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Pets: The Good and the Bad

The world is full of animals, but some have become household pets. What does it take for a person to be a pet owner? If you or your family have ever questioned if you should add a new member to your home, I'm here to help.

There are many types of pets that you hear about but the most common are cats and dogs. There is even a long-standing debate about which animal is better. The real answer is neither, as it just depends on the person's opinion and personality. Where the pet came from also influences whether the pet would be a good choice.

Already there are stereotypes around these animals, even specific breeds. What makes these inaccurate is the fact that they were affected by the world. Like humans, treat them wrong and they'll be distrusting.


Cats especially suffer from negative stereotypes. The “typical” cat is not considered loyal like a dog might be, but instead as a mean creature. This sentiment is wrong; cats are much more than what you might expect.


  1. They could get rid of small pests like mice and bugs.

  2. They are affectionate with people that they trust.

  3. They can be loyal! Contrary to popular belief, a cat can protect you.

  4. They are lower maintenance compared to dogs (e.g., they will use a litter box for doing their business instead of needing to go outside).


  1. They are often introverted and might “disappear” for a while when they need space.

  2. They sleep for several hours during the day.

  3. They are most active at dawn and dusk, which may be when you are trying to sleep.


Dogs can be seen in two ways: aggressive or loyal. In truth, dogs are a combination of both depending on how they are treated. A dog that guards the house will be vicious with an intruder but could still give you, the owner, some friendly tail wags.


  1. They are loyal.

  2. They are affectionate and playful.

  3. They are easier to train than most other pets.


  1. They need more direct attention for taking walks and playing.

  2. They can't go outside themselves to use the restroom.

  3. They can be expensive to take care of.

Guinea Pigs

Dogs and cats aren't the only options, as there are much smaller kinds of pets like guinea pigs. They are known to be smarter and larger than both gerbils and hamsters. Many people believe they are the best of the three. Guinea pigs have a life span of 4 to 8 years.


  1. They are very affectionate creatures.

  2. They are very active animals, so they are often happy to interact with you.


  1. They are more expensive than other rodents (i.e., mice and rats) to take care of.

  2. They require daily interaction and socialization, much like dogs.

  3. They need to be given plenty of opportunities to exercise.


There are more unique pets to have around, like snakes. They are especially great pets for people who love reptiles.


  1. They don’t require much maintenance.

  2. They are easy to keep in your home because they live in their own container.


  1. They need extra equipment and space to keep healthy, which can be expensive.


This small list of pets could never cover the number of kinds we have today. Pets are a relatively new thing, only having appeared in the last few centuries. In the meantime, we have grown to have many kinds of them.

But pets aren’t for everyone. Maybe you have no one around to take care of them or you can’t afford it. No one should ever get a pet if they know it won’t thrive with them. But if you are sure having a pet would work, but you are unsure if you want to get one, there is one more thing you should know.

All these animals have one thing in common: they can relax you. As a college student myself, I know we all need something to relax us, even if we might only get to see them on the weekends or get a picture by text.


Photos by Timothy Dykes, Bonnie Kittle, Marliese Streefland and Manja Vitolic on Unsplash

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