Owning a pet is often compared to building a family. Owners are even referred to as “pet parents.” The unconditional love that a pet provides can be a warm and welcoming experience after a tough day. There are also many challenges that come with pet ownership.
Here are some of the pros and cons of owning a pet that are worth thinking about before taking the plunge.
List of the Pros of Owning a Pet
1. They can be a source of stress relief.
The consistent support and love for a pet can relieve stress. Just the simple act of having a dog sleep in a room with you can provide this benefit. Pet ownership has also been known to fight loneliness, treat depression, and learn empathy.
2. They offer a line of defense.
Dogs might be known for their ability to guard their territory, but other pets can provide a defensive network for the home as well. Cats have been known to defend families, especially when young children are present.
3. They can help people get healthy.
A happy dog is one that is going on a walk. That exercise helps them and helps you as a pet owner. Playing with pets can strengthen a person’s immune system and encourage the brain to accept new information.
List of the Cons of Owning a Pet
1. Pets make messes.
Owning a pet means cleaning up after them. Accidents are going to happen, no matter how well-trained the pet may be. Pet urine and feces can be destructive to carpets, flooring, and even sub-floors. It can also create an odor problem. That is why many rental homes do not allow pet owners as tenants.
2. They have medical costs.
Most communities require pets to be licensed to be legally owned. Pets need to visit the veterinarian at least once per year for health checkups. Certain pets, like dogs, may need heartworm treatments or rabies shots for legal ownership as well. It can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per pet for medical care each year.
3. They are treated like property – unless they attack.
If your pet attacks someone else, then you are held liable for their injuries, expenses, and associated costs. If your pet destroys someone’s property, you’re held responsible. From a legal standpoint otherwise, however, pets are treated as property instead, which can limit a person’s right to a loved pet during a separation.
These owning a pet pros and cons show us that it is a responsibility to do so, but one that is often worth making. Only bring a pet into your family if you know that you can make them comfortable and happy.