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The Pros and Cons of Acquiring a Pet

Updated on November 17, 2017

The Pros of Pet Ownership

Regardless of whether you are a dog or cat lover (or both), there are some wonderful benefits of both. Their love is unconditional! Even if you yell at them for making a mess or for chewing your shoes or an electric cord, they will still come back to show you their love and ask for it in return. It has been proven in studies with the elderly and shut-ins that having a pet, or at least having one visit on a regular basis, does improve their moods and helps keep depression and loneliness at bay.

Dogs require more constant attention and care than cats, but both are entertaining and great companions. If a dog is trained properly they can be fantastic companions for the elderly; however, there must be someone capable of taking them out regularly for walks.

I'm a great page holder!
I'm a great page holder! | Source

The addition to my family . . . meet Angel

2017, October- Angel - posing for her photo.
2017, October- Angel - posing for her photo.

The Cons of Pet Ownership

I have five "granddogs" -- Luigi, a white, furry, Shih Tzu/Bichon Frise who lives in Florida with my son and his family. He's an only child, oops only dog. My daughter and her family own two Shih Tzu/Lhasa Apsos, who are appropriately named Winnie (as in Pooh) and Yogi (as in Bear), my grandson added a German Shepherd to the household in 2015, he is appropriately named "Ruger". His sister added a dog in 2017, a lab named "Gracie". During the holidays the menagerie is quite a site to see.

All five are adorable and they know I love them; however, they do require a lot of attention and care. I tend to spoil them by continuous filling their water dishes and taking them out more frequently, because they know that's what I do.

However, it isn't fun on a cold winter morning being awakened at sunrise to take them outside. It isn't fun taking them out during all of the other bad weather days either. You are not permitted to take pets inside malls, grocery or drug stores, which means they must be left at home. It is not safe to leave them in a hot or cold car while you go in to shop! You would not leave a child unattended in the car, so do not leave your pets either! That's considered animal cruelty, so please do not do it!

And, if you are on a tight budget, you definitely do not want to acquire a pet! They require regular check-ups, vaccinations and preventative care, then you have the vet bills and medicines when they are sick. Animals get many of the same diseases and afflictions that their owners get and unless you purchase pet insurance to cover these illnesses, you will possibly have large vet bills if they must have surgery or expensive x-rays and other testing to find out what's wrong with them.

The biggest reason I gave in to buying another dog was that I lost my younger brother on my birthday, August 1, 2016. My daughter and granddaughter told me I needed a dog. I didn't think I did, but in hindsight, it did help me deal with my grief. My first dog, that my Dad gave me when I was ten years old, was a chihuahua I named "Tiny". I loved that dog so much and it hurt so much when she died. I've owned other dogs throughout my adult life, but decided the pain was just too great when you lose them.

I thought I could get my "dog fix" through my granddogs, but, I realize now my new chihuahua (7-15-2016) I named "Angel" has been worth the care she requires. She will probably be my last dog though. She was a Godsend and I enjoy her companionship, but she does make it difficult to travel. That's something you could do BEFORE adopting a pet -- dog or cat sit for a friend or family member, in your home, for a weekend or maybe for a week. That will give you the best idea of whether you are ready for a pet or not. They deserve to be loved and cared for, not neglected.

My granddogs then and now . . .

Winnie, all tucked in and tuckered out
Winnie, all tucked in and tuckered out
Winnie in 2016
Winnie in 2016
Yogi in his Christmas sweater 2015
Yogi in his Christmas sweater 2015
Ruger as a puppy in 2015
Ruger as a puppy in 2015
My beautiful granddaughter with her beautiful dog, Gracie -- October, 2017
My beautiful granddaughter with her beautiful dog, Gracie -- October, 2017
My granddaughter holding Luigi 2017 -- he has grown a lot from the first photo above of him lying on a book.
My granddaughter holding Luigi 2017 -- he has grown a lot from the first photo above of him lying on a book.

Do You Own a Dog or Cat?

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A Well-trained Dog vs a Non-trained One

More tips to follow; however, for now, think about a well-behaved and polite child vs. a brat -- no more comments are necessary as to WHY you must train your pet!

In addition, it is so much fun seeing some of the cute pet tricks David Letterman has on his show periodically. All dogs can be trained, but it will take time, patience and lots of love. Good luck.

How Many Dogs and Cats Do We Own?

Per the American Veterinarian Medical Association, as of 2012, we own over 69,000,000 dogs and over 74,000,000 cats here in the US alone. Here is their link, which includes other stats on dogs and cats as pets.

Top Dog Breed

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has named the Labrador retriever was the most popular breed, for the last 23 years! I agree with their selection! I've owned a couple Labs in my life and they were gentle, yet playful, and loving members of my family.


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