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Cat vs. Dog: Which Is Best For You?

Illustration for article titled Cat vs. Dog: Which Is Best For You?

Welcoming a new pet into your home is a big decision, but it’s also a rewarding one. Dogs and cats offer family members a sense of companionship and even friendship.

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There are several things to consider before purchasing either of these furry friends. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities, supplies, and expenses that accompany both canines and felines.

Cats

If you’re looking for a pet that is more interactive than a fish or small caged rodent but doesn’t require as much attention or upkeep as a dog, a cat is a great option.

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Demeanor

Oftentimes, cats are fairly independent. They come and go as they please, don’t need to be walked, and usually fall under the radar. This means less play time is required. Cat’s can be described as unassuming. Another great perk is that when it’s time for relaxation or sleep, your feline will likely curl up beside you or at your feet. It’s the perfect combination of affection and minimal upkeep.

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Life Span

Cats are dedicated to their owners - so much so, they can live upwards of 20 years! So if you’re looking to purchase a cat, be prepared to have it for the long haul. This can be both good and bad. Cats are great for small children. They will likely have them well into adulthood, which means parents won’t need to explain where Fluffy went and why she’s not around anymore. On the flipside, if you’re looking to move in several years or don’t foresee yourself as a pet owner for decades, perhaps a cat is not the best option.

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Supplies

Though cats are relatively low-maintenance, they still require general supplies. It’s recommended you purchase everything you need before bringing your new kitty home. The staple items your feline will need include:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Carrier
  • Litter Box/Litter
  • Toys
  • Collar/ID Tag
  • Nail clippers/Brush
  • Comfy bed

None of these supplies are overly expensive, so obtaining them shouldn’t be an issue. You should also consider purchasing a scratching post. This will prevent your cat from destroying that beloved armchair or sofa.

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Establish a Routine

Just like humans, animals thrive on routine so be sure to feed your feline friend at the same time each day. There are options. You can offer dry food all day long, just keep your cat’s food and water in the same spot to avoid confusion and support consistency. You can also offer your cat wet food. Do so at the same time every day and throw away any leftovers after 30 - 60 minutes if your cat does not eat.

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It’s also suggested you have a quiet room or area of your house that your kitty can “escape” too. Most cats like a space where they can relax and be alone, especially when your house is filled with visitors or commotion.

Dogs

Dogs are one of America’s most popular pets with about 44% of people owning dogs. That’s almost half the country’s population!

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There’s a lot to be said about owning a dog. Not only are they loyal companions, but they’re also extremely devoted, protective, and affectionate. When you purchase a dog you’re really gaining a new member of the family. Here are some things to consider before bringing a pup into your home.

Breed

One of the first, and most important, things to consider before purchasing a family dog is the type of breed you want. There are countless breeds available from purebred to mixed breed and even “muts”. The two most important factors when discussing breed are the size of the dog and its demeanor.

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Some dogs are more docile and do well with children. Other breeds can be more aggressive and require a lot of exercise. If you’re living in a small home or apartment that allows pets, purchasing a small dog is in your best interest. If you have a large home with lots of outdoor property, a larger dog would fit just fine and be able to run and play with plenty of room.

Do your research before choosing a dog breed. Once you’ve decided on the type of dog you want, you can think about other factors that will help drive your decision.

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Commitment

Though many dogs don’t live quite as long as cats, many dog owners become extremely emotionally attached to their canines - especially children. You need to prepare yourself and all members of your family for the day that your dog passes. This can be emotionally taxing for everyone involved, so while having a dog brings joy to your life for the years they’re present, you need to prepare for the day they’re not.

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Commitment also means your commitment to walking the dog, playing with your pet, and bringing them to necessary veterinarian appointments. The last item on this list also comes with added expenses. Are you able to shoulder the financial cost of veterinarian bills? Regular check-ups, shots, and neutering or spaying your dog can equal up to $1,270 in the first year and then approximately $500 in the years that follow. And this total doesn’t include any unexpected incidents.

Supplies

Just like with owning a cat, or any other pet really, your pup will need certain supplies to keep them happy and healthy. Because your dog will likely need to be walked, you’ll want to purchase a quality leash. There are countless options when it comes to dog leashes, from retractables to harnesses and more simple models. Do your research on which is best for the type and size of dog you have.

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Don’t want to worry about walking your pup? You can always consider buying an invisible pet fence. These fences allow your dog to freely roam in your backyard area, without fear of them running away. Another great feature of these fences is that they’re installed underground. This means no need to build or install an obtrusive fence that needs a permit or neighbor approval.

Some other basic supplies include:

  • Toys
  • Dog bed
  • Food and water bowls
  • Collar/ID Tag
  • Create
  • Carrier (depending on size)

Certain breeds will require different supplies. Once you bring your puppy home and become accustomed to their needs, you can invest in additional supplies.

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Pets Offer Unconditional Love

Whether you decide on a cat or dog for your home, both pets bring a sense of love and companionship to all members of your family. But it’s important to do your research and prepare for bringing a new addition to the family.

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