Getting a dog when you both work full time

(38 Posts)
MechanicalTheatre Mon 18-Feb-13 21:28:08

Is it possible?

I am a teacher, partner also works full time, often til late in the evening but doesn't leave the house til 10 most days.

I grew up with dogs and miss having one about. I am very aware of their needs and would never want to leave a dog at home for long periods of time. I'm just thinking about what the options are - how feasible is it to get someone to come in to walk/look after the dog during the day? Would it confuse the dog to have different people coming and going?

Is there anyone who works full time but has a dog?

We don't have any children and aren't going to have any so that's not an issue.

We would definitely get a rescue and go for training. Just the thought of coming home to a happy furry face makes me feel happy! I suffer from anxiety and depression and sometimes it's so hard for me to socialise and it's a bit hard on my partner because he feels he has to stay in with me and I think he'd feel better if I had a dog to keep me company.

Topazandpearl Mon 18-Feb-13 21:40:18

It's doable with the right dog. You want a breed (such as a greyhound smile )who sleeps most of the time and will be happy with a walk in the morning, a visit from a dog walker and lots of attention in the evenings. A good rescue will advise on a dog with the right temperament to suit. We have two, under similar conditions and it works very well. Good luck!

I would have thought that an older dog and someone coming in to do a walk halfway through the day would be fine. It has to be a better life than stuck in a rescue kennel.

And dogs are brilliant for anxiety and depression, I hope you find one soon.

DeepRedBetty Mon 18-Feb-13 21:45:06

I run a dogwalking agency and have clients in your situation. Yes it's doable - and beats being stuck in a rescue kennel as Tough says.

Definately doable, with a dogwalker smile

And I wholeheartedly recommend a retired greyhound. They are the most loyal, loving, calm companions and won't want for much in the way of long hikes and activity so should fit in nicely and not be too much for the dog walker either.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 18-Feb-13 21:48:11

Oooh, thanks for the advice.

I was thinking of a greyhound/lurcher! I love them and I know there's lots in rescues.

I'm glad to hear it's working for you. I'm not working atm, and we're going to move house in the summer, so what would be ideal would be if I could find a job near where we live so I could nip home at home time to take the dog out again. It seems that you can get a dog walker for about £10 - £15 a day, which is a lot but doable.

HousewifeFromHeaven Mon 18-Feb-13 22:05:20

My friend puts hers in doggy daycare

I have several friends involved with greyhound rescue who are teachers and own greyhounds. It works well provided you have someone to come in half way through day, and you are organised about pre-work and post work walks/activities as well.

A bit radical, but I would seriously suggest having two. They provide excellent company for each other. Most greyhounds are very social animals and have spent their entire working lives with other greys 24/7, wherever it is possible they really do benefit from having canine company. That is not to say they can't manage life as a solo dog (many do very well) just what is best, especially as you're going to be out during the day. The other related option which can work brilliantly is to own one and to have occasional fosters - the charity would pay for vets bills, food etc and you would be helping a dog find its forever home - it's hugely rewarding and v worthwhile.

I'd also say that dogs are brilliant for depression - they helped me enormously when I was hit by it after having cancer. sad I've subsequently come to know a few other people who find their gentle, affectionate and non demanding and unconditional love hugely beneficial. Interestingly, dogs also form an excellent social bridge - people will always talk to you when out with a dog (but won't if you are just strolling along) and if you are into pointies, there's a really nice flourishing social scene of rescues, and sighthound activities. For instance in S Wales where I am there's an excellent group which does playdates, walks etc. - it's a very good way to meet people in a slightly structured yet low key environment. There's also a really lovely bunch of fellow pointy enthusiasts here on MN - again, many of us have got to know each other off the boards (some of our dogs are even related to each other!) and we see each other at events like the Great Greyhound Gathering every year. Come over to the Pointy Hounds thread and have a browse to find out a bit more about pointies and their lovely ways. You won't regret it, but one warning - they are quite addictive!! grin Let Operation Grab a Grund Commence!!

MechanicalTheatre Mon 18-Feb-13 22:35:39

Thank you Scuttlebutter, that's really helpful.

Hmm, have never considered having two. My partner has never had a dog before, and although he loves the idea of getting one, I'm not sure how he'd feel about two! I will consider it though.

I have thought about fostering too...I am very soft though and I am not sure that my heart wouldn't break every time one left.

I may pop over to pointy hounds some time but yes, worry that they will be addictive!

We have a whippety lurcher. I work as a TA so not such long days (8.40 until 3) and manage to come home at lunch time when I take whippety boy for a quick whizz around the block and eat my lunch with him.

He is amazing. So gentle and docile and placid. I take him for a walk in the morning before leaving for work and he is then happy to snooze for the 4 hours it takes before I am home for lunch. I then work afternoons but only for 3 days a week so he has to be alone again those afternoons but only for 2 hours so that is doable.

When we are home all he does inbetween walks is sleep on the sofa so I know that he is happy to do the same when we are out.

I luffs him grin

I agree with all the wise Scuttle says <waves to Scuttle>

We will at some point get pointy number two but for now are happy with just the one, longlegged, long nosed, long tailed pointy thing we have.
He has been brilliant for my anxiety and depression, I am by no means 'cured' but have managed to live for the past 19 months without tablets (we adopted whippety boy 16 months ago)

LadyTurmoil Mon 18-Feb-13 23:33:36

Great posts, Scuttle and LockNo9, very interesting, thanks smile

SpicyPear Mon 18-Feb-13 23:44:17

Just popped on to second the comments about dogs being great for anxiety and depression. We got SpicyDog when I was recovering from a very bad period and she and SpicyPup have totally transformed my life. We also don't have children so they ensure I get out and about even on the odd bad day. SpicyDog is cuddly, loving and calming. SpicyPup is a hilarious little tasmanian devil and always lightens my mood.

VeetorWax Mon 18-Feb-13 23:48:45

I personally think it's unkind to have a f

VeetorWax Mon 18-Feb-13 23:52:15

Oops! A dog and leave it on it's own for most of the day except for a walk by a dog walker. Doggy day are is different but I think you should only really get a dog if you can guarantee to be able to spend proper time with it. When we got our dog we had to assure th family that we could look after it properly, it wouldn't be left for long periods on its own, show photos of our garden etc. I think rescue places can be even more thorough.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 18-Feb-13 23:53:04

Oh thank you for more posts.

My lovely dog (family dog, collie, lives with parents and v old, poor thing) has helped me so much with my depression and anxiety. When I cry, he jumps up on the sofa and puts his head on my lap. And has got me out of the house many times when it seemed impossible. And cheered me up with his bonkers collie activities. I don't see him too much as I live quite far from my parents, but he is the best dog.

Very very old now (15) and not able to get out much, and I know his time is coming soon.

LadyTurmoil Tue 19-Feb-13 08:32:01

You might also consider a "halfway house" sort of solution. I don't know where you are in the country but you could look at www.cinnamon.org.uk/volunteers/ Look on the map and there maybe older people who need help looking after/walking their dogs and you can volunteer... wouldn't be quite the same as having your own dog but maybe very rewarding. Just a thought!

Clg199 Tue 19-Feb-13 08:40:24

We are in a v similar situation - both work full time, but we both do flexi time. We have a 7 year old greyhound, and until Nov last year we had a retired working whippet too. He's left about 9.15, DH comes home about 12 for half an hour, and is then home by about 4. It is quite a few hours, but greyhounds are bred to be happy in kennels for the majority of the day with a quick blast to let off steam.

I am working at home today, he is still in his bed asleep, so I doubt he pines for us when we're out. If DH can't get home at lunchtime we get friends to come and let him out, he's also had dog sitters when we've been on holiday (v infrequently) and it doesn't confuse him at all, and he is a bear of very little brain! He loves seeing people and is pleased to see whoever comes to give him love.

It works v well for us and a lot of greyhounds I know are the same. Be wary of lurchers though, while they are lovely dogs, some get the greyhound laid back attitude, and some most definitely do not!

MagratGarlik Tue 19-Feb-13 10:49:09

I've just career-changed to teaching and have a whippet and a lurcher. When we got them I was only working part-time (mornings), but they have coped very well with the change.

We deliberately got ddog2 because we knew my working hours would change and felt whippy needed company during the day.

I leave the house early in the morning (7.30) but like you, Dp doesn't need to leave till 10am, so he walks the dogs in the morning. Someone usually comes at lunch and walks them again, then my mum collects the ds's from school and brings them back to our house so there is someone in from about 3.30 onwards. I get home at maybe 4.30pm but essentially they are not usually left for more than a couple of hours before someone comes in to keep them company. Then, in the holidays like now obviously we are in all day.

Defiantly do-able, but would second the recommendation to consider two, especially as some pointies get separation anxiety.

Just wanted to add that my dh is bi-polar. Our puppy has transformed him, which is no exaggeration. He runs a very busy company and used to come home late, eat then get back on the laptop, work is his mood trigger. Now he's home earlier and plays with the puppy, gets up early and plays with the puppy! Dogs are fab for meeting people too, which your dh might like on his walks, such an icebreaker.

Given I work few hours I can only comment on this aspect really but that's our experience in this area anyway.

Good luck

specialsubject Tue 19-Feb-13 11:56:14

the dog will happily get to know one or more walkers, and anyone who turns up with a lead will be most welcome at any time of day! Lots of freelance dog walk and pet care people now so it should be easy to hire walkers.

if you decide to do this, go round the neighbours and tell them that if there is any barking, to let you know and that you will do something about it. And of course the obvious - everyone who walks it picks up the faeces and puts them in a bin.

other thought - if you like dogs but the full-time thing is too much, turn it round and become a weekend dog walker for others?

It's pretty miserable for a dog to be left alone all day with just a short walk at lunchtime. It's not about the exercise it is about company, social interaction, and mental stimulation. A young dog would certainly get bored and perhaps start up some unwanted behaviours out of stress, like chewing, or barking. An older one would cope better but I still wouldn't consider this myself for anything other than an occasional day.

If you are a teacher would you consider fostering in the holidays, volunteering for the cinnamon trust or dog walking for other people?

If not, I'd definitely recommend re-homing 2 older dogs that know each other. Dogs need company. You'd feel fairly depressed if you were shut in a room by yourself all day every day wouldn't you. When getting a pet their needs are just as important as yours.

I see the point you make worsester, but is that a more traumatic circumstance than maybe an older dog with little chance of ever being re-homed spending the rest of its days in kennels? Better some love and company in the morning, a nice walk, then cuddles and company in the evening, plus weekends maybe?

Teaching has famously good holidays too, so, in reality, the dog wouldn't have too much time on their own possibly.

It's not something that I have considered so I haven't thought about the practicalities in depth tbh smile

There is a dog in my local rescue who has been there for 18 months now, he spends all day chasing his tail and gets walked around the same field every day by a volunteer. I think that for a dog like him, he could benefit from a loving home, albeit not perfect. His pen is tiny.

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