The question of whether you want a dog or a cat as a new family member is not one to take lightly. If you didn’t grow up with a pet, it is a tough decision to think about. Both cats and dogs have their pros and cons, and considering all sides of the issue can be extremely important when selecting a furry companion.
Dogs are social animals. They need lots of attention, exercise, and play. You can leave dogs home alone for periods of time during the day, as long as they are not puppies. The rule of thumb to figure out how long you can leave your dog home alone for is one hour for every month it is old.
This may mean, if you bring home a puppy, you will have to invest in a dog walker or doggy daycare. If your dog is old enough to leave at home alone all day, you may still want to find a dog walker or daycare facility if you have to be gone for more than eight hours a day.
This can be a large cost as it adds up over time. However, dogs love to walk and play and cuddle, so if you are looking for a pet that wants attention, and a pet you can play with or exercise with, a dog might be for you. Dogs are also incredibly loyal to their owners.
Cats are less social than dogs, which means they don’t need as much attention. If you leave food out for them, they can monitor their own eating habits, which dogs can’t do. They are also usually litter box trained, which means you don’t have to come home after a certain number of hours to let them out or take them for a walk.
You do, however, need to keep up with cleaning the litter box, or things can get smelly in your home. They also don’t need as much exercise, so you don’t need to wear them out with activity like you would a dog. While some cats are cuddly like dogs are, some cats are not as social and do not like to be around people much.
Making the Decision
Deciding whether you want a cat or a dog is a huge decision, but it is one that is up to you. When considering what kind of pet you want, you should think about your lifestyle and what you are willing to give up in order to bring that pet into your home and care for it like it deserves.
If you are not willing to get home to walk your dog, you may want a cat. If you do not want to try to coax your cat to cuddle with you, you may want a dog. Once you decide, you should go to different places to see what options you have. Visit pet stores, breeders, and shelters and see what they have available.
It is really important to meet your pet, or at least get an honest description of its temperament from a breeder before you bring it home. This can help you figure out which specific pet you want to welcome into your family. Plus, meeting the animals can be a great way to figure out which pet is right for you.