Drawbacks for humans when keeping pets

Keeping a dog as a pet has its downside

It is important to realize this beforehand. A few examples:
  • Responsibility
  • Time
  • Holidays
  • Education
  • Social limitations
  • Costs
  • Sorrow


Having a dog is a big responsibility. With al of your daily routine you must take the needs and existence of your pet into account.


A dog can live ten to fifteen years. It will dictate a great deal of how your time is filled in. Some one has to be at home every few hours to walk the dog and to feed him. Walking the dog, education, play, care and giving attention takes up a lot of time. Practically all dogs, be it with longhair as shorthair, lose their hair. Hair spreads around your house and cleaning it takes up a lot of time. When molting you have to vacuum clean your house daily and brush your dog to keep things tidy.


When you want to go on holiday alone you have to provide for a dog shelter or ask some one to take care of the pet.


A dog can show or develop behavioral problems. A good education is important and how to do this is not common knowledge. Bad education can cause the dog to demolish your furniture or the animal can behave aggressively towards others. Some dogs obey no one and listen to no command.

Social limitations

Dogs are not allowed every where. Think of public places like shops, restaurants, public service, etc…. But also when you visit friends taking your dog along can be a problem. A lot op people are annoyed by barking dogs (neighbors f.e.). The decision to go out and get a pet goes far beyond going to the pound and picking up an animal. You will need to think about food, vaccines, pet care, and more. For instance,when the pet needs to go outside to use the bathroom, you will need to think about cat and dog doors. Otherwise, you will always need to be there to let your pets in and out of the house.


The purchase of a pet can be expensive. A few hundred dollars is nothing for a dog. Besides that, there are necessities like a basket, leash etc. and of course veterinary bills. Some municipals demand tax to be paid. Not all dogs remain healthy all of their live. When you are down on your luck the bill can rise sky-high. The extra care can be time consuming.


The excreta of companion animals will contribute to the production of greenhouse gases, although this is relatively limited. Horse manure produces methane, ammonia and/or nitric oxide, depending on storage conditions. The 3.2 million cats, 1.8 million dogs and 400.000 horses in The Netherlands require an equivalent of 820.000 ha for their nutrition, which is about 40% of the total arable area in The Netherlands. Extrapolating these data to the EU-level with an estimated 60 million cats, 56 million dogs and 5.8 million horses, 19 million ha of arable land are required. Apart from the drawbacks for yourself and your environment there are other consequences.
  • Dogs eat meat from factory farms
  • Dogs produce shit

Carnivores eat other animals

Dogs are carnivores so they eat meat. This meat is likely to come from factory farms. If not, it will be much more expensive. Apart from that you let other animals be killed to feed your pet.

Dog(s) shit

dog shitDog shit on the streets means a lot of irritation to a lot of other people. It is scattered all over public places, suitable or not to dropped like pavements, playing fields and country roads. It always stinks, sticks to your shoes and clothes and will cost the community a lot of money to clean up. In some municipals dog owners are obliged to clean up the shit with utensils. Dog shit has been a national pain in the ass for a long time.

Grief and sorrow

Most dogs die before their owner. Their death can have a heavy impact.

Old age

Just like the situation with older people vets can prolong animal life. How far we you go along with the prolongation of the live of a sick pet? By taking the dog as an example a lot of various factors are mentioned that some people are likely to ignore. Not all but most reasons apply to other pets. On the other hand there are unique circumstances with particular pets that do not apply to dogs. There are additional consequences for pets.

This article is part of a series on pet adoption. Below the table of contents of this series. Below that even more articles about pets.

Table of contents

Introduction: keeping pets.

An example: the dog

The history of dogs.
Modern day dogs.
Consequences of irresponsible breeding for dogs.
Drawbacks for dogs.


Why do people want pets?
Drawbacks for humans.
The pet-industry.


Take a pet?

More articles on pets

Are pets education tools?
Bad reasons for keeping pets.
Dependency of animals.
Letting go of attachment to animals.
Children and their perception of animals.
A disposal fee for every pet animal purchased?
Abandoned pets as "free as a bird"?

Links to articles about specific animals

Suffering of reptiles.
Why the goldfishbowl is bad.
A rabbit as a pet… suitable or not?