Pets Vs. Children

Pets Vs. Children

All The Reasons Living With Pets Is A Better Idea



With the holiday season approaching, it gives one opportunity to reflect on the important things in life. I am the father of three grown children. So, like many of you, I’ve done my time between the sidelines in the game they call parenting. And now that the nest is totally empty, I find that our pets, in our case two overly pampered, overly fed cats, have amply filled the role as our surrogate children. I’m sure that’s not an unusual situation. Many formerly rational parents have subconsciously replaced the now-absent kids with the family pets, which, after further consideration, is not a bad trade.

Most of us might be a little embarrassed to admit it, but we enjoy spoiling the little darlings and let them behave in ways that would have gotten the kids grounded for life. Why not? When compared to kids, living with pets is easy. Studies confirm that stress levels are actually lower in people who have pets — not so with children. So just how is living with a pet better than trying to live with children? Consider these few truths:

  1. Old newspapers are cheaper than Pampers
  2. Pets don’t roll their eyes, run to their room and slam the door if you ask them where they were last night.
  3. Pets don’t demand to go to Cancun because all of the other dogs and cats are going for spring break.
  4. Short of the Department of Corrections, there is no obedience school for kids.
  5. Three words: No Prom Dresses.
  6. Pets don’t require having the auto body shop phone number on speed dial.
  7. Pets don’t have to be driven to soccer practice, then to the library, then to piano lessons, and still have to get their biology project finished all in one evening.
  8. Pets don’t stay on the phone all evening talking to the same pets they just spent the entire day with.
  9. Pets don’t demand that new outfit they saw at the Gap for fear that without it, “they’ll just die.”
  10. Three more words: Lower Insurance Premiums
  11. Pets don’t demand to go to Australia after graduation, “to find themselves.” (Heck, one of my cats just found his tail, and he’s ecstatic!)
  12. Pets don’t get chicken pox, pimples or Harley tattoos.
  13. If dealt with in a timely fashion, pets don’t go through puberty (huge advantage).
  14. No belly-button rings, bare midriffs or multicolored hair, unless you want it.
  15. No surprise charges on your Visa from stores you’ve never heard of.
  16. Litter boxes are less disgusting to empty than potty chairs.
  17. Pets would rather just hang their heads out of car windows, rather than attempt to shatter their ear drums with deafening rap music.
  18. Pets’ doctors are usually better looking. (This may be a somewhat biased viewpoint.)
  19. Cheaper birthday presents.
  20. Your pets’ friends will not T.P. your house.
  21. You can leave your pets out in the back yard without getting a visit from the Department of Family Services.
  22. Pets could care less what Brittany was wearing last night on MTV.
  23. Pets won’t lose your tools, car keys and garage door openers.
  24. No need for expensive, hi-tech baby strollers, backpacks or car safety seats. A simple piece of rope will suffice.
  25. And finally, pets don’t grow up, leave the house and start lives of their own, leaving the nest and your life just a little bit empty.


I originally wrote this piece approximately 15 years ago just as my favorite, and only, daughter was leaving for college. I thought now was an appropriate time to recycle it as at this writing, I and my wife are in a hospital waiting room in Chicago waiting for said daughter to deliver our granddaughter.

Given my present situation, when it comes to the advantages of pets over kids, I think that 15 years ago, I could have been mistaken.

Happy Holidays to all of you from the Williams family, old and young.