Cats or Dogs? Choosing a Family Pet

Are cats or dogs better family pets? The answer depends on you and your family. Here are some questions to help you decide whether a cat or dog works best for your family.

What Are Your Living Arrangements?

If you've got a house with ample room for a pet to explore, you likely have the perfect home for either cats or dogs. A big backyard is an even more fitting place for a medium to large dog.

Are you looking for an apartment pet? Small cat breeds and large cat breeds alike make the perfect pet for an apartment. Some apartments allow small dog breeds, but most medium to large sized dogs will be uncomfortable in a small apartment. If you do choose a larger dog for an apartment pet, be sure to take him or her on many walks so your dog can enjoy some exercise and regularly relieve himself.

Is Family Committed to Caring for the Pet?

Whether your family is considering cats or dogs, your family must be ready for the responsibilities that come with taking care of a pet. Dogs require a little more work than cats, but both pets require a full commitment from your family.

If your children are young, you will have to be committed to doing the majority of caring for the pet, but you should still involve your children with simple tasks so that they learn responsibility. A family that takes care of its cat, dog or other pet together is a happy family.

Another thing to keep in mind is a dog's need to relieve himself. If you live in an apartment, and the pet will have to be alone for long periods of time, a cat may be a better choice. However, there's always the option of giving a self-employed friend a key, or even paying someone you trust in your apartment complex to spend some time with the dog and let him out to go for walks a couple times a day.