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Coming home from work to be greeted by a pet can make all the stresses of the day disappear. A wagging tail, a cat's purr or even a bird's chirpy greeting can make you forget the workplace problems, but did you ever wonder what your pet does home alone each day?

Catnapping - the ability to take frequent small naps. That is just what cats do - spend the majority of each day sleeping.

Research also showed that Labradors, home alone in a suburban backyard in Victoria, also spent the majority of their time asleep.

Many owners worry that pets may stress when left home alone but today's busy lifestyles mean that most owners are not present 24/7 to keep Puss and Rover company. Denying oneself the pleasure of pet ownership is often the result of this concern, but another aspect is that it may also deny many animals the chance of a good home.

With some considerations and a little forward planning pets and modem busy lifestyles can combine in a responsible manner.

It is important to consider the type of pet that will be fit into your lifestyle. The busiest of owners and those who like to have the freedom to spend impromptu weekends away from home may find that a fish fits the bill. Once set up correctly, aquariums can be relatively easy care and fish, which do not need daily feeding, can be left home alone in their own environment without noticing whether the owner is home or not. It has long been known that the observation of fish calmly swimming in their tank can soothe frazzled nerves.

Owners with limited space may also consider a bird. Birds however, are not solitary creatures, usually living in pairs or flocks. Owners should always consider keeping a pair of birds or, for those who have the space, a small aviary of compatible birds will provide hours of pleasure.

Owners with busy lifestyles may find that a cat is an ideal companion. When you get home Puss will be ready for a short play and then curl up on your knee for yet another sleep. It is hard to feel stressed with Puss purring in contentment.


Dogs are truly designer animals. Over the centuries man has developed hundreds of dog breeds to meet his needs. Some were bred as hunters with the stamina and strength to hunt large game, others with the single mindedness and agility to hunt small vermin, some to gently carry game without bruising, others to herd sheep and cattle, some to pull sleds and a great number of breeds were bred to do nothing except to be companions, to give love and be loved.

Dogs require a deeper commitment from an owner than other species.. If the dog will be home alone and you return each evening wanting to do nothing except collapse in front of the tv, then the very active breeds are not far you. Obtaining two dogs of a breed with a low activity level will ensure that the dogs are not lonely and it takes no more time to walk two dogs together than td walk a single dog. Dogs and cats can also provide company for each other, although same of the hunting breeds are not always cat friendly. 

Quality time with your pet is important. Invite your pet indoors to sit with you in the evening. The more you interact with your pet, the more frequently it will initiate interactions with you.


Toys provide a source of entertainment for pets. Give your dog a special toy as you leave each day (and take it away when you return). Hang a toy on elastic from a door handle and your cat will enjoy catching it over and over.

Visitors and Playmates provide stimulation for pets, especially dogs. Invite a person, who has no pets of their own, to spend time with yours. Ask a friend's dog over to play for the day or investigate doggy day-care centres for your dog.

So, if you have the desire for the companionship of a pet but have been feeling guilty about leaving the pet home alone consider how best to manage your pet and remember, two pets can be double the fun!

Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 02/10/07 11:59 Views: 3365

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