Reasons To Rethink Getting A Family Pet

Everybody’s always talking about the reasons that you should get a pet for the family. It offers companionship for the kids, encourages them to exercise more often, improves their immune system, teaches them about bereavement and can even encourage learning. It seems like there’s no downside to owning a pet which leads to people buying pets prematurely and then realize that they’re stuck with an animal that they don’t really want to look after.

Before you get a pet you need to think long and hard about it and make sure that you’re absolutely making the right decision for you and the whole family. That means looking at the downsides as well as the positives. Although people would have you believe that there isn’t a single reason to think twice about getting a family pet, there are actually quite a lot of them.

They’re A Lot Of Work

When people are thinking about getting a pet they’re usually picturing going for walks in the park and playing with their new friend, which is great but it’s only a small part of owning a pet. If you’re basing the choice to get a pet on those good things without thinking about any of the work you’re going to have to do, you’ll get a nasty shock. Looking after a pet is a whole lot of work when you think about it. You need to feed it, make sure you’re up to date with Pet-Lock products to stop it from getting fleas, exercise it and buy all of the stuff that it’ll need. If you live a busy life and the family aren’t old enough to take responsibility on their own, it’s probably not a good idea to get a pet.

The Cost

Buying a pet in the first place can be fairly expensive. Dogs can easily cost you thousands and although cats are a bit cheaper, owning one is still going to cost you. People always forget about the small costs of owning a pet that can really add up. You’ll need pet insurance, otherwise, you’ll end up having to cover incredibly costly vet bills. The insurance probably won’t cover things like vaccinations or any pre existing conditions so you’ll have to pay for those on top of the insurance costs. Then you’ve got to factor in food, leads, beds and all sorts of other bits and bobs. If you don’t want them to misbehave then you’ll need to take them to obedience training classes which are going to cost you a lot of money. If you try to save by skipping the classes, you’ll probably end up having to pay out for furniture and bits around the house that have been chewed up.


Pet allergies are pretty common but if you haven’t been around many animals before you might not realize that you or somebody else in the family is allergic to dogs or cats. If you make a rash decision to get a pet without checking whether you’ve got allergies first, you could end up covered in a rash all the time because you’re allergic to your new pet. Go to the doctor first and get the whole family checked. It’s worth thinking about extended family members that visit often as well. If one of them has an allergy then it might be a bit of a pain when they come round.


People often don’t think about noise as a factor when they’re buying a pet but it’s a big consideration. If you personally prefer living in a quiet environment then a dog isn’t the best idea. If you’re still dead set on getting a pet, a cat might be better. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll be able to train a dog to never bark, it’s not going to happen. As well as thinking about yourself, think of the neighbors as well. If they are particularly fussy about noise from the house then getting a dog could cause some serious problems between the two of you.

Lack Of Freedom

As soon as you get a pet, things get a little more difficult in your life. Anytime that you want to go away for a few days, you’ve got to think about what you’re going to do with your pets. You’ll have to arrange for somebody to come round and feed them, or put them in kennels which is another cost to add to the pile. When you first get a pet, you’ll need to take time off work to help them settle in as well. People don’t often think about just how much it will affect their freedom when they’ve got a pet that relies on them and they end up regretting it sometimes. A cat is better than a dog because as long as there’s food out for them, they’re fine on their own whereas a dog needs a little more attention.

Damage To The House

Even if you shell out for expensive training classes, it’s not going to work right away and there’s always going to be damage to the house. Dogs love chewing things and cats love to scratch things up. There are ways to discourage them from doing it but it’s inevitable. For the first few months you’re going to have to buy a load of new stuff when they ruin it for you. You’ll also have to deal with those little accidents when they’re toilet training and you might have to get carpets professionally cleaned.

Sleep Problems

Sleep problems is another thing that people don’t often think about with pets. In the beginning, you’ll lose sleep if you’ve got a dog barking late at night but the problems don’t stop there. If they’re jumping up on the bed and sleeping on there, it’ll stop you from getting a good night’s sleep. That can have far reaching effects on your day to day life and your health.

There are a lot of great reasons to get a family pet but don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s always the best choice.

Enjoyed this post? Want behind-the-scenes access & more control over my streams?

Hello there! I’m Gareth, the 16-Bit Dad; a retro gaming blogger, Twitch Streamer and Autism Parent. With a focus on great games, a wonderful Stream community and help for other Autism Parents, I review games, play them with the community and share my learnings about Autism!

Latest Reviews
The Zoo Race Review
  • 15th January 2020
Timesplitters Review
  • 7th January 2020
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Review
XIII (PS2) Review
  • 14th October 2019

I am proud to be partnered with these companies, all of whom I actively trust and believe in their products. You should definitely check them out!


Help spread the awareness of Autism and support the amazing National Autistic Society through my JustGiving page! Click the button below to find out more!


Winner – Digital & Tech – UK Blog Awards 2018

Winner – Best Gaming Blog – UK Blog Awards 2019
UK Retro Gaming Blogs
Rated 3rd Best UK Retro Gaming Blog by Feedburner
TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs

Get More Retro Gaming In Your Inbox!

Join the 16-Bit Dad mailing list to receive monthly game recommendations, top clips and more great gaming content!

That's It – You've Subscribed! Your Soul Is Mine!

Sign Up

New membership are not allowed.