Statistics have shown that owning a pet is good for your health, but which type of pet should you get? Most people think of dogs and cats when deciding to get a pet and you need to figure out which one would fit your lifestyle the best. Here are some differences in owning a dog or a cat to help you choose:
Check Your Lease
First, you need to find out if you are even allowed to have a pet where you live. Some apartments or condos may only allow a certain type or size of the animal. So, if you are renting somewhere check your lease to see what it says.
“Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later.” – Mary Bly
Know Yourself And Your Personality
Dogs and cats have different needs, so it’s a good idea to match those needs with your personality. For instance, do you like to go on long walks outside in nature? If so, you should consider getting a dog since they need to go on frequent walks. Cats, on the other hand, don’t normally enjoy being on a leash or going for a walk, although there are some exceptions. Same thing applies to riding in cars. If you love that, consider a dog as most dogs love going for rides and most cats hate it.
Are You Home Most Of The Time Or Not?
First, if you are gone much of the day or have to go out of town for a day or two at a time, you might not be the right person for getting either a dog or cat. However, if you do decide to get one, cats are easier to leave alone for a few hours or even overnight. That’s because you have to take dogs outside to go to the bathroom, while you can teach cats to use litter boxes. Then, all you have to do is clean the litter box when dirty or hire someone to do it if you go on a trip. Also, dogs are more likely to have separation anxiety and tear up things if left alone, while most cats just nap or like to sit and watch the world go by from a window.
Do You Want Protection?
If you live alone or otherwise are looking for a pet to keep you safe or warn you about a possible intruder, then likely you need a dog instead of a cat. Dogs are pack animals and therefore they like to guard their territory and warn their humans if something is going on. Cats, on the other hand, are likely to just hide if someone breaks into your home and aren’t big enough to protect you in most cases.
When it comes to grooming a pet, either a dog or a cat may not make a difference. It all depends on if you get a long-haired or short-haired animals. Both pets need to be groomed if they have long hair or they’ll suffer horrible mats. Plus, you need to actually bathe dogs, but cats groom themselves, which is a big advantage. And both cats and dogs shed, so grooming is a vital way to keep your house clean. And of course, you have to trim the claws, but that works about the same way except you may have to be more careful with cutting cats’ claws since they retract and dogs’ claws don’t.
Dogs Cost More Than Cats
Having a pet is not a cheap experience. However, house pets need food, veterinary care, and other expenses. Since dogs are usually bigger than cats, for instance, they likely eat more food than a cat. Same goes for going to the vet. When you get an animal spayed or neutered, they sometimes charge based on the size of your pet and so most dogs may cost more since they are larger than a cat. Things like rabies shots probably cost the same, but it all depends on what your vet charges.
When it comes to training home animals, usually it is easier to train a dog. So if you want a pet that does tricks, comes when called, etc., you likely should get a dog because cats tend to be more likely to ignore such commands. It is possible to teach a cat tricks, etc., but you have to have much more patience than if you want a dog to do those things. However, one thing to consider is you have to potty train a dog, while most cats instinctively use their litter boxes and all you need to do is show them where it is.
How much space do you have?
Another thing to seriously consider is the amount of space you have for a pet. If you live in a small apartment, then likely you’ll be better off with a cat or a tiny kind of dog breed. Most dogs can do ok in an apartment, but they need more space to run and play than a cat. Cats normally can get enough exercise via playing with a catnip mouse or other toy, but dogs really need space to run.
There are pros and cons to owning either a dog or a cat. Whichever one you pick, be sure to remember that owning a pet is not a whim. It should be for the lifetime of the pet which could be between 12 to 20 years in some cases. Either a dog or a cat will provide you with love and entertainment and help make you healthier and happier, so get out there and head to your animal shelter and save a life!
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