The fast-paced world we live in today demands our attention and this can wear us out easily. One of the best ways to reduce the stress that daily life brings is to own a pet. Pets constantly give gratitude and love, they can provide entertainment, and they are happy just being in our presence. With a wide variety of pets to choose from – whether it is birds, fish, gerbils, or rabbits – the decision can be quite overwhelming, but today we will focus on the two of the most loved domesticated animals in the world.
According to a report, the most common pet are freshwater fish with a population of about 142 million owned as pets around the world. Cats are second at 88.3 million and close behind at 74.8 million are dogs. But if your reason for wanting a pet is companionship and fun, then you are likely looking for either a dog or cat. The option you opt for comes down to the available space in your house, the time you have to dedicate to your new friend and your personality.
Generally, cats are less demanding and more independent, whereas dogs are obedient and loyal but require more exercise and attention. Cats live as old as 25 and dogs can live for up to 18 years. Looking back in time at these feline and canine rivals, The Independent a British newspaper published information from a study of ancient fossils of cats and dogs. The study revealed that historically the cat family has been much better at surviving than the dog clan, and sometimes at the latter’s expense.
The study showed that cats have played a significant role in making 40 dog species extinct, out-competing them for scarce food supplies because they are generally more effective hunters. And there was no evidence that dogs have wiped out a single cat species. That is sure to anger many dog lovers, but that was long in the past and almost all the dogs and cats are domesticated, which is why we love to spend time with them. So if you are in the market for a pet, how do you choose between a canine companion and feline friend? Let’s see if we can help.
How to Choose
First, you need to consider how much time you can dedicate to your new friend. Dogs usually more time than cats and don’t like to be left alone at home. Both come with different price tags. Dogs are more expensive than cats, but there is always the option of visiting the pound and taking on a rescue animal. Some cats live their life indoors and require a litter tray, whereas others will stay out, only coming in for food.
If you are choosing a dog, it is important to consider its size. Larger dogs like Labradors or German Shepherds, cost more to feed and need more space. Dogs are more affectionate and needy when it comes to mood. On the other hand, cats are more independent though it varies by breed. For instance, Siamese cats are playful and intelligent but can be quite noisy, while short-haired cats are affectionate and long-haired cats are generally laid back.
And as individuals, both dogs and cats have different personalities, so interact with them before taking them home to see if you can be buddies. That might help you choose, but there is more to take into account when your pet joins you at home. What about other considerations of daily life with your new cat or dog?
All animals need feeding and because you will be feeding them, they will be your BFF. The amount of food a cat has to eat largely depends on its size, but they need less food than most dogs unless you are shopping for one of those tiny little toy dogs, that some folks carry around in their handbag. Cat food comes in canned wet or dry form and adult cats need up to 300 calories per day. You can also feed your cat fish, such as canned tuna, as a treat now and then, but if it makes up a large part of their diet, they are at risk of thiamine deficiency.
How much a dog eats depends on its size. Commercial dog foods are available in both wet and dry forms, and most dogs need up to 30 calories/pound per day. Dogs, of course, love bones but don’t give your dog cooked bones because cooked bones may injure and splinter their intestines. Another dangerous food for dogs is chocolate. For humans, it is a pleasurable treat but it can poison a dog.
Cats famously dislike water, but luckily they need bathing, though they should be brushed regularly, especially if they have long hair. Most cats enjoy the activity as it relieves ant itchiness, particularly during the hot months.
As for dogs, they need regular bathing and grooming, especially those with long hair. In the summer, dogs will shed and lose their coat, so grooming aids this process, and if you don’t take the time to clean your dog, he or she will soon start to stink up your entire house.
Health and Hygiene
Both dogs and cats can get infected with fleas, lice, ticks, and other parasites. When this occurs, disinfectants like Advantix or Frontline are required to clear the pets of infection, though Advantix is used only on dogs because it is very dangerous for cats. Frequent bathing and grooming will help to avoid these outbreaks, as will visiting the vet regularly to ensure the pets injections are up to date and other health checkups are carried out.
Cats can easily be trained to use their litter-box. This needs to be cleaned at least once a day. But other than that, they tend to keep themselves to themselves.
On the other hand, a dog needs to be housebroken, socialized, and trained. Usually, training takes about two months and according to The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan, the 5 essential commands your dog must learn are come, sit, stay, down, and leave it.
At the end of the day, dogs are for some people and cats for others. If you spend a lot of time away from home, then maybe a cat is best, but if you have a big house and yard and like a pet to stand guard, then you are probably more suited to own a dog. So what’s your pet choice and why? Let us know in the comments.