When it comes to the age-old debate of dogs versus cats, it can stir quite a lot of friendly rivalry. Both dogs and cats have their unique qualities and merits, but there are certain areas where dogs tend to shine brighter. While cats have unique charm and appeal, dogs often stand out due to their loyalty, trainability, active lifestyle contribution, and service roles. In this article, we will learn more about why are dogs better than cats.
Why dogs are the best pets?
Dogs are often considered the best pets due to their multifaceted attributes significantly enriching human lives. They are famous for their unwavering loyalty and unconditional love, providing unparalleled companionship and emotional support, which can significantly improve their owners’ mental health. Moreover, dogs’ heightened senses, such as their sense of smell and hearing, enable them to serve as excellent service animals, assisting people with disabilities, and performing essential roles in search and rescue operations. Their energy and enthusiasm encourage physical activity, making them excellent partners for exercise, play, and outdoor adventures, promoting better physical health for their owners. Furthermore, their varied breeds, sizes, and personalities cater to different individuals’ and families’ diverse needs and preferences. Therefore, their adaptability, affection, loyalty, and serviceability, combined with their capacity to improve their owners’ physical and mental health, truly set dogs apart, making them the best pets.
Difference between cats and dogs
Cats, Felis catus, and dogs, or Canis lupus familiaris, share a common ancestor from the order Carnivora. Despite this shared ancestry, evolutionary divergence has led to distinct biological differences.
Cats are obligate carnivores; their bodies are tailored to the individual and specifically adapted to metabolize nutrients found in meat. However, dogs are omnivores, capable of consuming a more varied diet, which includes meat and plant-based foods.
Understanding Behavioral Variations
Our understanding of these pets would only be complete by examining the fascinating behavioral differences between cats and dogs.
Dogs are pack animals, intrinsically social creatures with a deep-rooted pack mentality. They communicate effectively through vocalizations, physical cues, and even scent.
Cats, on the other hand, are solitary animals in nature. They are more territorial and mark their territories using scent glands. Their communication is more subtle, and understanding cat behavior can require careful observation.
Historical Significance and Domestication
The history of cats and dogs is interdependent s intertwined with the story of human civilization. Dogs have domesticated from wolves around 15,000 years ago, aiding in hunting and providing protection, hence their title ‘man’s best friend.’
Cats were domesticated much later, approximately 9,500 years ago. Unlike dogs, cats were not deliberately domesticated. It’s believed they began living with humans due to the mutual benefits – humans provided food, and in return, cats controlled the rodent population.
Life Span and Health
The life expectancy and common health issues of cats and dogs differ significantly. Generally, cats live longer than dogs, with an average lifespan of 15 years, while the lifespan of dogs varies greatly depending on their breed.
Common health issues also vary. Dogs are often prone to arthritis, heart disease, and obesity. Cats commonly suffer from kidney disease, dental disease, and obesity.
The Choice Between a Cat or Dog
Choosing between a cat or a dog often depends on lifestyle and personal preference. Dogs require more attention and are ideal for active individuals or families. Cats require less attention and are suitable for people with a more sedentary lifestyle.
Are dogs better than cats?
Whether dogs are “better” than cats is subjective and depends mainly on personal preference, lifestyle, and specific needs. Dogs are generally more friendly and active and require more attention and time. They can be excellent companions for outdoor activities and can be trained to perform various tasks. Dogs also offer a higher level of protection due to their size and protective instincts.
On the other hand, cats are typically more independent and require less attention, which may be more suitable for people with a busy lifestyle or limited space. They’re often seen as easier to care for as they don’t require walks or as much active play. Cats also have a unique ability to purr, which has been found to have calming and healing effects on their owners.
Therefore, neither pet is universally “better” than the other. Instead, it’s more about what characteristics and qualities align with your circumstances, preferences, and lifestyle.
Reasons why dogs are better than cats
There has been an ongoing debate for centuries – which makes a better pet: dogs or cats? While both have unique charm and appeal, this article will explore why dogs might have the edge over cats. If you need help deciding which furry friend to choose, read on. You’ll discover compelling reasons dogs might be the perfect pet for you.
No Litter Boxes!
One significant advantage that dog owners enjoy is no litter boxes. Cats require a clean, comfortable space to do their business, which means maintaining a litter box. It’s a daily chore involving scooping, cleaning, and topping off with fresh litter, and sometimes, unpleasant smells persist. On the other hand, dogs do their business outdoors, meaning no need for an indoor sanitation station.
Dogs Just Want to Have Fun.
One of the most positive aspects of owning a dog is their love for fun. Dogs just want to have fun! Their vitality and enthusiasm for playtime can be infectious. Fetch, tug-of-war, or simply a romp in the park – dogs are always up for an adventure. Cats can also be playful, but their playtimes are often more independent and less interactive than dogs.
Whether it’s a game of fetch, a playful romp with a fellow canine, or a fun-filled training session, play forms an integral part of a dog’s life. It is far more than just frolic; play shapes their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, strengthening bonds and enhancing their overall quality of life. Play is essential for a dog’s physical development. The leap to catch a frisbee, the sprint to retrieve a thrown ball, or the tug of war with a favorite toy contributes to muscle development, agility, and cardiovascular health. Regular play also keeps a dog active and aids in maintaining a healthy weight.
Not only does play bolster physical health, but it is also a cognitive workout for dogs. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing games, and scent-tracking activities stimulate a dog’s mind, enhancing problem-solving skills and cognitive understanding. These games help keep their brains sharp, fostering a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Play serves as a crucial avenue for dogs to learn critical social skills. Playing with other dogs helps them understand appropriate social behavior, canine communication, and play etiquette. It’s also an excellent way for dogs to build relationships with other pets and humans.
The joyous leaps, the excited barks, the wagging tails – play brings immense joy to dogs. It’s a stress-buster, an antidote to anxiety, and a gateway to happiness. Dogs that play regularly are often more confident, happier, and better adjusted. Play isn’t only for dogs; it’s a beautiful bonding opportunity for dogs and their owners. Interactive games like fetch, frisbee, or agility drills can strengthen the bond between a dog and its human, improving mutual trust and understanding.
Dogs Adapt Better to Change
Dogs adapt better to change, making them excellent companions for families or individuals with dynamic lifestyles. Whether it’s moving to a new home, introducing new family members, or simply changing up their routine, dogs generally handle it well. Cats are more territorial and might need to handle changes in the environment or routine more smoothly.
First, let’s understand what change signifies. It can come in many forms, from moving homes, introducing a new family member, transitioning to a new diet, or coping with their owner’s fluctuating work schedule. Each of these situations presents a set of new circumstances that dogs, unlike many other species, navigate with extraordinary grace.
Dogs are also adept at adapting to physical changes in their environment. From drastic climate shifts to the hustle and bustle of urban living, dogs demonstrate high physical adaptability. Their keen senses, especially their superior olfactory abilities, provide invaluable information about their environment, helping them adjust accordingly. Whether it’s a move to a new home or adjusting to a different climate, dogs showcase immense resilience. They quickly learn new layouts, scent profiles, and routines, making them effective in new environments. This adaptability is a testament to their survival instincts and intelligence.
Dogs also demonstrate impressive adaptability when it comes to their diet. Over time, they have evolved from strict carnivores to omnivores, with the ability to process various foods. This shift has been driven by their close association with humans and our diverse diets. Changing the owner’s work schedule, a new baby, or even a shift in daily walks can significantly alter a dog’s routine. Yet, dogs manage these shifts with remarkable patience and flexibility, adjusting their behavior to align with the new routine.
More Control Means Less Destruction
More control over your pet often translates to less destruction in your home. With dogs, this control is possible through training and obedience commands. A well-trained dog is less likely to cause damage by chewing, digging, or engaging in other destructive behaviors. On the contrary, preventing a cat from scratching furniture or knocking over objects can be challenging.
Training Dogs is Easier
There’s a reason you don’t see cat obedience schools or cats fetching the morning newspaper. In general, training dogs is easier. Dogs are more inclined to learn commands, tricks, and behaviors, making them easier to train for tasks and obedience. Cats, known for their independence, may respond less readily to training efforts.
Understanding your dog’s behavior is the cornerstone of practical training. Dogs communicate through body language and vocalizations. Observing your dog closely and understanding these signals can make the training process significantly easier. Establishing clear communication with your dog is a fundamental aspect of successful training. It’s all about creating a language you and your dog understand. Using consistent commands, gestures, and rewards can form the foundation of this mutual language.
The principle of positive reinforcement is highly effective in dog training. Rewarding desirable behavior with treats, praise, or play encourages the dog to repeat the action. This approach makes training an enjoyable experience for your dog, making it easier for you. It’s crucial to set realistic goals while training your dog. Remember, every dog is unique. Some might quickly pick up commands, while others need more time and patience. Tailoring your training strategies according to your dog’s pace will make the training process smoother.
When it comes to training dogs, consistency is of utmost importance. Consistency in commands, rewards, and even the time and place of training helps your dog better understand and adhere to the training cues. One effective way to make dog training easier is to incorporate training into daily life. Simple commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ or ‘leave it’ can be practiced during meal times, walks, or playtime. This makes training less formal and more fun.
Dogs Can Protect You
One of the standout benefits of dog ownership is that dogs can protect you. Even smaller breeds can deter potential threats with their barks. Larger breeds can physically protect their owners if necessary. While cats might alert you to an intruder, dogs are more equipped to provide physical protection.
Dogs, descendants of wolves, are biologically predisposed to live within pack hierarchies. They have evolved through thousands of years to be watchful protectors of their territories and pack members. This trait has been capitalized on and bred into them over centuries of domestication, resulting in our modern-day canine companions being ready to stand up against perceived threats to their human families.
Dogs possess remarkable abilities to detect danger well in advance. Their acute sense of smell and hearing, far superior to ours, allows them to pick up subtle cues that humans often miss. An oncoming intruder, unusual sounds, or even subtle changes in our health – nothing escapes the vigilant gaze and acute senses of a dog. Their communication skills are also a key factor. Dogs, exceptionally good at reading human emotions and body language, can sense anxiety and fear. They instinctively react to such signals by adopting protective behaviors.
Not all dogs have the same level of protective instincts. While some breeds, like German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Boxers, are renowned for their guarding abilities, others might be more suitable for emotional support or companionship. Therefore, understanding the inherent nature and capabilities of various breeds is essential in selecting the right dog to protect your home and family.
Dogs Have Greater Potential
Many dogs are bred and trained for specific tasks such as herding, hunting, or assisting disabled individuals. This more significant potential makes dogs highly versatile companions. Cats, while comforting and low maintenance, generally don’t possess the same potential for task-oriented roles.
A dog’s intelligence is a spectacle of nature. Their cognitive prowess extends far beyond their capacity to follow simple commands like “sit” or “fetch.” The cognitive abilities of dogs allow them to learn and adapt to new situations, making them excellent companions and workers. For instance, canines have shown an astonishing ability to understand human emotions. They can sense when we are happy, sad, or anxious and react accordingly, which is a testament to their emotional intelligence.
Further, their problem-solving skills are comparable to those of a two-year-old child. This is exhibited in their ability to navigate obstacles, locate hidden items, and comprehend complex commands.
Service dogs embody the immense potential of canines. These extraordinary animals undergo rigorous training to assist individuals with physical or mental disabilities, genuinely showcasing the potential of dogs in supporting human health and well-being. From guiding visually impaired individuals and detecting epileptic seizures before they occur to providing comfort to those with PTSD, service dogs prove their worth in numerous ways. The adaptability and loyalty of these animals highlight their untapped potential in a myriad of service roles.
The incredible sensory capabilities of dogs make them invaluable assets in search and rescue operations. Equipped with a sense of smell estimated to be 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than humans, dogs can track down missing individuals in the most challenging terrains. Whether in the aftermath of a natural disaster, locating missing hikers, or finding individuals trapped in collapsed structures, search, and rescue dogs often outperform technology and human search efforts, underscoring their extraordinary capabilities.
The emotional support that dogs offer to humans is immeasurable. Their companionship, unconditional love, and loyalty help mitigate feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. The emotional bond between humans and dogs has been shown to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and even increase longevity. In a world increasingly fraught with mental health challenges, the role of dogs as emotional support animals is becoming ever more significant. This potential to enhance human emotional well-being is another reason dogs are truly remarkable creatures.
Dogs Promote an Active Lifestyle
Dogs promote an active lifestyle. Regular walks, playtime, and outdoor activities with your dog can keep you and your pet healthy and fit. Cats, while playful at times, usually don’t require or motivate the same level of physical activity from their owners.
The link between dogs and an active lifestyle is inherent, akin to the relationship between the sun and daylight. Dogs embody vitality, perpetual motion, and a constant thirst for exploration. They are not merely pets but kinetic companions who enliven our lives and infuse them with movement.
At dawn, when the world is just shaking off the languor of the night, your dog is ready for action. Their wagging tail isn’t just a sign of happiness; it’s a call to adventure. It’s a call to a morning jog in the park, a hearty play session, or even a brisk walk around the neighborhood. They inspire us to step outside, breathe in the fresh morning air, and move with the rhythm of life. Having a dog is like having a personal fitness trainer who doesn’t believe in off days. They encourage regular daily exercise. Be it a game of fetch, a hike, or a swim, our dogs ensure we never skip our ‘workout.’ Each interaction, each game is a step towards a healthier lifestyle, boosted cardiovascular health, and improved overall fitness.
Dogs Come in More Shapes and Sizes
One of the appealing aspects of dog ownership is the diversity among breeds. Dogs come in more shapes and sizes – a perfect match for every lifestyle and living situation. The variety is immense, from tiny teacup breeds to gentle giants, smooth-coated to fluffy, active to laid-back. Cats also come in different breeds but with less noticeable differences.
It’s often said that variety is the spice of life, and nowhere is this more evident than in the world of dogs. From the tiny Chihuahua to the majestic Great Dane, the sheer diversity in dog shapes and sizes is a testament to the fascinating tapestry of canine genetics.
Take a look at the smaller end of the spectrum. Breeds like the Chihuahua, Dachshund, and Shih Tzu are perfect examples of small-sized dogs, usually weighing less than 15 pounds. But despite their small stature, these breeds are brimming with personality. Whether it’s the Chihuahua’s feisty spirit, the Dachshund’s playful nature, or the Shih Tzu’s affectionate demeanor, these pint-sized pets offer a hefty dose of love and companionship.
Mid-sized breeds like the Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, and Shetland Sheepdog offer a perfect balance of compactness and agility. Usually weighing between 15 and 50 pounds, these breeds are renowned for their versatility. The Beagle’s excellent scent-tracking abilities, the Cocker Spaniel’s impressive retrieval skills, or the Shetland Sheepdog’s herding prowess, mid-sized dogs combine the best of both small and large breeds.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have large breeds such as the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, and the Great Dane. Known for their imposing stature, these breeds weigh up to 200 pounds. Yet, beneath their formidable exterior, these breeds often have a gentle and loving nature. These gentle giants make excellent family pets, whether the German Shepherd’s loyal companionship, the Rottweiler’s protective instincts, or the Great Dane’s serene demeanor.
Human’s Best Friend
There’s a reason dogs are known as Human’s Best Friends. Their loyalty, empathy, and unconditional love align perfectly with our human need for companionship. Cats can undoubtedly form strong bonds with their humans, but the social nature of dogs often makes their companionship more palpable.
No other animal shares a bond with humans quite like the dog does. This unique relationship spans thousands of years, crossing cultural, geographic, and historical boundaries. The dog has firmly established its place as a human’s best friend in its many shapes, sizes, and temperaments.
Dogs have long played crucial roles in human societies, far beyond being mere pets. Working dogs, such as sheepdogs and sled dogs, have been indispensable in various tasks and duties. Hunting dogs have aided humans in tracking and retrieving games. In recent years, dogs have also proven to be effective therapy and service animals, aiding individuals with disabilities and providing emotional support to those who need it most.
Perhaps one of the most profound aspects of the human-dog relationship is the emotional synchronicity between the two species. Dogs are highly attuned to human emotions and often mirror our feelings. When we’re happy, they share in our joy; when we’re sad, they provide solace with their quiet companionship.
Loyal and Supportive
Loyal and supportive, dogs are known to stick by their owner’s side through thick and thin. They sense when their humans are upset and often try to provide comfort. While cats can also be loyal and supportive, the level of emotional connectivity is often higher with dogs.
The tales of dogs waiting patiently for their departed owners and saving their human families from difficult situations are not just anecdotes; they underscore the depth of a dog’s loyalty. This loyalty is not contingent on conditions or circumstances; it is as steadfast in times of hardship as it is in times of joy. But dogs are more than just loyal companions; they are also supportive allies. They are there to share our joys and comfort us in times of sorrow. They sense our emotional states, often mirroring our feelings and providing solace through their mere presence.
In an increasingly stressful world, dogs have emerged as emotional anchors. Their unspoken understanding and silent companionship give us a sense of calm and stability. Whether it’s the gentle nudge of a wet nose or the quiet companionship of a dog curled up at our feet, these moments of connection provide a sense of emotional grounding, reminding us of the simple joys in life.
Sense of Smell
Dogs, the faithful companions that have coexisted with humans for thousands of years, are celebrated for their remarkable sense of smell. Their astounding olfactory abilities far outstrip our own, presenting a world rich in detail that we can only begin to comprehend.
Appreciating the biological underpinnings that contribute to a dog’s sense of smell is critical. While humans have about six million olfactory receptors, dogs have an impressive 300 million. These receptors work with a portion of the dog’s brain, proportionally 40 times greater than ours, dedicated to analyzing smells.
Every day, dogs decode the scent-laden environment surrounding them. Each whiff of air for a dog contains complex stories — from marking territories to identifying friends from foes. Dogs can detect pheromones; tiny chemical signals all animals produce, providing them with intimate details about another creature’s emotional state or reproductive status. Dogs’ sense of smell is so powerful that they can detect substances in concentrations as low as parts per trillion. This has led to dogs being utilized in a multitude of professional settings. They can detect illegal drugs, explosives, and even cancer-related diseases.
Dogs use their sense of smell uniquely, which differs from our sensory experiences. They use scent for communication, tracking, and exploring their environment. A dog’s nose is also used to find food, identify friends, and avoid predators. The exact ways dogs process scent information are still a mystery, but researchers continue to uncover fascinating insights into the canine olfactory world.
Health Benefits of Owning a Dog
Increasing physical activity is one of the most direct health benefits of owning a dog. Dogs need regular exercise, which motivates their owners to be more active. Walking a dog can be a fun, effective way to incorporate regular physical activity into your routine, promoting cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy weight, and boosting overall fitness levels.
Dogs have a remarkable impact on our mental health. Their unwavering companionship provides a sense of purpose and unconditional love, which can significantly alleviate loneliness and depression. Studies have shown that petting a dog can reduce stress and anxiety, helping to lower blood pressure and promote a sense of calm.
Dogs, oddly, provide emotional support. Their ability to perceive human emotions makes them sensitive to their owner’s moods. In times of distress or sadness, dogs intuitively provide comfort, helping stabilize emotional health. Owning a dog can also help to enhance social health. Dogs can act as ‘social catalysts,’ leading to conversations and interactions with other dog owners during walks or at the dog park. This increased social interaction can lead to improved mood, decreased feelings of isolation, and enriched social life.
Dogs also play a preventive health role. Some studies suggest that children who grow up in homes with dogs are less likely to develop allergies and asthma. Additionally, dogs have been trained to detect certain diseases, including cancer, even before medical tests can, playing a crucial role in early detection.
Dogs’ Emotional Connection with Humans
Dogs’ emotional connection with humans runs deep and transcends cultures, continents, and centuries. Renowned for their empathy, dogs can sense our feelings and respond accordingly, providing comfort when we’re upset and sharing in our joy when we’re happy. This emotional synchrony stems from their pack-oriented nature, where empathy and understanding help maintain social bonds.
A dog’s ability to read human emotions is impressive. Research indicates dogs can understand human facial expressions, tones of voice, and body language, allowing them to respond appropriately to their owner’s feelings. This emotional intelligence makes dogs exceptional companions, particularly those dealing with mental health issues or emotional stress.
The power of a dog’s comforting presence is undeniable. Their intuition often leads them to their humans during distress, offering silent support simply by being there. Dogs’ calming effect on people has led to their use as therapy animals in hospitals, nursing homes, and disaster recovery zones.
The adventurous spirit of dogs is a joy to behold. Dogs love exploring new environments, chasing after balls, and exploring outdoor adventures. This innate curiosity and enthusiasm make them excellent companions for active individuals and families.
Dogs make these activities more enjoyable, whether it’s a trek through the forest or a walk in the park. They revel in the scents, sights, and sounds of nature, adding an element of excitement to the experience. This sense of adventure encourages their owners to explore more, benefiting both the dog’s and the owner’s health.
Certain dog breeds are mainly known for their adventurous spirit. Breeds like the Siberian Husky, Australian Shepherd, and Border Collie are famous for their love of exploration and outdoor activities. However, even the most miniature breeds can display an impressive enthusiasm for adventure!
Historical Perspective: Dogs and Humans
The bond between dogs and humans has a long history. Dogs were likely the first to be domesticated, a process that started thousands of years ago. This historical perspective enhances our understanding of the deep connections between dogs and humans.
Archaeological evidence suggests dogs were domesticated from wolves as far back as 15,000 years ago and possibly even earlier. This long-standing relationship has given dogs and humans plenty of time to adapt to one another, leading to the extraordinary bond we share today.
Throughout history, dogs have served humans in countless ways. They’ve been hunters, herders, and protectors. They’ve pulled sleds, retrieved games, and even served in military and police roles. This working relationship deepened our appreciation and love for these fantastic animals.
In conclusion, while both dogs and cats make excellent pets, dogs seem to offer a unique set of advantages. They provide companionship, protection, and health benefits, promote an active lifestyle, adapt better to change, and are often easier to train. Of course, this isn’t to say that cats can’t be beautiful pets – they certainly can. It’s all about finding the perfect pet for your lifestyle, needs, and preferences. If these qualities align with what you’re looking for in a pet, a dog may be the better choice.
Q. Are dogs more affectionate than cats?
A. While affection can’t be measured scientifically, it’s generally observed that dogs tend to be more openly affectionate than cats. Dogs are pack animals, which makes them more friendly and keen on physical contact. Cats, on the other hand, tend to show affection in more subtle ways.
Q. What makes dogs more trainable than cats?
A. Dogs are innately more trainable than cats due to their evolutionary background. As descendants of wolves, dogs are conditioned to work within a pack structure, which makes them more receptive to commands and eager to please their pack leader – in this case, their human owner. Cats are solitary hunters by nature and are hence more independent.
Q. Isn’t owning a dog more work than owning a cat?
A. Yes, owning a dog typically requires more work than owning a cat. Dogs need regular exercise, more frequent feeding, and regular interaction for their mental well-being. Cats are more independent, require less attention, and require lower maintenance.
Q. Can cats provide similar health benefits to dogs?
A. Yes, cats can provide many of the same health benefits as dogs. These include companionship, stress relief, and improved mental health. However, dogs often provide additional benefits due to their need for exercise, which can contribute to increased physical activity for their owners.
Q. What if I love both dogs and cats?
A. It’s entirely possible to love and own both dogs and cats. Many households successfully have both. The key is understanding each pet’s needs and temperament, ensuring they have space, and making proper introductions to promote peaceful cohabitation.
Q. Are dogs more expensive to care for than cats?
A. Generally, dogs tend to be more expensive to care for than cats. Food, grooming, and medical care, including vaccinations and routine check-ups, often cost more for dogs. However, the cost can vary significantly depending on the breed and overall health of the pet.
Q. How does a dog’s social nature impact its behavior compared to a cat’s?
A. A dog’s social nature tends to make it more interactive and engaging with its human family, often seeking attention and physical contact. Cats, capable of forming strong bonds, are usually more independent and may not seek constant interaction.
Q. Does a dog’s breed affect its trainability and temperament?
A. Yes, a dog’s breed can significantly affect its trainability and temperament. Some breeds are known for their intelligence and eagerness to please, making them more trainable. Similarly, temperament can range from outgoing and energetic to calm and reserved, depending on the breed.
Q. How does owning a dog impact my physical activity compared to owning a cat?
A. Owning a dog generally leads to higher levels of physical activity, as dogs require regular walks and playtime. Cats, while they do enjoy periods of play, are less demanding in terms of exercise, making them a less active pet choice.
Q. What about allergies? Aren’t more people allergic to dogs than cats?
A. Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. It’s important to remember that individuals can be allergic to either, neither, or both, and reactions can range from mild to severe. Spending time with a pet before bringing them into your home is always recommended if allergies are a concern.