Should I get a Cat or a Dog?

Pet insurance from helpucover.com

Should I get
a cat or a dog?

Pet insurance from helpucover.com

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The area you live in doesnít matter as much for cats as they donít require walking or need anywhere near as much space as dogs. Consequently, if you live in a more urban or built-up area, a cat might be the better option for you. Cats do enjoy being outside though and love to roam around, so access to a safe garden is ideal.

Yes

Do you live in an urban and built-up area?

No

Dogs love being outdoors and need the fresh air and stimulation, so they are best suited to more rural areas. Rural areas are spacious and the houses are often surrounded by fields or woods. This is the perfect environment for a dog as it gives them the necesary space to run around in and be taken for exciting walks.

Cats are certainly the best option for smaller flats or houses with limited space, as they are perfectly content in these conditions. Access to a garden is beneficial, but the garden should be safe with relatively high fencing. Even without such easy access to the outdoors, cats are happy inside as long as they are still fed properly and have access to scratching posts and toys to encourage both physical and mental activity.

Yes

Do you live in a small and relatively compact property?

No

Dogs require relatively big houses as they need more space than cats. Even smaller breeds need this spacious environment, as they are energetic animals and will still want to run around indoors. Itís also better for the house to have a garden, as dogs will need to go outside to relieve themselves. If you live in a rental property, itís also possible that your landlord might have restrictions on what pets can live with you.

Cats are very social pets, but they are also incredibly independent. Cats donít mind being home alone for longer periods of time, and can happily entertain themselves as long as they have access to food, a litterbox and plenty of toys or a scratching post. Giving them the required attention when you get home is far less tasking too, so a cat is a better choice if you find yourself wanting to relax when you get in from work.

Yes

Do you work long hours or have a long commute?

No

Dogs hate being left alone for long periods of time, and will often bark and become destructive without your company. They will also be extremely excited to see you when you return home, and itís essential that you give them the required attention. Dogs will be very excited to see you after being alone all day, so if you work long days or never feel particularly energetic when you return, a dog probably isnít the best option for you.

Cats are certainly more self-sufficient than dogs, but theyíll still need looking after when you go on holiday. If youíre away from home frequently however, cats are much less expensive to have looked after. They just need somebody to quickly pop round every day to mix or change their litter, ensure they have enough food and just generally keep an eye on them. This doesnít have to be a full time job for anybody, and you can even ask a friendly neighbour to do the favour for you.

Yes

Do you tend to go on many holidays?

No

As mentioned above, dogs are far more reliant on their owners. They need somebody to bring them on walks, play with them and give them access to the outdoors every single day. If you tend to go away a lot, youíd need to hire a dog sitter or similar to ensure your dog is being looked after properly. This can be quite an expensive option!

Cats are fine with children of all ages. Due to both their size and their behaviour, their playfulness is rarely accidentally aggressive. Cats also tend to just cuddle up to people on the sofa when they want affection, so theyíre the safer option for a house with young children.

Yes

Do you have children over the age of 7?

No

It is advised to wait until your children are between the ages of 7 and 9 before bringing a dog into your home. Small children can be accidentally knocked over and potentially hurt by bigger dogs due to their playful natural. Children can also unknowingly tease or wind the dog up, which isnít fair to the pet.

Cats are relatively independent from day one Ė much more so than dogs. They are also easier to train and pick up how to use a litterbox incredibly quickly. Cats tend to pick and choose when they want your attention, but they still thrive on social interaction and love being played with or groomed. If you live a busy life and donít always have the time on your hands that a dog requires, a cat is the better choice for you.

Yes

Do you have a very busy lifestyle?

No

Dogs require a huge amount of time, patience and commitment to train them up, and they arenít good pets without adequate training. They will also need significant attention from you for their entire life. They are pack animals and have an innate need to please you, and will always want to play with you and become your best friend. Dogs also need to be taken for walks every single day, regardless of the weather! Before deciding to get a dog, itís important to understand that they like to be as involved as possible in your life. Are you happy to always give them the time they deserve?

Cats still require veterinary and medical costs as dogs, and also require a lot of grooming, but are usually cheaper to insure and their toys and scratch posts tend to last longer. One (potentially expensive) cost that should be taken into consideration though, is that cats are known to scratch and cause damage to furniture. However, on the whole, cats are certainly the cheaper choice in comparison to dogs.

Yes

Would investing a lot of money in a pet be a problem for you?

No

Dogs tend to be a bit more expensive than cats overall, particularly larger dog breeds. They are more expensive to insure in most cases, and require higher quantities of food. Dogs love to travel in the car with you, but this requires buying the necessary car accessories. They also require a lot of grooming as they need their hair and nails trimmed. Dogs also tend to go through a lot of toys, as they love to bite and rip soft toys to pieces!

Have you managed to make a decision?

Yes

No

You can always get both! The two animals are supposedly archenemies, but thereís really no truth in that. They have very different needs and behavioural traits, but that doesnít mean they canít live in harmony in the same household. If you do decide to opt for both, itís best to raise them from kitten and puppy, as this will allow them to get used to each other from the very start. This can be a very expensive option, however! The pets will require different types of attention, different food, different toys, different insurance policies, different everything. Consequently, itís important that you have the financial means, and are willing to give both pets the attention they require.

Introducing A Cat And A Dog

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You now have a friend for life!

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