15 Reasons Not to Own a Dog

Updated on April 17, 2017
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 make popular pets, but they also have their down sides.  They require a lot of attention to remain physically and mentally healthy.  It can also be expensive to keep them as pets when you add up all the food, vet's bills, and accessories.
Dogs make popular pets, but they also have their down sides. They require a lot of attention to remain physically and mentally healthy. It can also be expensive to keep them as pets when you add up all the food, vet's bills, and accessories. | Source

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

But, there are also disadvantages to owning a canine companion. They need regular exercise for one thing. Dealing with the poop is unpleasant and time-consuming, and they can bring with them odors, hair, fleas, and chew marks, which are undesirable and have to be dealt with. Then there are the vet bills, which can be astronomical if the pet is injured in an accident or falls ill.

Below is a list of the reasons not to own a dog.

1. They 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. 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.

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

— Edward Abbey

3. 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.

4. 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.

From the start, you will need to take into account 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.
From the start, you will need to take into account 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

5. General maintenance. The types of maintenance 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 requires dedication.

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

7. 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.

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.

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

— Jean Harlow

9. Dogs can't survive on their own, unlike a cats which are independent and can just be left with food and water for a few 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. 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.

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

11. They 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.

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

13. They also 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. I mentioned pooing, 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.

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

15. 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.

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

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Sarah 

        13 days 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 

        13 days 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 

        6 weeks ago

        all true

      • profile image

        james winter 

        6 months ago

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

      • profile image

        Dog Owner 

        7 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 

        7 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 

        14 months ago

        ! That stuff is so true ¡

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