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Pets without partners

A concerning negative aspect of a single pet household is that, in the event of the death of the dog or cat, the acute loss can be so devastating, traumatic and filled with such emotional stress that professional therapy may be a necessity to overcome the separation and severance of the bond.

In this case there is no other animal to comfort the grief and help bear effects of the tragic loss. Unless you are also a pet owner it is difficult for the majority of the public to understand what one goes through in these circumstances.

It is always advisable to replace immediately with another loving pet as a distraction having a new friend and a meaningful relationship. Mourning can be prolonged, if there is no pet to pat, to the point of the grieving person entering serious depression.

Often people comment about a single pet being lonely, as unfair. If any cat or dog is raised in this manner they will know nothing else and adapt accordingly. Animals only think of the “now” so there will not be thought proces-ses or reflections as to how things were in the past or how they could promise to be in the future. Only the current situation matters – they live in the present!

Raising a puppy or kitten in the correct manner will place it in good stead for almost any

future situation. Early socialisation teaches coping skills and tole-rance. If the apartment receives frequent visitors any cat or dog will welcome the intermittent social burst of activity and learn to behave appropriately if the owner is a vigilant and informed person.

A puppy has an increased benefit of being able to visit other homes with compatible dogs, romp in the park with equally socialised dogs and still be a canine good citizen when human and dog visitors invade its household from time to time.

Having only one pet is not a crime provided that the people in the home assist in building up the animal’s confidence and emotional security and refrain from rewarding it if it hides away from visitors. There must still be boundaries and rules and pet owners must not be anthropomorphic by feeling sorry if the cat or dog is on its own most of the time.

An only pet may be more vulnerable to diseases due to infrequent exposure to a wide variety of the same species on a regular basis and therefore have to be inoculated more often than those in multi-pet households.

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