North Country Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Essex County, New York
Adopting a cat or dog is exciting and rewarding. Pets can teach you about love, loyalty, healthy living, and responsibility.
Start by evaluating your abilities, desires, and resources. Be realistic about what you can offer a pet and what you are looking for in a pet.
If this is your first pet, do you want a dog or a cat? Understanding the difference in their temperaments and needs can help you make a decision. A dog’s enthusiasm for life is boundless — just the mention of a walk will set your pooch’s tail wagging. However, dogs are usually more work than cats. Owners should walk their dogs daily and someone must be home to let a dog out for bathroom breaks. Also, dogs bark; don’t expect your dog to be mute.
If you decide to adopt a puppy, it will need extra attention and training. Puppies need to be house trained and to be taught good manners. Keep in mind that in addition to improving a dog’s behavior, the time you spend training will help build a strong bond between the two of you.
Cats make an excellent first-time pet for the inexperienced pet owner. A cat's independence and affectionate behavior make them great companions. When cats interact with humans, it is often on their terms. Curious but reserved, they aren’t likely to bound towards you as you enter the house; instead they might peak down from the top of the staircase. A cat will come near when it is ready for your company. They are self sufficient when left alone during the work day. And once house trained to use a litter box, they don’t need to be walked or let out.
Whether you adopt a cat or a dog, it’s important to select the animal with the temperament, age, and size for you and your home. Finding a pet that is compatible with your lifestyle will help ensure a loving, long and happy relationship.