Last Updated on March 10, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
If you’re having long ideal hours in life, you probably must have thought of keeping a pet at some point in time. Having one can be a bliss, a truly beautiful experience with a worthy companion.
Pets basically are domesticated animals that in most cases, are kept for companionship or pleasure. Emotional perks of having one are truly immeasurable but, getting a pet is not an easy decision. A number of responsibilities like feeding or maintaining its hygiene and health add up which sometimes even result in certain expenses.
However, having a pet can be worth the hassle or just a complicated way of living? We’ll go through some pros and cons of having a pet and eventually help you decide whether you should get a companion or not, but before that, here’s a little backstory on how keeping a pet started as a trend.
A Brief History of Owning a Pet
The archaeological records suggest that dogs are supposed to be the first domestic pets with dates back to at least 12,000 years ago. Ancient Greeks and Romans would include dogs in various forms of art and also grieve for their loss by commemorating tombstones with inscriptions.
In the 18th century, aristocrats started keeping dogs and pet keeping was the sign of elitism in Britain. Pets later prospered in the 19th century as pet care developed into a big business and people were even stealing other pets for ransom or selling it to another person. Gradually, pets were defined as the property of their owners.
Hunters trained their dogs to fetch the prey and royal guards had dogs protecting the palace with them. People then started breeding different dogs and many countries even declared dogs as their national animal.
Cats, however, were not as popular as they are now particularly because of their proud nature. When dogs were all over the place, people started having other pets like rabbits, fish, hamsters, and parrots to stand out from others and this list goes on till frogs, snakes, and alligators!
Currently, there are more than a billion animals domesticated among which dogs are the most popular. There are more than 470 million pet canines which are about 100 million more than cats. In the US alone, more than 85 million families own a pet.
Despite this enormous number of people owning a pet, you should look at these pros and cons before you decide to get one.
Pros of Owning a Pet
Having a pet can be a life-changing experience for most people. With that in mind, here are some of the pros of having a pet.
1. Unconditional Love
Pets have their ways of calming us down and no matter which pet you get, you’ll feel increased love and happiness. You never know seeing a fish swim would make you happy until you have one!
Pets like hamsters are so adorable that your mood lifts up just by seeing them. Cuddles or a little welcome dance from a dog or cat could turn your gloomy days to a good one. And especially if you’re living alone, you can have someone who looks up to you no matter what
In the case of a dog, which is the most popular pet, you’re bringing yourself an extra layer of safety. Big barking dogs scare away invaders and even risk their lives to protect you. Small dogs, even if they cannot scare people away, they can alert their owners.
There are many cases where pets like dogs and cats have saved their family’s life and if you’re thinking of getting one, remember your new family member can someday prove to be a crucial element in keeping you safe.
3. A Way of Stress Relief
All pets have proved to improve the mental health of so many different people. Many dog breeds are trained as therapy dogs to help people deal with stress, post-trauma, and even depression.
People with pets are normally believed to develop better social skills. Pets could be your personal sidekick who lifts up your spirit and makes you feel better after a stressful day at college or office. Pet owners are also proved to be less lonely and fearful than non-owners
4. Health Benefits
Along with mental stress relief, owning a pet also has a positive impact on our physical condition. Studies show that people who have pets are more involved in physical activities than those without animal companions. Children who are exposed to pets have a stronger immune system and increase their overall enthusiasm.
5. Family and Shelter for the New Member
If you decide to have a pet and adopt one, not only you’re bringing a new family member but also, you’re giving someone a place to call home.
Many homeless, stray animals have had a difficult time and when they get home, they pay it with their undying loyalty. Imagine someone who was starving to death now has a roof over them and good food to eat, how amazing does that sound.
Cons of Having a Pet
Although there are a lot of good reasons to own a pet, you should really look into these cons before you decide on getting a pet.
1. Increased Responsibility
The day you decide on getting a pet, you’ve got yourself a raise in your daily, weekly or even yearly responsibilities. Pets rely on you for almost everything.
You will have to get them trained, give them vaccines every now and then without missing a date and clean up the mess they make. Everything your pet does should be under your radar and you are solely responsible to keep their health and safety in check.
Another drawback of owning a pet is, of course, the cost associated with it. Big pets like dogs and cats can sometimes cost you a boatload of money just on maintenance. Fancy bred pets have their own costs (Adopt don’t shop). Furthermore, outdoor pets are more prone to infections and allergies and might require veterinary care. It will cost you a good amount of money throughout your pet’s life to keep them healthy and happy. If you gave some money set aside, you should be careful on where you invest it.
Almost every animal can cause you allergic reactions. Chemicals from their hair, saliva or dander can act as allergens and cause allergies in some people.
If your family is prone to allergies, then having a furry friend is not the way to go and you should think of getting fish or turtle. Before you decide what pet you’re going to get, discuss the possible allergic reactions with your doctor.
4. Difficulties While Traveling
Travelling with your pet is one of the most difficult things you can ask for. If you decide to leave them home you have to have someone to take care of them And if you decide to take them with you, you never know how your pet is going to react to that new experience.
They might go crazy as soon as they get in the car or when they reach a new place. You’ll have to stop multiple times as if you were on a road trip with a diabetes patient. You might say pets like fish and turtles can be relatively easier in this case but they have to be fed and polluted water can sometimes even get them ill.
5. Disturbed Schedule (Maybe)
Dogs have this weird tendency to bark on subtle sudden movements. At night time, they are bound to disturb your sleep. Cats are naturally nocturnal and you’ll probably feel them moving a lot when you sleep.
Even in the daytime, your pet might sometimes eat something that they shouldn’t have and you might need to take them to the vet during your office hours. So you should be prepared for the worst and do the most sensible thing at that point in time.
No matter if you’re a dog person or a cat person or a fish person or an elephant person, having a pet really is an amazing experience. But it’s not a walk in the park as there are so many problems that come with owning a pet.
However, these complications have trained people to become responsible and capable of caring for someone else. Even couples might take a decision to get a pet to ready themselves before their first baby. Owning a pet is a big commitment and is incredibly rewarding as well.
If you feel like you can invest your time and get a big pet then absolutely go for it. But if you feel like starting a little slow then maybe you can go for a fish or a turtle and see how things work out for you. Rushing things when it comes to owning a pet is something you should not do at all.