Why You Do Not Want a Dog
Do Not Read This If . . .
Do not read this Hub if
- You know me well. You have already heard me say this.
- You are a dog lover, and you do not want to explore changing your mind.
Do Read This If . . .
Do read this if
- You are considering getting a dog. There are many negative factors to consider.
- You know the negative factors of dog ownership. This will be singing to the choir, but it will be music to your ears.
A Personal Note
When I was growing up, my family always had pets: canaries, parakeets, cats, and dogs along other animals such as chickens, pigeons, rabbits and ducks. In fact, I was taught a little disdain for those who chose not to have dogs. Our dogs, however, suffered. We lived on a busy street, and the yard was not usually secured. The dogs roamed the neighborhood, and, of course, many were hit by cars. This was met with much emotional pain and pleas to take the dog to the veterinary if it wasn't dead at the scene. Well, our family did not spend money on veterinarians. The dead dogs were buried in the backyard, and those who survived were set in the garage on a pile of rags, and we brought them food. Some survived with their scars of of out-of-whack gaits, and some had repeated injuries in their efforts to cross Niles Street. We were not the best pet owners.
Still, though we were not model pet owners, the message was that there must be something wrong with someone who did not want to have a dog. So, when I reached a stage in life when I had a wife, a child, and a house, I thought it was also time to get the dog. Stella was a miniature dachsund, really a beautiful dog. She was, however, not easily house broken, and this was after we had new wall-to-wall carpet installed. She also liked to get out and run away. She did not come when called. One night she had again escaped, and I was trying to catch her. It was dark and she had run to a neighbor's house and was barking under their bedroom window. That was a moment when I began to seriously doubt the wisdom of our owning a dog.
When Stella went into heat, we did do a good job of keeping her in our yard. We did not do a good job of keeping other dogs out of our yard, and she began to look pregnant. My wife and I agreed to get rid of her, so I put an ad in the paper and sold her, a purebred, for $25.00.
Later, we tried dog ownership again, and while my wife truly loved the second dog, I did not. It was expensive, barked every time the doorbell rang, was difficult, again, to housebreak, bit people, smelled bad and frequently passed gas. Clancy's fatal flaw, though, was his desire to get out of the yard (later I learned from a vertinarian's assistant that the term for this trait is "uncontainable"). That coupled with his habit of chasing cars brought about his death a few years ago. I remember thinking at the time that getting him had absolutely confiirmed that I was not one to own a dog.
Not All Dogs Are Pretty
- It is unlikely that you have the time that being a conscientous dog owner requires. Most dogs require a lot of human interaction, daily walking/exercise, training, and veterinarian care. Do you work forty hours a week? Do you anticipate leaving the dog home alone? Do you have familial obligations that leave little extra time for the pet? This would be a poor situation in which to put a dog; it would be unfair to the dog. (I now realize that part of my trying to convince you not to get a dog is because I do like dogs and hate to see them in less than good situations).
- You are not Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer (a great show on the cable National Geographic channel.) Do you know of any
- dogs that have bitten people and drawn blood,
- dogs that do not always come when their name is called,
- dogs that have been difficult to house train,
- dogs that bark when the doorbell is rung, but do nothing if someone simply walks through the door,
- dogs that have chewed shoes, furniture and rugs,
- dogs whose owners are often speaking to their dogs in raised, angry and frustrated voices,
- dogs that are so anxious to get out of the house (or into the house) that every time someone opens an exterior door, there is a battle to keep the dog from going through the door,
- dogs that hate other dogs, men, women, children, cats,
- dogs that have not been allowed to return to a kennel,
- dogs that really need a large space confined to a small interior space,
- dogs that infect the house with fleas,
- dogs that chase cars,
Well, this list could go on. The point is that dog ownership brings a lot of trouble.
3. Owning a dog is expensive. Many websites address this issue. Click here for a reputable, pro-dog website about the cost of dog ownership (from $4000.00 to about $40,000.00 in the Midwest for the life of the dog).
4. The dog will limit you to being home to attend to the dog's needs. You will have to come home to let the dog out, feed the dog, and walk the dog. If you are going on a trip, you will have to board the dog. Taking the dog with you will limit where you can get lodging or force you to impose your dog on your hosts, who do not like your dog as you do.
5. Many dog owners regret their decision to get a dog but keep the dog fearing disapproval for getting rid of their pet. Check out Craigslist.com in your area for free dogs. If you want something more extreme -- heartbreaking even -- go to your local dog pound to see the dogs owners have taken there.
6. Who do you know that appears to be an excellent dog owner? I personally do not know one person in this category. Well, who do you know who is a good dog owner? What is the chance that you will be an even adequate pet owner?
7. Dogs can spread diseases such as ringworm, intestinal and other types of worms.
8. Dogs cannot behave like members of the family, so they should not be treated like members of the family.
9. Dogs will shed and cause an odor in your home. Some dogs shed more than others, and dog hair will be everywhere, from the floor, where left unabated it will collect into big fluff balls, like dust bunnies, to clogging dryer vents and refrigerator coils.
10. The dog's toenails will scratch hard surface floors.
11. Although it is easy to find information on how dog ownership causes owners to exercise more (because they take the dog for a walk) and that petting dogs lowers blood pressure, I wonder about the statistics on how many accidents are caused by tripping over dogs, how many people are bitten by dogs, how many automobile accidents are caused by dogs on the street.
Another Helpful Article
- Fidos No Doctor. Neither Is Whiskers.
From the online New York Times -- January 4, 2011