By John Dunnery
If you grew up with a pet in the house, you’ve probably already made up your mind. People who grew up with dogs usually stick with canines, and folks who had cats around the house tend to want felines. However, if your mind is open, here are five questions to help you decide what kind of pet to own.
1-Do you work long hours and/or have little free time? Sounds like you’re a cat person. Cats are solitary animals and quite content to be at home alone all day. Just make sure they have enough food and water, and give them some attention when you do get home.
2-Do you want a companion to talk to and walk with? A dog is definitely the right pet for you. Dogs are social and trainable. They listen to their owner’s voice. In fact, some breeds can learn the meanings of over 100 words. Cats do not have the same capacity to respond to human commands, and cats are certainly not good walking companions.
3-Is your domestic space limited? If so, a cat may be the best choice. Cats don’t need much space. Because dogs are generally larger and more active, a small apartment is probably not adequate. However, some very small dogs can be accommodated in a modest living space.
4-Do you have a backyard and/or live near parks? If so, you have places to take your dog for its daily walk and exercise. If you live in an urban concrete jungle far from any green space, a cat may be your only option.
5-Do you want a quiet, undemanding pet? Choose a cat. If they have a litter box and a place to lounge, they can amuse themselves all day. You may hear an occasional purr, and an agitated cat may sometimes scratch furniture. Dogs require more attention. They want to play, and a dog’s bark can be quite loud. For this reason, cats may be more suitable pets for elderly people.
Once you make your decision and take your pet home, you’ll have a domestic companion who will enhance your life and health. Whether you have a cat or a dog, studies have shown that pet owners are more energetic and experience less stress and depression. Whatever time and energy you give your pet is returned to you in fun and companionship.