We have a new house and finally feel we have room for a pet, but we can not decide what we want, not even whether it should be a dog or cat. Can you help us make a decision?
Congratulations on your plans to enlarge your family! A pet is a great addition to a household.
It is very important to put a great deal of thought into your choice. Too many people pick a pet on the spur of the moment and then decide they don’t want it. Just ask your local humane society how many animals it receives from people who couldn’t cope with housebreaking, exercising and other normal needs of the pet. Responsible pet ownership is very important.
Dogs and cats each have their advantages and disadvantages. Cats are more independent by nature. They usually require less exercise because they use a litter pan and easily adapt to a busy household. They can be very persistent when they decide they need attention and will pester until you pick them up, pet them, and generally show you love them.
If you pick a dog, you must choose between a purebred or mixed breed. Many large breed dogs require space and exercise. Some dogs shed heavily while others, such as poodles, terriers and schnauzers do not shed. Combinations of these three breeds also are popular because they are affectionate and do not shed.
Whether dog or cat, you want a pet with a good disposition. Instead of just looking for a “pretty face”, notice the animal that comes to you; it will be friendly. Also check the temperament of the parents and the interaction with litter mates and owners. The potential personality of your pet is affected by its experience, environment and family history.
You must also decide whether you want a young or mature animal. A puppy needs to be housetrained which takes time. It also will be more active and full of mischief. A mature dog or cat, however, may have developed a personality or problems that you would not like and that might be hard to change.
The important point is to narrow your choices to match your family, yard and house space, time for training and attention. Good luck in your search