Are pets worth it? Pros and Cons of pet ownership

Background: I grew up with cats, as my mother loved them (she would keep a few strays who showed up at our house). I grew to like them a little but I have always preferred dogs, and so does my wife, so we’ve had dogs all our married lives (mostly labs or lab mixes).

Pros of pet ownership for me:

  • companionship
  • protection
  • loyalty
  • affection
  • teaching them to do useful things and tricks.
  • comedy show (watching both of them wrestle and play together and do goofy playful things
  • console us and lower our blood pressure
  • prevent loneliness when otherwise alone

Cons of pet ownership:
Economic cost:

  • Veterinary bills can be prohibitive on a tight budget. We once had to pay for an emergency surgery when one of our dogs had a twisted stomach, over $3000 US.
  • pet food bills
  • the emotional pain at having to put them to sleep when they age and die. I try not to become emotionally attached but inevitably do, and this hurts a tremendous amount sometimes.
  • picking up the poop outside constantly
  • lots of shedding of hair inside the house

In the end, I sometimes wonder if pet ownership is worth the hassle. What say you?

I live by myself in a town with no Catholics my age. Everyone is either retired, married, or both. There’s not much to do around here, and I’m pretty lonely. My dog makes me care for something that isn’t me, which is nicer than it may sound. He is excited when I come home and will sit next to me on the sofa. He keeps an eye on what’s going outside, so he’s sort of guarding the house. Making him happy makes me happy. I’d say he’s worth it.


Sounds like they’re definitely worth it in your case :+1:. Glad to hear your dog makes a positive difference in your life. Thanks for sharing, Fauken.


Yes, there is no better friend than a dog. None.


I wanna like your post 1000 X.


Both my husband and I are dog people. We both had dogs growing up and we’ve had several dogs over our 47 years married.

They can be expensive. They can cause messes. They can shed all over. I don’t care any more than I cared that my children were expensive, made messes and they shed, too! I have a space in my heart that only dogs can fill and as heart wrenching as it is when they age and have to be put down, I couldn’t imagine living without one.


I miss my dog terribly. He was always by my side. Always brought me comfort. Loved me unconditionally. He made me laugh like no one else. He was amazing.


My doggie says hi to your doggie! Have you ruled out adopting another dog…even an older one that’s already housebroken and in need of a home? We adopted this guy when he was about a year old, already past the potty training and teething stage. He was a rescue and one of the finest dogs ever!


You need to get another beagle. He will not replace your first one, he will just have a place beside him.
It is clear you love him, and you sound like you have plenty of love left over for another dog!


My wife has a placard in one of our rooms at home that has an outline of a dog that reads, “Rescued is my favorite breed”.


There are negatives to any given situation but I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to pets. I hardly ever think about the financial implications just the joy and love my cat brings me. He’s family after all.


I’ve had two cats in my adult life, one of which came with me when I got married and moved to another country. Yes, it was expensive, but I couldn’t put a price on the value of their companionship.

Nevertheless, the cost of pet ownership is a real concern. Unless a person truly has no cash flow or supply issues, we all have a financial line beyond which the expense is just too high.

The cat I moved overseas with went into kidney failure and eventually had to be put down because of the condition…but not before running up a few thousand in vet bills. We didn’t directly pay any of it, however, because we bought full-coverage pet insurance soon after her arrival in France. The premiums were extremely reasonable and the terms were generous. Without the insurance we would have been in a serious bind.


My beagle was a rescue. He was a lab dog in a Veterinary school laboratory. Genetically, he didn’t meet their qualifications and would have been put down if not for a network of vet techs and veterinarians (former students) who worked to find homes for these puppies. I worked with a father of one of these vets who literally walked the hall asking if anyone wanted a dog. My wife and I had just decided to get one the day before. I called her and she agreed for us to take this one sight unseen. He was given to us in the alley behind a local vet hospital at ten weeks old.


I do, but shortly after he passed, we bought a winter beach condo in SE Florida that doesn’t permit pets.
If/when my son moves near to us with his family, we may sell the condo. Then we may get another.


Thanks for sharing, UpUpAndAway. I’ll need to look into the pet insurance option. I live in U.S., and I think it is offered here but I don’t know if it is as reasonably priced as it is in Europe.


I can’t imagine life without my pup! She is my walking partner, my traveling pal, my playmate, my devout listener, my cuddly babe, my driving to petsmart pal, my protector, my blessed by the priest pet, my responsibility to feed, care, bathe, take to the vet, take to the groomer, and most of all to provide her with with LOVE and receive her UNCONDITIONAL LOVE in return! :dog2: :paw_prints: She is my RESCUE pup!


You will have no emotional pain unless they gave you extensive joy. We should feel sadness at their passing, but not guilt. It’s a good time to rescue another pet.

I think pets make one a better and more compassionate person.

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Pets are only worth it if you truly have time, space, resources and love to give them. If you don’t have one of these necessities, don’t get a pet. You’ll have a miserable, destructive, and disobedient pet and you’ll hate the thing at the same time. Trust me, I’ve been a bad pet owner before.

Anyone who wants to kill some time

A subreddit for cute and cuddly pictures (99% of pets)

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Good point. We have an adult son who lives alone, works long hours, and is thinking of getting a dog. I try not to meddle but can’t help but wonder if it’s a good thing when the dog will be alone for long periods of time.

My wife said he could bring it to our house for some doggy daycare, but I’m not too keen on that idea, especially since we both work, although fewer hours than our unmarried son does.

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