Deciding to get a pet for your home can be one of the biggest decisions that you will make. It is important to evaluate your lifestyle as well as your finances and your abilities to care for a pet before you make this commitment, as your pet will be around for many years.
What type of lifestyle do you live? Is a lot of time spent at home or are you gone for most of the day only returning home to eat and sleep? A dog requires you to spend a fair amount of time at home as it needs attention in that it needs to be taken for walks and outside for the bathroom. Trips to the dog run are important for it to get some energy out. A cat does not need the owner around much, just enough to leave out some food and water and to clean out the litter box. While it is not advisable to never spend time with a cat, they can tolerate it.
What do you want from your pet?
Are you looking for a pet that will spend the evening worshiping you at your feet? Chances are a dog is going to do a better job of this than a cat. Dogs typically live to serve their human and will do whatever they can to make you happy. A cat does not care if you are happy or not, they only worry about their own happiness. A cat can be perfectly content sitting on your lap all evening, but you will not find this in all cats.
Who will care for the animal?
This can be a huge factor in your decision. If you are getting a pet for your kids, you need to determine who is going to take care of the animal in advance. This involves things such as feeding, grooming, walking, cleaning the litter box and a variety of other chores that come with a pet. If the kids are going to be in charge, the parent has to be willing to take up the slack if the kids forget to walk the dog or feed him.
What will happen to your pet if you go on holidays? If you have a dog, you can board it at a kennel or ask someone to dog sit which means they either come to your home or your dog goes to theirs. If you have a cat, he can stay home alone and just need someone to come in to feed him and take care of the litter box. Cats do not always like to be moved, so it may not be worth it to take them elsewhere. If you are only gone for a day or two, chances are no one would need to come check on kitty.
Adding a pet to your family will be a wonderful addition, but you need to make sure you consider all the angles before making a decision. These are lifelong pets that can live up to twenty years.