How to Choose a Pet You'll LOVE!

New Pet Owners  •   Pam Karkow  •   Feb 06, 2017

Love Your Pet Day is on the horizon!  Last year, we shared six ideas for how to love your pet in our post, Love Your Pet Day. This year, we’re going to dive into the topic of choosing the best pet for you, so the loving part is easy and second nature.   

Besides attending to his basic needs, when it comes to caring for your pet, showing him love and affection is paramount.  Let’s talk facts and figures for the most popular pets on the market, dogs and cats.  After reading this, you’ll be ready to choose a pet you’ll love.


What you need to know about…

Common House Cats

Average 10-15 pounds and can live up to 16 years.

Pros: These cats usually only require an annual checkup.  They are good with kids and other pets.

Cons: They love to eat, so make sure to monitor your cat’s diet.  Since a house cat is a combination of a variety of breeds, they come with a variety of temperaments.  Some are skittish, some are very friendly.  Get to know your cat so you can honor his temperament when you interact with him.


Purebred Cats

Average 10-15 pounds and can live from 12-15 years.

Pros: Every breed has their own distinctive traits, so if you do your research you will know what you’re in for.  If you are looking for a cat who is good with your children, the Birman is first on PetMD’s list of Top Five Calm Cats.  The Birman “loves to love,” won’t run away and hide when company comes, and is receptive to training.

Cons: Some breeds need more grooming than others.  For example, long-haired Ragdoll cats need to be brushed every day to avoid matting and hairballs.  Certain breeds are prone to genetic diseases as well, which could drive up the vet bills (another reason to buy pet insurance!)


What you need to know about…

Large Dogs

Average 70 pounds and can live up to 10 years.

Pros: Large dogs are typically good family dogs.  According to the PetMD article, The 10 Best Dogs for Kids and Families, the Vizsla, Irish Setter, Poodle, Labrador Retriever, and Golden Retriever are the top five family dogs, especially when it comes to temperament.

Cons: Large dogs require a lot of exercise.  If you will have trouble walking your dog at least once a day, a large dog may not be for you.  Large dogs are also prone to hip and joint problems.


Medium-Size Dogs

Average 30-50 pounds and can live up to 13 years.

Pros: They are still active and playful, without the added girth of a large breed.  Medium-sized dogs don’t require as much exercise as larger dogs.  Another perk?  Medium-sized dogs tend to be among the healthiest dog breeds.  According to Jennifer Coates, DVM in Fort Collins, Colorado and veterinary advisor to, “In my experience, dogs that are still being bred to do a job tend to be the healthiest.”  See the PetMD post 10 Healthiest Dog Breeds for more stats on healthy dogs.

Cons: Some medium-sized breeds tend to have health problems.  French bulldogs are a popular midsize breed, but due to their squashed noses, are prone to breathing problems.  Make sure to do your research so you can be prepared for any health problems.


Small Dogs

Average 5-15 pounds and can live up to 15 years.

Pros: Easy to carry and light on the shedding, small dogs are good for small spaces and families who like to take their dogs out and about.  The PetMD article Top 10 Small Dogs recommends the “mini-lion” or Shih Tzu for families with children.  Although they need regular grooming, Shih Tzus do not shed.  They are friendly and easy to get along with.

Cons: Small dogs can be fragile and prone to injury, so they need to be handled with care, especially in a home with small children.


Choose wisely, and do your research.  Rest assured, the benefits of owning a pet outweigh the risks.  You can be prepared for medical expenses by taking investing in pet insurance.  Be sure to check out PetPartner’s Certificate Program. We partner with shelters and rescue organizations across the country by offering 30 days of pet insurance for newly adopted dogs. Please visit the Shelter and Rescue tab on our webpage to find out more.

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Pam Karkow

About the Author
Pam Karkow

Hi, I'm Pam. List maker, note taker, and avid reader. I'm married to my college sweetheart and we have three amazing kids, all of them boys. We also have one furry child, a golden retriever rescue dog. I have been blogging for PetPartners since 2015, and I love researching and writing tips about how to be a better pet parent. I spend most of my time sharing my adventures at, where I share the ways I am learning to be a better wife and mom--to my two and four-legged children.