A Gazillion Reasons Not to Get a Dog or a Cat

Today one of my on-going projects was to continue to paint the kitchen dining area.  As I was taping it off I got to the bottom of the window ledges, which in our home are only about 10 inches off the floor.  I'm not down there very often and certainly not in the space "behind" the kitchen table.  But the dogs are.  Especially the long haired Golden mix dog.  It's where she lays while we have dinner and she's hoping maybe it's a night where we are serving steak or pork chops and she and her sister get to share the excess joy of meat when we are finished.

While I apply paint tape to the white window trim I see where the oils from her coat have rubbed up against the white paint and made it an ugly brown.  Ah, lucky me.  It's time for me to go around to the 4 huge windows in that room and scrub all the trim work and baseboards.  Again.    As I do about every few months or so. 

All part of the joys of having dogs.

And that is how this post was born.

We have two dogs and two cats. (And sometimes fish, hamsters, snakes, hermit crabs, etc.) But mostly dogs and cats.  Our dogs are 5 years old now and our cats are 14 years old.  

As I finished taping I thought about the friends and family of mine who have expressed an interest in having pets but don't yet.  I pictured them standing in front of me and I said to myself as if I was talking to them;  "The idea of a dog or a cat is sometimes better than having a dog or a cat."

I was taping off window trim to paint the wall when I saw I needed to scrub baseboards and window trim again - where the dog lays

Since I had my cellphone with me I snapped a picture of the window trim I will be scrubbing tomorrow and then got the idea that I should just walk around the house, looking around and brainstorming some things that people might not think about when they are making the decision to get a dog or cat.....

Things people DO think about (usually) and take into account might be:

  • The cost of dog food and cat foods along with some toys and snacks
  • Vet bills - including any required annual shots
  • Walking the dog
  • Feeding the cats and dogs
  • Cleaning the kitty litter box

And sometimes that is as far as the thought process goes.

So this post is to help point out just a FEW of the other things you should probably consider...  

Things people MIGHT NOT take into account when deciding to bring a dog or cat into their home:

Cats and dogs rub up against walls as they walk around them - which leaves oils to discolor them.

I found a dog goober! Luckily our current dogs aren't bad at this and aren't slobbery breeds either. But when they come home from dog kennels they sometimes have kennel cough or a 'dog cold' and sneeze and wheeze for a week or so (even when they are vaccinated against it).

One of our cats loves to rub up against this particular corner! This is the wall trim where she rubs daily.

DOG HAIR.  Prepare to vacuum EVERY DAY or at LEAST every OTHER DAY.

Doggy beds and other doggy things take up space - make sure you have a place for them.

Kennels for puppy-hood, kennel training (potty training) and etc. Ours are grown now but LOVE their stupid kennel so we have to keep it up for them. It's their safe and happy place. It's an eye-sore but they would be sad if we took it down.

One of our dogs LOVES to slide down next to this couch and rub against it. The last couch she liked to use her nails on it! This one just has to go through discoloration as she loves to lay there - resting against it.

One of our cats LOVES to sit on the chair under the formal dining room table. I have to use a sticky roller to get the hair off. We never use this formal set except a few times a year... and it's easy to clean luckily. Now... when the cat had a urinary tract infection and got little blood stain dots all over.. not easy to clean.  You are warned.

Oh look! Someone ate too fast, threw up their cat food this morning and ate it again. Leaving just the nice stain for me to clean.

The deck. The poor, poor deck that we have to repaint every year because the dogs (large dogs) nails gouge it when they run and leap off the dog or run back to the deck to come in from being outside playing. Poor wood.

Cat door.  Mandatory for a private place to keep your cat box if you want to keep it 'out of the way' and out of peoples noses AND especially if you have a dog who considers the kitty litter boxes a place to grab a special 'treat' when no one is looking. Yes, they really do. We put ours in the laundry room with a small pet door the cats can get through - the two dogs cannot.

Speaking of cat boxes... yes they do smell. Yes you have to scoop daily or it stinks even with the crap they sell that says it fights odors.  And don't forget not only do you need a place to keep the kitty litter box, but prepare for the scatter of litter surrounding it as they go in and out.

Finding a place for your dog food bowls and water bowls.  (Cats too although our cats bowls are in the laundry room)

See my fake plant?  I cannot have ANY REAL PLANTS OF ANY TYPE because of our cats will eat it. No matter WHAT it is. He actually eats fake plants and grass too so even 'fake' decorative reeds, grass, tall grasses in vases, etc. are chewed and ate. This is the ONE fake plant he doesn't.

Sometimes rugs can never recover from stains and the cleaners used to treat them.

Not only can you not leave food on counters at night (cats WILL sneak up at night even if they never ever ever jump up during the day) but even little grease containers from a table top grill (we make bacon in ours), butter, crackers, etc are fair game.

Yes dog and cat food adds up in cost - but you also need to make sure you have a place to keep it.  Especially with big dogs.  You'll go through quite a bit of food.

No more quick last minute trips.  No more impromptu weekends away without planning for dog and cat care.  And the price of dog care (especially for 2 dogs) does not come cheap.  Having pets is actually worse than having a baby because babies are more 'instant travel friendly' for weekend trips.

EVERYTHING REVOLVES AROUND THE "OUT" SCHEDULE.  Morning time potty, breakfast, 5:30 potty, dinner time, don't forget to let the dogs out before bed!  Hurry home from errands, etc. because "we gotta let the dogs out" becomes a part of life.

A permanent indentation and fur collection spot as one of our cats LOVES to lay in this spot every day/night.

Dog nails.  Because the mailman, a squirrel, a voice in the street, a truck, heck even a butterfly - is something to get really excited about and run to the window and put our paws on the ledge and bark and bark and bark.  And big dogs nails do some deep damage.

Our black cat with really beautiful, soft, thick fur loves to sleep on our daughter white comforter.  This comforter was washed 1 week ago. She is at college though right now so the comforter is all the cats.... and she knows it! She loves to roll and snuggle down to sleep in this comforter.

Look what I found!  GREAT timing for this blog post.  A hair ball I didn't even know they deposited in the spare room.

Gotta have a place for the dogs to 'do their business' and prepare to do 'dog dootie' picking it up.  If you don't you WILL step in it and regret it.

Nails.  Either clipping yourself or taking them into be clipped and groomed.  Either way. Regular grooming is a must.

Ahhh a reminder of our dogs "puppy-hood".  CHEWING.  Even if you are home with them all the time, they have 50 chew toys, and you watch constantly they will still find ways and times to sneak in some furniture leg chewing when you aren't looking. Luckily the chew stage is over by about 1 year.

When we THOUGHT our Golden mix was done with the chewing stage I found this one day... she had completely chewed the entire bottom corner of our kitchen cupboard off!  I could find no way to fix it as it is literally part of the cupboard with our double built-in microwave and oven. So I used wood putty to mold a fake corner.

As I mentioned above, our dogs are 5 years old and our cats are 14.  That is another thing to keep in mind.  Pets live a long time.  As a matter of fact, we had a Betta Fish that lived 8 YEARS.  Some people are lucky if theirs lives 8 weeks... ours was 8 years - that's crazy long for a Betta.   And our cats are so healthy and active (still! at 14 years old!) that I'm pretty sure they are never going to die.  They are immortal.  ;)

OK!  Well now that I've given you just a FEW things to think about that perhaps you didn't consider... (and there are more, I didn't get to all of them) if you can still say "You know, I'm cool with all that..."  then YES YOU ARE READY TO HAVE A CAT AND OR DOGS!  Congratulations!  :)

You might be interested in some items related to this post available through Amazon;

The Kitty Pass Interior Cat/Pet Door for Hidden Litter Box, 7.5 x 6.5-Inch
AKC Casablanca Round Solid Pet Bed
Safari Professional Stainless Steel Nail Trimmer, Standard
Nature's Miracle Jaw Scoop, Jumbo (P-6008)
ScoopFree Litter Tray Refills with Premium Blue Crystals - 3-Pack

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