How To Choose The Right Pet For You

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Owning a dog or cat is one of the most rewarding relationships a person can have.  Pets can bring out the best in us and melt our hearts. This is because they love us unconditionally and offer their love with no expectations.

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Think it over first:

Okay, so you’re sold on getting a pet. You really want to have a long, happy, meaningful life and have decided that owning a dog or cat would be just the right thing.

Before adopting a pet, there are many thing to consider.  You may have owned a cat or dog in the past, but that doesn’t mean your lifestyle suits having one now. You must take into consideration the huge daily responsibility it is to own a cat or dog. Don’t buy a pet as a status symbol or because a cute puppy or kitten tugged at your heartstrings. Don’t run out and buy a pet during the holidays or as a gift for someone who is ill prepared to own one.

If you do decide to get a pet, just make sure you’ve thoroughly assessed your lifestyle, living situation, and financial resources. Don’t be in a hurry.  Instead, make a carefully thought-out decision.  After all, you are contemplating the enormous task of adding a living, breathing creature to your family. You will be responsible for your pet’s every need.

Ten questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do you hope to gain from your relationship with this pet?

  2. Do you have the financial resources to take on a new family member?

  3. Will this new pet fit into your current family, four-legged members included?

  4. Are you prepared emotionally if your pet has a medical problem?

  5. Do you have the time commitment necessary to care for this pet?

  6. Does your current living situation allow for a new pet?

  7. Will your work or travel schedule interfere with owning a pet?

  8. Has the whole family been involved in the decision to get a new pet?

  9. Are you willing to give up some freedom to own and care for a new pet.

  10. Are you physically able to handle this new pet?

Pets should be selected with the entire family in mind, including everyone’s needs, concerns, expectations, fears, and medical issues (like allergies). Will the family thrive from taking on and caring for a new pet, or will this caretaking become a burden after the honeymoon is over? Keep in mind that children may not always fulfill the promises they make about caring for a new pet. Will a relationship with this pet enhance or detract from the relationships that you already have, such as a spouse, children, or close friends.

Kitten, Puppy, Cat, or Dog?

Without a doubt, owning a puppy or kitten requires much more work during the first year than adopting a mature dog or cat. Raising a kitten or puppy takes a certain amount of commitment on your part to make sure you end up with a well-behaved pet that fits into the family. It’s similar to raising a child, only at an accelerated pace. A kitten or puppy will age fifteen human years in one year and go through all the stages that a child would experience into their teens. It can be challenging, entertaining, daunting, and amazing all at the same time.

The key is to train them right from the start so you don’t wind up with an untrained, destructive, or obnoxious cat or dog. A pet’s first year of life is crucial and is when they will develop a positive bond with you.

If you don’t have the time, energy, or patience to put into raising a kitten or puppy, then it’s probably best to adopt an adult dog or cat. Generally speaking, adult pets require far less work initially, but if they have behavioral problems, you’ll need to address those immediately so you can enjoy your pet in the long run.

It will take some work to have your adult cat or dog adjust to your household. As in any new relationship, you must first get to know each other. By putting a good six months of effort into establishing ground with your new pet, you’ll have a highly social, well-trained animal that will fit well in your life and home.

Cat Versus Dog

Naturally, there are certain differences in owning a cat versus a dog.

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Advantages of owning a cat include:

  • They are easier to potty-train than dogs.

  • Cats can stay longer at home alone.

  • Cats are much quieter than dogs.They are relatively small.

  • They don’t need to be walked.

  • Cats are typically less costly.

  • They require less exercise.

  • They need less socialization.

  • Cats are much easier to house train.

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Benefits of owning a dog include:

  • Dogs make excellent companions.

  • They are famous for their unwavering love and loyalty.

  • Dogs provide sense of safety and protection.

  • There are a great many different breeds to choose from.

  • Dogs come in all sizes and shapes.

Whether you decide on a cat or a dog, it’s critical that you research the particular breeds of dogs or cats before you actually go out and buy one. Different breeds have different characteristics and temperaments as well as maintenance requirements you must consider before choosing a particular breed. For example, Persian and Abyssinian cats are considered to be very affectionate; Siamese cats like to meow a lot. Long hair versus short hair is another thing to consider. Certain breeds of dogs, such as Maltese, poodle, and Lhasa apso, require grooming every six weeks.

A loving pet has been proven to help people heal and be happier.  By using these guidelines, you can enjoy the multitude of benefits that come from pet ownership.

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