Top Ten Reasons to Not Get a Pet on Impulse

By: Laura Kelton

CHATTANOOGA (UTC/The Loop) – Human beings have a tendency to latch onto ideas that drive their thoughts from time to time. We often refer to this tendency as a “fever” such as “baby fever,” “wedding fever,” and in this case, “puppy fever.” For the general purpose of this article, the driving force will be Presley Coal, the most recent addition to our household.

This is Presley Coal, what a charmer!

This is Presley Coal, what a charmer!

Presley’s original presence in the house was to be one of protection and companionship, but after a month or so, my roommates and I have found that he is a lot more than we bargained for. We originally intended to wait a bit longer to invest in a pet, but once “puppy fever” kicked in, it was just an itch we had to scratch.While I love our puppy, I write this as a warning to those who think that they are prepared for pet parenthood. With that, here are the top ten reasons to not get a pet on impulse.

10. Your roommate may be allergic.

9. You don’t have the time that you think you do.

  • Our justification for getting a pet was that we all had such different schedules that one of us would always be home to be with them. Wrong! While there is generally someone home, it is not for long, and Presley is a space invader. If he isn’t on top of you, he is somewhere doing something he should not be doing. When he began to act up, we decided that we needed to spend more time with him. Unfortunately, this only resulted in the most pathetic of whimpers every time we had to confine him to the kitchen when we were not home, and even worse – at night.

8. They may bite.

Poor Anna! Presley tends to beat up on her the most.

Poor Anna! Presley tends to beat up on her the most.

7. In general, they tend to smell.

6. What you see isn’t always what you get.

  • Our complaints should be few and far between, seeing as to how we got our dog for free, but the ad we responded to was for a 13 pound, one year old Chihuahua/Pomeranian/Cocker Spaniel mix. Upon arrival to the house, we found him to be a 31 pound, 10 month old German Shephard.

5. Young pets have no self-control.

  • Over appetite, volume, or bladder. Presley will eat anything, anywhere, anytime. He scratches on the door from the outside at the sound of dog food. Unfortunately, this has also resulted to the loss of a bowl of cereal, a corn dog, a bag of granola, and a few shrimp from our own food stash.

4. They know what a trial period is.

  • Really, they are angelic the first three days. It’s like a kid, the first few times they do things they shouldn’t, it is cute. After the fourth or fifth time, it is not nearly as adorable.

3. Hide and seek is not always a good game to play.

  • Lee Kwok of Chattanooga recalls purchasing a pet for his son, but quickly returning it. Kwok says, “It wasn’t even the smell that was the problem. Cleaning up after him was fine, but anytime my son wanted to take him out and play with him, he would scurry off. Hamsters are not easy to find in a house.”

2. They are a distraction.

  • UTC sophomore Graham Uhelski says that his roommate’s former dog was a hassle mostly because he became a distraction during homework and other activities. Uhelski says, “It seemed like every time I sat down at my computer to work, here could come Walden, wanting to play fetch. And of course he would never go away until he got what he wanted.” Like Walden, many good-hearted pets just want some love and attention, which unfortunately for us, comes at the expense of our grades, or even homes.

1. You house will never look the same.

  • Say hello to our couch – or what is left of it.

    This couch is 60 years old and belonged to my roommate's grandmother. Bad dog!

    This couch is 60 years old and belonged to my roommate's grandmother. Bad dog!

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  1. Seriously. A pet is a big deal. You are making a long-term commitment when you take on a pet. And yes, they can eat things in your house. Although most of that chewing stuff can be addressed with a little doggie training.

  2. You aren’t kidding. My little puppy ate the leg of our coffee table. It was really frustrating as that was an expensive piece of furniture. But what exactly are you going to do. Unless you catch your pet in the act (or near after) they really have no memory of what happened and so any discipline will just be confusing to them. It just comes with the territory I guess.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Very true! Another reason is cost. Dogs can be very expensive.