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The Great Debate: Should You Get a Cat or a Dog?

Should you get a cat or a dog

It’s an age-old debate that has probably been raging longer than we can remember: should you get a dog or a cat? Or, more importantly, which type of person are you? If you’ve never owned a pet before, this can be quite challenging, and you definitely don’t want to make the wrong decision and end up for the next decade with a pet that doesn’t really suit you, even though you’d probably love it to death.

New Market Animal Hospital in New Market, Maryland, is the best animal hospital. With compassionate local vets who treat your pets like their own, you can rest assured that your cat or dog will be well cared for. Below, we’ll go over tips on how to decide whether to get a cat or a dog. Contact us today to get started!



active lifestyle

Consider Your Lifestyle

This is probably the most important factor when considering whether to get a cat or a dog. Are you a busy parent with a bunch of little ones running around who doesn’t have time for a dog? Are you single who has plenty of time to spend playing catch with your dog? Are you home a lot? Are you gone a lot? Are you outdoorsy and like to do things outside? Do you prefer a warm fire, a blanket, and a book after a long day at work?

There are dozens of questions you can ask yourself about your particular lifestyle. What it boils down to is time; do you have the time to care for a dog who requires regular exercise and lots of attention? Or, do you prefer a cat who loves to be with you but is perfectly content at home alone for long stretches at a time?

financesConsider Your Finances

Getting a pet is an investment for life. You have to think about the fact that you will most likely have your dog or cat for the next decade at least of your life. In that decade, you will have constant food expenses and occasional vet bills. Cats need cat litter and scratching posts. Dogs need chew toys and leashes. Both cats and dogs will cost about the same to care for; however, cats tend to be cheaper because, as small animals, they naturally eat less and vet costs are usually cheaper for cats.

where you liveConsider Where You Live

Dogs, in general, need space to roam around, and they need an outdoor area in which to use the bathroom. If you live in a tiny apartment, getting a dog, especially a big dog, is probably not the best idea. However, cats are wonderful companion animals for apartment living. Do keep in mind that if you are buying a home soon, this may not be as important of a consideration.

New Market Animal Hospital notes that another important consideration when deciding to get a cat or a dog is apartment living. Most apartments have breed restrictions on dogs. Some won’t accept cats. And there is usually a steep deposit that is required, much of it nonrefundable, in order to rent with pets. Many young people decide to get a cat or a dog and then discover it is almost impossible to find a place to rent, which leads to them having to give up their pet. This just leads to overcrowding at local pet shelters. When deciding on getting a dog or cat, realize that this decision should be made with the future in mind, not on a whim.

familyConsider Your Family’s Wishes

If you live alone, you can ignore this advice and skip ahead. However, if you live with anyone, even a roommate, you will need to consider their wishes for pets as well. After all, a dog and a cat will go in every room and will be around for all to care for. They may go to the bathroom in the house if you are potty-training, or jump up on countertops where you eat. Many people don’t like dogs, cats, or one or the other. You can ruin a friendship quite easily when you inject a cat or dog into the picture when someone doesn’t want one. You’ll also want to make sure no one in the home has allergies to pet hair either.

Visit With Cats and Dogs

If you have not spent a significant amount of time around cats or dogs, visiting with them before you make your final decision will help. Since over 100 million households in the United States own a cat or a dog, odds are one of your friends has one. You can go over to your friend’s house and spend time with their pet. You can volunteer to watch their pets while they are out of town. Also, visiting your local humane society is another good way to visit with cats and dogs. You can even volunteer at an animal shelter or pet rescue to see what caring for a cat or dog really entails. It’s definitely not as easy as one would think.

Benefits of Pet Ownership

During your investigation, you will most likely discover that pet ownership is a lot of work. It will cost more than you think, and it will require a significant investment of time and energy on your part. Yet those days when you come home exhausted after a long day at work and you are greeted enthusiastically by a wagging tale, your bad day disappears. And those days when you are dealing with an emotional turmoil and you can curl up in bed or on the couch with your cat or dog, you will realize just how invaluable your pet has become.

Over and over again, studies have shown that pets can reduce your stress, prolong your life, and help you get more exercise. New Market Animal Hospital notes that they can give you a sense of purpose since you have to physically move to take care of your pet. Sometimes when life throws you curveballs, you have no choice but to jump out of the way. With a dog or cat, you have something to jump out of the way with.

The therapeutic benefits of pets have been shown as well. Pets help you to heal faster, they can increase the effectiveness of your immune system, they help with behavior of children, they can help with stimulation of cognitive thinking, and they can lower anxiety and depression in owners. So when your puppy can’t make it and pees on the floor to the moment you say goodbye to your forever friend, who can’t hold it either, your life will forever be changed because you had a cat or dog as a companion.



No matter what you decide New Market Animal Hospital knows that your life will be enriched because of adding a dog or cat to your life. You will have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and your lonely feelings will be kept at bay. And you will experience a love that is rare to find except amongst those closest to you and that is unconditional love.

There is something about holding a cat close as it purrs like it wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but in your arms. And there is something about having an animal who you know adores you till its dying breath and would defend you if need be. There are pros and cons to owning a cat and a dog. Some people can’t decide, so they get both!

New Market Animal Hospital offers the best veterinarians for both cats and dogs. We specialize in seeing only these types of animals because we believe we can offer better care when we only have to keep up with the latest in veterinary care and technology for two types of animals, rather than a bunch.

That being said, we are able to offer the best in surgical care for your new cat or dog, as well as diagnostics laboratory so we can drill down to the core of what is causing your pet’s behavior. We are an emergency vet hospital, meaning we can help you after-hours or on the weekends if you pet needs to see a veterinarian before Monday. From X-rays to ultrasounds, our medical services will be able to help your pet with any ailment it may be facing.

New Market Animal Hospital also offers grooming and boarding services for those times you are out of town. Our superb veterinarians will take the best care of your new cat or dog. Contact us for your first vet appointment today!