.

6. Food Expense

Dog food can work out to be expensive over time, especially for bigger breeds. You really can't skimp on the nutrition, you want your dog to stay healthy, so you cannot skimp in this area.

7. Many Necessary Extras

It's not just the food and vet bills, you also need to purchase all sorts of other stuff when you get a dog: toys, treats, collars, shampoo, flea drops... All the stuff costs money and has to fit into your house. You will be tripping over dog toys and half-chewed bones.

When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

— Jean Harlow

8. Fleas

Fleas love dogs. They irritate the dog and can cost lots of time and money to get rid of. It's not just the dog that needs to be treated, the eggs and fleas can live in your carpet and furniture too. Once you get rid of the fleas, you still have to spend time and money protecting your dog from future outbreaks.

9. Going Away

Dogs can't survive on their own, unlike a cats which are independent and can just be left with food and water for a couple of days if you go away for the weekend or a short work trip. You have to pay for a dog sitter or find alternative accommodation for your pet. It's expensive and can be stressful.

10. Allergies and Phobias

Like with any pet that you bring into your home, dogs can trigger allergies in people. They also frighten some people, which is good if they are a potential burglar, but not if it's a friend, relative, or the mailman.

11. Digging

Dogs love to dig. That can severely mess up your yard, or your lawn.

Dogs like to sleep, but that doesn't mean that they have any respect for human rest.  Their tendency is wake up their owner early every day, no matter if it is the weekend, or the owner has gone to bed late, hoping for a sleep in.
Dogs like to sleep, but that doesn't mean that they have any respect for human rest. Their tendency is wake up their owner early every day, no matter if it is the weekend, or the owner has gone to bed late, hoping for a sleep in. | Source

12. Early Waking

Dogs will wake you up early every morning, even if it is the weekend and you had planned to sleep in, or you didn't get to bed until 3 a.m. They can snooze at any time of day they want, of course, so they don't see it as any big deal.

13. Barking

Some dogs do it more than others, but pretty much all of them bark. That can cause a lot of irritation to you and your neighbors. Sometimes it just takes somebody riding past on a bicycle to set them off, other times it is a noise that they aren't used it. Maybe they just want attention? Whatever the cause, it can cause annoyance.

14. Pee

I mentioned pooping, but pee can also be an issue. Even after you have gone through the stress of house training them, they will pee wherever they want outside, right in front of house guests or children. They also have accidents which you have to clean up.

Sadly, dog lifespans are not very long. A typical canine will live for 7 to 12 years, depending on the breed. Attachments are formed and then severed, which can be distressing for anyone, but especially children.
Sadly, dog lifespans are not very long. A typical canine will live for 7 to 12 years, depending on the breed. Attachments are formed and then severed, which can be distressing for anyone, but especially children. | Source

15. Lifespan

Dogs don't live that long. You build up a close attachment and then they die. It can be particularly distressing for children. Typically a dog's lifespan will be somewhere between seven and twelve years, depending on the breed.

I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.

— John Steinbeck

© 2017 Paul Goodman

Comments

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    • profile image

      Bob the builder 

      2 months ago

      dogs are great animals and you should not speak so badly about them do you have a dog if you do then you can but if you don't have a dog and you have a cat then stop speaking so bad about dogs they are great animals.

    • profile image

      Honest 

      2 months ago

      People are so damn weak that get angry or offended after reading this.

    • profile image

      Bflores 

      2 months ago

      Everyone considering getting a dog should read this. I have been involved in Rescue for over 20 years. So many people are not prepared for the commitment it takes, and when they find out, too late, they simply dump the dog in a shelter, or worse, on the side of the road. Those people should never own a dog. But if you are committed to doing the work, (and he didn't even mention the expense and commitment of training classes) then the reward is worth it, for you and the dog.

    • profile image

      Wow 

      2 months ago

      This is the worst article I've ever read clearly written by a cat owner. Maybe try owning a dog before you write some nonsense like this again.

    • profile image

      Frankorlando 

      2 months ago

      what a pathetic article by a pathetic human being. You don't even understand what a dog is through you. Only human beings could be like dogs this would be a fantastic world, dogs are unconditional love greatest thing that God ever put on this Earth oh, that is the reason why a dog is God spelled backwards.

    • profile image

      Belle 

      2 months ago

      So your saying that a dog is alive, good job. you must me so smart........ I don't think those are good reasons not to get a dog, if you think about it babys/kids need and do all the same things......duh

      My dog is the best thing i own you didnt change my mind about them.

    • profile image

      Kathy k 

      2 months ago

      I have had 12 dogs in my lifetime, 2 lived to 17, one 19 the others from 12 to 15 yrs. They ate a lot less then my sons, 6 of them never went to a vet until they were very old and were extremely healthy. Insurance over the past ten years covers my once in a blue moon vet bills. My dogs were trained by me and never caused a problem. They were members of our family and gave us all so much joy. Dogs who behave badly are not trained properly and just like humans, sometimes become ill. I can think of 50 reasons why owning a dog is a wonderful experience!

    • profile image

      Stitch 

      2 months ago

      So if youre very selfish a dog is not for you.

    • profile image

      Ali 

      2 months ago

      Lol this article is basically whining that a dog is a living creature that you have to care for. Which is good to know if you thought otherwise, I guess. If you don't want to commit to an animal's care, please stick to a pet rock.

    • profile image

      G-lee 

      2 months ago

      Its true but if you look at your dog and love your dog. Its exactly like having a child and you will do what ever it takes to make sure your dog is loved and taken care for just like a child!

    • profile image

      Cattown 

      2 months ago

      People have babies and they do and are just as much trouble or more than dogs!!

      I'd take the dog and the cat household everytime!!

    • profile image

      2 months ago

      I’d take a dog 10 times over and all it’s hard work then spend any amount of time with the author of this article. Can’t imagine the sod this one must be.

      I can understand letting people know the downsides of owning any pet before getting one but there are far more joyous moments dogs can bring and most of these points are blanket statements.

      Stay in your cold cave heartless human.

    • profile image

      Nietzsche 

      2 months ago

      And people have babies,same thing applies,but

      They live alot longer

    • profile image

      Jeff 

      2 months ago

      This article is blatantly speciesist and is disgusting material. It makes bland assumptions that are irrelevant to most individuals and promotes many contempt-ridden ideas, shifting the blame from human irresponsibility to innocent animals that have been mistreated and taken advantage of by the speciesist society that this sort of article promotes. These problems are the result of human corruption, misinformation and error, not Canis lupus familiaris.

    • profile image

      Randall 

      2 months ago

      Some of these thoughts are exaggerated and there are common sense answers to them all. Owning and taking care of a canine friend is a process and requires attention and patience. Our Shi-Tsu is four years old and has been a blessing from the day we brought him home, a few weeks old. Anyone can write negative review/comments.

    • profile image

      Sam 

      2 months ago

      True but totally worth it!!

    • profile image

      Travis 

      3 months ago

      Who the f*** are you to tell me not to own a dog? why I shouldn't own a dog.... Sorry I don't think everybody shares your stupid miserable opinion about dogs dogs are freaking awesome I love my dog a lot and she doesn't give me any grief..... So you're just an a hole

    • profile image

      Ethan 

      4 months ago

      WOW?! This is the most craziest website ever.

    • profile image

      Ailurophile 

      5 months ago

      To those of you who are offended,please consider that this is just a list of the things about DOGS. Bad things with chickens,bad things with cats,here are the bad things with dogs. I love dogs,but a lot of these are true.

    • profile image

      XxghostryderXx54 

      7 months ago

      I like dogs but after I read this I think its all false because my dog doesn´t do any of these things especially when its was a puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      that dude 

      8 months ago

      most of what you said in this paper is untrue! Check your facts next time

    • profile image

      bella 

      8 months ago

      this is all true

    • profile image

      Sarah 

      9 months ago

      That stuff is common sense and yeah they pee and poo you do to like seriously think about all the love and affection you get from it and it can't answer back or argue with you and if you don't want to play or walk your dog you shouldn't get a dog. I look after my dog completely on my own and I love it yes the fleas and the medical stuff but hello get insurance for them it helps and they won't get fleas if you get treatment for them seriously no one should listen to this article if they don't have a dog. If you ask someone if they would tell you to get a dog and they say no and they have one they don't care for the dog right and have ruined there relationship with it but most people would say yes because its the best thing that ever happened to me getting three dogs

    • profile image

      Sioux 

      9 months ago

      I have rescued 9 dogs in 28 years. I am done. I have 3 rescue cats and will only have cats from now on. I really miss having a dog but the vets bills, the making sure they went to the bathroom, the attention they needed ALL THE TIME was just too Labor intensive for me. Maybe when I am 70 years old I’ll rescue a very old senior knowing they only have a year or so left. But, dogs are an incredible amount of responsibility. most likely no more for me.

    • profile image

      al 

      10 months ago

      all true

    • profile image

      james winter 

      15 months ago

      my english staffy is very good but can be bad at times

    • profile image

      Dog Owner 

      16 months ago

      I've had a dog for over 10 years now; and my aunts and mother-in-law all had dogs. I have say This is the MOST HONEST and THOROUGH dog owning list I have ever read. The only dog owners who would disagree are owners who leave the dog duties to the other person (usually dumped on the wife/mother). Don't ask your friends. They will lie so not to be looked on as heartless. Ask a female stranger out with the dog and kids at the park. Then you'll get an honest answer; "Don't get a dog!"

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      16 months ago

      That's the stupidest thing I ever heard. If you know anything about dogs you would know half of this stuff is false.

    • profile image

      Oo7-2.o 

      23 months ago

      ! That stuff is so true ¡

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