How to choose the perfect family pet? Pros and cons of adopting a dog or cat.
Have your kids recently convinced you that it’s time to adopt a family pet? Pet and kids are something that just seem to naturally go together, teaching them such things as responsibility, compassion, social skills, and love for animals. With that said, a family pet is also a lot of work, and despite how much the kids’ say they are willing to help out, much of it will become your responsibility. This is exactly why it is wise not to rush into adoption and truly give some thought as to what would be the best family pet.
In order to help you out here, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of adopting either a dog or cat, in the hope it makes the decision-making process smoother for you. You may even be surprised at what ends up being the “perfect” family pet for your lifestyle and family dynamics.
In the UK, statistics show that the most popular pet by far is a dog. Among pet owners, dogs make up 26%, with cats coming in second at 18%.
Dogs offer a huge variety of options for families, as you can choose from ones that are so small that they can fit in your hand, all the way to extra large-sized breeds that can weight upwards of 10 stone (150lbs). Then there is the fact that the breeds vary greatly in personality traits, activity level, friendliness, care and grooming, and so forth. What this means is that you’re sure to find one that fits in well with your family.
Another reason dogs are so popular is that many homeowners like the security aspect of a medium to large breed dog. An imposing dog can act as an excellent deterrent for would-be thieves looking to break into your home.
But what about the cons of owning a dog? When it comes to which family pet requires the most amount of care and attention, dogs sit on top of the list. They can only be left alone for so many hours a day before needing to go outside to do their “business”, they can suffer from separation anxiety when you are out, they can be destructive, depending on the breed, training is absolutely necessary, and they are expensive to care for.
For first-time pet owners, vet bills can be pretty scary, as you don’t really know what to expect. This is why it’s a good idea to looking into pet insurance, specifically dog insurance. Insurance for dogs is meant to take some of the stress off your plate.
Providers such as Everypaw can help you find the best fit when it comes to your dog insurance policy. They’ll even give you a free dog activity tracker when you sign on for a new dog insurance policy. Coverage can include vet bills for injury or illness, boarding fees when hospitalised, holiday cancellation costs if your dog has a life-threatening illness, and more.
Then we have cats, which as stated are the number two most popular pet among pet owners. Again, you can choose from different sizes and breeds, but the options are nowhere near as vast as dogs. There are 71 different kinds of pedigreed cats, whereas the Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognizes 344 breeds of dogs. Even so, it’s worth doing your research on the various cat breeds so you can pick one that would best fit your lifestyle.
Some of the pros of owning a cat is that they are incredibly independent. Unlike dogs, they do not suffer from separation anxiety, which also means you don’t have to worry about them destroying your house when you’re not home. While they very much enjoy companionship from their family members, they don’t need to be around humans 24/7.
Cats can also be left for a couple of days at a time as long as they have plenty of fresh water, food, and clean litter boxes to use. This gives you a bit more freedom, as you don’t have to watch the clock while you’re out. Litter box training them is pretty much the only training you have to do, and even that is relatively easy.
As for the cons, cats can be rather moody, even with their owners, and aren’t always the best pet to have with young children. They just don’t always have the patience and tolerance of a dog. Then there is the fact that you can’t really train them to do commands and tricks, which may or may not be an issue to you.
Again, you don’t want to forget about purchasing insurance for pets, specifically cat insurance. Kitten insurance can come in handy as you never quite know what they will get into and do when you’re not at home, so at least you know you’ve got that coverage if an emergency vet visit is needed.
Ready to make a decision
By doing your research, and asking questions, there’s no doubt you’ll be ready to make a decision in no time.