If you were asked to choose between a dog and a cat for a pet, which would you choose and why?

If you were asked to choose between a dog and a cat for a pet, which would you choose and why?

Many doctors think that keeping a domestic pet is good for your health, as this can, for example, stop you getting depressed and lower your blood pressure. Dogs and cats are the most popular pets and I prefer dogs.

Dogs, especially if they are quite large in size, need exercise. Even if the dog’s owner has a reasonably-sized garden where it can run around in and use as a toilet, a dog likes to get out and explore. Larger dogs need far more exercise than they will get from simply running round a garden.

A dog’s need for exercise makes its owner take more exercise, which is an excellent thing for the owner’s health. A cat, on the other hand, simply takes itself off for a wander round the area with no help from the owner. Most people these days tend to lead a sedentary life. They take too little exercise and this can lead to excessive weight gain and ill health. Walking a dog is a far more appealing way to take exercise than working out at a gym or jogging round a park. You can enjoy the joys of nature as you walk.

A major advantage of dog-walking is that you absolutely have to do it. Of course, this seems like a decided disadvantage in wet or cold weather. You can fail to go to the gym, but not to walk the dog. You have to take responsibility for its well-being.

Dog owners also have to take responsibility for their pet’s behaviour. They have to make sure that they put their dog on a lead when the occasion demands it. They have to train the dog not to disturb other people by jumping at them or barking too much. Dog owners also have to carry out the rather unpleasant task of picking up dog poo in the park or on the beach and disposing of it in a waste bin.

Cats, on the other hand, wander free. Mostly, their owners know little about how their pet is behaving, unless a neighbour complains about it digging up their plants or making a mess of their lawn.

Dog owners have to brush and bathe their canine pets regularly. Cats simply lick themselves clean. Rarely do they need a bath.

You would think that, since cats need so little looking after, they would be much more popular than dogs as pets. Certainly, it is true that people who prefer cats to dogs often admire the independence of their feline pets. However, the very dependence of dogs on their owners seems to lead them to socialize more with their owners. In many ways they make better companions than cats.

Dogs show their affection for their owners more openly than cats do. They tend to greet their owners in a warm, welcoming fashion as soon as they return home. Cats often give a much cooler greeting, if they choose to appear at all.

It has been said that dogs love their owners, but that cats let themselves be loved by their owners. There could be something in that. In any case, I love my dog and he loves me.

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