Dog Lovers vs. Cat Lovers: Which Pet is Best for You?

am I a dog person or a cat person

Having a pet can be a wonderful and enriching experience, but one of the biggest questions a would-be pet owner must ask themselves is “am I a dog person, a cat person, or an alternative pet person?”. This article has been written to give a better idea of what goes into caring for and raising any pet you so choose.

Why a Dog Might be Best

  • While the domestication of cats happened over the span of 10 to 12 millennia, humanity’s domestication of canines goes back to sometime between 20 and 40 millennia. This extremely long period means that dogs are significantly easier to train. In short, if you want a pet that will have little trouble listening to you, a dog may be just the pet for your needs.
  • While a cat will always have some independence, the sheer variety of dog breeds means that you can easily find a dog that serves as both pet and task animal; no one has heard of a guard cat or seeing eye cat but the idea of a guard dog or service dog brings multiple disparate dog breeds to mind.
  • Hundreds of centuries of domestication and cross-breeding means that there is a huge difference in sizes between dog breeds. As an apartment can only get so big, you may need to abstain from large breeds like the Mastiff, Husky, or St. Bernard, especially if you do not have enough space for the dog to get the exercise it needs for burning off its energy in a healthy way.
  • The requirements for owning a dog extend beyond food and shelter. Dogs need access to an outdoor bathroom. Even if you plan to carry baggies around to pick up their waste, it is not like you can train a dog to use the toilet indoors.

Why a Cat Might be Best

  • Cats are more independent than dogs and this aloofness may better suit their owner’s personality than an animal who acts on command. Cats are smart enough to realize that you bring them food and otherwise care for them but the only cats who tend to obey a specific verbal command are usually ones that have grown up around dogs.
  • While a cat that spends any amount of time indoors will necessitate at least one litter box, litter boxes are not always crucial to every cat’s needs. If your cat spends almost all of its time outdoors, you may be just fine leaving a section of the yard as a natural spot for the cat to dispatch its waste and inspect it once a week to see if it needs refreshing.
  • Domestic cats have much less of a range of sizes among breeds, making it easier for an apartment to serve as a home for most breeds.

Why an Alternative Pet Might be Best

“Alternative pets” are anything beyond the cat/dog paradigm. Examples of these pets include animals that are often sold or displayed in enclosures like terrariums and aquariums.

  • Fish. You need to ensure that all species get along in your aquarium to avoid fighting. Remember to regularly filter the water and keep the aquarium at a species-appropriate temperature.
  • Reptiles. Whether you are eyeing a snake or a bearded dragon, the temperature of their enclosure is important. You should also recognize when your reptile is about to molt or brumate and adjust your level of interaction with them.
  • Birds. Be aware that some home appliances, like stoves, are treated with chemicals that are dangerous to avian health. You should also be mindful of which sort of bird you plan on getting; some species are incredibly social and their health can deteriorate without other birds to interact with, while other species, like the gray parrot, can live for decades and require long-term planning to care for.

Wrapping Up

Whether your ideal pet purrs, barks, hisses, or squawks, there are certain pros and cons to every animal. Dogs can be trained, cats will always have some independence, and pet reptiles have their own mystique. Consider reading this article as the first step in making a new life-long friend, and enjoy that journey.

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