Friday, September 22, 2017

Should you get a cat or dog?

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So you want a dog, or maybe you desire a cat?   Perhaps you long for a loyal canine to play fetch with in the park or as company on jogs.  Or perhaps you want to be curled up on the couch, with a kitten sleeping on your lap.

Picking between a dog and a cat can be difficult. Essentially, dogs require more time, patience and cash, but as pack animals they are typically more social than cats. That being said cats, being more self sufficient, are easier to care for, clean themselves and frequently cost less.

Both dogs and cats require love, attention, play time, grooming and trips to the vet.  The degree, however, differs between owning a dog and a cat.  It really comes down to how much time and energy you can devote.

Where you live sometimes also makes the decision for you.  Many rental properties in urban areas have strict anti-pet policies towards either species.

Benefits and downsides to K-9 friends

Dogs tend to want to be involved in many aspects of your life, more so than cats.  They frequently require more care. You have to have someone responsible enough to walk them, feed them, etc. if you are gone on a business trip.

Walks are a good time to get acquainted with your dog. If you work unholy hours and can’t make it home frequently a dog will be a challenging pet to own.  Your dirty carpet will hate you.

A dog needs to spend a lot of time with you to be a good dog.  They wait for you to return home all day.  You will need to remain enthusiastic about giving your dog the time and exercise that they deserve.

K-9s tend to cost more than cats. Larger dogs and certain breeds require an extensive food diet and subsequent bill.  They also need a larger yard and you to pick up their…well you know.

There may be some downsides, but dogs love every moment of their lives you spend with them. In the end, you have a faithful pal who is happy 24/7 and reads off your emotions.

Dogs  can also be useful as watchdogs or service animals.  To me they are also a great house alarm, just train them when to bark (i.e. only late at night to strangers).

Positives and negatives of Cat ownership

Animal Planet
Animal Planet

Cats have a different approach to life as pets, more independent minded.  They are not descendants of pack animals, and they don’t always feel the need to please you.  This said they can still learn and perform various tricks if they want to.

Cats require periodic brushing just like some dogs, and like dogs are capable of ruining carpet or furniture, except with their claws.  They don’t have to go outdoors but the litter box needs to be scooped and changed.

And yet because of their independence cats can be left alone more frequently.  They still like to cuddle and frequently miss you when you are gone of course.  But just like a dog they can have their own unique personality.

And finally, cats  are more easily moved than a dog as they are generally smaller pets.  Also most property rentals are more likely to accept a cat than a dog.  If work or life require you to move frequently this is more ideal.

So there you have it!  There are some really important questions to consider before committing to the ownership of a dog or cat.  Make sure you take the decision seriously, but know in the end having a family friend is very enjoyable.

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