Pets Indoors?

Hello

What’s your view on keeping pets indoors?  I mean of course, smaller pets such as cats and dogs – not our larger pets – such as horses!

For me, the whole point of having animals is to care for them, to love them and to ensure they are as happy as possible….For me, I think a happier well-loved animal is often a healthier animal.

Now not all animals will want to come indoors.  I once had a cat who was rescued as a stray and she didn’t like to be indoors – not unless the door was left open and she felt like she could “escape”.  This was of course fine, as it was her choice but she still had access 24/7 to a large garage for her to rest and relax.  By respecting her wishes and letting her gain confidence that being indoors wasn’t so bad, over time (a lot of time!) she did start to come indoors more often…..The point I suppose from me mentioning this, was that it was her choice – I didn’t not want her to be indoors.

I was walking my dogs recently and met a fellow dog keeper who whilst chatting said she doesn’t like her dogs to come indoors as they make too much mess (i.e. loose hair or muddy footprints).  They apparently “were happy” to be in the garden and have a kennel.  This is something I have heard before from others.

The theory of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (bear with me!) is that there are different levels of motivation, depending on where we are.  For an animal – it could be said to be similar (I think anyway!), as after all having water and food, then shelter are basic requirements for many species – human or animal.

So going back to the dog keeper above who kept her dogs outside – she was probably right, the dogs are no doubt happy that they were being given shelter and food…..But I would argue that it maybe that it’s questionable if the dogs are going to thrive?  Self-esteem is somewhere higher up Maslow’s pyramid.

For most dog-keepers it’s about having a bond with the dog – companionship almost….after all, what else is the point of having a dog?  I’ve seen a great quote on Twitter a few times – “your dog maybe only part of your world, but to your dog you are his world”.  This actually is (or should be!) quite thought-provoking.

So notwithstanding the dogs who may find being indoors in the house claustrophobic (and that is their choice for when they feel confident to be there), keeping your dog outside while you “disappear” into the house for hours upon hours, it may not be meeting his spiritual needs – and they according to Maslow are at the very top of the pyramid of needs!

Lastly……worried about loose hair or mud or dirt on the ground from your cat or dog?  Without being harsh – there is always the vacuum cleaner!!  & if you’re more worried about a bit of dirt and don’t want the companionship of your pet on his or her terms (not just yours) plus to help him/her feel nurtured then perhaps having a pet isn’t really for you?

A holistic approach to animal care isn’t just about complementary therapies either…..It’s about far more than that – the whole.

Until next time,

Suzanne

Twitter: @taranet2001

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