Fun + Lifestyle

Should Lawyers Have Pets?


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  • Dogs: Loving, loyal, huge variety of breeds to choose from and plenty of places to find them. Require the biggest time and financial commitment
  • Cats: Self-sufficient, can be left alone for long periods of time, sometimes friendly
  • Fish: Need the least amount of attention, can be left alone all day, can die for no reason at all, literally not cuddly, kind of not a real pet

Life as a lawyer can be any number of things — exciting, frustrating, rewarding, stressful — but one constant is always being busy.

Long hours at the office and lengthy days in court can tie up your schedule, and might get in the way of seeing family, getting together with friends, or even getting a pet. If you’re a lawyer looking for an animal companion, we’ve broken down three different pet possibilities to help you decide whether it’s doable for you to find your “furever” friend.

Dogs

If you need to be talked into getting a dog, that’s probably not a good sign, since dogs should be the easiest sell in the world. With plenty of rescue puppies and dogs as well as local, small breeders across the country, there’s a huge variety of breeds and options available. There’s sure to be a dog match for just about any person — plus, who can resist such a loving and loyal companion? That being said, having a dog can be tough for someone who works such long hours.

Dogs require a lot of attention and work, and depending on the dog’s age, temperament, and training, it’s tricky to have to leave them alone for extended periods of time—they not only need exercise and mental stimulation, but they’ll need to eat and go to the bathroom. If you choose to get a puppy, this can get even tougher, since housebreaking and training younger dogs can be extremely intensive. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for a lawyer to give the right dog a loving home — especially if you have a partner or roommate willing to help out and/or are willing to budget for doggy daycare and a dog walker — but you’ll just need to think out every detail before you take the plunge and get a pup of your own.

Cats

If a dog is a bit too high maintenance for your lifestyle, you might want to consider a feline friend, since cats are known for being a much lower-key pet than their canine counterparts. They can definitely be left alone for a longer period of time, and many cat owners just leave food out for their cats or invest in timed feeders. Cats don’t need to be taken outside for bathroom breaks, but that can also be a potential problem — you’ll want to make sure you have a big enough space to put the cat’s litterbox somewhere relatively unobtrusive.

Though many cats can be just as loving as dogs, some can be standoffish—but let’s just call that “independent,” which might suit a busy person just fine. What’s your take on such an independent pet?

Cats can be an excellent option for someone with a hectic lifestyle, but just be sure to find the best possible cat for your house and personality.

Fish

Most people associate a pet fish with the fairly fragile goldfish you could win at carnivals when you were a kid, but there are plenty of options for anyone looking for an aquatic friend. From tiny guppies to formidable Japanese fighting fish, a quick visit to a pet store will yield a full range of fish breeds ready to take home. Keep in mind, though, that this lower maintenance pet doesn’t mean there is no maintenance involved at all. Although a fish can obviously be left alone for an entire day or more (as long as they’re fed regularly), you’ll need the right tank for your breed and will have to figure out exactly how to treat their water and tank, whether that involves water conditioner or a filter for the tank itself.

Even with all of that, it’s worth remembering that no matter how much work you put into taking care of a fish, many of the smaller types live short lives. A fish will also never snuggle up to you at night — in the end, it’s kind of not a real pet. Watching fish swim around in a tank is extremely relaxing, though, kind of like watching a living piece of art. If a fish is all you can handle in terms of responsibility, you might also want to consider a nice pet rock.

What's Next

Interested in getting a pet? Do extensive research over the next week before making any rash decisions about bringing a live animal into your crazy world.