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I want to get a pet!


greywolf

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I've been considering getting a pet for awhile, but I felt like it wasn't a good time. However, my mom got a new puppy during Christmas, and when I went to visit home, she was so cute, and now I really want a pet for my own again.

 

I dunno though. I work 12 hour shifts at night and sleep during the day, but on my days off my sleep schedule is all over the place (usually 2-4 hour naps without following any real schedule)

 

Is this schedule too unstable for a new pet? Is 12 hours too long to be by itself? =/

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For a dog, yes, probably. I don't know where you live but if you live in an apartment without a yard, having a dog is a pain. You have to take them out a lot and your schedule sounds pretty erratic.

 

However, I think you'd do well with a nice, adult cat. I say "adult" because they tend to be more established with their personalities and you can find one that's a little bit more "independent". I work weird hours (I do 12 hour overnights too! whew) and have never had to worry about a cat. Leave them their food, their water, and a clean litterbox and they are set.

 

My first cat that my boyfriend and I got was a little bit more on the needy side but that's just his personality. Had we gotten a more independent cat, well, he wouldn't have gotten lonely. Now we have 2 cats and they play and keep each other company so I don't have to worry about the needy cat anymore.

 

I really think a nice, loving, but independent adult cat would be very happy with you!

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Yeah 12 hours is way too long for a dog alone. During the first several weeks when potty training they need to be taken outside every 2-3 hours at the very least, that included the middle of the night for me. They can be on their own for longer when they hit about 6 month but get very destructive when left alone with no stimulation, furthermore around this time is when it is a good idea to start training them from developing bad habits. Takes a lot of time and consistency which is not possible with your schedule.

 

I agree with Fudgie, a cat may be a better fit with your work schedule.

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In my opinion 12 hours is too long for a dog to be on its own, and something like a guinea pig or rabbit (with a decent-sized cage) would be better suited. If you have any interest in that option, I would also consider getting a pair so that they still have company when you're gone for that amount of time. Just remember that rabbits in particular to be neutered/spayed to live together successfully, even in same gendered pairs.

 

I can't say whether other animals would be okay, since I have no real experience with them. I certainly would love to have a dog in the future when I have the time for one, but my rabbits have been wonderful pets.

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12 hours is too long for a dog unless you have a dog door where you dog can let itself out into a secure yard it can't escape when it needs to do its business. Some dogs can go 12 hours, but think how uncomfortable for them to hold it that long! Think of yourself, and how hard it is to hold for 12 hours straight.

 

Also keep in mind that a puppy needs lots of attention and has to go out all the time. The rule there is the puppy can only go as long as its age, so for 2 months, it can only go 2 hours without going out, for 3 months, 3 hours etc.

 

A cat would be fine though because you have a littler box.

 

I always keep my dogs in pairs because they are pack animals and hate to be alone. So my two dogs are fine when I'm at work because they have company. A single dog can become very destructive and upset if left alone for hours on end because it is not natural for a dog to be alone due to being pack animals. They become very insecure and can engage in all kinds of destructive behavior from barking to checking up everything in the house etc.

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I think you should look into a cat as well. You wouldn't necessarily need an adult cat, only 6 or 7 months would be out of the crazy kitten stage where they can drive you nuts (although they are sooo cute!). I travel for work and so I had decided if I ever got another cat, I would get two so they could be company for each other when I was away. And that is how it worked out with the dumpees I've got now. Some eejit dumped off three, and I kept two of them. One was about 2 years old, the other was about 7 months when I got him to the vet.

 

I suggest you keep an eye out at your local SPCA or animal shelter. At various points in the year, they have too many cats and lower the price for adoption. Because it's not just getting the animal, if you get a boy you must have him neutered before you bring him home. That's not as expensive as spaying, which could be delayed a bit if you had to. I think that depending on the shelter, neutering and vaccinations are part of the adoption price, but you should ask about that. Cats sleep most of the time, you don't need to take them for a walk and if they aren't the kind who will eat and eat and eat, you can leave food out for them and go away for a night, maybe two. I have an automatic feeder for those times I'll be away for a night as they love carbs more than Oprah and would eat all the kibbles in about an hour if I just dumped a bunch in a bowl for them. Otherwise, I feed them canned food, which is a whole other story.

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Has anyone ever had trouble getting a cat and then later on getting a dog? I love cats and dogs, but I do prefer dogs, so I think I'd get a dog eventually anyway (although I do think a dog is out of the question right now for me anyway, despite the work schedule, because when I stopped by an adoption center a couple of months ago, the only dogs they had were pitt bulls, and some other gigantic dogs), but it'll suck if they hate each other.

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I think if you have an older cat and get a puppy, the cat will pretty much let the dog know the score. I think it would be harder to bring an adult dog into a situation where there is already a cat, unless you're really good at training dogs. Someone I know online had 2 cats and then decided to get a dog. She got a puppy and AFAIK they get along fine now.

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Wait until you are more stable to get a pet. Its a big commitment. Its also hard if you want to go on holidays or anything trying to get dog sitters. I love my dog and don't regret getting her but I do have to be home a lot to make sure she is not neglected

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