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The Pros and Cons of Acquiring a Pet

Updated on February 13, 2015

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
Yogi and Winnie in 2012
Yogi and Winnie in 2012

The Cons of Pet Ownership

I have three "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).

All three 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 as 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 no longer own a pet is because it is so painful when your pet dies. So, I have settled for spending time with my granddogs and my friends' and neighbors' pets. That's something you could do BEFORE adopting a pet -- dog or cat sit for a friend 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.

Winnie, all tucked in and tuckered out
Winnie, all tucked in and tuckered out

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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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