Dogs vs. Cats: Which Is Right for You and Your Family?

So, dogs vs. cats? Check out the pros and cons of each and figure out which is the better match for your lifestyle before you consider bringing one home.

No Time For Walks? The Pros of Having a Cat
Cats are Self-Sufficient
Since cats use a litter box instead of going outside to use the bathroom, you won’t need to worry if you’re away at work for most of the day. No hiring a dog walker or running home from work early — just make sure to keep the litter box clean so that your cat has a fresh place to do his business. Cats are also self-cleaning machines and will rarely need a trip to the groomer.

Cats Keep Pests at Bay
When you have a cat around the house, you probably won’t see any mice, roaches, ants or beetles. Cats will instinctively keep your home pest-free.

Who Knocked Over My Water? The Cons of Having a Cat
Cats are Curious
Just like toddlers, cats seem to get into everything. This includes leftover food, shopping bags and purses. Have an open beverage on the table? Be careful it doesn’t fall victim to wayward paws. Many people use spray bottles of water to help cats learn what to stay away from.

Cats Have Claws
In the wild, a cat will use her claws to catch prey and ward off enemies, but in your home, these claws can end up fraying the bottom of your couch. However, a simple scratching post and a little redirection can help a cat learn where she can and can’t sharpen her claws.

Cats Have Stoic Personalities
Some cats, anyway. When you walk into the room, don’t expect your cat to come running over to see you. Some cats act very aloof and seem to only look for affection on their own timetable. However, when they do look for a little love, cats will really give it their all.
Want a New Best Friend? The Pros of Having a Dog
Dogs are Excited to See You
Unlike many cats, dogs often greet you at the door with excitement. They just love attention and affection, and they’re always eager to please.

Dogs Protect the Home
Many people choose to adopt a dog as a safeguard against home invasion. Your sense of security will skyrocket when you have a dog that barks if someone approaches the house.

Didn’t I Just Let You Out? The Cons of Having a Dog
Dogs Require Bathroom Breaks
Unless you try to litter train your dog, she will need to go outside to use the bathroom multiple times per day. This means that you will either need to take her for walks yourself or install a doggy door that leads into a fenced-in yard.

Dogs Need Discipline
When you bring a new dog into the home, she will need some time to understand the “house rules.” You’ll have to learn how to train your dog or sign him up for obedience classes — and keep in mind that certain breeds take to training better than others!

Dogs Need Regular Exercise
In order for your dog to stay healthy, happy and fit, you’ll need to regularly take him on a walk or run. Having a large fenced-in yard will allow him to run and play easily, but if you live in an apartment or have a tiny yard, regular walks will be necessary. And some breeds need much more exercise than others, so make sure know how much playtime your particular dog will need before you bring him home.•

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