Thinking of getting a dog or a cat. Your experience?

wonderoushope

Senior Member
Messages
238
Likes
319
I'm thinking of getting a dog or cat. I have had dogs and cats in the past, but not for a long while. My housemate has a cat. He's a bit temperamental but seems to be getting used to me some more.

Anyway, I wondered what other experiences and advice are with regards to getting an animal? My housemate/good friend is a bit worried I won't be able to exercise certain breeds of dogs and thinks perhaps a cat would be better, with my fatigue. But I really want a dog! I, of course, need to be selective. It can't be a highly energetic dog.

To be honest we went to the pound and I fell in love with a nine-month-old puppy. She seemed very laid back but friendly. Not too big (just a medium sized dog), easy coat and didn't seem highly energetic. Surprisingly it's not a dog breed I would normally look at all. She was a staffy mix (not sure what the mix part was) looked kind of like a kelpie or some dog with a pointy ears. Her personality and demeanor were so beautiful that I just fell in love with her.

This illness has taken any chance away from me having kids and or a partner and so I guess I am looking for a companion.
 
Messages
5,663
Likes
14,242
Location
Alabama USA
HI @wonderoushope , I had a dog when my ME/CFS was moderate and my activity level was about 60% I loved her so much! I got her from a rescue. At that time I could walk and walking her on a leash was wonderful. I know that at that point walking her kept me healthier. She leashed trained so well! She snuggled in the bed with me.

I do have a backyard that is fenced she loved to run, and she was FAST! I had some company over with small children, and a little kid let her out and she was hit by a car. I live near a busy street.

I went and got another dog, a Boykin Spaniel. He bonded with my husband, plus he has skin allergies so he scratches all the time. If he on the bed with me, him scratching it hurts me. I cannot walk him, he pulls too hard and has a mind of his own. I have gotten much sicker over the past two years, so I have my own bedroom. The dog and the husband have their own room!

I have two cats, they go out to do their business. No litter boxes. I have one cat that sleeps with me and is my constant heater and best buddy!

I don't know your activity level, so I can't really so more than share my experience with you.

There is a thread from last year that asked the same question and I will go and try to find it for you.

Happy pet searching!
 

Hopeful1976

Senior Member
Messages
183
Likes
447
Getting my little dog was the best thing I have done - he gives me such love and compassion and unconditional love. He has honestly given me so much. Keep the breed small if you cannot walk him too far; teach him to fetch a ball and then you can exercise him by throwing it up and and down your garden. Honestly, they give so much!
 
Messages
5,663
Likes
14,242
Location
Alabama USA
Here is the link about suitable dog breeds.. well the way I linked that you go to my post first... you have to scroll up to the top interesting to read all of that really fun thread. Hit the blue here.

I really need to hone my linking skills;):rolleyes:
 
Last edited:
Messages
11
Likes
37
Animals are such great companions, you should definitely get one! Its so nice to have a warm furry body tucked beside you in bed. And those adoring eyes that make clear that whatever else is wrong in the world, there is someone that will always love you unconditionally. It just makes your heart melt :love:.


Cat is a safe bet, they can basically take care of themselves. If you get an automatic feeder and a big litter box, you can get away with spending no energy at all on your pet for a week. Because most of us here tend to get those days or weeks when all you have energy for is taking care of yourself.


Dogs are more demanding energy wise and snatch up several spoons every day (per spoon theory). They cant be put on hold for several days until you feel better.


If you have had a dog before, then you can already estimate their needs. And you know your own activity level the best. If you feel you are up to the challenge, then go for it!


People working in the pound can usually tell you whether an animal under their care is energetic and demanding or prefers to sleep all day, so that should help to make a choice.
 

Wolfcub

Moderator
Messages
2,249
Likes
5,461
Location
SW UK
My dearest friend in the whole world was my dog. But she came to me when there wasn't much wrong with me, back in 2001. Well, that's when we first met, but it was 2004 when she came to live with me permanently.
There was a rescue drama involved in that. Long story.
She was a cross breed, crossed with something and something else! haha....not sure what Vizsla? Or Fox red Labrador? Never was sure.
But she was high energy from the word go. It was like being in the army with her! She only slowed down ever so slightly by the age of 14/15! Two walks a day. In the beginning I was doing 6-10 miles a day, and I had to go to the chiropractor with my frisbee-throwing-arm :rofl:

For a dog breed which may be suitable, think about either....a lap dog or a Greyhound. Greyhounds are supposed to need only one pretty good walk a day and have a reputation for happily being couch potatoes the rest of the time (with pee/poop breaks of course.) So as long as they are recall-trained, and there is somewhere they can run for maybe 30 minutes off leash, they are pretty chilled out.

Greyhounds have such a sad time. The ex-racing ones are so badly treated, and there are specialist Greyhound rescues, to try to help them. They do come in various sizes too. :lol: They don't all have to be huge. Some of the girlies can be no more than 40lbs.
 

Wolfcub

Moderator
Messages
2,249
Likes
5,461
Location
SW UK
P.S. Any working dog breed (that means Labs, Vizslas, Cocker Spaniels, Border Collies(or any breed similar) and quite a few others including Jack Russells....are really high energy dogs and NEVER get tired. Dogs like that can cover 25 miles a day at a run. They would give you a hard time!
 

Float

Senior Member
Messages
212
Likes
1,040
Location
Australasia
Definitely go for cat unless you know you can walk for at least 30 minutes daily every day, or drive to a large grassed area and throw ball for 30 minutes. Some dogs will cycle alongside you if you can do that.
Many dogs can't go off leash as they are 'runners ' and will be massive stress when you want to go home fatigued but have to search for them.
Once I thought I would do more if I had the motivation of a dog to walk so I looked after one for 8 weeks. ...turned out ME was not psychological, it was real , and I got really stressed about not walking him at all some days , or puffing at snails pace up the road and back others. The extra pressure was not worth it as it made me psychologically tense and guilty for the dog . I didn't even have the energy to play rope or ball games and he was a puller on the leash. He was a small dog and a runner so I couldn't let him free in a park.
Saying that I also looked after a Labrador who would run unleashed while I cycled, never run off , and cycling has always been easier and usually possible for me. I have cycled as transport since I was a kid so it's easier for my body than anything else . I can get further in less time , and am sitting down! The lab was very restful a's I wore him out with cycles.
You have to be able to wear them out
Could you try borrowing dogs for a while? Try many breeds. You'll soon see many different temprenants. Some are annoying barky. Others are docile happy lickers.
Cats also have different temprenants and personalities. After the stress of dogs with ME I quickly started to love the nature of cats !
Good luck ☺
 
Messages
1,296
Likes
6,333
I'm thinking of getting a dog or cat. I have had dogs and cats in the past, but not for a long while. My housemate has a cat. He's a bit temperamental but seems to be getting used to me some more.

Anyway, I wondered what other experiences and advice are with regards to getting an animal? My housemate/good friend is a bit worried I won't be able to exercise certain breeds of dogs and thinks perhaps a cat would be better, with my fatigue. But I really want a dog! I, of course, need to be selective. It can't be a highly energetic dog.

To be honest we went to the pound and I fell in love with a nine-month-old puppy. She seemed very laid back but friendly. Not too big (just a medium sized dog), easy coat and didn't seem highly energetic. Surprisingly it's not a dog breed I would normally look at all. She was a staffy mix (not sure what the mix part was) looked kind of like a kelpie or some dog with a pointy ears. Her personality and demeanor were so beautiful that I just fell in love with her.

This illness has taken any chance away from me having kids and or a partner and so I guess I am looking for a companion.
Dog ownership is a very serious undertaking. Roughly like 20% of the burden of having a kid I'd estimate.

Daily walks are essential for all dogs. If you fail to walk them literally daily (or more often!) they will ruin your life. A tired dog behaves well and one with cabin fever will display behavioural problems includign digging chewing barking and biting.

The need for walks and training is especially high when they are a puppy. There are really no puppies without high needs. A well-trained older dog with a high life expectancy (jack russell?) might be a better option.

There is significant financial cost - some dogs have chronic illnesses that mean they cost thousands of dollars to keep alive. Even perfectly healthy ones need expensive vet visits.

It's also easy to get the wrong idea about how a dog will behave. The dogs you see fitting in with their owners' lives beautifully are not representative of the whole. There are lots of dogs who can't go to parks because of behavioural problems. Don't assume you'll get the perfect poochwho walks well on lead and never bites people or other dogs. Check out http://reddit.com/r/reactivedogs to see how dog ownership can be in the hard times.

I love dogs (see my avatar) but I can manage owning one only because I have mild cfs, a supportive partner who takes the dog for a run every morning and a parent who lives in the same city and pitches in to help when needed. I walk the dog each afternoon, gently, and I have to say some days that task is a very challenging thing to complete.

In summary I'd say get a cat!
 
Last edited:

nandixon

Senior Member
Messages
1,017
Likes
2,781
Another possibility might be a house rabbit. Originally I would have liked to have had a cat but I'm allergic, so a few months ago I adopted a very sweet rabbit (from a rabbit rescue) that was a former school rabbit and about 1 year old. She'd been used to living in a cage but only took a week to be perfectly litter box trained and now she's free to roam around 24/7.

Rabbits are always doing something cute (like the “binkies” and “narcoleptic flops” they do) and are very entertaining yet extremely quiet. She comes when I call her and sits beside me and likes being petted. She's a great little companion and I'm so glad I got her!

As with dogs and cats though, you need to spend some time with them before taking them home to make sure they have a good temperament (affectionate, playful, etc). Since they are “prey” animals they need to feel safe and have places to hide, and if there was a cat or dog in the same house you'd have to make sure they wouldn't try to hurt the rabbit.
 
Messages
1,296
Likes
6,333
I adopted a very sweet rabbit (from a rabbit rescue) that was a former school rabbit and about 1 year old. She'd been used to living in a cage but only took a week to be perfectly litter box trained and now she's free to roam around 24/7.

Rabbits are always doing something cute (like the “binkies” and “narcoleptic flops” they do) and are very entertaining yet extremely quiet.
photos please!
 

Heartl

Wife, mom, animal lover
Messages
87
Likes
157
Location
Reno, NV
Another possibility might be a house rabbit. Originally I would have liked to have had a cat but I'm allergic, so a few months ago I adopted a very sweet rabbit (from a rabbit rescue) that was a former school rabbit and about 1 year old. She'd been used to living in a cage but only took a week to be perfectly litter box trained and now she's free to roam around 24/7.

Rabbits are always doing something cute (like the “binkies” and “narcoleptic flops” they do) and are very entertaining yet extremely quiet. She comes when I call her and sits beside me and likes being petted. She's a great little companion and I'm so glad I got her!

As with dogs and cats though, you need to spend some time with them before taking them home to make sure they have a good temperament (affectionate, playful, etc). Since they are “prey” animals they need to feel safe and have places to hide, and if there was a cat or dog in the same house you'd have to make sure they wouldn't try to hurt the rabbit.
Awe, that sounds so cute
 

wonderoushope

Senior Member
Messages
238
Likes
319
I have family members that have rabbits and I house sit them along with a zoo of other pets (parrots, dogs, coral fishes):) They are lovely, but I actually find they are more work than the dogs or cats. There is a lot of cleaning up to do and bending over to clean up things. For me bending over hurts my back (like with vacuuming) and makes me tired. I know you have to do that with kitty litter (as we have a cat) but it's different to a cage, where you have to get right in there.

I do like the foster care idea, but worried I would get attached.

I have had dogs in the past. The most recent one was an Akita, which you would think is a lot of work, but she wasn't. She preferred mainly to laze around and have a half hour walk a day. I've had Jack Russells and just too much energy and barking.

I could do half an hour walk a day I think, as long as they didn't pull. This year my health is a bit in decline, but last year I did an hours walk myself each day. This year not as good. So yeah I have to think about it very carefully. I do have family and a housemate (who is my friend) who would help out.

I think probably fostering is the best bet for the time being. Thanks for all your feedback it has helped.
 

wonderoushope

Senior Member
Messages
238
Likes
319
Hi all,

Well I got a kitten! Lol!

I tell you what she is full of beans!

But I have been able to handle her energy due to getting my diet back on track. I can't believe it but I choose a kitten that is full of beans. I mean I know kittens are energetic, but this one loves to play all the time...somehow though I love playing with her and it relaxes me. I think I have been able to sleep a little better too.

Still, she is easy going and can occupy herself. She is very loving when she settles. I have already been able to take her out on a lead for a walk. hel2.jpg