Regarding all the people who are claiming that people have pets “because they have no family”, this is just silly given the number of families I know who have and love pets. I’ve had pets my entire life, including when I was living at home with my mother and dad in a family unit, when I was single and living on my own, and when I was married and living with my husband. At least half to 2/3 of the people I know who have pets are living in a family unit of some type. In fact, it’s the people who are single who seem less likely to have the pets because having to take care of an animal cramps their social life.
It is a sad stereotype that when you are living alone for any reason (you’re young and single, or older and your spouse has died/ children moved away, etc.) and you have a pet, some people will assume you have the pet because you are lonely and the animal is a child or family member substitute. it couldn’t possibly be because you just like dogs, cats, rabbits, reptiles whatever and have had them your entire life and like having them around because they are fun and interesting, now could it?
And as far as having animals because you do not have children, I don’t have children because we physically couldn’t have them, but if I had children I would almost certainly still have pets because I like animals and have had all different kinds of pets since I was a child myself. And the pets are not child substitutes; they are nothing alike other than the fact that both pets and children need to eat and be cleaned up after and taken to the doctor from time to time.
But I guess judgy people are going to judge.