We’ve all heard people saying things like, “It is a beautiful feeling to have a pet” or “I’m so blessed to have my dog.” While this is true and there is a consensus that having a pet alleviates the mood of a household. There is truth in the fact that animals are loving. They make better companions than most people; they are true and stick with you. However, every rose has its thorn. Having and maintaining a pet is not easy; you have a living being entirely dependent on you. Having a pet is a lifetime commitment that you cannot just let go of.
So, before you finalize your decision of getting a pet into your family, here are 10 disadvantages that you need to bear in mind before going ahead with that decision.
1. A Major Financial Commitment
Adding a member to your small (or big) family can be an expensive step, to begin with. Buying pets is not cheap Cats, Dogs, Turtles, Hamsters, etc., are sold for quite a price, especially so if you want some “special” kind. Anyone can easily overcome this step by adopting the slogan of “Adopt don’t Shop”. The disadvantage of having the policy with you is that this mostly pertains to pets that are largely owned like dogs and cats, and the slogan is not very applicable for those people who wish to adopt lesser owned pets like rabbits or hamsters (you might get someone, but the chances are low).
As mentioned before, if you add a member to your family, raising that member will require money. A lot of animals require frequent check-ups and special items that you need to buy for them. Dogs and cats require trips to the vet, especially in the first year of their lives. There is a constant need to buy food, toys, shampoos, etc., which can really get heavy on the pocket. Most cat and dog owners decide to get their pets neutered.
Please don’t think that this is only for bigger animals and say, “oh, no issues, I’ll get a small Guinea pig”. Even smaller animals incur expenses.
This is mostly only for Dog owners, but an untrained dog can be a nightmare, and the obvious answer to this is getting a dog-trainer but bear in mind, dog trainers are expensive, especially the good ones. Even if you are not getting them highly trained, basic obedience training is necessary for every dog.
As your friend gets older and older, it is bound to get sicker and frequent the hospital. Sometimes maybe even unplanned medical visits, adding to the cost of your pet.
2. Need Your Time
A pet is nothing short of having a baby in your family, and babies? They demand attention. If you are not granted their demanded attention, they are bound to react in unpleasing ways.
Other than wanting attention, even maintaining your pet requires a large amount of time. Dogs need walks and grooming, cats need their litter boxes cleaned, and their sand changed, fishes need their water changed while the quality of the water should be regulated. All these seemingly menial jobs can take up a large part of your time.
Also read: Top 12 Cutest Dog Breeds
3. Schedule Set in Stone
Did you have a long and much more tiring day than usual? Are you thinking of just laying down in your bed and relaxing? Your dog has other ideas. He is waiting for you to take him on that walk, the one on which you go every day.
Animals are creatures of habit and, thus, stick to a schedule. While you may have blended them into your schedule, there is not much flexibility available.
4. Event Planning
You need to factor in your pets into everything that you plan. While you’re doing that, also make contingency plans for those emergencies.
You will need to plan what, how, and most importantly, who will take care of your pet. Your creature of habit, needs to be fed, interacted with, and cleaned up after if you’re going on a vacation for a few days.
5. Can’t Go everywhere with them
As sad as it is, you can’t take your pets everywhere. You weren’t thinking of carrying that fish tank everywhere, were you?
Even if you knew you couldn’t travel with your fish or hamster anywhere. Most places don’t even allow dogs and cats; even if you are going to places that will let your pet accompany you, various animals don’t take well to travelling in cars.
6. No Long Vacations
Going on very long vacations can get really difficult for you unless you are content with leaving your pet in a kennel or some daycare, which your pet might not really appreciate.
They feel empathy towards you. They wish to stay with you.
7. Social Consequences
What to do if you can’t take your pet out? You leave them behind, or do you cancel your plans. You will have to answer such questions very often, and most of those times, the answer you will arrive at is to cancel your plans. This will slowly creep into your daily routine and numb your social life unless you always call your friends over!
I do hope that your friends aren’t afraid of your pet, though. Having a pet can be a major deterrent for people; they might get really reluctant to enter your humble abode. In comparison, most small animals can be secured inside of their cage, like hamsters, birds and fishes. Bigger animals like dogs and cats aren’t meant to be caged for longer durations. The incoming guests might even, sometimes, incur unpredictable behaviour. Dogs by nature are curious, and if you pull them away, they are going to approach the subject even more due to their curiosity.
Also read 12 Friendliest Dog Breeds List
8. General Hygiene is Compromised
When you get a dog, a major issue that needs to be dealt with is their toilet habits in the initial months. Even after you have tackled that with basic potty training, then the general hygiene standard is lowered. Your dog won’t take a bath every day like you, and he also goes on long walks, that too, barefoot. That dust sticks and eventually enters your house.
Smaller animals or caged animals also compromise the general hygiene of the household. If you don’t regularly clean up after your bird or your hamster after they’ve answered nature’s call in their cage, it is bound to attract flies.
9. Nothing is Safe
The fact of the matter is that they are animals, and they do not understand human creations. It is not a bedpost for cats; it is a scratch post, and they will scratch it. Dogs tend to chew a lot of the furniture while going through their teething phase, and they might even tear a few slippers, shoes and clothes.
Oh, you think that cute little guinea pig won’t do anything? You couldn’t be more wrong, and even those little creatures need to be set out of their cages every once in a while. They are pretty agile, or at least agile enough to give you the slip and chew on that wire that had been tempting them from their cage.
10. Saying Goodbye
People mostly out-live their pets. While for others, they might be “just an animal”; for you, they have been a part of your life. Such a big part that which has brought you immense joy and happiness. Saying goodbye to something that significant is always difficult and so heart-breaking. It leaves you feeling empty inside. Overcoming that heartbreak can be a real challenge, but at least you have all those wonderful memories.
So, having a pet can be a beautiful feeling, but it is a lot of responsibility and, all in all, a tough job. Hope this article gives you a holistic view of what having a pet is like and making you realise whether you’re truly ready to be a pet-parent.