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Complete guide: Choosing The Best Pet For You

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Table of content

Complete guide: Choosing The Best Pet For You

Choosing a pet can be tough. What are the things to consider? What type of care do they need? 
Before taking a cat or a dog home, do your animal research. Consider your finances (adoption fees, food, and long-term needs like veterinary care), space (teeny-tiny city apartment or 2 acres to roam), time (will you be home enough to keep your furry friend healthy and happy), and commitment (can you envision this pet in your life for the next 10 years).
You’ll need to dig deeper into the needs of particular breeds and species, but here are some general starters when it comes to caring for the most common pet categories:

Pet type: Dog

Numerous dog breeds exist, each providing as much individuality and delight as the next. But which dog breeds are the most well-liked in Malaysia?
Here are the most common dog types in Malaysia. For this piece, we included information about the breed's history, the average price in Malaysia, weight, and longevity.

Labrador Retriever | Breed info and advice | zooplus Magazine
Source: Zooplus

1. Labrador

Labrador is an easy-going, devoted, and affectionate companion always eager to please. The sweet-faced Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dogs among Malaysians. For a family searching for a medium-to-large dog, Labrador makes sociable, outgoing, and affectionate companions with plenty of love to go around. 
Depending on the sex, the robust, well-balanced Labrador Retriever can reach 21.5 to 24.5 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 55 to 80 pounds. Labradors are known for being amiable. They get along well with the entire family and are amiable roommates. They also get along well with the canines and people in the neighborhood. 
The Labrador is an eager athlete that needs loads of activity, such as swimming and marathon games of fetch, to be physically and mentally fit, so don't mistake his laid-back demeanor for low energy.

  • Origin: Canada
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Weight: Male: 29–36 kg, Female: 25–32 kg
33 Labrador Mixed Breeds: Lovable Lab Mixes With Lifelong Loyalty
Source: K9 of Mine

2. Mixed/crossbreed

Dogs that are mixed breeds have ancestors from two or more distinct breeds. When the specific breeds that make up your dog remain a mystery, they are commonly referred to as mongrels or mutts. Do pups of mixed breeds make lovely pets? Absolutely! Mixed-breed dogs can be any size or shape, and their traits will vary depending on their ancestry.
Mixed-breed dogs make good adoption candidates since the shelter may have already trained them. Additionally, you may learn about their personalities from the proprietor of the shelter ahead, which makes it simpler to know what to anticipate.

  • Weight: Small breeds (~9 kg), medium breeds (10 – 60 kg), and large breeds (29 – 54 kg) 
  • Lifespan: Average of 14 years
Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle - AZ Animals
Source: az animals

3. Poodle

Poodles are one of the dog breeds that are among the easiest to recognize. Despite being primarily known for their trendy appearances, the agile, energetic, and clever Poodle has many more skills than just their fashionable appearance. 
You should offer them duties to do because they are extremely trainable and suitable for almost any job. If they aren't kept active and challenged intellectually, bored Poodles might become destructive. However, energetic owners who can provide for their dog's requirements will discover a devoted, intelligent, trainable, and affectionate family member.

  • Origin: France and Germany  
  • Weight: Males (20 – 30 kg) and females (20 – 27 kg)
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years 
  • Cost: RM 1800 – RM 2800
Golden Retriever Information & Characteristics | Daily Paws
Source: Daily Paws

4. Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are excellent family pets because they are devoted and intelligent. They are regarded as one of the most well-liked breeds in Malaysia because of their kind disposition, glossy coats, and charming grins. Since golden retrievers are easy to train, it won't be difficult to get them to learn commands like "stay" or "fetch”.

  • Origin: United Kingdom, Scotland, and England 
  • Weight: Males (30 – 34 kg) and female (25 – 32 kg) 
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years 
  • Cost: RM 2800 – RM 3800
Pomeranian Dog Breed Information | Purina
Source: Purina

5. Pomeranian

It has been said that the little Pomeranian, a longtime favorite of both royalty and commoners, is the perfect companion. The magnificent coat, happy, foxy face, and vibrant nature of the Pomeranian have made it one of the most well-liked toy breeds in the world.
Pomeranians make excellent watchdogs and cheerful companions since they are alert, clever, and simple to train. They are happy in both the city and the suburbs since they are energetic yet may be exercised with indoor play and quick walks. They are adept at pranks and games, but their favourite thing to do is to make their particular person laugh and be with them.

  • Origin: Germany and Poland 
  • Weight: Males (2.8 – 5.2 kg) and females (2.1 – 3.3 kg) 
  • Lifespan: 12 – 16 years 
  • Cost: RM 2700 – RM 3700
6 Authentic Japanese Dog Breeds: Cuteness from Shiba Inu to Akita Inu! |  LIVE JAPAN travel guide
Source: Live Japan

6. Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a little but well-muscled dog of an ancient Japanese breed that was previously used for hunting. The Shiba is currently the most popular companion dog in Japan thanks to its enthusiasm and pleasant attitude. The flexible Shiba is at home in both the city and the countryside. Shibas, who was just recently introduced to America from Japan 60 years ago, is quickly gaining popularity in the West and are already the most well-liked breed in their own country. 
They resemble foxes in some ways because of their white markings, red, red sesame, or black and tan coloration, alert demeanor, and easy gait. They are strong, powerful canines with a brash, assured demeanor to match.

  • Origin: Japan 
  • Weight: Males (8 – 11 kg) and females (6.8 – 9 kg) 
  • Lifespan: 12 – 15 years 
  • Cost: RM 4800 – RM 9000
Welsh Corgi (Pembroke) Dog Breed Information | Purina
Source: Purina

7. Pembroke Welsh Corgis

The Welsh words "cor" (dwarf, or occasionally, to gather), and "ci" (dog), may have contributed to the name Corgi, while it might alternatively have come from the term for cur. The extremely intelligent Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves living with a human family and being a member of the "pack." Pembrokes are courageous, independent, and very flexible, which makes them excellent watchdogs. They are also devoted.
The Pembroke's large torso and small, stubby legs might be deceiving because these dogs are strong and diligent herding dogs. Despite being close to the ground, they are nonetheless incredibly nimble when doing daily duties.

  • Origin: Pembrokeshire in Welsh 
  • Weight: Males (10–14 kg) and female (10–13 kg) 
  • Lifespan: 12 – 15 years 
  • Cost: RM 4800 – RM 5800
Pug | Description, Weight, Temperament, & Facts | Britannica
Source: Britannica

8. Pug

Pugs are very low maintenance and have a major propensity to gain weight if their nutrition and activity are not regularly monitored. Due to their small muzzles, they struggle in hot, muggy conditions and need to be closely monitored for heatstroke. Due to their narrow muzzles, pugs do have a tendency to snore. Because of how readily they might be hurt, the prominent eyes must be kept moist. 
To help with their weight issues, pugs perform best when they exercise every day. Despite their heroic warning from years past, they are not often good watchdogs, preferring to greet visitors with a wagging tail. Pugs should be socialized to maintain their friendly nature; they get along well with other animals.

  • Origin: China Weight: 6.35 – 8.16 kg (for both males and females) 
  • Lifespan: 12 – 15 years 
  • Cost: RM 2500 – RM 3000

To discover the ideal match for you, your family, and your lifestyle, it's crucial to conduct research. It's not always simple to choose a breed because there are so many options available.
As much as you can, try to learn about the breeds that interest you. Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of owning any breed you are thinking about.
Learn more about types of dogs HERE.

Pet type: Cat

According to a survey, in Malaysia, there are 6 million dogs and 5 million cats as of 2019. However, only 398,000 dogs and 658,000 cats are owned, indicating that cats are more common to own in Malaysia. 
But which feline breeds are most favored in Malaysia? In this article, we provide a list of popular cat breeds and describe each one's traits.

Nak bela baka British Shorthair? Ketahui 6 fakta mengenainya! - I-suke |  mStar
Source: mStar

1. British Shorthair

You will be surprised to know how common British Shorthair types of cats are in Malaysia despite the name being British. Anyway, the British Shorthair is a medium- to a large-sized cat with a great deal of strength. It has thick boning and a lot of muscle. It also appears to be heavy and rounded.
The British Shorthair is built with a wide chest, a robust neck, powerful jaws, and a well-proportioned snout. They are one of the most popular pet cats for beginners since they are simple to train and require low maintenance.

  • Origin: England, United Kingdom 
  • Weight: Males (4.1–7.7 kg) and females (3.2–5.4 kg)
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years 
  • Cost: RM 1500–2500
Sphynx Cat Breed Information | Purina
Source: Purina

2. Sphynx Cat

Sphynx cats are renowned for appearing (almost) naked, but there is so much more to these endearing, perceptive, and loving cats. Despite being referred to as "hairless cats", they are not always hairless. These cats have a thin down coat that is difficult to see but is instantly noticeable (i.e., incredibly soft) to the touch.
Sphynx cats are loyal, clever, and entertaining companions. They are an affectionate and sociable breed that longs for your company and love, especially the scritches that go along with it.

  • Origin: Toronto, Canada
  • Weight: 3.5 - 7kg
  • Lifespan: 8 to 14 years 
  • Cost: RM 2000-6000
What You Need to Know Before Bringing Home a Persian Cat | PetMD
Source: PetMD

3. Persian Cat

Now, let’s talk Persian. One of the most well-liked cat breeds is the Persian, which is elegant, refined, and yes, fluffy. 
Persian cats are medium-sized, averaging seven to twelve pounds in weight and standing between ten and fifteen inches tall. They feature large eyes, tiny, rounded ears, and a rounded skull. Additionally, they often have plump cheeks and a face that looks pulled in and flat. However, classic or doll-faced Persian cats resemble their progenitors by having more pointed features.
The Påersian cat is an exceptionally beautiful breed, with snub noses, round cheekbones, and long fur. They are often friendly and peaceful cats who prefer being held, but they are also content to simply lounge. They're the great purring lap warmer!

  • Origin: Ancient Persia (Iran) 
  • Weight: Males (3–4 kg) and females (2–3 kg)
  • Lifespan: 12 to 17 years
  • Cost: RM 1500–2000
Bengal Cat Breed Information & Characteristics | Daily Paws
Source: Daily Paws

4. Bengal Cat

The Bengal or ‘the mini tiger’ is a very clever and energetic animal. He might be challenging at times, but this makes him enjoyable to live with. The Bengal is a self-assured, chatty, sociable, and watchful cat. They notice everything. They enjoy playing games, like fetch, and is a pros at picking up new skills. It's a good thing he doesn't have opposable thumbs since his dexterous paws are almost as excellent as his hands because he would definitely dominate the world!
Despite their wild appearance, Bengal cats or mini tigers are actually quite affectionate with their hooman families. 

  • Origin: United States 
  • Weight: Male (4.9–7.7 kg) and females (3.1–5.4 kg)
  • Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
  • Cost: RM 900–1500
11 Fascinating Facts about the Munchkin Cats | Catastic
Source: Catastic

5. Munchkin

A small to a medium-sized cat called a munchkin (sometimes called a "sausage cat") is distinguished by its extremely short legs, which are typically 3 inches shorter than those of a typical cat. Since they are so popular, they are intentionally bred. A genetic abnormality that results in a deficiency in cartilage development is the cause of shorter legs. These social cats are energetic and like running, chasing, and exploring their surroundings.
Munchkin cats are vivacious, enthusiastic, and love to bond with anybody, including dogs, other cats, and people. Additionally, Munchkin cats are delicate, so they don't frequently leap to great heights.

  • Origin: Louisiana, United States 
  • Weight: Males (4–5 kg) and females (3–4 kg) 
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years 
  • Cost: RM 2300–4000
Feline breed profile: All about Maine Coon cats | ElleVet Sciences
Source: ElleVet Sciences

6. Maine Coon

The name of these amusing fluff balls comes from North America, particularly Maine. Due to their naturally thick coats, which protected them from the harsh New England winters, they were kept outside as farm cats.
Maine Coon, who is also known as the ‘gentle giant of cats’ are recognized for having a kitten-like demeanor. They are one of the largest cats, yet their voice is surprisingly small.
Maine Coons are excellent additions to big families, whether they be human or feline, as they like interacting with both people and other animals. This breed is ideal if you want a cat that will show you some love when you arrive home since they are highly friendly and enjoy playing.

  • Origin: Maine, United States 
  • Weight: Males (5.9–8.2 kg) and females (3.6–5.4 kg) 
  • Lifespan: 9 to 15 years 
  • Cost: RM 2700–3300

To various individuals, owning a cat might signify different things. Others are content to live with a highly independent cat who spends much of its time outside and doesn't seek a lot of human connection. Some people want a cat to snuggle with them and sit on their laps.
It's crucial that you look for a cat that will engage with you if you ask it to. Since no two cats are exactly alike, how each one interacts with you will rely on its innate nature and its early experiences—or lack thereof—which may make it afraid or confident around humans and in general.
Learn more about types of cats HERE.

5 Most Common Diseases in Dogs and Cats

While owning a pet is rewarding, be mindful that pet ownership is also a huge responsibility. From allergic to thyroid issues, look at the most common disease that veterinarians treat in their canine and feline patients.

  1. Ringworm (Cat and Dog)

Contrary to its name, ringworm is a fungal infection of the top layers of the skin and hair, not a worm (or even anything caused by a worm). Dermatophytes are the several types of fungus that cause ringworm, and Microsporum canis is the most prevalent one in animals. While usually not harmful, ringworm is very infectious among people, especially among kids, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.

  1. Diabetes (Cat)

Like the human body, the cells in a cat’s body need sugar in the form of glucose for energy. However, glucose in the blood requires insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, to “unlock” the door to cells.

  1. Arthritis (Cat and Dog)

Both cats and dogs can get arthritis, however in certain cases the site of the disease changes between the two species. Dogs that have arthritis typically experience pain in their hips, shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists, ankles, and spine. Cats with arthritis typically experience pain in their shoulders, hips, elbows, knees, and ankles.

  1. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

Cats' bladder and urethra are affected by a number of disorders together referred to as feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). The most common symptoms of FLUTD in cats are blood in the urine, increased frequency of urination, and difficulty and pain during peeing. In addition to excessive self-licking, cats with FLUTD may also pee outside of the litter box, frequently on cool, smooth surfaces like a tile floor.

  1. Skin Infection

Your dog may have itching from bacterial and fungal diseases, and their skin may seem dry, flaking, crusty, or wet. Along with persistent health issues like yeast dermatitis or staph infections, redness, inflammation, and odour may also be a problem.

Bottom Line

While common issues such as ear infections and skin allergies are rarely life-threatening, they can be unexpected and expensive. The purpose of pet insurance is to shield you from unforeseen expenses like vet bills. Consider getting pet insurance for peace of mind.