Snoopy came to TNR Trust in 2016 with Christmas at our doorstep. We quickly realized he was a lovely lapdop and a Jack Russel in disguise. He was already about 8 years when he was dropped at a vet for treatment and his owner never returned. He was in KSPCA and through our collaboration, Snoopy ended up in a TNR Foster family.
His incredible new owner recently sent us this picture. Snoopy turned into a privileged dog, with nightly bed access and unlimited snuggles.
How we love happy endings!
Years ago, keeping your dog inside with you wasn’t common. Back then, owners considered dogs as protectors — a mate, but not part of the family. Fast forward to 2018 and some dogs are not only sleeping indoors and spending time with the family, they are also making their way into our beds. So what changed? Pet psychologist Dr Joanne Righetti says it could be because we now consider them as part of the family unit.
What are the benefits of indoor dogs?
When dogs spend time with us inside, there are some great benefits for both us and our pooches.
- They are always close when we need someone to talk to or to touch.
- They become part of the family and our children (if we have them) benefit from having a companion to nurture and tell their secrets to.
- We can more easily see when our pets are sick or their behaviourhas changed and can seek help.
- They alert us to anyone who is approaching our homes (and for those who want a guard dog — there is more chance of them protecting what is in your home rather than simply protecting your backyard).
- We know where they are at all times so we can stop any misbehaviour.
- There are even healthbenefits such as having fewer allergies when you grow up with pets.
- They vacuum up all our crumbs!
What are the risks?
While the benefits of having a dog greatly outweigh the risks, there are some hazards to think about before opening that doggy door:
- There are disease risks of having a dog close to us as zoonotic diseases that can be transferred from animal to human and vice versa. These risks are small, however, and probably far outweighed by the benefits.
- We could potentially encounter our dog’s aggressive tendencies, perhaps challenging you for the sofa or taking your children’s toys. Obviously dogs need to be managed adequately and help found when any danger is present.
- Toilet trainingis a must; otherwise you may find puddles on your favourite rug.
- Other risks include tripping over your dog or not having a place on the sofa to sit!
What’s best for the dog?
Everyone should have a choice when it comes to the rules of the house, including working out what makes your pup comfortable. If humans don’t want to sleep with their dog on the bed or in the bedroom, they shouldn’t have to. The same applies to the dog. Most dogs will choose to sleep near their owner. They have more restless sleep than us and may get too warm next to us.
Some dogs, which spend a great deal of time in close proximity to their owners, will go on to develop separation anxiety — where they fret when left alone. Some dogs do not exhibit this condition so we don’t really know why some do and some don’t yet. Owners can make sure they spend some time apart from their dog, leaving them home alone or even leaving them in the room alone for a minute or two. This will help their dog learn to cope with being alone, especially if they are left with a toy or a treat to occupy them.
Dr Righetti believes the bond is strongest when owners live in close proximity to their dog. “If you don’t wish your dog to be indoors, perhaps you should spend more time outside. If this is unacceptable, then perhaps a different kind of pet would suit you better,” she says.