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The Pros and Cons of Getting a Pet

The Pros and Cons of Getting a Pet

Getting a pet is no easy decision. Emotional perks are undeniable, yet pets require time, understanding, and training. Particularly if you have kids, it can be difficult to gauge when you are ready for a pet. We all want a cuddly, warm friend to come home too, but responsibilities and costs required to properly take care of your pets are real. Carefully considering the consequences of welcoming a new pet into your home can make all the difference in keeping your pet safe and happy (and keeping you sane). While drawbacks to having a pet may be challenging, if you properly prepare, getting a pet can be a smooth experience. The following pro and cons of having a pet will help you decide if you are ready to rise to the occasion.

Pros:

1. Increased Personal Safety

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    One definite positive to having a pet unfortunately only applies to larger, free roaming pets. Mainly in the case of dogs, pets can bring a degree of safety to your life. A barking dog scares away most home invaders, and medium to large sized dogs provide security on late night walks. However, even smaller dogs, cats, and exotics have alerted their owners to approaching dangers like fire or gas leaks. When considering whether or not to get a pet, don’t forget that your new family member could be a crucial element in keeping you safe.

    2. Receiving Love 

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      No matter what kind of pet you get, you are sure to experience increased joy and love. Pets have a way of calming us down, and playing our heartstrings in a way that nothing else can. Pets can do a lot for helping you out of slumps and turning around a bad day.

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      3. Learning Patience 

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        Particularly when it comes to younger pet owners, having a pet can teach us valuable lessons. Training your pet can be a lesson in patience, while treating your pet well can help children learn how to be gentle and understanding. 

        4. Pets Empathize with You 

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          Another positive to getting a pet is having a family member who will always empathize with you. Regardless of what pet you get, most larger pets can sense when we are feeling under the weather or have had a bad day. Having something to cuddle with that genuinely cares that you feel better is a huge boost on those less than perfect days.

          5. Improved Mental Health

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            Having a pet is also a powerful way to keep yourself mentally functional. Across the board, pets of all types have proven to improve the health of patients with mental health challenges. From treating those with post traumatic stress disorder, to helping those who struggle with depression, pets are a helpful addition to combat a range of disorders. Not only do these findings bring hope to those with health challenges, it also means that every day anxiety and stress can be greatly decreased by spending time with your pet.

            6. Saving an Animal from a Shelter

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                Finally, another major positive if you’re looking at adopting a shelter pet is the knowledge that you saved a life. Dogs, cats, and other animals in animal shelters are usually tame, and sometimes even trained. By adopting an animal thats been abandoned, you are giving a good home to a living thing, plus making room at overcrowded shelters. Unsurprisingly, pet owners who adopt animals from shelters often speak to the animals undying loyalty and joy at being adopted.

                Cons:

                1. Responsibility

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                  One drawback of getting a pet is an immediate increase in responsibility. Just like a young child, pets rely on you for absolutely everything. Not only that, if they have yet to be trained, they won’t understand your anger if they do something wrong. If you are someone with an over scheduled life, or doubt your children’s ability to step up to this responsibility, a small pet like a hamster or mouse might be a better first step.

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                  2. Allergies

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                    Another drawback to pets in the home are allergies. Especially if you don’t know what you’re allergic to, bringing a cat or a dog into your life can bring unexpected hurdles. Keep in mind that allergies grow worse each time you are exposed to an allergen, so spending limited time with animals in the past is not conclusive proof you aren’t allergic. If you’re unsure of your animal allergies, pet sitting for a friend or spending time volunteering for an animal shelter might be something you want to try first.

                    3. Possible Safety Hazards

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                      Another important consideration when getting a pet is whether or not the animal in question brings more hazards to your life. A pet might be a fine addition for families with young kids, however a large breed of dog for example, will require extra attention and training to make sure it is safe around children. Similarly, aggressive types of snakes or territorial pets may not be the best addition if you have dependents living with you. It is important to consider the needs of everyone in your house before getting a pet.

                      4. Cost

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                        Unfortunately, another drawback to having pets is a necessary evil. Just like humans, animals need to be healthy and happy. Before you get a pet, consider the average yearly veterinary cost of owning the type of animal you are looking at. Cats and dogs for example, require several different shots throughout their first year of life, as well as preventative shots and treatment throughout their lives. Additionally, outdoor pets are more prone to infections, lacerations and pest infestations that require veterinary care. Even if your animal never has a major accident, every animal will require you to pay for basic veterinary care to have a healthy and fulfilled life.

                        5. Poop

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                          There’s no getting around it – no matter what kind of animal you get, you will be required to clean up after them. Make sure you have a solid stomach when it comes to removing poop if you want a positive pet experience.

                          6. Schedule Disorder

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                              Finally, remember that bringing a pet home means you will sometimes be at the mercy of their schedule. Cats for example, are naturally nocturnal, and are likely to find their way on top of you while you try to sleep. Similarly, dogs, birds, and many exotic animals will sometimes feel the need to make as much noise as possible in the middle of the night. Be prepared to take on these challenges when you decide it’s time for a pet, and your transition into pet ownership will be much smoother.

                              Featured photo credit: raneko via flickr.com

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                              How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

                              How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

                              Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

                              But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

                              Sight – Visual Stimulation

                              The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

                              1. Maximize your exposure to light.

                              Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

                              Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

                              2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

                              Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

                              Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

                              Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

                              3. Take note of your environment.

                              Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

                              By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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                              Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

                              What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

                              4. Engage in conversation.

                              Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

                              Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

                              Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

                              Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

                              5. Listen to upbeat music.

                              Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

                              Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

                              Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

                              If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

                              6. Work your nose.

                              Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

                              If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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                              Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

                              Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

                              If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

                              7. Have a good breakfast.

                              Start off with the most important meal of the day.

                              Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

                              Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

                              Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

                              20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

                              8. Drink lots of water.

                              Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

                              So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

                              How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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                              Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

                              3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

                              9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

                              Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

                              Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

                              Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

                              25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

                              Touch – Tactile Stimulation

                              Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

                              10. Splash cold water on your face.

                              Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

                              This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

                              5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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                              11. Use acupressure.

                              Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

                              Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

                              12. Get moving.

                              Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

                              And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

                              You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

                              Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

                              Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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