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15 Reasons Not to Own a Dog

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

This article looks at the disadvantages of owning a dog. Dogs can make great pets, but there are a number of challenges that you should consider..

This article looks at the disadvantages of owning a dog. Dogs can make great pets, but there are a number of challenges that you should consider..

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.

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.

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.

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


Carrie Lynn Sullivan on August 22, 2020:

I have fifteen reasons why dogs are awesome.

1.Dogs love you unconditionally

2.Dogs are loyal

3.Dogs protect you

4.When you drop something in the floor dogs will eat it saving you cleaning time.

5.Dogs are playmates for children.

6.Dogs are a good way to pickup dates.

7.Dogs lick us in the face so you don't have to buy an alarm clock.

8.Dogs get you out of traffic tickets.

9.Dogs take care of disabled people.

10.Dogs drank out of the toilet so you don't have to leave a water bowl laying around.

11.Dogs dig up moles in the yard.

12.Dogs make you go on a walk even when you don't want to.

13.Dogs are obedient and listen and cats ignore you.

14.Dogs bring you things like shoes.

15.Dogs are house broke and babies are not.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Bella Li on August 10, 2020:

Best article ever I can believe that dogs are good but this proves cats are better, and my cat brings more joy to me than any dog could in the world! Cats are so much better, and this article is the best thing I have read in my life you dog lovers!

Jorge Águilar on August 01, 2020:

I can believe I will never change for anything in this world my 5 Dog stupid coment. I hope humans with learn from Dog to give the love unconditionally to forgive I hope I can rescue more I don’t care

Nigel Steane on August 01, 2020:

Dogs can give u love companionship. Teach u responsibility . Give u a reason for walking. The above article was all negativity

Anne on July 30, 2020:

I put a $500 deposit down on a dog that cost $2700. I can afford a dog and I only work 8 hours a week. I know that dogs are a lot of work. I just travel too much and enjoy my freedom. I have decided not to get the dog and will refer back to this list every time I get sad that I didn't get him. Forfeiting the deposit is a small price to pay for my life and the dogs life to be happy.

Savage wasabi on July 30, 2020:

Just pick up the god damn toy

Astrid K.J. on July 28, 2020:

I good start to my family who love to have a dog.

Getagilo L. on July 28, 2020:

This is brilliant.

F.L. Jakob on July 27, 2020:

Now this is another great reason not to get a pet.

KH on July 24, 2020:

I'm so tired of "excuses" as to why people don't or shouldn't get a dog (or any pet for that matter) Do your homework!! This is a living breathing being! Read to see what's required and what you are willing and able to do before you get a pet. Sure, there are some reasons on your list that require thinking. Do pets a big favor - if you don't think of your dog as a family member don't get one. They are better off without you. Dogs deserve love and better care!

Alison palmer on July 23, 2020:

Why do people slwsys go on the attack,? This article doesn't say don't get a dog it just points out what you have to consider. Wind your necks in. I have a dog and i agree its a heads up

Duke on July 23, 2020:

So... you do not have kids because they poop a lot, vomit on your cloth, don’t let you sleep for years....

So... Yes, as I read in one of the comments, I think this guy is being sarcastic or he is just trying to make money with all the views and comments.

dean.linney@yahoo.com on July 22, 2020:

This just confirms everything I've ever believed about dogs. They are, noisy, smelly, filthy, expensive, shit machines. I know I'm in the minority but, I'd love to take a walk in the park and just be able to walk on grass without fear of treading in dog crap, or some dog bounding up to you and jumping up with their smelly wet paws all over you, on your nice clean clothes. I just don't get the dog thing, why anyone would share their home with one of these whinging, whining, barking, turd factories is completely beyond me.

Val Orner on July 20, 2020:

This person should not have wasted his time on such a lousy article. A narcissistic view of the world. My dogs mean the world to me and for whatever efforts or expense I have put forth, they are more than worth it!

Lulu on July 17, 2020:

Worst article i ever read

Pk59 on July 17, 2020:

Worst article ever.. there are downsides to everything but don't spoil it for the many animal lovers out there. You absolute hotter of a human being

Mana on July 13, 2020:

You have forgotten about holidayas and restrictions around travelling with pets like hotels or flying

Joanie Steinmeyer on July 13, 2020:

Don’t have a kid if you think dogs are bad.

Sadie lyn on July 08, 2020:

Hateful people who hate dogs belong on another planet they have no soul ....they have no human kindness they have no Integrity selfish self-centered..

No feeling ..... when we touch them they give us something that helps us physically get better they give more gifts so much better than humans... they love you unconditionally they forgive you sad article you know nothing about dogs!

Lacy Baynes on July 07, 2020:

Who would write an article like this. This person makes dog sound like they are the worst creature to ever be alive. How dare you write an article like this. I'm an animal activist and a rescuer. They make me happy just the way they are. They deserve love.

Janet on July 04, 2020:

Is this person for real....wow

Just do research on breeds....the cost...before purchasing a dog or any animal....

Kimi on June 23, 2020:

In reality all this is true, so you need to be committed to a child that never grows up, sort of speak. Yet the years of enjoyment go by to fast. I have a mix Terri-poo. A terrier’s traits are constant attention, basically a lab dog. If you don’t have the time, nor can take them with you wherever you go, it’s not the best breed for you. They are God sent and mine is a great champion. She has been trainable & easy, she’s like a little person & understands everything I say, the word “treat”, is her favorite lol

Kelly Corbin on June 22, 2020:

Who is this creep? Obviously hates dogs and not someone I would even want around my home or pets! I love dogs more than most people...they are more loyal and loving than people and I would spend my last dollar and dying breath on my furbabies! Delete this creep!

Lala on June 21, 2020:

Honestly it is not true. It's all depend where you put value. Some people spend thousands of $$ on things like clothes or video games and spend several hours shopping or watching tv (i don't say it is bad). So for some people having and spending time and money on a dog is not a big deal. Moreover it is not that expensive. So it all depend on were you want to put your money and time in.

Milll on June 21, 2020:

I have several pets including a dog and I must say that these 15 are not the worst. The worst one is to find an apartment. Many owner who rent apartment doesn't allow pet in their building. When pet are allowed, the price is way higher. So finding a place to leave with a pet (especially with a dog) is one of the most difficult things. Also, even if the owner accept dogs, it might don't like yours ...

oof on June 19, 2020:

i would say so

Terrie on June 12, 2020:

Who is this guy for trying to tell people how they should or should not get a pet. I think he has a serious problem

Yes, I have a dog and he is one spoiled pup

Donna on June 10, 2020:

My dog is 16.5 years

Steve on May 31, 2020:

Eveything he says is true but having a dog will make you more human. It is no coincidence what dog is spelled backwards.

This is bs on May 22, 2020:

Is this guy being sarcastic?

uwu on May 21, 2020:

I have had so many experiences with dogs and none of them liked digging

uni on May 14, 2020:

dudes if you don't like this then don't search it whoever made this you helped me with my essay and don't listen to them there the haters.

WWW on May 07, 2020:

Yep they carry fleas that’s true but the other is false.

Lucy Liu on April 20, 2020:

In my opinion I think songs are great pets but thank you for making this, since I needed to know the downsides of getting a dog before getting a Labrador!

uni on April 13, 2020:

dudes if you don't like this then don't search it whoever made this you helped me with my essay and don't listen to them there the haters.

GET A DOG on April 07, 2020:

Delete this junk dogs are awesome and thats final

Hater on March 29, 2020:

No this is not true and I hate the person who made these dogs are the best and I will own as much as I want and bro deletes this site it's REALLY BAD!!!!!!

Cyrill Jones on March 28, 2020:

All animals carry the coronvirus germ including dogs and cats , it has proved a killer in the past to mankind.

China is the source due to there culture of eating fresh meat on a daily basis they do not freeze food like the Western world. They kill domestic animals and wild animals in there poorly made buildings together .

The coronvirus originated there via bats feeding on the raw unprotected meats.

It only takes time for any animal to pass the coronvirus germ .

One proven case has been found in a domestic dog.

Be careful keep safe .

hhyhuj on February 10, 2020:

dogs are so messy

OverIt on January 06, 2020:

Picking up dog poop almost every day for 14 years sucks! Ready to be dog free! Anyone who disagrees is crazy. Kids can do this on their own by age 3 or less. No comparison

Paul Goodman (author) from Florida, USA on December 07, 2019:

Sadly, there are many people who don't take into account the amount of time and effort needed for exercise before getting a dog. The dog suffers as a result. The same goes for the costs involved. To care for a dog (or most other pets) involves time and money, if they are to have a happy and healthy life. That may seem obvious to some people, but be aware that many people don't realize that.

Be quiet on December 04, 2019:

Why is exercise bad exactly? Humans don’t exercise enough these days and why can’t dogs excruciate I don’t get this, not all people have allergies to dogs too if they do just get allergy shots then easy like that! Not just dogs cost money for food every living pet’s food costs money! Omg.

Anon on October 18, 2019:

Dogs are hard work! Broken my relationship

Patrick on October 11, 2019:

Anyone who owns a dog or cat is crazy. As simple as that. Trouble, dirty, costly and time should be better spent on yourself and health.

no name- Jake Webber on September 08, 2019:

Ok dogs are great animals and these are great reasons not to get one but the last one is plain stupid, yes the dog will die but so do humans and kids need to learn that not all good things last forever

Bob the builder on June 08, 2019:

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.

Honest on June 03, 2019:

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

Bflores on May 31, 2019:

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.

Wow on May 30, 2019:

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.

Frankorlando on May 30, 2019:

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.

Belle on May 30, 2019:

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.

Kathy k on May 30, 2019:

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!

Stitch on May 30, 2019:

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

Ali on May 30, 2019:

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.

G-lee on May 29, 2019:

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!

Cattown on May 28, 2019:

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!!

C on May 28, 2019:

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.

Nietzsche on May 24, 2019:

And people have babies,same thing applies,but

They live alot longer

Jeff on May 24, 2019:

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.

Randall on May 24, 2019:

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.

Sam on May 24, 2019:

True but totally worth it!!

Travis on April 26, 2019:

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

Ethan on April 01, 2019:

WOW?! This is the most craziest website ever.

Ailurophile on March 04, 2019:

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.

XxghostryderXx54 on January 09, 2019:

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

that dude on November 30, 2018:

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

bella on November 29, 2018:

this is all true

Sarah on November 04, 2018:

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

Sioux on November 04, 2018:

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.

al on October 02, 2018:

all true

james winter on May 03, 2018:

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

Dog Owner on April 18, 2018:

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!"

anonymous on April 04, 2018:

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

Oo7-2.o on September 03, 2017:

! That stuff is so true ¡