(Photo courtesy of Jessica Nguyen)
Fountain Valley High School

Opinion: Pros and cons of having a dog

Dogs are amazing animals to have as a pet; but, having one comes with many benefits and challenges that you should consider before getting one.

Getting a dog means that you get a new best friend! They are incredibly loving and affectionate animals. Going home and seeing your enthusiastic dog with its wagging tail and sloppy kisses always make your day better.

If you are alone at home or on a walk, dogs make great company. Larger dogs and guard dogs can protect you and warn you of incoming problems, including invaders and earthquakes.

Dogs also offer many physical and mental health benefits. Forming a bond with your dog can actually improve your emotional health; you can vent to your dog without interruptions and they always know how to comfort you.

Dogs are common emotional support animals to help people deal with their anxiety and depression. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that dog owners experience lower blood pressure, cholesterol and feelings of loneliness.

On the other hand, having a dog can be a financial burden. Before even getting a dog, you have to pay for adoption or breeder fees, supplies, such as a crate, leash, toys and vaccinations and wellness check.

Dogs also require lots of training and obedience classes can be expensive. After getting a dog, you have to pay for its food, treats, toys and vet and groomer visits.

Having a pet means having a lot of responsibility. You have to always remember to feed, walk and spend time with your dog. You also lose your spontaneity as you have to plan every time you leave the house and go on a vacation.

Some dogs can be very messy. If you are used to keeping your house spotless, a dog might change that. Certain breeds of dogs shed a lot but even if they don’t, dogs can still make their presence known whether it be pee stains, the smell of wet hair or chewed-up furniture.

If you are still unsure about getting a dog, you can foster a rescue dog from the animal shelter and find the perfect breed for you! Even if you don’t want a dog, there are still other animals that make great pets depending on your personality and situation.

Becoming a dog owner is a big commitment and deciding to get one can be rough but its benefits do outweigh the challenges as you get to make a new friend, who is always there for you!