Which One Should You Get: A Dog or a Cat?It's been said that everyone is either a cat person or a dog person. While it is perfectly normal and even common for one to like both dogs and cats, most people seem to prefer one kind of pet over the other. Dogs and cats are often very different from each other and each animal can present different experiences and challenges for its owners. Whether you are enrolling in a vet tech school or you know next to nothing about animals beyond how to feed them and how to clean up after them, the big question on your mind is probably whether you should get a dog or a cat.
We should probably note that, despite the opinions of some people, no one animal species is "better" as a pet than others. It all comes down to personal preference, and that goes especially for the age-old "dogs versus cats" debate.
Having a Dog for a PetDogs were first domesticated roughly 14,000 years ago and, since then, they have become arguably the most popular pets in the world. Dogs are friendly, loyal to their owners, full of personality, and smart enough to be taught how to do several tricks. They make great companions and they will almost never question your authority. In fact, they will often do exactly what they are told once they receive enough training. Dogs also come in all sizes. Those who would like to have a large dog can find one with very little trouble, while those who would prefer a smaller dog should be able to find exactly what they are looking for as well.
While dogs can be incredibly friendly and loyal, they also require a lot of attention. In fact, many have compared owning a dog with having children. Most adult dogs won't need constant supervision, but they shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time. A bored or anxious dog, especially a younger dog, can make a complete mess of a house in short order. Dogs do indeed often seem less like pets and more like members of a family, but taking care of a dog requires lots of care and attention. If you plan on getting a dog, you may want to consider taking classes on animal training. You can even find information on earning a degree in the subject by going here.
Having a Cat for a PetWhile dogs are known for being reliant on their owners, cats are in many ways the opposite. Cats are very independent compared to dogs and they can often take care of themselves if they are left to their own devices. Cats will, for the most part, do whatever they want and, while they can be very loving and affectionate, they seem to show this affection on their own terms. A cat will come to you when it wants to be near you, not when it is called. In general, caring for a cat doesn't require a lot of responsibilities beyond regular feeding and cleaning a litter box, making them better pets for those who may be too busy for the constant care that can come from owning a dog.
The downside to having a cat as opposed to a dog for many people is that a cat doesn't seem to be as loyal and affectionate as a dog can be. Cats often will not do tricks or learn obedience the same way that dogs do, which can turn some would-be pet owners off.
In the end, the choice between owning a dog and owning a cat really comes down to personal preference. If you want a pet that is easier to take care of and will show affection on its own terms, chances are that a cat would be better for you. If you want a loyal companion that will obey your every command after some easy training, you will want a dog. Keep in mind that neither pet is "better" than the other. Both dogs and cats make excellent pets, just like they have for thousands of years.
SourcesLets Adopt! (2012)
North Shore Animal League America (2012)
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