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Pets and EM

Backpack234

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Third year attending here. My SO is also a doctor so we spend about half the month at work and half the month at home. We've been discussing getting a pet lately and deciding cat vs dog. Honestly, dog seems like the better option, but I'm not sure if it's a bad idea given our schedules whereas a cat kind of takes care of itself. Am i overthinking this? I'm sure there are plenty of other EM docs who have dogs and physician SO's, but none that I know of. Is it a bad idea to get a dog as an EM attending?
 

Porfirio

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No. Get one and be happy. You have sacrificed enough for this career. Do this for you.

If you need someone to help with the dog while you both are at work then hire someone through an app like Rover.
 
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deleted896822

Third year attending here. My SO is also a doctor so we spend about half the month at work and half the month at home. We've been discussing getting a pet lately and deciding cat vs dog. Honestly, dog seems like the better option, but I'm not sure if it's a bad idea given our schedules whereas a cat kind of takes care of itself. Am i overthinking this? I'm sure there are plenty of other EM docs who have dogs and physician SO's, but none that I know of. Is it a bad idea to get a dog as an EM attending?

Not to this point yet but have 3 cats. Feed em twice a day and they do their own thing. If you want them to sleep with you they will generally, if not, they’ll do their own thing and you need not feel bad about it.
They can use a litter box; get a big one and put 20 pounds in it at a time and it can go a week or so without cleaning and still be fine without any smell, etc.
 
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gutonc

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Get the pet(s) you want.

My partner and I are both in medicine (neither EM) and also spend half our time at work and half at home. About half of this is not overlapping, so most weeks there’s only 2 days that we’re both working. We have a cat and 2 giant breed dogs (Bernese Mt Dog and a Leonberger) and all is well. We have a fantastic dog walker who takes care of them the days we’re not home.

Get the animal you want. If it’s a dog (or 2...or 3) be sure you spend the time to train it well and find a good person to help you out on the days you need it.

If you go the canine route, be sure to get a breed that’s compatible with your lifestyle. I love me some Aussies, Border Collies and Huskies, but I don’t have the time or energy (or acreage) to run them 8-10 miles a day to keep them from eating the couch.
 
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Cinclus

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I have, ummm, "alternative" pets, and they are far more difficult than either the cats or dogs I have owned. I fortunately have a non-medical spouse to help with them. We have a good pet sitter who can help us out, too. If you can find someone who can help out occasionally, dogs and cats shouldn't be too big of an issue.
 
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SCREW IT!
I have, ummm, "alternative" pets, and they are far more difficult than either the cats or dogs I have owned. I fortunately have a non-medical spouse to help with them. We have a good pet sitter who can help us out, too. If you can find someone who can help out occasionally, dogs and cats shouldn't be too big of an issue.
What does "alternative" pets mean? Birds, reptiles, rodents, a gimp, or what?
 
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The Knife & Gun Club

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SO and I have an older dog. He’s got arthritis so isn’t looking to run around much. We’ve got a doggy door for him to use when we’re gone for >12 hours, and walk him 2x for day - one 10 minute walk and one 20 minute walk.

Older dogs have some issues and can be slow to bond, But it’s a nice feeling knowing we took a dog that was actually in death row and gave him a new life.

It was really rewarding to teach a dog that never in 8 years learned how to fetch or wrestle to play and actually have fun like a dog.
 
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Cinclus

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I don't know. I can't think of something that is so exotic, but that you also have a sitter for it. Oh, wait - it's a monkey of some sort!
You were likely including it in your first suggestions, it just technically doesn't fit in those groups. They are mammals.
 
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You were likely including it in your first suggestions, it just technically doesn't fit in those groups. They are mammals.
Fair enough. I just thought that, if we had some famous animal smuggler or Siegfried and Roy or Joe Exotic here on SDN, we didn't know it!
 
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You can always hire a good dog sitter. Even when I was living alone and working 18 shifts/mo, I raised a 7 week old white GSD puppy. I found an awesome dog sitter and she would come by twice while I was on shift until he was old enough to handle one visit. Even when he was grown, I still paid her to come by and walk him once while I was at work. I stopped doing that when my gf moved in but it's not difficult to get some help when you need it. Finding a quality sitter that you can trust in your house and while out of town can be tough though. The best place to look is the local dog daycare or vet clinics. Usually the techs or daycare peeps know someone who does that full time. I had horrible luck with some of those online services.
 
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Birdstrike

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Third year attending here. My SO is also a doctor so we spend about half the month at work and half the month at home. We've been discussing getting a pet lately and deciding cat vs dog. Honestly, dog seems like the better option, but I'm not sure if it's a bad idea given our schedules whereas a cat kind of takes care of itself. Am i overthinking this? I'm sure there are plenty of other EM docs who have dogs and physician SO's, but none that I know of. Is it a bad idea to get a dog as an EM attending?
A cat is going to be way less maintenance but much less of a companion, in my opinion. Nowadays with good pet sitting services and doggy daycare, having a dog and a crazy schedule is more feasible than it used to be.

Ease of use: No pet>cat>dog.
Reward: Dog>cat>no pet.
 
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Nov 24, 2002
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My guess is "sugar glider".
But... Fox as well.
Fox is an interesting pet. What foxes do is dig. And dig. And dig. There's a guy in Russia, who, since Soviet Union days, has been domesticating silver foxes (breeding and breeding and breeding), and, now, last I looked, for $7,000, you could have a domesticated silver fox, which is, now, a dog. What he found were elevated epi levels, which kept the ears up (when you're in the wild, and you're more prey than predator, you tend to be on edge). Now, the ears are down, and they look like a cousin of a Jack Russell.
 

Cinclus

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Fox is an interesting pet. What foxes do is dig. And dig. And dig. There's a guy in Russia, who, since Soviet Union days, has been domesticating silver foxes (breeding and breeding and breeding), and, now, last I looked, for $7,000, you could have a domesticated silver fox, which is, now, a dog. What he found were elevated epi levels, which kept the ears up (when you're in the wild, and you're more prey than predator, you tend to be on edge). Now, the ears are down, and they look like a cousin of a Jack Russell.

Mine love to dig, but they're not foxes. And the Russian fox experiments are quite interesting in how they showed that selecting for domestic behavior led to that domestic appearance - spots, floppy ears, etc. They're pretty adorable, too.

1594190680011.png
 
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