Which makes a better pet: A dog or a cat? – Part 12

As a previous cat owner (for at least 20 of my 27 years) and a current dog owner, i feel i am more than qualified to say dogs are by far the better pet. Cats tend to be far more fussy over their affections, you cannot teach a cat to enjoy human company and cuddles even if you have then from a kitten. OK, so you could argue that a cat has more of an individual instinctive personality, but this is not always what you want from a pet. A dog is always willing to play, come morning or night, rain or shine. Cats will play, when they want and for as long as they want. You can often spend hours trying to cajole your cats into playing with toys you have spent a small fortune on, only to be looked at with utter disdain and ripped to shreds by needle sharp teeth and claws, as your soft flesh is far more attractive to them than any shop bought toy. A dog will pay with anything offered to them, OK and some which you’d rather they didn’t – like your new shoes! Dogs may play nip occasionally during a game, but having bigger teeth, they hurt a hell of a lot less than cats needle teeth and are much less likely to break the skin.

Dogs have a lot more respect for you than a cat ever will. They know that when you’re in bed asleep it is your time, and they are quite happy to go off and sleep too. I have never been rudely awakened by a paw in my mouth or whipped round the face by a tail at some ungodly hour by my dog deciding that it really is time for food. And either of my dogs will invade my bed space whilst i am enjoying some peaceful slumber, unless expressly invited. Cats on the other and believe that they rule the roost, and wherever they choose to take a cat nap is their prerogative.

Dogs will defend their owners to the end. Should a stranger come to the house, they will bark and look threatening (even if they are soft as a baby!), a cat is more likely to slink off under the sofa or bed.

Dogs can detect very minor changes to the acid levels in our bodies, which signify moods changes, and respond to these accordingly. If my dog senses I am uncomfortable around a certain person, they will cling to me like glue and growl and snarl at the other person, if i am upset they will smother me with love, if i am angry they will do the right thing and leave me the hell alone until i am calm. In my experience of cats, they do the complete opposite!

Ans the health benefits of owning a dog far out weight those of cat ownership. Regular exercise with you dog can do wonders for then and you. It gives you the opportunity to get out and explore your surroundings and get the fresh air and exercise beneficial to a healthy lifestyle, and you know a dog will come back when you call him. The entertainment value of exercising your dog is priceless, especially when even a relatively old dog turns into a grinning bouncing puppy again! Dog ownership is also a very social affair. It is amazing the amount of people who will speak to you while out and about just because you’ve a lead in your hand, dog owners and non dog owners alike. You share stories of your naughty, funny, loving puppies, and strike up friendships as you meet these people on a regular basis.

To me, owning a dog is maybe a little more consuming and difficult than owing a cat, but the rewards are so great they far outweigh any effort you have to put in. I would never go back to cats now!

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