How Pets Make Life More Stressful

Its great to get a pet and think everything will be great, but a responsible person also needs to look at the down sides of pet ownership.


Pets contribute to our lives in many ways, some ways are better than others. Many people just look at the good, a few only think of the bad. Of course its best to look at both, and before getting any pet it is always a wise idea to look at the negative points of pet ownership rather than only the good.


Pets are not cheap. They require constant feeding and other care expenses. When they get ill veterinary prices can be high. Even the basic needs such as spay or neutering, and vaccinations, are often a sore spot for some owners who neglect them. In some places failure to pay for a pets expenses is considered as neglect and punishable under law.


Pets are a lot of work, most are a daily responsibility. This includes times when their owner is sick or tired. Some people forget how much time they spend on themselves, brushing their own hair, or cleaning their room, and then complain about spending a fraction of that time brushing their pet, or cleaning its cage. Some pets may be more of a burden than others. Lifespan must also be considered, as a pet is a lifetime responsibility.

Come on and play! by kansas_city_royalty.

photo source

Hair and Mess

This sort of links in with responsibility. People often forgive the messes they make themselves, pop cans left on the table, a newspaper left on a chair, but are unforgiving if their pet happens to shed. Further messes may include those left by the dog in the back yard, or the cat in its litter box (or yard if let outside). For people who find this too big of a burden to deal with, it can become a real problem as the waste becomes odorous and unsightly, or attracts insects.

Destroying Stuff

Although a well cared for, and properly selected, pet is not destructive, many people who fail to meet their pets mental or physical needs, soon find the pet becomes destructive. Kittens are known for being claw aggressive so nobody should complain when a kitten scratches things. Many dogs are bred to be active, hunting or herding, so when left alone they become bored and destructive. While all of this is owner error, these reasons are common ones used when pets are unwanted.


A pet is a long term commitment, holidays must be planned around the pet, even day trips must be coordinated to allow the pet to remain on its proper feeding schedule. For some people the commitment becomes and overwhelming burden.

Family Arguments

In families where the owner has not been clearly established as the parent (who indeed is the one who should be providing financially for the pet and has accepted the responsibility of such an animal) there are bound to be fights. The most common argument is when a child is bored of the pet and the adult also does not want to care for it. Other arguments occur when kids want to be involved with pets when the pet wants to be alone, or if both kids want the pet to sleep in their room, and so on. Whose turn is it to do what, can also cause fights.


Pets get sick. This can pose a financial burden to some people, and an emotional one for other. The ailing pet might require daily medical care, or might simply cause their owner to worry. Pets are not like machines, easily fixed, or replaced. For many people the emotional strain of having an ill pet is an exhausting one.

This lamb was nearly dead when we found her outside on a January Day.  Read her Story.


The fact is most pets will die before we do. For most loving owners this is the biggest, and only, problem with owing a pet. This is something that owners will have to deal with one day, hopefully the result of old age, rather than accident, or illness.


Of course, myself, I am a total pet lover. I find their good points outweigh their bad, but most of all I own pets for their sake rather than my own. I have rescued cats because if I had not… their lives would have been cut short. I don’t own a dog because although I love them they are a time commitment I cannot make, yet I have nursed bottle baby lambs when their mothers could not care for them… I too, have seen many wonderful pets die.. leaving a hole in my heart.

Pets are well noted for lowering stress in a home, BUT it should be noted that this is generally only true when they are planned for, carefully selected, cared for, and loved.

Related Links

Caring for Pets with Medical Needs

How to Get Rid of an Unwanted Pet

How to Find Low Cost Spay or Neuter Options

Why I do not Own a Dog

How Pets Make Life Better

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User Comments
  1. wordperson

    On July 6, 2010 at 3:38 am

    I thought pets reduced stress! In fact if you do an internet search using the key-phrase ‘ pets and stress’, most of the results will be about how pets reduce stress. However, your take on how pets can actually make life more stressful is a thoughtfully written article.You have rightly stated that before deciding to own a pet, a person should look at the positive as well as the negative aspects.
    One should have a pet that he or she can take care of.

  2. aman259

    On July 6, 2010 at 9:15 am

    great share! thanks! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  3. Jo Oliver

    On July 6, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Agree all around. The expense, both everyday and medical, is outlandish. Pet food has risen so much in the last 5 years. It is hard to feed a small dog. I hate to know what one of the big breads of dogs eats per month. The medical expenses have always been high. My first cat had trouble having her first kittens. I carried her to the vet and all they did was an IV and waited for her to have the kittens naturally…it was a 600 bill.

  4. Ruby Hawk

    On July 6, 2010 at 11:54 am

    There are many rewards but sadness too. You have made good points to ponder.

  5. Jimmy Shilaho

    On July 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    You are right, but when they stress us most of the time it isn’t their fault.

  6. Belle Dob

    On July 7, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Amasch

    On July 7, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    awesome article! Most of them talk about pets being nice this is the first one i am reading…i think whatever you have mentioned is right on its part! thumbs up!

  8. PR Mace

    On July 7, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Excellent points. Our dogs are so much a part of our lives that their care if just second nature. Our bird takes more time than our dogs. I can glad you touched on holidays away from home. We are lucky and our daughter house and dogs sits for us so they get to stay at home. Death is another point I am happy your brought up. It is hard to lose a pet you have shared your life with for a long time.

  9. I Am No One

    On July 8, 2010 at 4:43 am

    this isn’t true, i have never (not once) became a pain to my master, he loves me so much, tail-wag woof!

  10. Lipstick

    On July 9, 2010 at 9:00 am

    oh this is so true and i have gone through it all
    all for sake of love
    and inspite of it all, they give us indescribable happiness when they are playful and loving
    nice one :)

  11. Abigail Zhu

    On July 13, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Interesting article, but be it people or pets… they all add some sort of stress to our lives. Still, amidst all the stress, there is joy too. That’s all about living I guess. If you love someone or something, its just a normal part of the living process.

  12. Katie K

    On August 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    My husband and children cause me stress and expense but I love them just the same. I would not trade any moment with them for any thing in the world just as I would have not traded a single moment with our beloved Sheltie who left us 3 years ago. We are still grieving. He costs us alot of money in the 16 years we had him but he was worth every penny. His life enriched ours and caused a gap in our lives that could not be filled. We now have another Sheltie and even though he could never replace our first one, I am looking forward to many more wonderful years with my companion and friend.

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