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Dog vs. Cat: Which is Right For You?

Are you a cat person or a dog person? Maybe you consider yourself a big fan of both our feline and our canine friends and can’t decide which pet is right for you. If you are considering pet adoption, there are many considerations to take into account before you choose your pet. No matter what you decide, pet adoption requires commitment and responsibility. In this post, we will look at the similarities and differences between caring for cats and dogs.

There are several questions you need to ask yourself before you decide to increase your family to include a four-legged friend. Can you commit to the animal for life? Do you have a suitable home? Do you have the time to give it affection and training and do you have the financial stability for vaccinations, neutering and ongoing healthcare? If you move to another country or have a big life change, can you afford to take your pet with you? These questions are relevant no matter what type of animal you take home.

If you can’t answer yes to all of these questions, then now is not the right time to consider taking on a pet. If you can, then you can move on to the next step in the decision-making process. Cat or dog?

Many people already have a preference, perhaps because they grew up with either cats or dogs or perhaps they just identify more with one or the other. However, that alone is not enough to base your decision on. Cats and dogs have different needs and characteristics so your choice must reflect your ability to meet these needs.

Is a dog right for you?

Dogs need lots of time, attention and company. They are highly social animals that want to be around others so if you work long hours and need to leave a pet home alone for long stretches, a dog is probably not for you. If you are outdoorsy, love walks and have access to open spaces to give your dog regular exercise, then a dog could make the perfect pet. Dogs are best known for being extremely loyal, playful and protective and these traits are extremely appealing. However, if you don’t have time to train, play, walk, groom and care for your dog’s wellbeing, you can wind up having a dog with psychological problems and health issues. Ensure you have the right tools and equipment for training, exercising and feeding your dog before you take him home. You can find vet approved toys, leashes, collars and foods at a reputable dog supplier. In Hong Kong it is also necessary to hold a license for your dog. For more information on caring for your dog, take a look at our recent article - “Becoming a Pet Parent in Hong Kong”.

Is a cat right for you?

Cats, unlike dogs, are naturally more solitary. This makes them easier to care for than dogs but doesn’t mean they can be simply fed and then ignored all day. Cats do enjoy affection, require grooming (especially if of a long-haired variety) and need to have exercise. However, cats can entertain themselves more than dogs and if they have access to outside space, they will happily take themselves for a walk. However, if you can’t provide access to safe outside spaces, you will need to provide more stimulation inside the home. Cats are predatory animals, encourage them to play with dangly toys, give them elevated spaces to jump up to and use as makeshift lookouts. You will also need to provide posts to cats that can’t get outside to get to a good old tree for a scratch and a litter tray. You can find toys, scratch posts and cat climbers from vet approved cat suppliers.

In essence, what you really need to decide is not which type which type of animal is best for you, but which type of animal you can offer the best quality of life to.

Posted in Pet Ownership in Hong Kong By Vetopia

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