To Get A Pet or Not is the Question

Those of you who read my travel blog would know that I grow cacti and succulent plants as a hobby, those of you do not read my travel blog but are reading this post now know that I grow cacti and succulent plants as a hobby. Also if you have read my last post you will know that my elder daughter has been asking for a dog for quite some time and I have been not very keen to get a dog. Not that I do not like dogs, actually I adore them, and when I was growing up we had a pet in our home.

To get a pet or not is the question - getting a pet - dog for kids

The last dog we had was ‘Pluto’ a Dalmatian, whom I bought a few years before our marriage as Sasha is also a pet lover and we are both Dog people.

After marriage, due to job we lived in different cities and the dog remained with my parents, with my mother being especially fond of him. Even when we moved back to the same city though in different house to save commute time to office, Pluto continued to be with my parents till his last breath.

Ever since then there has been an intense debate in our house whether to get another pet or not. You see even if you bring a fish in your home it is a great responsibility. You need to remember to feed, clean the water, and make sure the fish bowl is not kept in direct sunlight and so many other things that one needs to take care of a living thing. Now with Dogs, things become even more complicated, first you need to make sure you get a breed that is not aggressive with kids, then the breed should be happy living in tropics, or you should forego vanity and adopt a street dog or pup.

In either case you need to follow vaccination schedule recommended for dogs and once the dog is home you need to take him out for walks, a minimum of 3 times in a day. What to do when you are traveling? You add a task for your wife and kids or you hire a dog walker? Or you put the dog in a kennel? (How many good kennels you know in India?)

Make sure when you take the dog out he is not soiling the front porch of your neighbours. This is for the sneaky guy in 3/4th pants who thinks nobody is watching him, looking the other side when his dog is doing its thing, because he thinks everybody is sleeping in early morning. Remember I have a Zoom lens that I use to click bird pictures? Now here the dog is bigger than birds and you are bigger than dog so you know how clear the pictures are? And if you claim it was not your dog then my question would be – “was it you then?”.

Anyways, enough of our neighbour in 3/4th pants soiling the neighborhood, I mean their dog soiling the neighbourhood.

So you see, getting a dog or any animal home is a big decision and one needs to think logically and practically, and understand that there is more to a dog than just hugging and asking him to shake hands when guests come home. It is brutally criminal to lock your dog with a chain in the balcony and go for work, with the poor dog howling the whole day waiting for the master, to arrive and play with him, only to be kicked because your boss screamed at you.

Anyways trust me, sooner or later your son or daughter will also ask for a dog if unless you already have one.. What will be your strategy then? Trust me, getting a pet is no different than becoming parents once again and remember, you can take your kids with you everywhere but not your pets, so that adds to complications.

I would love to listen to your opinions on pets, especially with homes that have little kids.

Sasha and Prasad Np are proud parents of 2 girls whom they fondly call Princess and Pinkette. He wears many hats after taking a break from being corner office critter for a long time. He is now an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, traveler and a potential investor in start-ups with unique concepts especially if they are in travel related business. He blogs at Desi Traveler, and can be reached at Facebook and Twitter.

  • Aah! This is a very sensitive topic in our home! Hubby and kid are dog lovers while I love dogs from far. We got a month old Dalmatian when the kid was 3-4 yr old. He was with us for 9 months and it was PAIN for me. Hubby being busy with work and sonny boy too young to handle him, the entire responsibility of ‘Pepper’ lay on me. Taking him out every day (bid-tid) and handling him even on holidays was a big stressful responsibility till we gave him up for adoption. Now, the kid is 11 and he is wanting a pet again but my verdict is that a dog will enter our home only if the 2 men take 80% of the responsibility along with a long list of do’s and donts, which is apparently not acceptable to them 😀 So, the ‘discussion’ continues….

  • You have hit the nail….. just taking out a dog is a full fledged job. And with a big breed like Dalmatian you need to be even more careful with the energy they have they can drag a 70 kilo man leave aside a 11 year old kid. Even with all the love I have for dogs I am still not ready to get one in our home. All the best for the discussions 🙂

  • Oh! Dont ask about the energy our Pepper had! When it was time to take him out, he would just run wildly and I would be holding his leash with both hands and almost everyday I would bang with a wall or a door and had so many bruises on my hands! He had made huge craters in our garden. I am very clear that a full time help is needed for such high energy dogs.

    • 🙂 Dalmatians are some of the most energetic dogs…

  • On and off, my husband keeps saying let us get a pet, atleast a fish. I told him I am not going to do a single thing because I am scared of all creatures. I am all for loving other human beings and animals (and other creatures) but you see, I have been raised that way by my mother who has also always dreaded dogs, cats, etc, etc. I cannot get over it. Besides, I have seen animal hair all around my friend’s place who used to have 4 dogs. I cannot live with that. Cleanliness is my number one priority.
    So, if my son asks for a pet…well, I shall cross the bridge when I get there 🙂
    P.S. You had me in splits about your neighbour. And I must say, I like your writing style. It is witty in just the perfect measure!

    • Thanks a lot Reema… I love all kind of creatures, it is the responsibility of a living thing that makes me think again and again..

  • My children want pets ( one wants a dog and the other wants a hamster) and i am totally against it. Not unless they are on their own and can take the responsibility. Dog or for that matter any pet is a huge destressor but the amount of time that we have to devote to maintain them robs us of the joy since time is such a huge premium and as it is you have already listed about the disadvantages of having them especially it is difficult to travel with pets.

    • A typical story with kids is they believe getting a pet is just like getting another toy like a teddy or an ipad, that can be tossed in a corner when bored. Some where all the work associated with the pet becomes responsibility of parents ( moms in most cases)

  • We have a big dog, German Shepherd. My stand on this issue was very clear. I wont even do 0% work related to dogs or pets. Not even when hubby is sooper busy, not even when he is sick. I think dogs and pets are good when someone else owns it 😛

    • Hi Divya…While I support your decision, it still leaves a pet in home that is loved only by half the humans in family. That is why I want to make sure that every body in family is on same page as far as pets go.

      • It is a bonus if everyone is on the same page. We adopted a rescue dog, so the argument is – barring one, everyone else in the family loves him than in the shelter where he is locked all the time.

        • @raodivya…. getting a rescue dog is a good thing you did…for all you know you have saved his life.

  • @ Divya – In a way you are right, Dogs are good when someone else owns it.

    On the other hand ,if they are treated as a family member and if their tantrums can be tolerated as that of others in the family are , life with a dog is far better.

    • Dogs are like kids when it comes to discipline.. They are as disciplined as you want them to be…

      • The greatness of a DOG is that they sense your emotions and act accordingly. Their emotions are best judged by looking into their eyes and tail. All apart the first 5 minutes that you spent with a dog are priceless. They give you a feeling that you are an important person…….thats a big gesture.

  • @Ganesan….dogs and cats become members of family….not so sure about fish and gerbils…

  • Having a pet is like having another child! I am debating on both and havent yet made any concrete decision yet! huge!

  • @Sirisha… yes it is a huge decision…all the best….. 🙂

  • Oh.. to keep a dog is like keeping a person with you. We are onto the fourth dog now, in 4 decades. What to do? the house is empty without the dog. We feel insecure, so take care of the dog. Most of the time, it is ok. But when one thinks of a sanitised house , ours is lacking terribly. It gives us some complex, but we brush it aside by looking into those loving and trusting eyes.

    • Yes, you bring the point very well that it is a great responsibility along with the love you get and give to the pet. 2 sides of the same coin.

    • the eyes into which we can see love and trust, are more valuable than a neat home………

  • Dogs are the most beautiful beings of all! They are adorable, and with kids, they are the best. However, you should not get a dog if you can’t take care of him/her. They need as much attention as kids and if you can’t take care of them, please don’t get one.

    • Hi Namarata…. your message says it clearly get a dog only if you are ready to take care of it. Thanks.

  • It is a tough call ! Sometimes its not even a call. Its a woof !

  • rachana sharma

    Congrates Prasad ji, you opened a very live issue of parenting…. To me its similar to the decision of getting pregnant so I think, The mother (who soever will give birth and responsible to take care) should be the deciding authority… or one should be resourceful enough to provide a nanny with a new born 😉

    • Thanks Rachna… I agree that the mother should decided about giving birth,,, I am not sure about the nanny part, as a nanny can help but not replace the mother.