Dogs Don’t Make ‘Good’ Pets

I’m sure there are many dog lovers who are going to jump up and down in disagreement about this blog post. I’m sure many cat lovers will also being jumping up and down in triumph. But I firmly believe that certain animals do not make ‘good’ pets, and aside from still enjoying the company of my cat, I’ve come to learn that non-mammalian pets work better for people.

Dogs are not violent, dangerous animals. Some breeds work better for certain living situations than others. Some dogs are great with kids or small animals, and others aren’t. It’s called research, and given how 98% of the U.S. population has access to the internet, there’s no excuse not to do that research. At the very least, there’s probably a public library nearby that you can go to.

But the absence of that research, and the absence of common sense, are why I believe dogs don’t make ‘good’ pets. Dogs require attention, and cannot self-regulate like a cat, or a bird, or another type of reptile. Dogs have to be cared for like a human infant. If you ignore your dog, they won’t just make a mess in your home, they’ll destroy it. If you don’t train your dog well because you’ve ignored it, they bad things happen. A good example is that dog that stalked that little boy in his driveway and attacked him last year – if his mother and house-cat hadn’t been around to chase away that dog, he’d be seriously injured or dead.

I am one of those firm believers that any breed of dog can be taught to attack people. But all animals, mammal or not, start out in life being wary of humans. Kittens and puppies are not born automatically loving humans. All pets have to be taught straight after birth that humans are safe to be around, otherwise they will show aggression. All animals are wild until they are taught to live with humans.

I’ve seen cats do some pretty nasty damage to people, and other animals. Cat scratch fever is not a myth, it is a real illness caused when exposed to the bacteria that cats sometimes have underneath their claws (kind of like the dirt under your fingernails). And cat scratch fever is not brought on by a tiny scratch or two, it’s brought on by being mauled by a cat. Despite the level of injury a cat can inflict on a person, we don’t live in fear of cats. We don’t worry about cats lurking around the corner and snatching our tiny chihuahua or child and mauling them. Maybe it’s because even though humans can do some dumb things in regard to taking care of their cats, even the most unruly cat can still be reasoned with. Dogs have to be repeatedly reminded who the boss is, and if they aren’t, they can snap. And that snap is the end of the road.

I don’t understand why, even with smaller dog breeds, anyone is comfortable with having a dog. It’s not that I don’t like dogs, I just have accepted the fact that I would not be able to devote the time necessary to the dog, to ensure that the dog is safe for myself and others to be around.

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