This May is Mental Health Awareness Month and various studies have shown how having a pet relieves stress, anxiety and more importantly, provides companionship to help us endure and maybe even banish loneliness.
We’ve been stuck at home for more than a year, and while we love our family, adding a new face to the household might have crossed our minds. Don’t worry, we aren’t talking about a baby. We’re talking about a new pet! When people think about getting pets, it’s usually a battle between dogs vs. cats, so we’re here to help you out a bit and highlight some factors to consider in choosing which animal will suit you and your household best.
Factor no. 1: Time
How much free time do you have? Even though you work from home, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have all the time to dedicate to your new animal. Cats are easy that way. The little balls of fluff are pretty independent and you can let them roam freely around your room or just provide them with a sunny spot to nap. You don’t even really need to potty train them since they naturally gravitate towards kitty litter. If you get a puppy, you may have to invest a couple of hours of your free time training them every week. And make sure you are aware of this commitment before making a decision.
Factor no. 2: Attention
If you want to a pet that will outwardly shower you with love and attention, a dog is definitely the way to go. They’ll give you back all that attention. But just be aware that they need attention as well. Unlike cats, who will only accept your attention at their leisure, and show love and affection in a more subtle way, dogs need to be doted on, walked, played with, and cuddled. Take the amount of focus you want to give your new furbaby into consideration.
Factor no. 3: Physical Activity
Dogs need to be active, generally more so than cats. So if you need a buddy to run with or if you like playing frisbee, a puppy is the perfect new buddy. If you love to curl up with a new book, watch a bunch of Netflix series, or do yoga rather than an intense run, cats may be the better choice.
Factor no. 4: Space
Dogs will generally need more space than cats. They like to explore and wander, and they need the floor space to play and run around in. Cats can jump from perch to perch so creating a vertical play space for them will keep them content. Plus, it’s a huge space saver. So if you live in a tiny apartment, a cat might be a better idea, but if you have the space, or better yet even a lawn, dogs will be great companions.
Factor no. 5: Barking or Meowing
Look, animals can get noisy no matter what species they are. So noise is always a risk. Cats will meow and dogs will bark. It’ll all dependent on how they’re trained and what their triggers are. Meowing, however, seems to be a lot less of an issue than barking is in apartments and condominiums so that may be something you want to think about before bringing an animal into your space.
Now that we’ve reminded you of a few things to consider, we hope you find the right animal for you and your family!