Our house is pet free. To be honest I always feel a little self conscious telling people that we don’t have pets and don’t want any. It seems like most middle class suburban families like us have at least one pet. So it doesn’t surprise me when it catches people off guard and raises eyebrows. Then they start asking questions. Here are the most common questions I get asked about not having pets.
Right away everybody wants to know “WHY?” Well, because we have never wanted one. Most of my friends got their dogs or cats before they had kids. We had no desire to get an animal when we were dating or newly married. For us it was never a missing puzzle piece. Now that we have the kids, the extra responsibility is not appealing.
“You really don’t have ANY pets??”
We are 100% pet free. No dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, ant farm, etc. We did have fish for about 6 months. It ended in tragedy. The kids didn’t ask to replace the fish, so we quietly moved the tank into the garage.
“Did you have a bad experience with an animal?”
No, we did not have a bad experience. We are not afraid. Nobody has ever been bitten by another’s pet. My family got an outside dog when I was around 10. She was sweet, but I was never attached to her. My husband found and adopted a kitten when he was young. Once he moved out of his parents home, he left the cat with them.
“Don’t you want your kids to grow up with animals?”
I don’t think I am depriving my kids by not having a pet for them. The topic doesn’t come up with the kids much. Maybe a handful of times they have asked about a pet. I don’t believe they feel like they are missing out on anything. They are normal, well rounded, affectionate kids even though they don’t have an animal to love on.
“Is this a firm decision or negotiable?”
As of now, it is a firm decision. It would take a significant turn of events for us to bring a pet into the family. My kids are 6 and 4, they would have be closer to 12 and 10 before I would seriously consider it. Basically either they would have to be mature enough to fully care for the animal, or I would have to wake up one day with a complete change of heart.
My husband and I are both content with our stance, and there are obviously perks to not having pets in our home. The most obvious is that we can pick up and go on a whim. Whether we just have a really busy evening after school, decide to sleep at the family camp, or pack up for a staycation in the city, we don’t have to worry about anything back home. This works well for us. However, I have learned to never say never.
I definitely understand. I have a 15 year old and 8 year old. We got fish a year ago and that’s the first pet they’ve ever had. My sister’s kid has pets, so they get to play with her a little. I don’t want pets. Our apartment doesn’t allow them anyway. I’ve agreed to getting a dog once we move. No idea when that will be.