33 answers

Can a Person Who Never Had a Pet Become a Dog/cat Person???

My daughter wants a puppy/kitty and I'm finding myself liking the idea very much, I'm leaning towards a puppy; however I have never had a dog or any other pet and I'm sorry to say I have gagged when I see my neighbor pick up her dog's poo in her yard. The dog is beautiful but I don't know if I could get over the dirty work. I would love for my daughter to grow up with a pet and foster her love for animals, she is very responsible and loving and I think she would be thrilled to take care of her own dog.

What I'm afraid of is to buy the puppy only to have to give it away/sold to someone else later on. If I get her a dog I will be committed just as much as her of taking care of it, I love animals but never had one in my house.

My question is have you ever grown lo to love a dog or cat even when you had reservations about it? Does it make your life happier? Was it much more work than you expected or was it easier than you thought? Is there a type of dog you love to have around your children?

Thank you all in advance, I always get great advice on here and value very much your feedback! thanks!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you sooo much for all the answers I really appreciate the honesty and sharing not only the good but the nitty gritty. I agree that it's similiar to chaging diapers before and after having kids; after I had kids I worked as a nanny so I came to love children (both mine and borrowed) and diapers didn't bother me anymore. I imagine is the same with dogs and cats; I was not thinking about buying from a pet store I would hate to contribute with the puppy mills, it's disgusting how they treat animals.
I was thinking about getting a golden retriever puppy but I realize I was aiming too high for a first time experience; someone mentioned a greyhound, coincidentally we watched a show about greyhounds and they're such a graceful loving dog, I also like the cavalier king Charles Spaniel and the labradoodles are gorgeous (thanks for the link!) I really like the idea of fostering a dog while they find a permanent home, I think we will start with that and hold off the puppy idea for when my daughter is older. She is 8 going on 9 pretty soon but I'll wait until she is at least 10 as someone suggested. I also might get an adult dog instead of a puppy since many of them have already been trained, I honestly thought most pets on shelters were there because of agression issues, I see now that's not the case.
Thank you all again for your input, it really helped me make a decision and not only wait for a while more but also to do more research about rescue dogs in this area. Whatever we get we are committed to keep it and take care of it until the end, I just think I would be missing so much if I never get a pet. I think I want the dog as much as my daugter lol!
Oh I forgot my hubby had an allergy test and he is highly allergic to cats so we can't have cats :o(
Thanks again!!!

Featured Answers

You've gotten lots of good advice. I grew up with animals and have cats, dogs and a rabbit right now. I have also never bought a pet. I just wanted to ask you to consider getting whatever you get from a shelter. They are the best pets! If you buy a dog from a pet store you support the puppy mill business, and it's an awful, abusive business. Don't let pet stores tell you they get dogs from good breeders. They don't. Animal Planet just did an expose' on Petland and where their puppies come from. All puppy mills, even though they lie to customers about it.

3 moms found this helpful

A dog is a ton more work than an outdoor cat. Start with a cat if you have reservations. The only problem with cats is sometimes they have behavior problems, so that can be an issue. But I've had many cats, and only one with behavior problems, and dogs need a LOT of attention.

2 moms found this helpful

I would recommend you do not get a puppy. Way too much work. Get an adult dog. I, too, did not grow up with pets in the house so was very against it. My husband talked me into getting an indoor dog 10 years ago and I can't imagine life without her. She was two years old and housebroken and over all the chewing, etc.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I love both dogs and cats, but for someone who has never had either, I might suggest starting with a cat. With either one you're going to have to deal with poo. You'll either pick up dog poo or clean out a litter box. It's not pleasant, but it's not as awful as you might think! They've come out with all sorts of good products lately -especially in the litter department!

Cats are loving, but you don't deal with barking or HAVING to take them out for walks. You may have to deal with scratching, and if you get a male -get him neutered IMMEDIATELY so he won't spray. You an leave cats for much longer than dogs too. With cats and dogs -prepare yourself for pet hair! It gets all over the place, but it's just something you get used to eventually -and used to fabric rollers.

Cats and dogs usually help their owners stay healthier and overall happier. They truly have a way of wrapping themselves around your heart! If you go for a dog -I would suggest a small to medium dog to start out with.

Please go to a rescue society or the pound or humane society! Don't pay money when SO MANY cats and dogs are killed every day! My very best pets have all been rescues -dogs and cats both. You can also google the specific breeds you like + rescue and find many groups that rescue and offer those breeds at drastically reduced costs (usually just to cover food and any medical expenses).

3 moms found this helpful

You've gotten lots of good advice. I grew up with animals and have cats, dogs and a rabbit right now. I have also never bought a pet. I just wanted to ask you to consider getting whatever you get from a shelter. They are the best pets! If you buy a dog from a pet store you support the puppy mill business, and it's an awful, abusive business. Don't let pet stores tell you they get dogs from good breeders. They don't. Animal Planet just did an expose' on Petland and where their puppies come from. All puppy mills, even though they lie to customers about it.

3 moms found this helpful

A dog is a ton more work than an outdoor cat. Start with a cat if you have reservations. The only problem with cats is sometimes they have behavior problems, so that can be an issue. But I've had many cats, and only one with behavior problems, and dogs need a LOT of attention.

2 moms found this helpful

I never had a pet (wasn't allowed) as a child, but always knew I wanted a menagerie as an adult. My husband never had or wanted pets, but knew that was part of the deal with me. We have 2 dogs and also had 2 rabbits until recently (one rabbit passed at age 12). My husband has grown to love all the animals, especially the dogs. Now, I do do nearly all of the work myself, so that helps.

Dogs ARE a lot of work, especially early on. If you get puppy, you need to make sure you have some time set aside each day to train him. Also, all dogs will be healthier, happier, and better behaved if you can walk them every day. You could consider adopting a well-trained adult dog ... it will be less work, and you'll already know the temperament. A cat would be a less time-consuming pet, if that is a concern.

Animals are also expensive! More than you may think ... even routine veterinary care is quite pricey, and then if you have an animal with a long term health problem the bills really rack up. Also, dogs can make vacations much more expensive, because you'll need to find someone to watch him or to board him.

Pets have definitely enriched my family's life. Personally, I got more enjoyment out of them before I had kids ... its clear to me now that the animals were an outlet for my maternal instincts. Now that I have 2 small non-furry kids, its more of a chore to care for the pets, and I certainly don't give them as much attention as I used to. Still, my kids (ages 1 and 3) play with them daily and love them very much. My 3 yr-old put on their leashes and 'walks' them around the house and yard, and also gives them commands ... he gets a huge burst of confidence by having two large dogs listen to him. Also, while you can never make taking care of animals solely the responsibility of your daughter, she CAN do much of the care under your supervision. My older son has been feeding and watering all our animals since he was 2, and he both enjoys it and is learning responsibility.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I would recommend you do not get a puppy. Way too much work. Get an adult dog. I, too, did not grow up with pets in the house so was very against it. My husband talked me into getting an indoor dog 10 years ago and I can't imagine life without her. She was two years old and housebroken and over all the chewing, etc.

2 moms found this helpful

You should consider fostering a dog first. I am sure your local animal shelter needs foster homes for pets. That way if you like the dog you can adopt him and if it doesn't work out for your family you don't have to keep the dog. You just have to make sure your daughter will be ok with giving the dog back.

If you adapt a dog, you will need to give it time. We adopted our dog from the animal shelter and he was a crazy 1 year old dog that jumped on everything and chewed everything, even our molding around the floors. We crate trained him and got a trainer for him. I could tell he was a good dog, he just needed to understand the rules. It took about 6 months and there were times when we considered taking him back. We have had him now for 9 years and he is a great dog!

2 moms found this helpful

i grew up around animals, but it was in the country and they were all outside animals. when i got out on my own i got a cat b/c that was all i could get in my apartment. flash forward to years later, now i have a family and a bigger home and we just recently got our first dog. we agreed we wanted an inside dog. i prepared myself for LOTS of work. but you know what, it's no more work than a cat. she goes outside to pee, which isn't much of a hardship because the alternative is cleaning up puddles. we don't poop scoop because she keeps it in our own yard. and my son LOVES her, and she has really become part of the family. we are still adjusting, my husband never had a dog growing up at all....but in all it is very worth it. just be prepared and realize it will be work. and your daughter (you don't mention her age) may not be able to handle it all. (baths are the worst! but i take those on myself, they're getting easier)

as far as what kinds, i live in an area with LOTS of shelters, dozens actually, and i picked one close to home that had a lot to choose from. i had been planning and watching for months, waiting for the right time. i had a list of qualities i wanted in a dog (size, personality, spayed/neutered, etc), and i went (happened to be on a day they were doing 1/2 price adoption fees) and told them exactly what we wanted, and they gave me a couple to choose from. she was perfect. AND she was microchipped, spayed, utd on shots, on heartworm/flea/tick prevention - AND all for $60. i got a steal. (she's my clearance puppy lol) i would highly encourage going to a shelter. a dog's temperament and personality is usually a lot more important than what breed they are. and of course, those dogs need help a lot more than ones at a fancy breeders that you could spend TONS more for. good luck in your search!

2 moms found this helpful

Do the research. If you are considering a dog, some breeds shed ALOT and some don't shed. If anyone in the house has allergies, you don't want a shedding dog. Some dogs like the teeny tiny yorkies have more health issues. Some breeds are easier to housetrain than others. The AKC has all the breeds and will tell you about each breed.

www.petfinder.com is a great place to find dogs/cats that need homes. They are in shelters or rescues. You can even search for housetrained dogs/cats. That is the biggest hurdle when buying a pet. The rescues are nice because the animals are usually in foster homes and the "parents" can tell you more about them.

Hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful

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