Recently, I was thinking about my childhood and how I always dreamt of having a dog or a cat – a four-legged furry friend to follow me around. While I was making my case, namely that I am responsible enough to look after another living being, my parents were perfectly contempt not to have another family member.
Looking back in time, I can certainly say that even the thought of having a dog was enough to make me much happier. Now, as a responsible adult, living in the country where having a dog is almost required by law, I have made the conscious decision to adopt one.
Before rushing in and getting the first big eyed puppy I find in the local pond, I had to be sure that both my soon-to-be room-mate and my family were going to live happily together. Truth be told, having a pet is a major responsibility which not everyone is prepared or willing to take on.
The first question you must ask yourself before adopting a puppy or a cat is whether it will make you happier. Afterwards, there are some other issues you need to address like whether pets are permitted in your building, how you are going to train your pet (no one likes cleaning pet stains…), can you afford the additional expenses like veterinarian fees, special food and all the accessories that are mandatory.
Having considered all the above, you should also take a look at this list of pros and cons I have assembled when I was still toying with the idea:
Cons of Having a Pet:
It is much harder to travel. It is nearly impossible to organise a vacation at a pet-friendly destination. Leaving your friend at a kennel is also not that appealing an idea. Just think about it and consider how often you would leave your kid alone for a week at an unfamiliar place.
Difficulties communicating. When you or your kid have difficulties socializing with other people, a pet can help you communicate your need for interaction with other living beings. In most cases this is a major pro, but psychologists warn that having such an outlet could also have negative consequences. People who feel uncomfortable socializing with other people find comfort with their pets and become even more enclosed for actual human-to-human interaction.
Cleaning after the pets. If you are going to get an animal at home, you simply ought to be prepared for the mess and disorderliness that inevitably follows your wonderful new family member. In case you value your carpets too much to have to revive them from the mandatory urine and dirty paw stains, you should reconsider adopting a puppy. Your cleaning expenses are going to increase significantly, and this is just a small example of the chaos and mess that a pet will introduce to your life.
Having a pet nowadays is an expensive undertaking. You need to calculate whether you can afford all the fees for your new friend. You have the mandatory visits at the veterinarian clinic; pet sitters or walkers, if you don’t have the time to take care of these things on your own; various accessories like leashes, toys and etc. and even food and medicine.
Pros of Having a Pet
The unconditional love and adoration are a given with a pet at home, I mean everything above turtle/ fish level. As we all know love and adoration are KEY factors for our happiness, so I can easily conclude that having a pet CAN (and most likely WILL) make you HAPPY.
Dog owners, for instance, get much more exercise. With a puppy, you have the obligation to go out and run for at least an hour which can sometimes be all the necessary push a person needs in order to work out.
Taking care of your pet helps you become a more mature and responsible a person. Raising a pet is a great way to teach kids what it really means to take care of another living thing. Additionally, your pet will enhance the “atmosphere of growth” in your home as all family members will watch it grow up, learn how to behave and develop its own character.
Last but not least, a pet will help you build stronger relationships. You can find other people who share your passion for your furry friend, and you can exchange stories, tips and even share your worries for the pet. Many have found great friends at the dog-walkers park, some have even fallen in love there, much like in the movie “Must Love Dogs”.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the reasons why pets make us happier are more than the cons. To me, having a pet is a constant source of joy!