Dog or cat? Things to consider before choosing a new pet
Would you love to introduce a new dog or cat to the family, but you can’t decide which species is the best choice for both you and your new fluffy friend?
Children will often set their heart on one the that has the cute factor but this will not necessarily be the best option for your family.
There are lots of things to think about before you get a new pet, including how much time you’ll be able to spend with them, how much space you have in your home and the kind of budget that you can realistically afford to spend on taking care of them (think food, bedding, vet’s bills, pet insurance cover and preventative care).
Here, we look at some of the factors that need to be taken into consideration before you commit to bringing home a dog or cat.
General things to think about…
Environment: Do you have enough space inside and outside your home for a dog or cat to be comfortable and happy? If this is in short supply, a smaller pet is a more realistic option.
Budget: Some types of pet can be expensive to look after, which is something to think about if you’re on a reasonably tight budget. Have you considered how you will afford to pay the vet’s bills should something happen?
Time: How much time do you have to spend with a pet? Some pets are perfectly happy if left to their own devices but others require playtime, affection and mental stimulation from their owners.
If you are contemplating getting a dog, it’s important to think about the type of breed that will work best for your family. Different breeds have certain characteristics that can make them the perfect choice for some households and totally unsuited to others. Because of this, it’s advisable to do background research on the breed(s) that you are considering to make sure that they are a good fit for you.
Some of the things to think about when deciding whether to have a dog include:
Time: Dogs will want you to spend time with them every day and can quickly become stressed and anxious if you cannot do this. If you cannot realistically spend enough time with your pet, think carefully about getting a dog.
Exercise: All dogs need to be taken on daily walks but some breeds need more exercise than others. Jack Russells are one example of a breed that needs a good deal of exercise to keep them mentally stimulated as well as physically fit.
Training: Unless you are taking on an older dog that is already well trained, you’ll need to be able to spend lots of time to house train and socialise a new dog. Puppies can be very demanding so you’ll need to have a lot of time and patience to train them. If you lead a busy life, a young dog is therefore may not be the best option.
Grooming: Some dogs are high maintenance and require lots of grooming to keep them in good condition.
Environment: Would a cat have access to outdoor areas or would your home require them to be an indoor-only pet? Cats are more sedentary than dogs but will still prefer to have the freedom to roam outdoors.
Personality: Some cats are more docile while others are more talkative and affectionate so a lot will depend on the type of personality that you’d like your cat to have.
Once you’ve made the right decision, be sure to put a pet insurance policy in place to cover them during all their furry adventures. And if you decide to get more than one pet, don’t forget to check out our multi pet insurance discounts!
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