Opinion: Cats and dogs are both great pets

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Opinion: Cats and dogs are both great pets

Living with a cat and dog adds a sense of balance to new families.

Living with a cat and dog adds a sense of balance to new families.

Samantha Dahlberg

Living with a cat and dog adds a sense of balance to new families.

Samantha Dahlberg

Samantha Dahlberg

Living with a cat and dog adds a sense of balance to new families.

Samantha Dahlberg, Staff Writer

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Growing up, I never had just one pet.

I have always lived with both cats and dogs at the same time. I loved having both of them in my life because each animal had distinct characteristics and engaging personalities.

Cats and dogs are two different species, and from my experience, it’s hard to say that one species is better than the other as a family pet. Cats typically have more independent, unique personalities, and therefore need less attention than dogs. Dogs are loyal, energetic companions who need to be fed and walked daily. They would rather be with their owner than alone at any time.

I can’t remember a time when I did not have just a cat or just a dog. Having both a cat and a dog in your family brings a kind of balance to the household.  

Most people who have a pet love the experience of having a pet. Pets are loyal companions, never talk back, and always add a spark of positivity to anyone’s mood. They fulfill our human need to nurture and care for another.   

According to the U.S. News, “Sure, you need your pet. Your pet needs you, too. The need to be useful and of value doesn’t magically disappear when your career ends or your kids grow up and build their own independent lives. It is very satisfying to take care of another living creature. At the end of the day, having a pet means that you have made a promise to continue being involved in another life. This commitment is one of the most positive decisions you can make as you get older.”

The most popular domestic pets to have are either cats or dogs. There has always been a debate on which animal is a better pet ever since I was a little child.

Why does one have to be better than the other? When deciding on which pet to get, consider getting both!

A cat can have a soothing effect on their owners by helping them lower stress and anxiety. They are low maintenance and will accept attention when you’re ready to give it. On the other hand, caring for and petting a dog can stave off depression and also reduce stress. A dog will also keep you fit and active with the daily walks and potentially enhance your social life.

Have you ever noticed how often people greet you when you’re walking with a dog? They seem to be a magnet to connect with other people.

If we think about it, both types of pets have great qualities to bring joy and comfort to the owner or family.  Even though they are animals which come in different breeds, sizes, and shapes, they are clearly members of the family.

According to Time magazine, “Pets are incredibly well loved: according to a 2015 Harris poll, 95% of owners think of their animal as a member of the family. About half buy them birthday presents. And it’s a two-way street. People who have pets tend to have lower blood pressure, heart rate, and heart-disease risk than those who don’t. Those health boons may come from the extra exercise that playing and walking require, and the stress relief of having a steady best friend on hand.”

Whether it is a cat or dog, the owner’s life will be better with their pets in it.

Infographic by Rachael Ray

Sometimes dogs and cats do not get along with each other because they will try to fight for attention. Getting a dog and a cat at the same time is usually a good idea, and having them grow up together will create an inseparable bond. However, there are techniques for enabling cats and dogs to get along in a household.

According to the Animal Planet, “Each [cat and dog] brings his or her own quirks, habits, and likes to the relationship. But by ensuring that your dog is well-trained in obedience, and giving the cat a high-up perch, such as a cat tree, you can create an atmosphere where friendship can blossom. The two may eventually accept one another with minimal interaction but no animosity or they may develop a genuine fondness for each other. If they’re both snuggling and shedding together on your bedspread, you’ll know they’ve teamed up to rule your home and heart.”

When you’re ready to add pets to your household, be sure to get both a cat and a dog. Not only will you be saving two lives by adopting them, but they’ll be sure to provide double the stress relief, love, snuggles, and entertaining antics.

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