Pets provide companionship and unconditional love. In fact, there have been numerous studies proving that owning a pet reduces your stress levels and promotes an overall feeling of well-being. However, choosing whether to get a cat or a dog can sometimes be a difficult task for a prospective pet owner.
When choosing between these two pets, the first thing you’ll need to consider is your living arrangements. Dogs typically need more space to run, while cats can be happy in a smaller apartment. A dog will need to be taken for regular walks — a task which may be difficult if you live in a larger urban area. If you live in a rental unit, your landlord may also have restrictions on what types of pets are acceptable.
The level of time you have to devote to caring for your pet is another important factor to consider. Cats are independent creatures who need very little care, but dogs will require much more training and supervision. If you have a demanding job that requires late nights at the office or frequent travel, owning either will be difficult, but owning a dog may be more difficult unless you have someone else to share the responsibility of caring for your pet. If you’re patient and looking for a pet who can become another member of your family, however, owning a dog might be an ideal fit.
Your own personality can also influence whether a cat or a dog is the right pet for you. Generally, people who are outgoing and sociable prefer dogs to cats. They love to play with their pets and look forward to being greeted enthusiastically at the end of the day. Cat owners, however, tend to be calmer and more introverted. They want a pet who is as low-maintenance as they are.
No matter what type of pet you finally choose, it’s important to make sure that you understand the responsibilities of owning a cat or a dog. For example, you’ll need to make sure that your pet is protected from poisonous household cleaners, breakable objects, electrical cords, and other potential safety hazards. You’ll also need to have it spayed or neutered and adjust your household budget to account for your pet’s veterinary care, grooming, licensing, boarding, and accessories. In some cases, you may even wish to purchase pet health insurance to protect your dog or cat in the event of unexpected illnesses or injuries.