Your children have been nagging you for months about getting a new dog or cat. Maybe they saw someone else with one or ran into one in a pet store or roaming around the neighborhood. Whatever the reason they’ve become so anxious to add a new member to the family, making the decision can be tough. You want more than anything to see your kids happy, and you may have even heard a few stories from other pet owners who love their dogs or cats as their own. The only problem is, you’re not sure if your family is ready for one.
If you’re on the fence about owning a dog or a cat in the near future, perhaps the best place to start is learning more about the pros and cons and determine what the best family dog is for you.
Benefits of a Pet in the Household
Let’s start with the good stuff. If you were to get a pet for the family, what are some of the ways it could add value to your life? Below are just a few ways a dog or cat can benefit your household:
They Relieve Stress – The love, comfort, and compassion you’ll receive from a dog or a cat are unconditional and all-soothing. They are great listeners and companions and have been known to help people fight mental illness like depression, stress, or anxiety.
They Provide Protection – If you’re thinking of getting a dog it may make you feel more secure when they’re around. In most cases, dogs are very territorial and will stop at nothing to make sure that their owners and property are guarded at all times.
They Can Improve Your Health – Believe it or not, having a pet such as a dog can improve your family’s health. Dog owners tend to engage in more physical activity as walking and outdoor play are requirements for keeping dogs happy and healthy. Not to mention, there have been studies that show that children who are exposed to pets early on have stronger immune systems than those who don’t.
The Downside to Owning a Pet
As precious and beneficial as owning a pet can be, there are some factors that aren’t so pretty that you need to consider. In order to make the most informed decision for your family, below is a look at some of the downsides to owning a dog or cat:
They Require a Lot of Time – Owning a pet is very much like having a new child. They will require a great deal of time and attention to remain healthy. From making sure that they’re walked and fed every day to taking them to the vet and just keeping them entertained, you will certainly have your hands full. If you have small children, this may be a huge responsibility to take on at the moment.
They Fall Ill – Like humans, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to the declining health of a dog or a cat. From cancer in dogs to diabetes and urinary issues with cats, the emotional toll it can take on your family (especially smaller children), can be a lot.
They Cost – Last on the list of downsides is that owning a pet will cost you. You’ll need to buy food and pet supplies on the regular. Not to mention medications, grooming materials, and insurance.
Allergies – It can be very common for your children (or yourself) to be allergic to pet dander. If you decide to get a dog or a cat, you’ll need to do a lot of home cleaning as well as prevent them from entering certain rooms to keep everyone healthy.
Having a dog or a cat in the home is very much like having another little one to love and care for. While it is true that they can bring such peace and happiness to your household, there are also some factors that are not so joyous that need to be considered. Though most of the “downsides” to owning a pet can be easily resolved or managed, it is important to take your time in making the right decision for you and your loved ones.