Animals have played significant roles in human life throughout history. We depend upon them for food, transportation, and clothing. Some cultures even made them the focus of their spiritual and religious worship.
Even though you can still find these elements in some cultures today, our approach to animals in society is changing. Over the past few centuries, they have become our companions. We have taken the approach of ancient civilizations who worked to domesticate dogs and cats to include other animals, such as rabbits, mice, and reptiles to create a comfortable home environment.
There are several pros and cons of owning pets to consider if you are thinking about this option today. These are the key points to review.
List of the Pros of Owning Pets
1. You will never be bored or lonely.
Pets provide us with companionship when they share our homes. It is a benefit that can provide a robust sense of purpose to life. These animals require us to take care of them, which means we must also take care of ourselves to give them the experiences that they deserve. Their company reduces feelings of loneliness and can eliminate boredom issues.
2. You are saving that animal’s life.
There is a pet overpopulation crisis happening all over the world. More than six million cats and dogs go into shelters each year in the United States, and about half of them end up being euthanized because there are no resources available to care for them. That is why adopting a shelter animal can be such a rewarding experience. You are gaining companionship with that action, while the pet you bring home gets a chance to survive.
3. Some pets will choose you before you want them.
When you take a look at the pros and cons of owning pets, there are a lot of unexpected positive surprises that can happen. It is not unusual for dogs and cats to choose people. If you listen to what they have to say, then you can create a gratifying experience where your mental health receives a boost. You can experience more emotional stability. That’s how they become legitimate members of your family.
4. Pets can provide specific health benefits to humans.
When you are a pet owner, then there are some significant health improvements that you might experience. Having a pet can decrease your cholesterol numbers, improve your blood pressure, and eliminate feelings of loneliness. People who have a dog as a walking partner are more likely to exercise every day. You can also get more sleep at night with a pet in your home because they provide a sense of safety.
5. Kids can learn how to be responsible with pet ownership.
Pets need food and water every day. Many of them need play time. Most will want to have some snuggles in there as well, although that isn’t the case with some animals. If you have kids at home, then having a pet can give them hands-on practice with a responsibility that you supervise directly.
List of the Cons of Owning Pets
1. Pets require a time and financial commitment.
If you have never had a pet share your home before, then the thought of caring for one (or more) can feel quite daunting. You need to have resources available to provide them with the health and wellness access they need. There is an energy commitment you’re making to playing with them or going on walks. Their food requirements require a financial obligation, as does their veterinary care. Then you need to invest time with them each day to support their mental health.
2. Some pets may outlive you.
The average life expectancy of a cat is up to 20 years for some species. Some dogs can live that long as well. If you decide to adopt a pet later in life, then you’ll need to create a provision in your will that dictates where the animal(s) should go if something happens to you. Without a backup plan in place, your grieving pet might be taken to a shelter where their life might be in danger as well.
3. You can experience a mismatch with your pets.
Some pets are the wrong choice for your current lifestyle. If you want a dog that can run with you each day, then a collie or a shepherding breed might be a better choice than a Chihuahua. If you want a pet to snuggle with each night, a Siamese cat might have a different idea of what the perfect life in your home might be. If you have mobility issues, it might be better to have a rabbit instead of a dog or a cat at home.
4. You will need to invest some time into training.
When you bring a pet home, especially a dog or cat, then you will need to do some training with them. Puppies and kittens need to become housebroken so that they don’t leave messes all over the place that could damage your home. Most dogs require some level of obedience training. Other animals may require specific interventions that could require additional time and monetary investments.
5. There are liability issues for you to consider with pet ownership.
Pets might be treated as family members, but the legal system sees them as a property that you control. That means you will be held responsible for their actions. If your dog escapes through no fault of your own and severely injures someone, then there could be civil and criminal consequences. If you rent your home, then any damage your pet does to the property will come out of your security deposit.
The pros and cons of owning pets are essential to review because this decision is not one that you can quickly reverse. These animals become family members from the moment you agree to take on this responsibility. That means other areas of your life will change.