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Maya
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610M

A cat is more moldable in the large (accommodating an indoor / low-interest lifestyle) and less moldable in the small (hey come sit by me).

Dogs that are too smart go insane if they’re not getting about three times more exercise than is reasonable to coordinate through methods other than herding sheep.

I have a small dog who is very Good but not Smart and it’s the best of all worlds imho

@blaha
210M

Well said. People who keep big dogs cooped up in apartments should be ashamed.

Maya
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310M

I mean, I grew up on a farm and still saw the same thing with retrievers/shepherds–even freedom to roam can’t compensate for a lack of the intense work they were bred for.

@blaha
310M

Good point. I know someone who adopts old broken greyhounds. She walks them as much as she can and does what she can for their broken lanky bodies, but I can’t help feeling like just existing is torture for them. They can’t get around very well and like the shepherds you referenced, they are used to running a LOT and are motivated by it. Even with the proper facilities they couldn’t do that any more.

Maya
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310M

that’s interesting! I’d always read that greyhounds did well being pretty inactive just because they’d been bred to spend most of their day waiting in a tiny kennel which is… very similar to living in an apartment under quarantine.

my mom’s dog is part whippet and when he had some spinal issues you could tell that it hurt his soul not to be able to run, though, so I guess it’s the same.

@blaha
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You could be right that racing dogs are mentally ok with sitting around, that was just a suspicion I had. I figured they’re like huskies I’ve seen, very disappointed when they aren’t chosen for the day’s sled pull. But maybe when they don’t run for a month they forget all about it. I shouldn’t have declared it.

What I’ve really noticed is that like old tall humans they have a hard time getting up and down. I bet their joints hurt. They also can’t walk backwards very well, so indoor human environments can be tricky.

Maya
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210M

ah, yeah, our bigger dogs also had hip issues. it’s so weird that their lives are so different based on size. makes me think of the meme…

This is the ideal dog body. You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.

@schwartz
310M

Greyhound don’t typically get displasia. They can have injuries from racing careers, but rarely do they have naturally bad hips like other large breeds

@schwartz
110M

By the time you get a raging greyhound they are often not fit to run anymore, but they are amazing dogs and well suited to apartment life.

Greyhounds sleep most of the day with a couple of spurts of energy lasting 3-4 minutes. They are not typically used for intense work and walking / running human distances at human paces is hard for them compared to other breeds.

@AgreeableLandscape
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@schwartz
310M

Many big breeds require less exercise than small dogs. Our greyhound needs a couple of short walks most days and sleeps for the rest of the day.

Maya
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My small dog can be tired out by playing keepaway with a toy inside. It’s very convenient. :)

@Lightbritelite
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i like a medium sized dog if you go on hikes or have the outdoor space, or a cat if you just want a chill pet that catches you mice sometimes.

@blaha
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Aggressive hikers should be aware that dogs can’t keep up with bipeds very well at long distances, but they will sure try, and often hurt themselves in the process.

Maya
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310M

is… is that true? :( how long constitutes “long”

@blaha
310M

I’m sure it depends on the dog, and shoes can help a lot in some terrain. I don’t know the exact distances involved, but I’ve heard of a dog walking the pads off its paws trying to keep up. It was probably something like a 20mi hike in New Mexico based on context. Dog was a pitbull. I’ve personally hiked with people who brought smaller dogs and watched them struggle after a few miles.

The whole thing makes sense to me in theory when you take anthropology into account. It’s thought that we evolved walking in part to go long distances efficiently, which was a speciality of ours before agriculture. Long distance travel hasn’t generally been a priority for canines. People don’t expect to outwalk their dogs because dogs hardly ever complain and outrun us so easily in sprints.

@AgreeableLandscape
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@blaha
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as long as you don’t eat it you will probably be fine

@AgreeableLandscape
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@blaha
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Everyone has their own level of acceptable risk, I get it. Especially when it comes to germs and diseases. For what it’s worth, when my cat brings in gophers I usually know about it within a few seconds (because she’s bringing it directly to me and makes a distinctive noise on her way in) so I can get it away from her pretty quickly and minimize where she takes it. I guess she could get still get sick and transmit it to us later, but I need the gophers dead more than I’m worried about it, personally.

Also worth noting if you are trying to keep the cat indoors the occasional escape probably won’t be enough to get it seriously into hunting. It’ll be pretty bad at it.

@AgreeableLandscape
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@blaha
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I don’t disagree with your decision, as I said everyone must choose their own risks. For me, the gophers are a problem and rabies appears reasonably treatable and rare in the developed world:

“Rabies caused about 17,400 human deaths worldwide in 2015. More than 95% of human deaths from rabies occur in Africa and Asia.” (Wikipedia)

Where I live everything endangered has already been eliminated. The birds are doing well with the aid of human feeding, and there are definitely non-threatening places nearby for the gophers to do their thing.

@AgreeableLandscape
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@blaha
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I’m reading that 70% of rabies infections in the US are from bats. Cat hasn’t caught one yet, and she’s vaccinated. She’d have to bring in a live rabid gopher that manages to bite me, I figure. Thanks for the food for thought, but I’ll keep my rodent-hunter on the job for now!

@AgreeableLandscape
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@wraptile
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I always found this question rather weird. Cats and dogs are just so different that it ends up comparing oranges to apples. I really love both and I feel it really depends on people’s lifestyles which one fits them better.

I’d say go for a dog if you have the environment and logistics. My grandfather used to say: “the dog walks me rather than me walking him” and after our dog passed a year later so did my grandfather — it really pushed him to be more active and healthy!
Cats I feel are the opposite — more calming companion suited for already active lifestyle; so if you have plenty to do already and just want to go home and chill I’d say go for a cat!

@ster
210M

A dog is a huge undertaking. In terms of time investment, a dog is an order of magnitude about a cat and an order of magnitude below a child. But that’s not to say you don’t need to spend lots of time with your cat!

@DelishVeg
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Cat if you have small pests

@ster
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Children?

@DelishVeg
110M

Yes

@Wheeljack
310M

So, I’ve always had dogs. Here’s the two biggest mistakes that I see with people getting dogs:

  1. Treating small dog aggressive behavior as “cute”. If you get a small dog, it needs to be corrected for the same behaviors that you would correct in a big dog. It doesn’t matter if it’s only 10 pounds, it shouldn’t be growling, nipping, mounting, or anything like that.

  2. Yelling at their dog for barking. Your dog doesn’t know what you’re saying, it just knows that you’re being loud, too, so that means that being loud is the correct behavior right now.

The other thing I’d add is that if you get a dog, a daily walk is a -need-, and no, playtime doesn’t replace walking. Ideally you have both walk and play, but if you only have time for one, your dog needs the walk more than the playtime. If your dog has a relatively low exercise requirement, that just means a shorter daily walk, not that you skip days.

Research your breeds and make sure you get something that fits your expected lifestyle. You’re making a commitment to a living creature with it’s own needs and wants, not getting a fun toy to play with until you get bored of it.

Dessalines
admin
310M

You can always get both 😊. I’d only get a dog if you’re more active, and can commit to walking them every day.

@ksynwa
310M

I have never had a cat as a pet but if you decide to get a dog, consider getting a small one. They’re a lot more manageable in my experience.

@blaha
310M

If you want a dog partly for home defence consider that a small dog will often do just as much to alert you to the presence of an intruder, and you can then do something about it.

Maya
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310M

we went on a vacation with my dog and she failed to wake up to deal with mice eating FOOD out of HER BOWL

“just this once I need you to not be a stuffed animal!!”

@blaha
210M

Ha! On the other extreme you could have the little rat dog who barked through his screen door every time I went down the hall for my mail. Without fail, that was followed by the owner bellowing from his armchair “shut up! shut up!” I figure the dog thought they were barking at me together as a team.

Maya
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110M

my dad always did this =_= how would the dog know what you’re saying…

@yogthos
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I find having a dog is akin to having a small child. They will need constant attention and entertainment. Most dogs also need to go for daily walks. They can be rewarding, but be prepared to spend a lot of time with them. Get a dog if you’re prepared to spend a lot of time with the pet.

Having a cat is like having a reclusive roommate who craps in a box. They tend to be fairly independent, but still need some entertainment. My cat wants to play for maybe half an hour a day, and otherwise prefers to be left alone. Get a cat if you want an independent pet that doesn’t require too much attention.

@you
210M

I’d recommend fostering a dog first if you go that route. You can find out what works for you with no long term commitment. If it ends up working out well, you can often adopt the dog you’re fostering anyways.

@jsgohac
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Cats are especially great if anyone is a night owl or early bird - they’ll stay up late or greet the sun with you without waking the house. Dogs are more explicitly fun and great community builders.

@Quadle4
09M

Cats sits on your keyboard. That’s 1x0.

@I_Cant_Weight
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