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Which cat or dog breed is best for me?

Dogs are the most varied species in existence, ranging in size from the 6-pound Chihuahua to the 200-pound Mastiff, and from the sociable Golden Retriever to the dominant Akita. Most of the 50+ breeds of cats are suitable as home pets and get accustomed to the new home environment quite easily. It is important to remember that there is no such thing as a universal "best dog breed" or "best cat breed". Ultimately, it is to your benefit to spend a few hours and choose the best breed for you, before you start looking for a reputable breeder with kittens or puppies for sale.

To help you get started, take a look at some of the points below. Learn about different breeds and their characteristics. Carefully consider your own personality, lifestyle, your family preferences. Take into account whether you live in a house with a fenced yard or in an apartment in the city. Ask yourself, what you expect of your future pet and what you are willing to provide in return. Be honest and realistic with your answer! Use the tools on this page to search cat and dog breeds and narrow down your choices.

Big or small?

The question of size is more applicable to canines, but you may be surprised to discover that cats vary in size significantly too. Requirements for breeds like Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat may be different from those for smaller cat breeds, like Singapura or Cornish Rex, for example.

Long or short hair?

Fluffy, long-haired dogs and cats look adorable and exotic, but the time spent on grooming can be daunting. If you cannot really afford to spend significant time maintaining that beautiful long coat of your first choice Afghan Hound or Collie, you may want to consider a breed with a shorter hair, like Labrador or Boxer. Same with cats - Ragdoll, Persian and Himalayan cats are beautiful and very popular, whereas British Shorthair, Balinese or Burmese will save you some grooming time, while still providing a plush, luxurious feel. If you have someone in your household who is mildly allergic or sensitive to dander, try to focus on dogs that dont shed as much, such as Poodle or Airedale Terrier.

Aloof, protective or friendly?

Affectionate cats or dogs are great. Just make sure that you and your family have the time to receive the given attention from a Siamese or Bichon Frise. For someone who lives alone or travels a lot, a more independent breed, like Russian Blue, or Schnauzer maybe a better choice. Some dog breeds, especially from the AKC Sporting and Herding groups, like Pointer or Australian Shepherd, are known for their high activity level and need a lot of exersize to be happy. Some dogs and cats (Husky or Tonkinese, for example) tend to be more mischievous and like to play with people, amuse and be amused. You would need to invest the time to play with them. If you are looking for a puppy for an older person, or lead a less active lifestyle, look into calmer, more even-tempered dog breeds, like a Basset Hound or a Bulldog. And of course, a Havanese or a Yorkie will not be able to provide owner protection to the degree a German Shepherd or a Rottweiler will.

Quiet or talkative?

Do you enjoy talking to your pet? Consider a breed which likes to communicate, like a Siamese or a Beagle. On the other hand, breed that is notoriously noisy may not be suitable, if you have babies at home or if you live in a small apartment. A quieter, more reserved dog, like a Pug, would be a better choice.

Most of all, take your time and do not decide based on looks alone, when you are looking at purebred kittens or puppies for sale in your area. Remember - you are choosing a faithful companion for 10-15 years or more. Compatibility is crucial.

Read more: "How to choose a dog" | "Top 10 most popular cat breeds"

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