Posted by: steph | 2009/08/05

&quot  can i leave a dog and cat home alone in the day?" 

are you people nuts ! Would you prefer cybervet to pander to your conscience and give a nice answer that is unoffensive, as opposed to proper advice? Why get a dog if you dont spend time with it? If you have small kids the situation will most likely be that the dog will be ignored, and then it'  ll be naughty because of not being properly taken care of, then when it'  s naughty it'  ll be punished or re-homed..or you'  ll put up a post on cybervet saying you dont understand why your dog is naughty...get it?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear Steph

Thanks for being so honest, I cant always be but I hope lots of people read your reply.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Steph | 2009/08/07

Chill you must live in Cape Town :) I spent a few years in KZN and most dogs there really are not treated as protection and not so much a pet. I am aware that this is a generalisation.

I do agree though that the other side of pet ownership finds people treating their pets as though they are humans, thus creating an unbalanced pet. This interaction is great for the human as we get all the affection that we need, but the dog gets a distorted experience of what it is to be a dog !

Reply to Steph
Posted by: Chill | 2009/08/06

Seems you' re arguing about nothing, Daisy. Here' s what you said:

Firstly, in my household, neither child nor animal will be ignored, punished or re-homed. Please note that in my home a pet will not be called an animal, but a member of our family and will be treated as such. We get home around 5 each day and our cat gets just as much attention as our child does.

I did not say, or imply, that pets are just ' some animal in the house'  which can be treated in a careless or off-hand manner. Saying that your cat gets just as much attention as your child is, in my opinion, not a healthy situation. Your cat is not your child, nor will your future dog be your child - I really advise you to remember that.

If you try really hard, I' m sure you can again misinterpret what I said, so let me leave you with the assurance that no dogs anywhere in the world are treated better than mine, or loved more. But they' re still dogs...

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Daisy | 2009/08/06

I have to differ with you Chill. When you adopt a pet, it becomes a part of your family, a member of your family. Yes it is an animal, but it becomes a member of your family. An animal in my home would be treated with love and care &  wouldn' t just be some animal in the house. being a member of my family means that your needs will be understood and met. It means taking a real interest in my pet &  what makes it tick so that it can be happy.

Reply to Daisy
Posted by: Chill | 2009/08/05

I must take issue with you on this one, Steph - mostly I support your advice, but I think with this one you' re a bit over the top.

It' s perfectly possible to have pets even if you' re away from home during the day - provided you make sensible and adequate provision for them, in terms of safety, shelter, nutrition and stimulation.

To say that MOST dogs left alone bark like lunatics, and moreover are left to sleep outside, is not true. Of course there are dogs who bark incessantly - but in fact, believe it or not, MOST dogs are quite well adjusted and well behaved. It all hinges on how much thought and effort goes into providing for their needs.

Having said that, Daisy, it' s somewhat ridiculous to say that your pets aren' t ' animals'  but members of your family. They are animals, whether you like it or not, and long may that last. Most behavioural problems with pets arise from people not understanding that animals do not have the same requirements and logic as people - dogs that are treated like dogs, and cats that are treated like cats, are going to be far happier and better adjusted. There is no lack of kindness or compassion or caring in what I' m saying - on the contrary: understanding what makes your pets tick, and then giving them what it takes to keep them happy, is going to result in a happy, healthy type of relationship between your family and your pets.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: steph | 2009/08/05

Actually I do work, and I am a full time student as well. I however, have a schedule whereby I walk the dogs in the morning, and then in my lunch hour and then am home in the evenings. So your assumption that I am a housewife is far from the truth. I am a mature woman who works hard to get my education sorted. I however, did NOT plan on getting a dog when I could clearly foresee potential difficulties.

You are right, loads of dogs in SA are left at home alone all day...and most of them bark like lunatics because they are frustrated , and are left to sleep outside as they are " outside dogs" . we also have the SPCA filled up with abandoned pets and other animal charities. often times the dogs are sent there as they are unmanageable. If you care to take the time i suggest you peruse the archives of this site and see just how many people have posted queries wrt bad/ unsociable behaviour of their dogs, more often than not the dogs are left alone all day long. Giving a dog toys is not the same as actively walking your dog EVERY day for at least 30 minutes and socialising him/her with other dogs. i believe the absence of dog-parks in SA bears testament to that.

If you feel that you can manage to provide a loving home for this little puppy then that' s great, and I owe you an apology. But in my experience most people buy dogs, despite foreseeing problems, they then take the dog home and have no time to supervise settling the dog in. I do believe that your post wrt your concerns about leaving the cat at home with the dog leads to the conclusion that you foresee a problem, and are not able to be home to settle the animal in.

Have you considered waiting a few years until your child is old enough to take some responsibility for the said puppy? Perhaps that way your 6yr old can be a part of the puppy' s care-taking, thus forming a really special bond with his/her pet and teaching some responsibility?

Reply to steph
Posted by: Daisy | 2009/08/05

I am certainly not nuts. You have to be a housewife with a response like this. Some of us do have to work you know, BUT, that does not mean we are not capable of giving an animal love. Whilst many people are unfamiliar with the concept of earning a living, the majority of families do need breadwinners, hense the need for people to work.

You also have no clue as to how we would react to a dog' s so called ' naughty'  behaviour. You are merely making assumptions which are most probably based on your own past behaviour or someone you know. Firstly, in my household, neither child nor animal will be ignored, punished or re-homed. Please note that in my home a pet will not be called an animal, but a member of our family and will be treated as such. We get home around 5 each day and our cat gets just as much attention as our child does. We have family time and play time in the evenings. Our cat has more toys than our child does. We have a large house and plenty of space for a cat &  small dog to run around. We also have a yard (probably not as huge as people who can afford to stay home &  not work), but there is ample place for a dog to run all around the house. Our property is fenced and secure.

More than just getting a pet for our own selfish needs like wanting to share our love and having a companion for our 6yr old, we want to provide a safe environment for an animal. We want to ensure that an animal gets good nutrition, grooming and healthcare. We love animals and want to see one more animal get a home rather than being put down. Please tell me what happens to the dogs at the SPCA if they don' t get adopted after a period of time?

So Steph, bear in mind that we aren' t just thinking of ourselves and our needs when we considered getting another animal. My husband and I discussed and wanted to make a commitment to take care of a dog and provide it with a home, love and care. Having a pet is a real commitment, the same as having a child.

I don' t expect Cybervet to pander to my conscience, but I would have expected a better response. Sorry, I am used to dealing with a very professional, caring and understanding vet. Yes, I did contact my vet before posting here, and she assured me that the kitten and puppy will grow together and provide company for each other. But I am one of those people that likes to get opinions and learn of other people' s experiences in a similar position, so I posted here. I do believe in making well informed decisions.

I don' t think that telling someone that if you can' t stay home all day with a dog, then you should live without it, is the best answer a vet could give to someone. Look around in your neighbourhood. You can' t tell me that all the families owning dogs have someone at home all day.

And I don' t have a maid because I can do my own housework. I would rather spend the money that would be budgeted on a maid, on pet food, pet health insurance, etc.

Reply to Daisy

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