15 Reasons Not to Own a Dog
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
- Veterinary Costs
- General Maintenance
- Food Expense
- Many Necessary Extras
- Going Away
- Allergies and Phobias
- Early Waking
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Dogs love to dig. That can severely mess up your yard, or your lawn.
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.
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.
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.
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
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© 2017 Paul Goodman