Originally Posted by kdt26417
It wouldn't enhance the pets' lives *that* much and in fact, would probably prove to be their sad, slow, confused, hungry, cold, lonely (and quite possibly smashed by a car as you yourself mentioned) demise. Wow, yeah! Let's sign our pets up for that.
Since we seem to agree that cats and dogs are genetically-malformed creatures in that they have the lifelong "mind of a child," I suggest comparing letting them out unsupervised to letting a four-year-old human child outdoors unsupervised. What, deprive that child of the chance to be fierce, wild, and free? Ummm yes as a matter of fact, that's exactly what a responsible human parent will do -- obviously.
Cars the #1 killer of pets? You may be right. Except of course, those pets who reside night and day indoors where no car will ever hit them. Ohhh the cruelty of confining your pets indoors. Am I dripping with enough sarcasm yet, or have I made my point and can shut up?
I have a dog who goes out whenever he wants. BUT-my acre of land is fenced and he's not prone to jumping the fence (even though in younger days he was quite capable.
Our cat also went outdoors.
However-the weekend of Halloween, my daughters family's cat went outdoors and while he was out-husband had to go to the emergency room. Kitty didn't return that night.
Kitty didn't return at all because he got run over by a car.
Going out isn't always best.
I have raised children.
My children-from about a year on have played outside unsupervised by an adult.
BUT AGAIN-they are IN A FENCED YARD (with a dog that makes a lot of noise if there is a problem).
If I lived in a different environment-there is no way in hell I would let them outside unsupervised.
Hell-I don't let any of them use the public restroom alone in the airports when we fly out of state.
ANY of them (and they are ages 22 and down).
So yeah-there are circumstances to consider.
A dog can be trained to be cautious. But drivers can be assholes. Neighbors can do. As a child, a neighbor intentionally poised our dog IN OUR YARD.
Having a pet is much like being a parent.
No one who hasn't experienced it can really say what is "best" in any given circumstance. Because the variables are so numerous and one can't possibly address all of the possible combinations.