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I Don't Need A Pet - I Have Kids!

Updated on May 7, 2012

So many people are pet lovers. I, however, am not one of those people. It isn’t that I am not an animal lover, I just don’t necessarily want a pet.

It isn’t that I have never enjoyed the companionship of a dog or a cat. It isn’t that I have had a horrendous experience of getting eaten alive by the world’s most frightening parrot. I have had pets in the past, from the dogs and cats my parents had when I was younger, to the very first dog my husband and I got as a married couple. If you add in the multiplying gerbils, the horny hamster, the retarded Black Moor, and the sadistic Gold Fish, I can comfortably say, I have had exposure to the pet world.

I do have a soft side for pets, I have just found I am not interested in having my own. I feel I get to spend sufficient amount of time with pets owned by family and friends, that I don’t have any desire to take on additional responsibility.

Yet, there are many people out there who can’t survive without a pet. But why? Well, if you have a pet of your own, you already know the reasons. If you don’t, well, I am not here to convince you differently.

Pet's make great companions

Having a dog is a great way to not only teach kids responsibilty, but they can be a lifelong friend as well!
Having a dog is a great way to not only teach kids responsibilty, but they can be a lifelong friend as well! | Source

Why do people have pets?

People who have pets will tell you a variety of different reasons as to why they have them. They will even tell you there pet is a part of their family, and they will do anything for that pet necessary to keep them healthy and happy. So I came up with a list of reasons why people have pets. There are probably a million other reasons out there as well. However, these are the most common reasons to have a pet.

  1. Companionship: This is probably the most popular reason for having a pet. You will often times notice older adults will get a pet after the kids head off to college or maybe after a significant other has passed away. The pet will be there to keep you company while you watch TV. They will also listen to you if you are having a bad day. On top of it all, they will be your vicious guard at the door to make sure no one can get through without their permission. Just be careful that your pet interaction doesn’t take over your need to interact with other humans.
  2. Responsibility: Having a pet is a huge responsibility. This is great if you are preparing to have a family of your own. It gives you the experience of caring for something other than yourself. If you aren’t ready to take care of a pet, it might be a wise idea to rethink having a child. Having a pet is also a great way to teach children responsibility. This will allow them to take care of something under parental supervision. If they know they have to feed them and play with them, they will have to make adult decisions. If they don’t do what is required, sure, the adult is there for backup, but they will learn the consequences of their actions.
  3. Exercise: Well, maybe not all pets are good for exercise, but some of them are. After all, you aren’t going to take your fish for a walk. And chasing a gerbil around the house could have disastrous effects. (Not to mention you could scare the gerbil to death.) But, if you are a dog person, knowing the dog needs walking on a regular basis is a good way to ensure you are getting your exercise in as well. Not only can you take the pet for a walk, but you can go outside and play fetch too. Sure, the pet might be getting more exercise then you, but imagine how strong your throwing arm is getting.
  4. Entertainment: Pets can be fun to have around just because of all the goofy things they do. Have you ever watched a dog dream? You just know that dog is chasing a cat, especially with the big smile on his face. Have you ever seen a cat chase after a piece of string? The way the cat goes into stealth mode is hilarious. Have you ever seen a gerbil or a hamster play hide and seek? Well, maybe they aren’t doing it for playing purposes, but it can be entertaining. Or maybe that fish swimming around in circles? Ok, maybe I am losing the entertainment part. But, regardless of what pet you have, watching them interact with the world around them is part of the joy of having a pet.


With 3 kids, who has time for a pet!
With 3 kids, who has time for a pet! | Source

I don't need a pet - I have kids

Having a pet is a lot of work. It is a big responsibility and not one to be taken lightly. Pets need to be feed on a regular schedule, they need their exercise, and they are depending on you to do everything. Luckily for me, I don’t need a pet, because I have kids. The reasons others have pets, I can easily fill with my kids.

1. Kids provide companionship

Have you had a long day at work? Your child will be the first one to great you at the door with a big hug and a kiss! Watching a movie? There is nothing better than a snuggled kid in the crook of your arm. Kids are amazing. After all, when you don’t have kids, sometimes you can get a little down when you head to the store by yourself. With a kid, you have instant company. Sure, they might not say much, especially if they are sucking on a pacifier, but chances are good, when your child is younger you will have to take them everywhere with you… unless you preplan babysitting. So, once you get knocked up, you have 40 weeks free and then you will have companionship for a very, very long time.

Note: Companionship depends on child. Some will start separating from their parents when they become a teenager. As a parent, it is ok to then torture your child by insisting they spend time with you and give you big hugs and kisses in front of their friends. However, some children will be hard to let go. Not that you haven’t already let go, but they might find the companionship to much to their liking. When you notice they have already graduated from college or start wearing a suit and tie to work, it might be time to stop their allowance, stop cooking them dinner and try to get them to move on!

2. Kids are a responsibility

Seriously, they expect you to feed your kid on a daily basis? Who would have ever thought that taking care of another person could be so incredibly difficult. And dirty diapers? What is up with that? But don’t worry, eventually you will get used to all the responsibilities of having a child. Once the baby grows up, soon you will become maid, chef, and even taxi driver. With kids comes great responsibility. They are not a stuffed animal toy that you can just throw in the corner and come back to when you want. They depend on you for everything. Having children around makes a person grow up. No longer can you just jump in the car and go hang out with friends. Everything has to be planned… from night outs to grocery store trips. It is definitely not something that can be taken lightly.

3. Chasing kids is exercise

Sure, you might not get a whole lot of exercise with a newborn, but when that baby starts crawling you better get your running shoes on. Once they are on the move, they want nothing more than to explore the world, and you will be right behind them every step of the way. Any person who says a mother doesn’t get regular exercise has never been around a child. From picking up all the toys after them, to playing airplane, to pushing them on the swing, being a parent means you only stop exercising when they fall asleep. Once they get a little older, getting exercise is easy. Play a game of tag, show off your old school moves at jump rope, or even play a game of catch. If there is one thing true about kids, they will keep you on your feet!

Aliens on the Moon

4. Kids are entertaining

There isn’t a day go by that one of my children doesn’t make me laugh. They always have a unique view on the world, and since they have yet to learn censorship, they will share everything and anything with you, regardless of how inappropriate it may be at times.

My oldest is starting to become a smarty pants. After going on a ride that I wasn’t thrilled to go on (Because I was scared of heights), I told my daughter I wasn’t amused. Her response, “But mommy, you should be amused. After all, this is an amusement park!” Got to love a kid who thinks logically.

My middle child has a story for just about anything. Most of it makes no sense, and I am not really sure where she gets her facts from, but she does have theories about the Aliens on the Moon and What will happen if zombies live on the Earth, as well as why the Tooth Fairy is obviously a girl. (Because fairies wear dresses! Duh!) If you have a topic, she will get started on a theory. That is if it doesn’t interfer with her Littlest Pet Shop playing!

As for the baby of the family, he is about to turn 2, and he gets more and more entertaining on a daily basis. From singing the theme song, and acting out several scenes from the movie Rango, all the way to his mischievous acts (because someone laughed and thought it was funny the first time), he has learned that the world is his stage and he is the main attraction. Yet, he is still young enough to play games with him. One of our more recent means of entertainment… letting him chase after a laser light on the floor. And you thought pets were entertaining? It is funnier when a kid does it!

Max and the Laser Light

No Pets for Me

Having pets is a big responsibility. With 3 kids, I seem to have enough of that already. Yet, my reasoning for having a pet is not because I dislike animals, it is more because I can’t provide what the animals really need.

We are a busy family and we are always on the run. We also travel a lot because we have family who lives in different states. Having a pet is not fair because they will never get the love and attention they truly deserve.

Deciding to have a pet is a big responsibility. Before you jump on the animal lover bandwagon, make sure you are able to give the money, time and energy needed to take care of your pet. If you know owning a pet will cause hardship on you or the animal, it is probably better to just visit someone who has a pet. Therefore, you get your pet fix without the responsibilities of owning one.


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    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @Derrick - I think that everybody is entitled to their opinion about pet ownership. It definately isn't something for everyone. For me, personally, I don't want the responsibility. My kids would love to have a pet. Luckily, I snipped that in the butt right off the bat. I had them put it in our rent contract that we weren't allowed to have pets. I don't want the entire burden to fall on me. I hope you and your wife work this out! good luck!

    • profile image

      Derrick 5 years ago

      Tonight my wife asked me if I was interested in getting a dog. I was surprised at her question. First, when we first started dating I told her that when I was single I didn't own a pet because of the overwhelming responsibility the comes with pet ownership. I thought it wouldn't be fair to me nor the pet, given my lack of desire to comitt to pet ownership.

      Second, to this day, I have explicitely expressed my utter lack of desire to committ to owning pets. Lastly, she already had two cats when we got married. She takes care of the cats.

      BaberGirl28 is correct when she says pet ownership costs money, time and energy. My wife and I are struggling financially, both work full-time jobs (It is normal for us to work late hours), we travel often and I'd hate to expend any energy, whether mine or hers, engaged in additional pet care. I love our cats, but one day when they are gone, I'd like to have a few years without pets.

      Interestingly, given all of the major stresses currently plaguging our marriage, frankly, I am surprised that she feels comfortable broaching this subject when so many other issues need out fullest attention.

      I love animals, I love my cats, I love my siblings pets, but pet ownership is not my strength and I shouldn't be made to feel bad about not putting myself into purchasing another pet when I know I'd fail.


    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @aDAyInMyLife1 - I don't mind pets... but I don't really want pets either. I have kids to entertain me and take care of and the couple times we did have pets it seemed like so much work whenever we had to go somewhere. Our families live in two different areas... Wisconsin and California. Regardless of who we live by, we have to travel. This always means finding a pet sitter which tends to be costly or unavailable. I find life less stressful when I don't have my own! I am glad I am not alone in these feelings either because sometimes I feel like I am being cold-hearted by thinking this! :)

    • aDayInMyLife1 profile image

      Amanda S 6 years ago from CA

      I have been saying this same thing for years! All the pet lovers think I am some kind of cold hearted shell of a human being. It's nice to know that I am not alone in my feelings on this matter. Great Hub.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @Aceblogs - that is too funny. My kids are asking for a pet as well, but I am really glad that we signed a rental contract that states no pets. I am not allowed to give in! :) Glad you enjoyed the hub! Have a great day!

    • Aceblogs profile image

      Aceblogs 6 years ago from India

      It just reminds me of my parents ! My brother always used to say he wants a pet ( dog ) at home and my dad always used to taunt that we already have 2 ( me and my bro ) , we cannot handle the third one . Lol.

      Mindblowing Hub !

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @Sharyn - you are very correct. You did see a cat scratcher. But, we were staying with my husband's family until we found our own place and they have 2 dogs and a cat. So, we didn't technically have pets... :) We actually just moved today so we are currently pet free. Thanks for the comment on the kids. I will pass it on to them. They always love hearing that! :)

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA


      I have not read the comments but have a question. Isn't that a cat scratcher in Max's video? Just wondering . . . FUN READ as expected from you :) Your kids are adorable!


    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @Real - I say that all the time and when she says something too adorable to forget, I don't usually have a notebook around to write it down. Maybe I need to start carrying one. I will put that on my to do list for next year's goals! :)

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Well I hope you are devoting a journal to Bellaisms now!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @Truckstop Sally - I have a confession to make... we just got a pet. Ok - so we were at a car show on Saturday and Grandpa gave each kid a dollar to see if they could win a fish. They won 3 fishes. So, I guess I am in the pet world now! :) But I am giving the kids full responsibility. We will see how that works! :)

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @Thought Sandwhiches - I will admit, kids aren't for everybody. However, I guess the same thing goes for pets. But who says you can't shove your kids in the backyard... err... nevermind. It is better to get a babysitter! ;)

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      Fun hub -- comparing the two -- children or pets. We didn't have a pet until my middle child read Where the Read Fern Grows in his middle school years. It was a life-changing experience. Now our dog is part of the family.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      lol...Well barbergirl...I'm not sure that you sold me...I do like me a good dog that can easily be put in the backyard when we go to the movies...that said...I loved your hub about pets and kids! Voted Up and across the board!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @A.CreativeThinker - Thanks for your insight. I was really try to get both sides of the story. I am not against pets, but I do think they are a great experience if you are ready for the work and responsibility and actually have the time for having a pet.

      Thanks for your commennts like always. Have a great day!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @JamaGenee - That is such a sad story. I guess maybe mine is somewhat similiar because I never got over losing our dog chubbs. Everybody I talk to says their pet is part of their family. I have never felt that connection with any other pet. I do hold a soft spot for pets, just I no longer prefer to have one.

      Thanks for sharing your story! :)

    • profile image

      A.CreativeThinker 6 years ago

      I have had my share of many pets too barbergirl28 and I still have a cat. I am also a mother and understand how hectic it can be, especially if you have many children.I agree that their are many reasons why people want and have pets, as there are reasons why people have children. Each situation has to be carefully thought out, when making the decisions in these areas. You have brought out some of the positive and some of the negative points on both sides. Cute Pictures. Take Care. :)



    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I was working full-time, the kids were in school and socially active, and I'd always refused to have an inside or outside pet because we weren't home enough to give one proper attention. And then this scraggly, starving Siamese kitten showed up at the back door one day... The upshot was we became HIS pets! For the next few years I swore we'd never ever have a dog...until a friend came into possession of a Chow-Husky mix puppy he couldn't keep that for some reason took an instant liking to Yours Truly. The cat - an "only child" for most of his life - refused to be in the same room with the dog, which was an interesting exercise in logistics. Sadly, the dog got nailed by a car a month before the cat disappeared, never to be seen again. I've never had (or wanted) another pet since. Mourned the loss of both for years, refuse to go through that again.

      But you are sooooo right that a pet is a great trial run for having kids. More people should have one - and take care of it **properly** - before having the other. ;D

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @Austinstar - I was just thinking... I don't know if the pets will call either. Then again, they probably don't plan on leaving home so that does make all the difference. Glad you could get a few laughs out of this! :)

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Well, I only had one child, but many pets. I have to say the pets were cheaper, easier to raise, and a lot more accepting of my faults.

      However, you do need someone to will your junk to when you die and pets just don't get that although some pet owners do it anyway.

      The child has grown up and moved far away and never calls anymore so I also have to say pets may actually be more loyal.

      But anyway, a great hub and funny too. Voted up and awesome!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @drbj - Thanks for the wonderful compliments. Max sure is the comedian in the house. I am hoping that they are all willing to pay for my retirement when I get older so I can travel the world. Or at least they can do the same as I did for them and buy my diapers! ;) As a person who has had pets and has not had pets and moments in life, I can say I honestly see both sides of the story. And that is a good thing, because then I am not trying to convince anyone of anything else! LOL

      Your welcome for the link... I thought it was appropriate being the whole companionship part in there! :)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      What a great title, barbergirl, and you didn't disappoint. The hub was even funnier besides being so realistic. Your four categories were perfect for the benefits of pet ownership vs. rearing children.

      Your kids are precious and Max, obviously, is a future comic. Encourage him and he may agree to support you in style when he grows up.

      Thanks for the link to my "How to Make Friends" hub. You just cemented another friendship, m'dear.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @Real - Man, if I would have been writing down all the stuff Bella says, I would have a book by now of oddities by Bella. She has a crazy active imagination. Different from others her age as she often times brings in zombies and ghosts to her stories. I, of course blame Eli for that one. And of course the tooth fairy is a girl... I mean how many guys do you see willingly wearing a tutu! LOL

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @Myth - he's young yet. He is still a spy in training... lol

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I was laughing all the way through this! While you totally nail what a responsibility it is - adding it to children is priceless! I'm glad you haven't ever fallen prey to a large parrot:) I find parrots much like children - they say some of the most embarrassing things.....a woman was trying to say hello to Syd while in the grocery line - I was holding her on my hip so you can imagine how red in the face I was to hear my child say sweetly, "are you a girl or a boy?". Kids come up with their own material too! Hilarious - and I so should have known the tooth fairy was a girl! Rotf!!

    • mythicalstorm273 profile image

      mythicalstorm273 6 years ago

      lol... But oddly enough we do suspect him... so where did his plans go wrong?

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @Myth - we had fish once. We had a Black Moor that got itself caught in the filter. It survived but I think it lost an eye and part of his fin. From then he could only swim in circles. Then we had a gold fish that was a bully. He didn't play nice with the others. Then I realized some of our fish were disappearing. The filter was good, so we figured out that he was eating them. So we taught him a lesson and feed him to the Pirahna next door when we moved. Ha ha - evil fish!

      And yes... Max does have plans to take over the world, and he has such a cute smile - no one will ever suspect him!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @Just Ask Susan - the video was the whole inspiration for this entire hub. I was watching him do it and I was like... light bulb... I don't need a pet... Max is entertainment enough. I mean the cat was having fun chasing the laser light, but it was even funnier watching Max... ha ha.

      The only reason we have pets right now is because we are staying with family. The pets are theirs, but when we move, I don't have any intention of getting an animal anytime soon. It is just to much work and I have enough on my hands with a 2 year old. My daughters are so much easier now that they are grown! :)

      As for the link - your very welcome - any time! :)

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @carcro - I have to agree. We had a dog when my daughter was first born. I absolutely loved him. Unfortunately he was a more agressive breed. It was just my daughter and me and I was going to school at the time. So needless to say, there wasn't any time left over for the dog. He ended up snapping at the dogsitter when I was home on leave and she took him to the pound. My husband is still made about that decision, but there was no way I could take the chance of my daughter getting bit. :( I still miss him though. He was a crazy dog!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      @tsadjatko - You bring up an excellent point. One day when the kids don't want to move out I will wish that I had a pet instead. But I can't say it wont be something boring like a fish! Ha ha - I will put that on my list of future goals for 30 years from now! :)

    • mythicalstorm273 profile image

      mythicalstorm273 6 years ago

      Haha this makes me laugh. Every time I see Bella in her Aliens on the Moon video I just crack up... not to mention Max chasing around a laser. lol... I think his obsession with the laser is a further proof of his secret mission to take over the world (by sharks with lasers on the heads of course!!) But over all rather entertaining and so true!! lol. Just makes me miss the kids even more! Also I want to let you know the fish can be very entertaining! Remember Buddy? He would randomly dive bomb the rocks and some how tear up all of his plants. We loved watching him be silly... but that was just his fishy personality. :-)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I am still laughing over the video. What a great way to tire out Max. We didn't get our first dog until the kids were older. We did have a cat though but I think dogs need far more attention than a cat does. I don't think that I could have handled having the dogs when the boys were little as they demanded most of my attention. Great hub! Thanks for the link :)

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 6 years ago from Winnipeg

      When we first bought our dog, we had no kids. Our dog was our baby and was spoiled beyond belief. Then we started our family, and our poor doggy was no longer the brunt of our affections, not on purpose, we just didn't have the time or energy. Now that our kids are older, the dog would have been back in the groove with our lifestyle again, but alas she has since passed away. So I can really relate to this hub, when you have young kids, its hard to also look after a pet, especially a dog.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 6 years ago from https:// online/ hubpages. html

      Funny how as we get older our perspectives change - I'll bet, when your kids are grown and out of the nest (which is usually 30 years nowadays) you'll be saying I didn't need kids - I should have gotten a pet. :-) (I'll be looking for that hub)I gave you a thumbs up but can't choose useful funny or awesome cause my hop window shows them already chosen - must be a glitch - only option is to undo!


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