Stress and pets: Pros and Cons


Three adults, a toddler, two very large dogs, and a 21-year-old cat make up our household. Even though I might not respond in a ladylike manner if someone suggests that I must have a lot of stress relief because we have so many pets, it is possible under the right circumstances.

Pros of Pets for Stress

Exercise: I’ve shrunk six pant sizes since the dogs arrived. This is because I take them for three daily walks while working five days a week. They enjoy it, and every dog needs to be active. There’s a lot of it these dogs need.

Lowers Blood Pressure: According to studies, petting an animal and enjoying a cat’s purr can lower blood pressure. Read under “cons” to see if this will be the case for you.

Decreases Depression: Studies show that this is also the case. It might be possible, I suppose, because we don’t have enough time to think about being depressed.

Eases Loneliness: I wholeheartedly concur with this. I would want a pet if I didn’t have any family nearby. Or even three big dogs and a very old, grumpy cat


Cleanup: When I was assisting with the care of a horse, I scooped less manure each day than I do with these guys. That much waste can be produced by just the dogs. If the cat’s box isn’t pristine we are cleaning up behind furniture and under desks where he deposits his “requests” for litter duty.

Expense: We spent a lot of money, mostly on the cat, but I don’t regret a single penny. However, the fact that he ate the tinsel and lost $1100 just before Christmas complicated the festivities that year. Congrats, you now have a cat.

Noise: The barker among the dogs. She is not a “yip, yip” barker. She is the “Barker in the vein of “I can hear you a block away.” This presents a challenge because we live in a city. Some of the neighbors are not only irritated by the noise, but we also dislike it.

Yes, we’ve tried everything. No, none of it has been the perfect answer. Instead of a back yard the size of a postage stamp and three daily walks, the ideal scenario would be a sizable piece of land that she had complete control over.

Responsibility: I’ll now stop being amusingly sarcastic about our predicament and tell you what you need to know to make a choice. Being the pet owner is the owner’s primary duty. It implies attention and training. It entails making efforts to ensure the safety of the yard and the pet. If need be, you have to put up with barking. It entails regularly bringing them to the doctor’s office and occasionally to the emergency clinic.

When a pet reaches old age, it signifies the last gift you can give to an animal that has likely loved you for a very long time and that you have reciprocated love for. There will come a time when the pet must cross the Rainbow Bridge and wait there until you do. It means pain.

Getting a pet is a smart move if you can manage those things. If not, both you and the animal will suffer.

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