Man’s best friend. The perpetual toddler in the home. Having a pet in the home can be a great thing, but it comes with a downside as well. If you are thinking about adding a pet to your brood, thing about these considerations.


  • Pets teach responsibility. Pets require a lot of attention. A dog needs to be fed, walked and taken out to do his “business” daily (or even multiple times a day). A hamster needs its cage changed weekly and a fish requires regular bowl cleanings. All of these require a responsible human to take care of them. Which is why owning a pet can create an opportunity for responsibility learning. It is common for a kid to beg his or her parents for a pet. I know I sure did. Once the parents relent, the pet becomes a family responsibility. This shared responsibility can teach a child, teen or even an adult about what it takes to care for another life and the thought and care behind it.
  • Pets can help with depression. Many studies have shown that even just interacting with a pet can have positive affects on those who suffer from depression. Animals are used more and more in therapy sessions. Some therapists have even gone as far as “prescribing” owning a pet to children who suffer from abuse. There is just something soothing about a fuzzy animal to snuggle with.
  • Companionship. There really is something behind an animal, most notably a dog, being man’s best friend. The constant companionship can bring together a family in unity so much that the pet becomes a family member. A death of a pet can become almost as trying as a death of a human family member.


  • Let’s be frank. Animals, like children, poop. Unfortunately, animals do not wear diapers to catch their poop so the burden of clean up is on the owner. Your home owners insurance premium will probably take a hit if you own a pet due to the probability of your pet making a mess. Out walking your dog and he poops are your neighbors lawn? Better bring a doggie bag to pick that up or risk being the most hated neighbor (and dog) on the block.
  • Owning a pet, especially a dog, is like having a perpetual toddler around the house. They might require constant care and supervision, which is why many pet owners have to put their pets in a kennel or a crate while they are away. If not, they risk a strong chance of coming home to a chewed up couch or destroyed pair of shoes.
  • Pet hair/dander. Nothing ruins a little black dress like a thick layer of cat hair. Most pets with fur will shed and it WILL get on your clothes, car seat, etc. This is one of those things you have to deal with unless you can invest in a designer pet that does not shed (i.e. an expensive breed). And this pet hair really affects home allergies.
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