Dog or cat? The question about which of these are the best household pets for families is one which is asked many times by both families and experts. Both animals have advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it depends upon the makeup of your family and what you are looking for in a pet. Those who have had both cats and dogs can attest to the fact that both can be great additions, fully dependant on your family dynamic, among other things. To help you decide which the best pet is for your family household, we will consider housebreaking, training, their personalities, and how much care and attention each requires.

Housebreaking

One of the main considerations for many families, mainly parents, is how easy a new pet is going to be to house train! How easy this is going to be will likely be dependent on the individual animal. However due to their inherent nature cats tend to be more easily house trained; they instinctively want to bury their mess and therefore if you provide the litter box, they should do this willingly.

Dogs can sometimes be a little trickier; but again, this can entirely depend on the individual. This can be due to a number of things but typically dogs can be more temperamental and therefore may not want to go outside when it is raining, for example. As with anything, it can take time and a lot of encouragement to house train any animal but with a little perseverance and positive reinforcement you should be fine!

Training

There is no denying that dogs need to be trained, and it can take a lot of time. But, once complete dogs can be extremely obedient. This is something to keep in mind if you feel you won’t have the time to adequately train a dog or give them the attention they need. However, if you have the time and are willing to give it a good go, dogs can be extremely clever, loyal and caring pets. In addition to this, dogs need to run and roam; so, you need to be willing to give them the exercise they need and offer them a space to play. If you have a garden, make sure it is fenced.

Another area to consider is the fact that dogs are animals that serve and protect. They instinctively protect your family, an advantage if you live in an area where such protection is important. Service dogs are used by the handicapped, police and fire departments, and in many other areas. This personality trait makes having a dog the best option for many families. At the same time, cats keep your home or property free from mice and even spiders – great if you live in the countryside.

Personality and Intelligence

One thing many families enjoy is the ability to train a dog to do “tricks.” This makes a dog a particularly enjoyable pet for families with children. In addition, dogs tend to be obedient in order to please their owners. For many families, it is a dog’s respect and obedience that makes them so desirable, as they tend to be good around children. Of course, all of this can depend on the breed of dog and the individual animal themselves.

Cats have a tendency to do whatever it is that they want to do. They are much more independent and see you as more of an equal (or inferior) than a master. They do enjoy playing with cat appropriate toys, although they will not do so if they do not feel like it.

Overall, cats are independent and communicative, dogs playful and loyal. A dog’s affection and playfulness can be excessive at times and a cat’s aloofness can be irritating. It is purely dependent on preference as to which personality your family will enjoy the most.

When it comes to intelligence, cats have more – a scientifically proven fact. The fact that cats are more intelligent than dogs is measurable through testing. They are better at memory and problem solving. Again, this is somewhat dependent on the individual animal.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Cats are low maintenance animals. Cats do not need baths, just an occasional brushing for a longhaired variety. Dogs, however, should be bathed once or twice a month, depending on breed, where they live, and their habits. If dogs are not bathed, they can smell bad. Moreover, some breeds really need professional grooming, which would then be an added expense.

Generally speaking, cats tend to be less expensive to care for than dogs. Cat food is generally less expensive for one. Dogs will eat anything, a trait that can prove dangerous and can lead to more frequent vet visits. Fussy cats avoid questionable or inedible substances. It is worth looking into costs in your area for routine vet visits, as well as things such as spaying or neutering.

In conclusion, both dogs and cats have their strengths and weaknesses. Whether cats or dogs are the best household pets for families depends upon the individual family dynamic and personal preference. Dogs are friendly and dependable; cats are affectionate and intelligent. Whichever pet your family chooses, you are sure to have years of enjoyment and create memories that will stay with your family forever.


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