The Perfect Pet

What is the Problem? We want a pet but need some help deciding what  would be the perfect pet.


What do we know? There is a lot that can go into decision making:

  • What type of animal is the best fit for your home? Will you be able to live with pet hair, a litter box or the occasional wear-and-tear caused by pets?
  • If you have children, how will having a pet affect them? Will everyone in your home welcome an animal?
  • If you rent, do you have permission from the property owner?
  • How much space do you have inside and outside your home? Will you need a fenced yard? If you get a cat, will you want an outdoor enclosure (a cattery) so your kitty can spend time safely outdoors?
  • How much time do you have to spend with a pet?
  • What is your activity level? Are you sedentary or physically active?
  • Do you have the financial resources if your pet has a medical crisis and has high veterinary bills?
  • Do you have someone who can be a secondary caregiver if you are away from home? If not, how will you provide care for your pet when you travel?
What do we need to know?


Cost of Owning a Pet

One-time pet expenses
Spaying or Neutering: Dog: $200 / Cat: $145
Initial Medical Exam: Dog: $70 / Cat: $130
Collar or Leash: Dog: $30 / Cat: $10
Litter Box: Cat: $25
Scratching Post: Cat: $15
Crate: Dog: $95 depending on size
Carrying Crate: Dog: $60 / Cat: $40
Training: Dog: $110
Total One-time Costs: Dog: $565 / Cat: $365
Annual pet expenses
Food: Dog: $120/ Cat: $145
Annual Medical Exams: Dog: $235 / Cat: $130
Litter: Cat: $200
Toys and Treats: Dog: $55 / Cat: $25
License: Dog: $15
Pet Health Insurance: Dog: $225 / Cat: $175
Miscellaneous: Dog: $45 / Cat: $30
Total Annual Costs: Dog: $695 / Cat: $705
According to this report, the total first-year cost of owning a dog is $1,270 and for a cat it’s $1,070.

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Do the math:
What do you notice and wonder about the data in the chart?* What math did you use to determine the “best”pet? What would you use as criteria for rating and ranking the “perfect” pet? What is most important to you? What is most important to your family? Do you agree on the criteria?

Lifespan of animals


Does the solution make sense?  Do others agree with you? Why or why not?
How can you Revise, Refine and Report your solution? How might others come to a different solution?

Related math


dog-pyramid Cat-population

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