8 Top Reasons Not to Get a Pet
Before anyone seriously considers pet ownership, they first need to carefully examine the many reasons why they should not get a pet. While pets may have cute and adorable eyes which are near impossible to resist, the truth of the matter is that pet ownership does not suit everyone. Animal shelters are full of poor, discarded creatures who people acquired without properly considering all of the consequences. While pet ownership can be a positive and life changing event, it can also be an utter disaster. Read along to discover the top eight reasons you should not get a pet.
Eight Reasons Not to Get a Pet
- High maintenance
- High expenses
- Noise pollution
- Damage to house and property
- Lack of freedom
- Lack of sleep
- Short lifespan
1. High Maintenance
Anyone who believes that owning a pet is all about playing with a cute and cuddly little creature is being sorely misled. Pets are entirely dependent upon their owners and can be incredibly high maintenance. It really does not matter whether you own a dog or a fish, they all demand time-consuming work on the part of the owner. Most pets need to be walked or exercised on a regular basis and they all need to be fed, loved and have their habitat cleaned. From cleaning excrement, scrubbing cages, feeding and maintaining a proper grooming schedule, all pets are undeniably high maintenance beings.
2. High Expenses
The original cost of purchasing a pet is really only the beginning. No matter what type of animal you own, they all have an abundance of inherent costs associated with them. This can include veterinary bills, food, habitats such as cages or tanks, supplies, grooming costs, obedience training and even boarding when the owner has to go away. Make no mistake, owning a pet will come with many financial obligations and sacrifices.
There have been far too many stories about people who have purchased or adopted a pet only to find out later that they are allergic to their new family member. This can be very distressing for the individual, and potentially catastrophic for the animal. Many people will be allergic to their new pet's dander, saliva and even urine. In truth, a lot of folks will not even realize that they have a pet allergy until they become owners. Also, they may have family members or friends who are allergic to their pet and all of a sudden will no longer be able to visit. Far too often this will lead to their pet being returned to its place of origin. Undoubtedly, allergies are one of the top reasons not to get a pet!
4. Noise Pollution
A lot of individuals do not carefully consider their own particular style of living before they jump into pet ownership. If someone prefers a quiet and serene environment, then owning a pet is not a very wise decision. All types of animals are naturally quite noisy. From barking dogs, screeching birds and cats who meow incessantly, the quiet and serene fortress of solitude will quickly turn into a busy and noisy animal amusement park. If this was not considered before the pet was actually purchased or adopted, problems will surely follow.
5. Damage to House and Property
Whether properly trained or not, pets will have a very negative impact on the actual condition of your house. This can look very different depending upon what type of pet you have. For instance, dogs can be notorious for chewing everything in sight. This can include doors, table legs, recliners and carpets. The list is endless really. Whether it is from playfulness, aggression, anxiety or loneliness, the result is the same. Other pets may be caged all day but they will provide your house with a unique new scent, which is not appealing to anyone. Furthermore, pet urine is a very difficult thing to remove from carpets and can be very destructive to property. Damage to this prized possession of the house is a key reason not to get a pet. All of this doesn't even cover the topic of if your home is even suitable for a pet. Here is an article that can help you determine if your home is pet friendly.
6. Lack of Freedom
For someone who enjoys having a lot of freedom, pet ownership is clearly not a good idea. Pets require a high degree of care and attention. The days of going out after work for some beers, or flying away for the weekend on the spur of the moment are all but gone when you become a pet owner. Having an animal comes with a lot of responsibility and a willingness to put their needs above your own. In many ways it is not unlike having a child. Decisions will always need to be made with the best interests of the pet coming first. For instance, if you want to travel, it should be for a very limited time so as not to produce undue stress and anxiety in your pet. Also, a pet sitter will need to be arranged far in advance. There can be little doubt that freedom and pets are not a good match.
7. Lack of Sleep
There are not many pets who do not have a dramatic impact on their owner's sleeping schedules. Perhaps the only pets which will not have a significant effect upon the amount of quality sleep their owner is able to get are fish. Most other pets essentially live by their own schedules. Many are nocturnal in nature and will do a lot of their activity during the night when everyone else is attempting to sleep. Others, such as dogs, will awaken their owners numerous times in order to go outside for a bathroom break, or deciding to bark incessantly at the sound of a car door slamming down the street. When it comes to taking a nap to catch up on some much needed sleep...don't even bother. In truth, lack of sleep is a very good reason not to get a pet.
8. Short Lifespan
While it can certainly be a point for debate, perhaps the most critical reason not to get a pet is that they do not live very long. When pets become part of the family, they are loved just like any other family member. To lose them so quickly, after becoming so attached to them, can be very devastating for both young and old family members. Others may use such cliches such as, "it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all." However, to lose a pet is a heart-wrenching experience that many individuals would be more than happy to just avoid altogether. If your family does lose a pet, here is an article that can help you talk to children about it.
Reasons Not to Get a Dog
Here are some additional reasons why a dog may not be the best pet for you.
- You don't have a stable schedule. Dogs behave best when they are on a consistent schedule. They like to be walked and fed around the same time every day. This is how trust is built between a dog and its owner. Having a dog as pet may not be a good idea if your schedule is constantly changing.
- You are unsure about the rules of your apartment. If you rent an apartment or condo, you should not get any pet if you are unsure about the rules regarding pet ownership. It is a common occurrence for a renter to bring home a dog only to be heartbroken when their landlord informs them that their pet is prohibited. You don't want to be in a situation where you have to scramble to find a home for your pet.
- You have a baby or are expecting one. This isn't a complete deal breaker, but it is a potential problem. Having a newborn and a new pet will likely be overwhelming. You'll have to adjust to having two new family members, as well as teach your dog how to interact with the baby. It may be better to wait until things have settled with the baby before you think about getting a dog.
- Your partner isn't onboard. If you live with a significant other, you should only consider a dog if they like the idea as well. A relationship can become strained if pets are involved and someone doesn't like having them around or taking care of them. You should not force the idea of a pet if they don't want to have one around.
- You aren't knowledgeable on the breed. Different dog breeds have different needs. Some will need more exercise than others. Some breeds have common health problems that will need special attention. For example, German shepherds often have hereditary hip dysplasia, which can lead to paralysis. Dalmatians often develop urolithiasis, which leads to kidney stones and requires them to have special diets. You should avoid getting a dog if you are not educated about that specific breed.
Good Beginner Pets
Despite all the hurdles and demands of pet ownership, there are many benefits to owning a pet. If you want to see how you cope with one, or want to get a starter pet for your child, here are some pets that you should consider before going for something like a dog.
- Parakeet: These birds are very popular pets due to being relatively low maintenance and doing very well in captivity. They can live in small birdcages in your home and have fairly simple diets of seeds, fruits and vegetables.
- Mice: These animals can enjoy interaction and are quite intelligent. They are relatively easy to care for as long as they have a clean cage, food and some toys. They can even be easily trained. They can eat fruits and vegetables as well as feed from the pet store.
- Guppies: These fish are very popular for home aquariums. They can live in a variety of water types and can do well in a small-sized tank. They can get along in group aquariums and are easy to feed with fish food or bloodworms.
- Goldfish: This popular pet is inexpensive and can be kept in a medium-sized tank. Their food can be picked up in any pet store. They can be a little messy, so their tank will need a filter to keep the water clean.
Pet ownership is a unique privilege which should not be entered into lightly. It can be an incredibly satisfying and rewarding experience with numerous benefits. However, it is certainly not for everyone. Before anyone makes a decision to bring a pet into their family, they should carefully weigh all sides of the equation to ensure they are ready for the commitment. Without a doubt there are great advantages...but there are also clear reasons you should simply not get a pet.
Do You Own a Pet?
1. Pet Allergy. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. 2016
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.