Pets? or Pests?


Are pets REALLY worth having around?

By Maria Kim

Esther, a student at M.S. 158 has a pet dog, which she enjoys having around. Esther Lee and her pet dog, Mickey"I love how my dog always plays with me." Esther likes to have her dog around her all the time but it appears that her family might not be too pleased about her dog.

Oh no! Not the couch!

Keeping a pet may sound fun at first for most teens or kids. Of course, there are aspects of taking care of one that are difficiult. Pets can seem cute and cuddly, or even playful. They can keep anyone busy when they are bored. However, many pet owners think keeping pets are just stressful. Having pets has an effect on people's emotions, finances, and their stress levels. 

 "When you go to sleep, they attack your feet, break things like cups, dishes, and jars. They knock the garbage cans down, rip papers, and eat things that aren’t food for them, or even beat up each other. They scratch stuff, drink from the toilet, cry at night, rip bags of sugar, open things and make messes, and hide when you try to find them." says Linda of I.S. 25.

Having pets ruin your house isn't a pretty sight. After they make a mess, their owners would have to be responsible for cleaning up after them. "I dislike my dog when it poops and pees all over the place," says Esther. "You have to clean after it every time this happens and it is often annoying."

How Many?

Household pets seem to be popular among Two cats in their new homedifferent people. These statistics show how many pets were bought by people in the year 2006.

-Saltwater fish: more than 9 million.
-Reptiles: 13 million.
-Horses: nearly 14 million.
-Birds: 16 million.
-Small animals: more than 24 million.
-Dogs: nearly 75 million
-Cats: more than 88 million
-Freshwater fish: 142 million.

(statistics from The American Veterinary Medical Association)

Friend or Family?

Even though some people think keeping pets are stressful, there are others who enjoy having one or two around. Researches say that a majority of people who own pets have lower blood pressure and higher survival rates from a serious illness. Pets are known to reduce loneliness and help manage OTHER stressful issues.

Shirley, a student from M.S. 158, said, "My pet parrot comforts me when I’m sad. Sometimes I hear it singing from its cage and I feel most comforted then." A companion is what most people need, especially the people who live alone. "My pets are like having 7 more siblings" says Linda. Even though keeping a pet might seem stressful, there are benefits that balance out the drawbacks.

"When I hear other birds chirp, I would always think of my parrot." Shirley said. The relationship with a pet and its owner is quite phenomenal. Each owner has their own taste of keeping a pet, for their company and pleasure. However, the most important thing seems to be how two worlds, animals and humans, can truly become one.


- http://www.columbiatribune.com/2008/Mar/20080307Feat001.asp
- http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health_benefits.htm
- http://www.helium.com/tm/683107/owning-makes-dependents-having
- http://www.bestfriendspetcare.com/bf_feature_14.cfm