How To Choose The Perfect Pet For You
There is nothing quite like the relationship between a pet and its owner. You love each other unconditionally, even after they chew up your favorite pair of shoes, or use the good furniture for a scratching post. Having a pet is rewarding in so many ways, but finding the perfect one can sometimes be difficult.
There are many breeds of dogs and cats, and they all have very different qualities. So, how do you decide what qualities to look for in your new pet, and figure out which breed is a perfect fit for you?
Getting a pet requires some new responsibilities. You may be feeling anxious about finding the right critter, but the benefits of pet ownership are something to be excited about. Rest assured, a dog or cat will bring joy and happiness into your household.
How Do I Choose The Perfect Pet?
The first thing to decide is whether you would prefer a cat or a dog. Simply put, there are cat people, and there are dog people.
Cats tend to be more independent than dogs – they like their space. In the wild, they are awake at night and tend to hunt alone. Unlike other pets, they keep themselves clean and entertained without your help. If you are someone who works a lot or is away from home often, a cat may be the best companion because they don't mind being left alone to their own devices.
Cats also tend to be very free-willed. When it comes to training, they are easy to potty train, but they usually don't respond to commands like 'sit' and 'stay' quite like a dog will. Training a cat requires establishing boundaries. They have to learn what is okay and what is not, what is theirs and what is yours.
Some breeds of cats are more cuddly than others. The following breeds are known to bond deeply and love getting cozy and snuggling up with you:
- Scottish Fold/Scottish Straight (easy going, sweet, family cat)
- Ragdoll (gentle, relaxed temperament)
- Tonkinese (social, playful)
- Burmese/Bombay (friendly, kind, outgoing)
It might be helpful to do some research on the different breeds and their tendencies. Get familiar with the breeds you think might be a good fit. It is important to remember that every cat is unique, and finding the right one could come down to something as simple as a gut feeling.
Dogs are social creatures; they like to play and be showered with affection. They will need your time and attention. In the wild, canines hunt and live in packs, they rely on each other for survival, much like the relationship between a dog and its owner. It is hard for them to be left alone for long periods of time.
Dogs tend to be more obedient by nature, although they can be harder to train as puppies. The following are the easiest breeds to train:
- Bernese Mountain Dog (loves the outdoors, great with kids)
- Border Collie (intelligent, obedient)
- German Shepherd (obedient, family dog)
- Labrador Retriever (affectionate, even-tempered)
- Boxers (obedient, good with kids, loves to cuddle)
Some of these generalities may not apply to each individual pet. Each animal is unique in its own way. If you are considering adopting a dog, spend awhile playing and loving on him or her before you make a decision. You might fall in love in a matter of minutes, or you might decide the dog does not suit you; either way it is best to know before you make a commitment and take the little guy home.
Other Things To Consider Before Adopting
It is important to consider your living arrangement. Some apartments or rental homes do not allow bigger dogs. Dogs also require yard space for exercise and bathroom, while cats will only need a litter box and a scratching post.
Dogs are more expensive to care for than cats. Due to a cat's independent nature it tends to care for itself and only rely on the owner for food, while dogs require toys, daycare, training classes, vet bills, etc.
If you have young children, it may be helpful to research which dog or cat breeds do best with little ones. Having a pet is a great way to teach responsibility and care.
POTENTIAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
If you find a breed of dog or cat that you absolutely love, make sure and do some research on that breed. Certain breeds are more prone to health problems and it is important to be aware and prepared for the challenges that may arise.
Love At First Sight
The first time you meet your new dog or cat there are some things to pay attention to that can help you decide if it is the right pet for you. For example, if you are looking for a quiet, loving pet, the one cuddling away from the chaos might be the one to look for. If you are looking for an active, energetic dog, the one jumping up and down that runs straight for you might be the better choice. Pay attention to the animal's body language and behavior; these can both be a good way to determine the animal's personality type.
"Pay attention to an animal's body language and behavior before you adopt. This is a good way to determine the animal's personality type." TWEET THIS
Schedule A First Check-Up For Your New Pet
Once you finally do find that absolutely perfect pet, it is important to make sure and schedule an appointment with a veterinarian for shots and a check-up. Give us a call at (617)269-0610 to schedule your dog or cat's first appointment. We are open seven days a week, are always here to answer questions, and will provide exceptional care for your new furry loved one.
About Dr. Natalie Waggener
Dr. Natalie Waggener has 17 years of experience in emergency work and general practice in Rhode Island, Florida and Massachusetts. She has a special interest in dentistry, wellness care and rehabilitation therapy. She is currently licensed in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island.