The Pros and Cons of Pet Ownership: What You Need to Know

Having a pet can be rewarding but it's important to understand the pros & cons before making the commitment. Learn about potential drawbacks & how responsible ownership requires recognizing these disadvantages.

The Pros and Cons of Pet Ownership: What You Need to Know

Having a pet can be a rewarding experience, but it's important to understand the pros and cons of pet ownership before making the commitment. Animals can bring joy and companionship to their owners, but they also require a lot of care and attention. It's important to consider the potential drawbacks of pet ownership before bringing a pet home. One of the main advantages of pet ownership is the companionship that animals can provide. Pets can be loyal and loving companions, providing comfort and emotional support to their owners.

Pets can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as providing an outlet for physical activity. However, there are some potential drawbacks to pet ownership that should be taken into consideration.

Animals can carry parasites

that can be transmitted to humans. Cats, in particular, carry a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which can enter the brain and cause a condition known as toxoplasmosis. People with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to this.

Keep in mind that pets can get sick, leading to unplanned medical expenses that add more costs to maintaining a pet. As pets age, they are prone to developing medical conditions that require additional veterinary visits, tests, medications and medical procedures, which can be a significant expense. Unfortunately, another drawback of pet ownership is a necessary evil. Just like humans, animals need to be healthy and happy. Before you get a pet, consider the average annual veterinary cost of owning the type of animal you're looking for. Cats and dogs, for example, need several different vaccines during their first year of life, as well as preventive vaccines and treatments throughout their lives.

In addition, pets that live outdoors are more likely to suffer from infections, lacerations and pest infestations that require veterinary care. Even if your animal never has a serious accident, all animals will require you to pay for basic veterinary care in order for them to have a healthy and full life. Another factor to consider is the amount of time required for pet ownership. Pets need food, grooming and exercise; the pet's crate, pen, or other environment requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Pets also need regular walks or playtime in order for them to stay healthy and happy. We all want a loving, warm friend to return home as well, but the responsibilities and costs needed to properly care for your pets are real.

Three out of ten parents (30%) say that it is very important to have a pet to protect the family, and that their children want to have a pet (31%). Whether a pet gets sick and dies or you make the decision to humanely euthanize it, the death of a pet can be a difficult and painful experience. Other reasons include that a pet would teach their children responsibility (57%) and that parents themselves own a pet while they grow and enjoy it (39%). Responsible pet owners have an alternative care plan in place to ensure that their pets are cared for in case of emergencies or major changes in their lives. Training your pet can be a lesson in patience, while treating your pet well can help children learn to be kind and understanding. While the drawbacks of pet ownership can be difficult, if you prepare properly, getting a pet can be a simple experience.

Responsible pet ownership requires recognizing the disadvantages of pet ownership and recognizing if you can overcome them or if it's better to wait. The American Veterinary Medical Association states that proper exercise and mental stimulation, appropriate to the pet's breed, age and health, are important aspects of responsible pet ownership. Finally, remember that bringing a pet home means that sometimes you'll be at the mercy of their schedule.

Wanda Rater
Wanda Rater

Avid tv junkie. Freelance bacon aficionado. Certified beer lover. Typical food specialist. Infuriatingly humble bacon expert. Hipster-friendly travel lover.

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