A lot of people talk about the care, intelligence, and characteristics of domestic pets. Generally, people focus on the behavior of dogs and cats when they interact with humans. Many people ask themselves if independent pets exist.
The only way to answer this question is to analyze their responses when they’re left home alone. In addition, all species exhibit different behaviors. Some are more dependent, while others are completely self-sufficient.
The following information will totally change your perspective, especially when you go on vacation and leave your pet at home.
Domestication vs. independence
The history of animal domestication is, in effect, a history of dependence. In fact, research biologists believe that dogs evolved from wolves that approached human settlements in search of food.
Therefore, the more domesticated an animal is, the harder it’ll be for it to solve its own problems. This happens a lot to animals in captivity when they’re released into their natural ecosystems – into the wild.
This is perhaps the basic criterion that must be analyzed before addressing the complicated and relative topic of independent pets. This doesn’t mean that some species have the ability to be self-sufficient when humans aren’t around.
Dog or cat: which animal is more independent?
Obviously, it’s a good idea to compare the level of independence of the two quintessential domestic species. Most people believe that cats are more independent than dogs.
Cats are solitary by nature and are used to walking around entire buildings without having to interact with humans. All this is possible thanks to their instincts and their own particular physical abilities.
In contrast, dogs interact with humans for food, protection, and emotional stability. A dog without an owner will have trouble eating well and, above all, will be really sad.
Dogs can’t spend too much time away from their owners
It’s been proven that spending too much time alone has very noticeable negative effects on pet dogs. Experts even speak of separation anxiety. In this regard, experts believe that dogs shouldn’t be left alone for more than eight hours.
The effects of stress on dogs are increased motor activity, excessive barking, and whining. Another effect is to defecate and urinate in non-recurring or forbidden places.
To be honest, all these symptoms of stress show themselves when you leave your dog alone. Your dog’s reactions will depend on different variables, such as its age, breed, behavioral aspects, and training. But, essentially, dogs aren’t independent animals.
Cats are definitely a little more independent
Unlike dogs, cats don’t suffer as much when their owners aren’t home. Their interactions with humans can be very complex and intimate, but they don’t rely on their owners to feel safe.
If you leave your cat alone for a few days, you’ll probably find its food bowl and litter box exactly how you left them. In addition, cats clean themselves and their movements are much more refined. Cats are certainly independent pets.
Other independent pets
It seems that animals that don’t have the ability to handle complex socialization processes are more independent. This is the case of reptiles such as the turtle and the green iguana, who have distant and unconscious interactions with humans.
Source: Leandro Martinez
Other pets simply can’t live without humans, regardless of whether they don’t socialize much or not at all. For example, rabbit and fish owners need to feed their pets continuously. Among other things, because they’ve been taken from their natural ecosystems and placed in cages and fish tanks, respectively.
In short, the environment the animal develops in is also a predominant factor when it comes to evaluating their self-sufficiency.
Independent pets, in search of a balanced approach
This doesn’t mean that you can’t make dogs more independent. In fact, some training methods can help your dog become a little more independent. On the other hand, the fact that cats are self-sufficient shouldn’t be considered evidence of detachment.
What you must understand is that, when you domesticate an animal, you make it dependent on you to a greater degree. Either because they cling to you, or because you’ve taken it out of its ecosystem, domestication involves some degree of dependence.
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