Here is what I feel to be the best and worst things about having a dog in your life, or not having one.

Having a dog

The best

  • While this list could be significantly long, here are some of the most significant improvements you’ll notice by having a dog in your life:
  • Unconditional love: Almost goes without saying, you’ll have a being in your life that loves you no matter what. This feels very good.
  • Stress relief: Petting your dog reduces your blood pressure, and focusing on their care and well being forces you to get away from work or other sources of stress for awhile. Your dog shows you how to enjoy the day, the moment at hand – a terrific lesson about enjoying life for what it is. Enjoying the company of your dog is a great way to reduce stress.
  • Entertainment: From going on hikes to watching a pair of dogs play, dogs give you something to do that’s often healthy and usually an inexpensive form of entertainment.
  • Exercise and outdoors: Especially if you live in a condo or townhouse, you need to take your dog out several times per day. Not only does this mean more exercise and fresh air, you meet other dog owning neighbors.
  • Safety: Having a dog in the house is an excellent burglar deterrent.

The worst

Illness and, because their life spans are too short, death. The absolute worry felt when your dog is ill, the panic if it’s sudden, and the enormous grief you feel in the event of their loss. This can also involve some financial stress, as emergencies or long-term illness are generally quite expensive.

This isn’t to say that dogs are not worth having. The benefit of having a dog in your life, for any amount of time, vastly outweighs the stress involved with illness and death.

Not having a dog

The best

Taking a vacation wherever you want with your significant other (if applicable). You do not need to worry about having to find a responsible caregiver for while you are away, or something happening to or because of your dog while you are away.

This isn’t to say vacation isn’t possible! For us it is simply limited to where you can take the dogs.

The worst

The worst part of not having a dog in your life is the lack of companionship – and this makes life feel incomplete and unbalanced. For me, life was much more stressful before I had a dog.

[su_box title=”What do you think?” style=”glass” box_color=”#483D8B” title_color=”#FFFFFF” radius=”3″ class=””]What are the best and worst aspects of having – or not having – dogs in your life?[/su_box]

About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.