Wrong reasons to get a pet

What are the wrong reasons to get a pet?

So I was scrolling through a baby/children forums looking to see if my article about grief and children would be a suitable submission and I thought I’d have a read of the other pet and children related articles. What I found was horrifying. A bunch of completely ridiculous reasons to get a pet none of which had anything to do with loving animals and WANTING a pet.


I guess I’m spoilt, I normally read other pet friendly websites so I don’t get exposed to this much online. Of course I do occasionally come across this with my work and even in my own friendship circles. So, I’m writing down the top WRONG reasons to get a pet.


  1. You don’t like animals but don’t want your kids to miss out – worst reason ever!
  2. You only want a pet if it’s free and doesn’t cost much to look after, and if it gets sick, your opinion is “is it cheaper to just euthanase this one and get a new one?” Newsflash – pets are not a disposable commodity!
  3. You want it for protection and that’s the only purpose
  4. You want to teach you kids a lesson in responsibility but you’re not willing to be a responsible pet owner – if you’re not going to be responsible yourself what lesson could that possibly teach your child other than to NOT respect a life regardless of what shape it comes in.
  5. You used to think of your pets as your children, but then you had real children and see that they don’t matter as much so you're much more relaxed with them not getting adequate care and treatment like they used to… You may be more relaxed and understand that an animal’s life cannot be put on par with that of a child, however, this does not change the fact that every pet needs love, food, veterinary care and stimulation. Having children is not a good enough excuse to NOT look after your animals or not give them the veterinary care they need. NOTE: I’m a mother of two so I know how difficult it can be to find time for everything. I’m not talking about parents who simply have less time for their pets but will still provide them with the care they need. I’m talking about the ones who make a conscious decision NOT to care as much and NOT to provide the health care that their pets need because they no longer place value on their pets lives. 
  6. Pets are cute but should be seen and not heard. Most importantly you feel that they should behave themselves from the start and NEVER make a mistake without being taught how to act. “I’ll get a cat but only if it never gets on the bench, never scratches my furniture and always uses the litter tray” Talk about unrealistic expectations. If you don’t like animals and everything that comes with them then don’t get one. No one is forcing you too. Do your vets and the community a favour and just DON’T!


Wrong reasons to get a pet 1


If you are consider getting a pet for any of the above reasons then alarm bells should be ringing! My advice for you is stick with the pets of the stuffed variety.

6 Responses

  1. I am involved with dog rescue and I look at that list and smile. Why? Because I have heard all those things said to me before.

    I am considered a tough re homer in that I dont give a dog to the first person that comes along. I wont rehome dogs to people for many reasons ie history of getting rid of dogs (they are not a disposable item); a vet check does not give a good reference. Wont pay for treatments put dogs down and that is just the start of it. As a responsible rehomer my priority is only to the dog and not that of the owner. It is important to match the right dog with the right person/family. I dont rehome like a pet shop ie walk in wrap it up. The process takes time and if someone wants the dog I am rehoming badly enough they will understand that I am doing it in the interests of the dog. It is not good for a dog to go from home to home whilst we are trying to get it right. I make every effort including home check and backup service (ie any behaviour issues or other issues I go and help and that is for the life of the pet) I always hope I never see the dog again from not being wanted. For this I am often criticised by those that should or claim to be there for the dogs.

    In terms of the reasons people give up dogs I have heard them all before as well. Need a list???You might be stunned by that to

    • admin

      Thanks Lisa. I’m so glad that there are responsible rehomer’s like you out there – now if only we could get everyone who was rehoming/finding homes for pets to do the same as you.
      I bet that would make an interesting list! I’ve heard quite a few myself but I’m sure you’ve heard plenty more. I’d be happy to do a post on reasons that people give up pets – I’m sure it would be eye opening for the pet lovers out there! Feel free to drop me an email if you like.

  2. I just found your blog on BlogPaws and I love, love your honesty and this story. I’ve been in animal rescue for nearly two decades and people adopt or buy pets for all sorts of BAD reasons. The one I like best is, “I want my children to see the miracle of birth.” These folks not only get a pet for the wrong reason, then they bring other unwanted animals into the picture. Thanks for your story.

    • admin

      Thanks Sharon. I’m so glad you found my Blog. Blogpaws has been a great resource to help with connect with other animal bloggers. Argh – that’s a terrible reason to get a pet. They should just let them be at the birth of their next child – it’ll do wonders for that experiencing birth thing and also with a bit of luck give them a healthy dose of contraception!

  3. THANK YOU for this post!!! I totally agree with the others; I worked in a humane society for about a year and am currently involved in animal rescue. Some of the excuses for returning a pet were absolutely ridiculous. The possible reasons I can see for returning an animal to a shelter (since the shelter environment and moving from place to place are VERY stressful for the animal) are: allergies/serious aggression/serious illness of the owner (Did I miss any?)

    But here are the reasons I often heard: We adopted him as a puppy and didn’t know he would get so big. She is already almost a year old and she’s still chewing on things. He nipped at my toddler when she got near his food bowl. He needs too much exercise/has too much energy. Or, my personal favorite, we don’t have time for this animal. I’m probably forgetting a bunch of reasons, but I have sure heard a lot of them. It’s so sad to see a helpless and confused dog bounce from home to home when they’ve really done nothing wrong. Thank you for posting about this issue; I don’t think there’s enough awareness of how much this stresses dogs out.

    Ooh! Just thought of one more. We are moving and can’t take the dog/cat with. How is this a problem that SO MANY people have?! I would NEVER EVER consider moving into a place that wouldn’t allow my pet to come with us – don’t most people share this opinion??

    • Thanks Chelsea! There are so many crazy reasons that people get rid of animals. I have a vet nurse at work who is so passionate about educating pet owners that she is in the process of start a new pet parent seminar for clients to come to before they get a pet so they are going into it with open eyes.

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