There are numerous benefits that can be accrued from keeping pets at home. These benefits range from psychological to health benefits. Research has shown that having pets around one’s home lowers a person’s blood pressure and also reduces anxiety (Sussman, 63). Studies have shown that children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop allergies as has been the belief of many. Pets serve as great companions especially to children and the aged. They create a kind of a social connection that enables children and the aged to fully express themselves. It is a challenge though to decide which pet to keep at home.
The most common pets in many homes are dogs and cats. Some people prefer to keep both dogs and cats but some prefer to keep one of the two. Choosing which pet to keep in one’s house would be determined by various factors including one’s lifestyle and personality (Sussman, 42).
Cats have been said to be human companions since time immemorial. Cats have many health and psychological benefits to their owners. Cats apparently lower the risk of getting cardiovascular disease. Cats as well as dogs prevent allergies in children considerably. The exposure to these animals at an early age develops a strong immunity in the children. Cats provide a form of therapy that enables one to avoid visiting the health centers quite often (Fine, 76). They have also been said to help to a great extent autistic children. These are children who are poor in communication and social relationships. Cats can help relieve depression. This is possible with the unconditional companionship a cat can offer.
On the hand dogs too have many benefits as well. Being social animals by nature, dogs accompany people more than cats do. Dogs can be a source of fun as they are more open to learn than their cats’ counterparts. A dog learns to communicate with its owner better than a cat and thus become better companions than cats. Cats are solitary animals by nature of want to be left alone some times. Both cats and dogs provide health benefits to their owners, but the benefits accrued from dogs are far much more than those from cats. Other than helping relieve depression, stress and other psychological problems, dogs can help one practice quite often. Unlike cats who only like staying indoors, dogs love to walk and run around in the company of their owners (Sussman, 85). This would especially be beneficial to old people who might find it hard to exercise without a companion. Dogs are also a source of security. Dogs do not only scare away potential threats but can also alert one in case of danger. They are especially beneficial in elderly people’s homes. Cats cannot alert or scare away potential threats. They do not even seem to identify strangers unlike dogs who will always identify a stranger in one’s home (Sussman, 112). Considering that it is easier to teach dogs than it is to teach cats, dogs develop a closer relationship with their human counterparts than cats.
Both pets are beneficial in one way or another. It is clearly evident though that owning a dog is much better than owning a cat. It only depends on one’s own interests and needs when deciding which pets to keep or own. One can choose to own both though if you have the capability to maintain them both.
Sussman, M. B. Pets and the Family. London: Rutledge, 1985.
Fine, A.H. handbook on animal-assisted therapy: Theoretical Foundations and guidelines for Practice. Massachusetts: Academic press, 2010.