Pets are great companions but finding the right pet can be tricky. Some people are cat lovers and others are dog lovers. Cats are great for people who are constantly on the go and need a pet that is low maintenance. Dogs are more dependent upon you and they require much more of your time.

Cats

Cats are relatively easy to take care of and they are very independent. There are a few things to take into consideration when bringing home a cat. First, you need to take the cat to a veterinarian to have it examined for any diseases, especially if you have other cats because cat diseases are highly contagious to other cats. If your new cat does have a disease make sure you keep it separate from your other cats until the disease has cleared. Also, ask your vet what type of diet he recommends for your cat. Some cats need a more weight controlled diet while other cats can tolerate a regular diet. Cats do require a few personal belongings such as a litter box, scratching post, and toys.

Litter Box

A good sized litter box is required for an indoor cat. Litter boxes range in sizes and prices. One tip to keep in mind is to buy a litter box big enough for a full grown cat. Some litter boxes come with lids and are better at keeping odor down. There are even some litter boxes that clean themselves. Self-cleaning litter boxes are more expensive but are a good investment for individuals who lead a busy lifestyle. There are also different types of litter and it’s a good idea to buy a litter that controls both urine and fecal odors.

Scratching Post

Cats need a scratching post. Cats have a natural instinct to sharpen their nails and if you don’t provide them a scratching post, your furniture may suffer the consequences. A simple scratching post will suffice but more elaborate ones can be purchased at your local pet store.

Cat Toys

Cats need toys for stimulation. Cats usually like toys that either have catnip in them or make some kind of sound. Small plastic balls with bells in them are a favorite among many cats, as well as soft toy mice filled with catnip. Any of these toys will keep your cat entertained. Another item that’s ideal for cats are cat trees. Cat trees range in size and can be either a place for sleep or play. Cats naturally like high places and a cat tree can keep them out of your book shelves.

Dogs

Dogs are wonderful companions but they require a lot of time and attention. Indoor dogs are a lot like children. They depend on you for everything from feeding them to taking them outside to go to the bathroom. Dogs require such essentials as toys, nutrition, exercise, and grooming. The first thing you should do is get your dog checked out for any diseases and ask your vet about any special care you may need for your type of breed.

Grooming

Each dog is different and requires different grooming. For instance, a Cocker Spaniel needs hair trimming and bathing at least once a month. Also, Cocker Spaniels are prone to eye and ear infections, so their eyes and ears need to be cleaned on a weekly basis. Common grooming for all dogs are bathing, brushing, and nail clipping. If you aren’t sure about the type of grooming your dog needs, ask your vet for grooming tips.

Exercise

Dogs require different levels of exercise according to their age. It is a good idea to take your dog for a walk at least twice a day. Dogs that have a lot of pent-up energy may become disruptive and start acting out. If you have a fenced in yard, it’s a good idea to let them outside for a couple of hours a day.

Dog Toys

Dogs love to chew on things and it’s a good idea to get them several chew toys or you may find one of your favorite shoes has become a favorite chew toy. Chew toys come in different shapes. Some may be in the form of a bone while others may be a type of stuffed animal. Choosing the right toy for your dog is relatively easy because many pet stores allow you to take your dog inside.

Nutrition

Nutrition for your dog depends on its age and breed. Small dogs require less amounts of food than bigger breeds. Always consult your vet on your dog’s diet. Some dogs are prone to becoming overweight if feed more often than others. Also, older dogs will need different food to keep their bones and joints healthy.

Cat and Dog Care