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Which Pet Should Your Family Adopt: Cat or Dog?

Which Pet Should Your Family Adopt: Cat or Dog?

Adopting a pet is a milestone for many families across America. In fact, almost 80 million households in the country own some type of pet, including a cat or dog. For many people, bringing an animal into the home is one of the most incredible moments of a lifetime.

But adopting a pet is not something that should be done on a whim. Bringing a living, breathing animal into your home is a huge responsibility. Be sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before you make a decision that could negatively affect the rest of your new pet’s life.

For the purpose of this article, let’s take a look at what you’ll have to look forward to when adopting either of the two most popular pets in the US: dogs and cats.

Dogs

Our canine buddies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but one thing is for sure: They really are man’s best friend. In fact, over 56 million households own at least one dog, making them the most common pet in America. And it’s no surprise why.

Dogs are incredibly loyal, and become emotionally attached to their owners. Though dogs understand humans are, in fact, not canines, they do think of their owners as members of their family. They’ll be just as excited to see you after a long day of work as any kid would be to see their mother or father.

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They’re also incredibly intelligent (despite some of the ridiculous situations they get themselves into). With time and effort, you can teach them to obey commands, and, of course, to do all sorts of fun tricks.

However, dogs are incredibly high maintenance animals in many different ways.

Dogs get used to a certain schedule, and they stick to it. Of course, this schedule is their own, and might not exactly jibe with your human timetable. If they’re used to going out to relieve themselves at a certain time, you better be able to let them out—or they won’t hesitate to leave a mess on your rug.

Speaking of messes, have you ever seen a dog wipe his feet after coming inside from the rain? They don’t. So, again, you need to be there with a towel to clean your buddy off before he tracks paw prints all over the house.

Most importantly, dogs require a lot of attention. I mentioned they are emotionally intelligent, which is a bonus when you need a friend to pal around with. But they can also be pretty needy (and nosy), especially during times when you might want to be left alone.

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Basically, owning a dog is like having a toddler—for twelve to fifteen years. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, but you should definitely know what you’re in for if you’re thinking of adopting a puppy.

Cats

Cats come second in popularity, with over 45 million households owning at least one feline friend. Not surprisingly, however, many of these households own more than one cat, since over 95 million belong to specific homes.

Many people tend to think a cat is a cat is a cat, but that’s simply not true. Much like their canine counterparts, cats differ greatly among breeds.

While each breed has its quirks, cats in general all come with similar pros and cons to be considered before bringing one home.

Unlike dogs, cats are pretty low maintenance animals. As long as they have food, water, and a place to do their business, they can be left alone all day—or even longer if need be.

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Well-nurtured cats are usually very affectionate and playful. Even when their claws come out during play, they likely won’t go into full attack mode unless they feel overtly threatened.

Amazingly, recent studies have shown cats’ purrs to be therapeutically beneficial to other animals around them. They may seem like lone wolf-type animals, but it seems cats do care about their owners in some way!

Of course, owning a cat isn’t all rainbows and cuddle sessions.

Though cats are playful, as mentioned, if they feel threatened, they can immediately get aggressive if they feel the need. This could lead to you or your children getting bit or scratched with fairly little warning.

Cats also shed constantly. Whether accommodating to fluctuating temperatures, or simply ridding their bodies of dead hair, cats seemingly never stop leaving clumps of fur around the house. They also don’t make it brushing them an easy process, either.

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And, of course, there’s the litterbox. If you have an indoor cat, be prepared to clean out their box at least once every two days—and even multiple times in a single day. If you neglect to do so, your little furry friend won’t think twice about using a different surface as their personal bathroom.

At any rate, cats are a great pet for those who don’t have the time for a dog, but still want an affectionate, individualistic pal to keep them company. Just remember: if you bring a cat into a home, the home belongs to them now.

Making a Decision

Clearly, a lot more goes into adopting a dog or cat than simply wanting one around. Adopting a pet can be a rewarding experience, but it can easily turn into a nightmare if you’re not careful. Think long and hard about what you really want out of a pet-owner relationship before you take on a responsibility you’re not ready for.

Featured photo credit: get a room, you guys by jeffreyw via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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