As many of my frequent reader know we are a multiple dog household. I am often asked why no cats? The question is then generally followed up by the reasoning cats require minimal care. While cats do require less maintenance and time compared with dogs, cat care is just as important.
Taking the plunge into becoming a pet owner isn't on to be taking lightly and you should spend some time doing some research to determine which pet would make the right addition to your home.
Things to consider when choosing to become a dog owner:
Dogs are forever! They are not part time companions. They require time, attention, love and medical care throughout their lives. It's best to look at a dog as a commitment that will last a 15 years or so. Your dog will need his yearly shots and you should keep in mind the unforeseen. Will your dog have allergies that need to be managed, will your dog get into something they shouldn't ( which happens a lot as puppies) requiring an emergency vet visit? Even a dog with the best care can rack up a big vet bill.
Training, training and more training. If your getting a dog as a puppy it is your job to teach them right from wrong, where to eliminate and good social skills. This requires a lot of time, work and patience.
Do you travel often? Who is going to care for your dog while your gone and can you trust them? If you plain on kenneling your dog remember the cost adds up and of course your dog must be up-to-date on all his or her shots to even be considered for boarding.
You also want to make sure you have a good vet lined up, your home dog proofed ( you would be amazed at what they can get into) and most importantly you choose the right dog for your life style. There are many many dog breeds out there. Please take he time to find the dog that fits in with your home or apartment and is the right fit for your family. The local shelter is a great place to start your search. Often the best dogs are rescues.
Things to consider when choosing to become a cat owner:
So what about Cats? Are they really easier to care for? Cats require a lot of care as well to keep them happy and healthy.
Often it is thought that vet bills are less for a cat then a dog which can be true, but all animals get sick just like people. At that minimum your cat will still require a yearly checkup, shots and monthly flea medications.
Will your Cat be an indoor cat or outdoor cat? Don't forget for a fresh smelling home you want to keep on top of the cat's litter box which will require daily freshening up and or cleaning.
Do you travel? Although leaving a cat alone for the day is easier then leaving a dog if your planning a vacation you still need to have someone in mind who will care for your cat while your away.
Really in many ways cats are a lot like dogs and require the same love and commitment from an owner.
Sometimes life just doesn't permit us time for a cat or a dog, but are kids would still like the experience of owning a pet. There are many small caged animals that are perfect for apartment living or those with less time to commit. Do take your time though again, in considering which is right for you. If your not a reptile lover but your child really wants a snake, realize you're still responsible for that animal and from time to time will most likely be taking over feedings and such. I would make sure it's a pet the whole family can agree upon.
Pets can bring great joy to a family but I don't think they are for everyone. Consider your options closely to find the perfect match for your household. Don't forget if you already have a pet, keep he or she in mind as well when choosing to add another furry addition to the home.
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