Pets have become a common sight in many households. In fact, one would be hard
pressed to find a household without pets such as fish, dogs, cats, rabbits,
hamsters and even turtles. In France dogs and cats are the most common pets.
There are many advantages and disadvantages of owning a pet. The latter plays an
important role as companion to its owner. Dogs and cats in particular are
considered very close to humans and have been domesticated for thousands of
years. They no longer live in the wild but amidst human habitats. These animals
can form very close bond with their human owners and in fact dogs are even known
as men's best friend. Dog owners would tell you how their best friend would
snuggle up close to them for comfort and follow them everywhere and know well
their routines such as feeding time and the time when their owners return from
work. Experts say that pets are very therapeutic and can even prolong the lives
of human being, especially elderly folk or these widowed and living alone. Even
young children and the recluse respond well to animals rather than their human
Walking one's dog keeps one in shape. Since these four-legged creatures need
lots of exercise to keep them fit and healthy, most do owners have to allocate
time daily to walk or jog with them. This not only provides the opportunity for
pet owners to establish close contact with their dogs, it also force them to
exercise and keep themselves fit in the process.
Apart from being a source of comfort and constant companion, a dog in
particular would lay down its life for its master or mistress. There are
countless stories of how dogs have warned their owners of an impending disaster
such as fire, accidents, break-ins and eventually saved their lives. Dogs are
also kept to provide security for the home front against intruders and robbers.
Service dogs and sniffer dogs are used to extensively in the west such as
America, United Kingdom and Netherlands among others. Service dogs such as
Labradors and Golden Retriever are trained to assist the blind and elderly to
help them with basic tasks such as crossing the street, answering the phone,
collecting the mail and others. Sniffer dogs are used by the Customs Unit and
the police force has a Police Canine Unit that has dogs specially trained to
detect drugs and other dangerous substances like bombs.
The disadvantages of having pets relate mostly to responsibility of caring
for them. Pet owners must discharge their duties responsibly by feeding these
animals under their care with proper food, exercising them and ensuring they get
medical treatment as well as the required yearly vaccination. There are many
irresponsible pet owners who do not feed their dogs and cats, in particular, on
time as well as ensuring these animals are taken for walks, bathed regularly and
taken to the vet when they require medical treatment. We see, read and hear many
sad stories of dogs and cats being abandoned as soon as the owner feels the
animals have outlived their usefulness. Many are abused and ill treated.
Pet owners must ensure the surroundings are kept clean by collecting and
disposing of animal waste properly. There are many complaints we read in the
newspapers of how neighbors are exposed to the stench from animal waste as well
as dogs being chained up for long hours and hence, bark incessantly creating
nuisance and discomfort in the neighborhood.
Hence, there are more advantages than disadvantages of owning a pet as the
animal plays an important role in providing companionship and comfort for the