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woman wonders 'should I get a cat if I work full time?'

Should I Get a Pet if I Work Full Time: Yay or Nay?

Pets are a lot like people. You get those cats and dogs that want as much exclusive one-on-one time as possible, while others are a bit more aloof. And of course some breeds are super sporty (Border Collie dog) whereas others are more chill (Maltese dog). Basically, if you’re asking yourself should I get a cat if I work full time, or a dog for that matter – herein lies the answer…

Pets have major personalities. Over the centuries we’ve developed breeds for specific characteristics we want more of in our lives. Or less of. If you’re at work all day but nevertheless yearn for an animal companion, you need to find the right match.

In other words, you should opt for a breed that’s known for loving solitude.

Should I get a pet if I work full time, or not?

If you’ve a pet-shaped hole in your heart that you desperately want filled, start with some research. Like any wholesome and successful relationship, you need a pet who also needs you. Each of your lifestyle requirements should be the ideal fit for each other.

Here are some helpful pointers.

should I get a dog or cat if I work full time? this schnauzer breed can be ok

Choose your breed wisely

Some breeds like the Pug dog and Siamese cat, for example, simply hate being alone. Seriously. Siamese cats might actually miss you just while you’re showering. If you WFH, that’s ok. But if you’re at the office all day, it’s probably a deal-breaker.

On the other hand some breeds can cope better for periods alone through the day than others. These include the Miniature Schnauzer dog, Persian cat and Maine Coon cat to name a few. Read about different cat breeds for more on the Persian or find a purrrfect match by exploring what cat breed is most like you!

Cats vs dogs

Generally speaking, cats do better than dogs for periods longer than four hours alone. More than that and separation anxiety in pets will start affecting most dogs (and some cats).

Cats are relatively independent. They can while away hours sleeping, exploring and generally following a self-made schedule. However, even they need some routine TLC and will want your attention.

Cats choose us; we don’t own them.”

– Kristin Cast, Author

When asking yourself if you should get a cat if you work full time, read about leaving your cat home alone to find out how long is too long.

should I get a cat if I work full time? This cat doesn't think so

One pet vs two?

Another option is two cats (‘one or two kittens‘ is quite the debate amongst feline enthusiasts) or a cat and a dog, or two dogs. This way your pets can keep each other entertained while you’re at work.

“One cat just leads to another.”

– Ernest Hemingway

However, although pets share a lot in common with us peeps they don’t always follow the same rules. When two animals meet for the first time they won’t offer each other tea. And unless you have ample time to moderate their first introductions things could get off to a rocky start…

Make time in your schedule to settle pets in

Supervise their initial meeting even if it means time off work. If not, you can expect possible biting, scratching and eating each other’s food. Or worse, pooping and peeing on each other’s stuff. No you cannot leave them in the same house and expect magic to happen – having two pets requires a time investment in helping them forge a bond. Read how in our guide to puppy and cat introduction or kitten and cat introduction.

It’s best to take time out from your working life to settle any pet in, even if you’re just getting one. New puppies and kittens need lots of attention when they arrive. Here are 5 things new kitten parents need to know and a guide to bringing home an adopted dog.

BTW, a great way to spend time with pets when time is scarce is letting them sleep in your room or your bed. In fact sleeping with your cat and sleeping with your dog can have a wonderful effect on your wellbeing!

woman works fulltime, but makes time for pet

Get a pet godparent (or be one)

Co-parenting a pet is also a possibility. You may have a close family member or friend who can look after your pet during the day while you’re at work. This way you both reap the benefits of having a pet and the responsibility is shared. Just be sure to get a pet prenup in place so if the relationship gets shaky you know where your pet stands.

Read all about choosing or becoming a pet godparent for all the ins and outs of what’s involved.

Know your limits

Also know your limits. Besides asking yourself whether you’re exhausted when you get home, be honest: do you just want to hit the hay at that point? Or do you still have mileage to spend playing and bonding with your furry BFF? If you’re unsure, then a good option is to test your limits with some fieldwork…

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

– Roger Caras (photographer and writer)

Here are some suggestions:

  • Spend time with friends’ pets. Got a friend with a pet you can spend time with after work? Why not try putting in a full week of time after work. That way you can truly gauge your energy stores for a furry friend.
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter. Find out how to volunteer with and how to donate to animal shelters. Spend time over weekends or after work supporting animals in need of care. As a first time pet owner this is a great way to prepare yourself. Also, who knows, you might meet the cat or dog of your dreams!
  • Foster a pet. Not sure if you can make the leap to owning a pet yet? Find out whether you tick the boxes to foster a dog or cat. That way you can start your pet parentdom on a sliding scale.
  • Volunteer as a surrogate pet parent. Many senior pet parents just need someone to take care of their pet for a little while each day. Or they might have a grown up dog or cat that’s already used to being alone during parts of the day and who needs a new owner. And maybe that’s just up your street!

Make time to put in the hours

If you want a dog or cat and you work full time, you can parent them well but you must put in the hours. As dog whisperer Cesar Millan says ‘a tired dog is a happy dog’. So provided you make time to exercise your dog daily, you can be a guilt-free pet owner.

Watch this video for Cesar Millan’s advice for working doggy parents:


Protect your pet’s best interests with a soft landing

Perhaps the question is not about whether to get a pet if you work full time but rather how committed you are to making it work within your limits.

Whether you’re at home or away during the day, pets sometimes have accidents or get ill. If you have a dog or cat and work full time, the last thing you want is to come home to find your cat or dog has broken their leg or eaten something toxic to pets.

If and when this happens, you’ll want to get your pet the care they need then and there. No hesitating to check your bank balance first. If you have a quality, easy-to-use and affordable online pet insurance plan, you’ll be able to act fast with confidence.

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1 day ago

PD Insurance NZ
In Rabbit Hash, an unincorporated hamlet with a population of roughly 470, has been presided over by a dog mayor since 1998. The unofficial elections are organized by the Rabbit Hash Historical Society, the nonprofit organization that owns the town, and residents cast their votes by donating $1 toward the organization.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In the 2020 elections around the time the U.S. elects a president, Rabbit Hash votes a new four-legged mayor into office. The 2020 winner beat out a therapy beagle named Jack Rabbit and a golden retriever named Poppy. The candidate pool in 2020 also included some unconventional pets, like a donkey named Higgins and a rooster.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Wilbur Beast won the election in a landslide with 13,143 votes—about 28 times the entire population of Rabbit Hash. Questions of the race's legitimacy aside, the French bulldog is set replace the current pitbull mayor Brynneth Pawltro, who has served since 2017.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Rabbit Hash's new mayor is part of a long American tradition of unofficial canine leaders. Dogs have been elected as mayor in Talkeetna, Alaska; Sunol, California; and Lajitas, Texas. ... See MoreSee Less
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2 days ago

PD Insurance NZ
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