What type and age of pet will best suit
your expectations and situation?
1. Dog or Cat
Dogs, in general, will take more of a
commitment in terms of time and training
than cats. All dogs will need an education to get ahead in this world.
Dogs, in general, will require much
more training than cats, but many cats will
need some instruction at some point in their
If everyone in your home is gone for
8 hours or more out of the day most days,
you may want to consider adopting a cat(s),
since cats tend to be more independent than
Don’t forget, however, that even
though your feline companion may be more
independent in nature than her canine
counterpart, cats still need attention and
love just like dogs.
2. Long-haired or
In general, longer-haired animals
will require more combing and grooming than
Be prepared to take extra time
grooming your long-haired buddy.
Do you want an active animal who
likes to play a great deal of the time or do
you want a lap cat or a dog that likes to
enjoy the world from his couch?
An active animal will require more of
your time, energy and patience than an
animal who likes to take the world at a
slower pace. If you have children, you will want a companion animal who
likes to be touched and is not sensitive to
handling and loud noises.
4. A Buddy for your Buddy
Most pets like to have at least one
You may want to adopt two animals who
get along well with each other.
If you will be introducing a new pet
to a pet(s) already in your household, you
should take that into consideration when
choosing the new animal.
Often it works well to introduce a
younger, rather than an older, animal to an
adult resident pet in your household – but
not too young.
From 4 to 14 months is a good age
range for a puppy or kitten to be introduced
to your adult pet.
If you live in an apartment with
limited easy access to the outdoors, you may
do best with a dog that is smaller and can
get plenty of good exercise in the house.
But size is not the only
A larger dog that likes to lounge
around on the couch will do better in an
apartment than a smaller dog who likes to
run and jump a good part of the day and who
requires a lot of physical exercise each
Do your homework.
Different breeds of dogs may be more
likely to have certain characteristics.
Choosing a particular breed of dog or
a dog with a particular breed mixture that
best matches what you are looking for in a
companion animal will increase your chances
of developing a wonderful, lifelong
companionship with that animal.
7. Younger animals Younger
animals will require more of almost all
Kittens and puppies will take more
will take more training and socialization.
Puppies will require time and
patience to housetrain.
For younger animals there will be
greater costs for food, veterinary care, and
Do not get a young animal unless you
are prepared for this commitment.
A young animal that is deprived of
what he needs early in his life will suffer
the consequences for the rest of his life.
8. Older animals
Adopting an animal that has already
grown out of his childhood and adolescent
period has many advantages.
You will be better able to judge the
personality and temperament of the animal
that you are adopting. An older animal will require less training.
If you lack the time or patience to
housetrain a puppy and teach him how not to
chew and jump up on people, you may be
better off with a dog that has already
passed his “puppyhood” and adolescence.
With an older animal you will know
what the animal will look like in adulthood.
By the time a cat or dog is about 6
months old, you will be able to see what the
animal will look like as an adult.
By this age you will also have a much
better idea of what his adult temperament
If you have children under 6 years
old, a puppy or kitten under 4-6 months may
not be a good match.
Younger children may not understand
that they can hurt the young animal and
could unintentionally harm your new pet.