Is a dog out of the question

(147 Posts)
feelinlucky Thu 14-Nov-13 17:12:44

My 11 year old has always wanted a dog. It's just me and him and I know he would benefit hugely from us having a dog. But! I work and I don't know if it's fair to leave a dog on it's own most of the day. Ds is back just after 3 and I guess I could employ a dog walker. I would be happy with an older dog and a type that would be ok for periods on their own. I know next to nothing about dogs but I do read a lot on here and have learned such a lot about the responsibility. Any advice from those in the know would be great. Thank you.

serengetty Thu 14-Nov-13 19:20:27

My dog is left 9 to 3 with back door open and spends whole day on sofa, quite happy. Looks out of window when we get home, very often can't be arsed coming to door.

Conversely, if you work, you can afford to look after a dog properly.

Spero Thu 14-Nov-13 19:22:30

Her son is back at 3pm.

I am frankly indifferent as to whether rescue centres are queuing up to get my advice. In over 30 years of animal ownership I have often found them absurdly nit picking and I wonder how many animals were denied a loving home because of their insistence on unrealistic criteria.

At my last puppy training for eg, 2 of the 6 owners there had wanted a rescue but been told because they worked part time they could not. So they went to a breeder.

Well done rescue centres!

idirdog Thu 14-Nov-13 19:23:05

oh my god - it gets worse the dog is left free access to the garden - do you know how many dogs get stolen from gardens each year?

A shut down dog is a dog that can't be arsed to do anything, can't be bothered to react to owners or exercise - very like a depressed owner - but if you think your dog is happy .......

<hides thread>

But does being in rescue mean that they are in a better situation though than being left? Honest question!

idirdog Thu 14-Nov-13 19:25:11

Spero so the owners are prepared to get a dog without giving a dam about its welfare and you blame the rescue....... who will pick up the pieces when these dogs that have owners who do not care about their welfare and give up on them oh that will be the rescues!

Don't hide the thread smile

It's just been interesting for me to see that our dog remains a happy secure, interactive dog who adores training and exercise, when left for a period of time that I would never have contemplated when we got him.

And I see loads of examples of this, but it would appear to not be the 'right' thing to do.

WereTricksPotter Thu 14-Nov-13 19:28:51

I'd leave a dog for 4 hours. 5-6 if they had the exercise and stimulation that needastrongone's gets.

I wouldn't, as a non-dog owner, go out and get a dog if I worked all day and there wasn't another adult home earlier than me to see to it.

Many dogs seem ok with being left if they don't howl, bark or destroy things. Doesn't mean they aren't unhappy. Rescue workers know this, know that being stuck in a house all day isn't ideal and can choose not to rehome under those circumstances.

Spero Thu 14-Nov-13 19:29:04

My dog is often left for 4 hours. My dog has free access to the garden.

My dog is happy. I know this because I know and love my dog. I know when she is not happy.

She was a litter of seven staffy puppies. Good luck re homing those on your criteria!

serengetty Thu 14-Nov-13 19:29:22

Haha, my dog is happy and secure, with free access to a secure garden, but hey, gotta love dog experts!

DameDeepRedBetty Thu 14-Nov-13 19:30:00

The Doghouse can have pretty polarised views OP. I think you should find time to have a proper chat, without your DS knowing of course, with your local rescue.

I run a dogwalking/petcare agency. All dogs are different, some of our regular clients really are perfectly happy to spend most of their owner's working day crashed out on the sofa, others are fairly clearly not so happy about this. In those circumstances we arrange for the dog to spend most of her or his day with one of our staff.

Why would they not give a damn about welfare just because they work? That's a generalisation.

Our dog has priority before and after I go and get in from work, it's just that my working hours have changed.

Would you answer my question and I am really not being arsey smile.
Is our dog better being rehomed because he now gets left for 6 hours twice a week.

There just seems to be loads of caring dog owners out there who do work too.

And lots of gits too I imagine.

idirdog Thu 14-Nov-13 19:32:52

needastrongone you do not leave your dog for 5 days a week every week - your dog is getting loads of stimulation and attention.

Your dog is left after having exercise for about 5 hours twice a week. You are not working full time.

Spero can you read? No one says there is anything wrong is leaving a dog for 4 hours the problem is 8/9 hours every day.

Serengetty but you yourself have described a very miserable dog that doesn't even react when you come home.

Spero Thu 14-Nov-13 19:33:03

Watching my staffy and chihuahua play this evening I am actually wishing they were depressed and shut down as it would be a lot less annoying and my latest Grazia wouldn't have got eaten.

I don't want to knock people who work with animals. They do great work and there are lots of idiots out there who shouldn't be let anywhere near a dog.

But loving responsible people, who are aware of their obligations and provide their dog with a loving, nurturing home are NOT to be lumped in with the idiots, even if they are at work. They can pay for a dog walker.

It may not be ideal, but very little in life is. I bet if you could ask the dog what they wanted, they would chose a home. The bigger dogs I have seen at rescues look absolutely distraught, running, barking, hating being confined.

serengetty Thu 14-Nov-13 19:33:48

My vet once said, 'They are dogs....not Olympic athletes' Common sense rules, an animal soon let's you know if they're unhappy.

Spero Thu 14-Nov-13 19:34:33

Idirdog - right back at his. Her son is home at 3pm. Where are you getting your hours from? And she will get a dog walker in the middle.

Don't detract from your argument by being misleading.

Spero Thu 14-Nov-13 19:35:55

Serengetty - hahah! Listening to one rescue, their dogs were not only Olympic athletes but also mensa chess champions who required stimulation every waking moment.

mistlethrush Thu 14-Nov-13 19:36:23

My dog (who is currently trying to catch a fly) is completely ecstatic when DS and I get home - sometime between 4 and 5.45pm normally. She goes out with a dog walker in the middle of the day. During the rest of the day she sleeps (normally on the sofa). Perhaps we shouldn't have her?

Although I should add that DH works at home so he's here all day. However, he's REALLY BORING for the dog and ignores her as he's working...

serengetty Thu 14-Nov-13 19:36:52

Mine's a six year old Weimararner, commonly known to have separation anxiety...she did, we dealt with it for 5 years, she no longer has it. Plus 2 daschund.

My dog cost £36 yesterday for booster, and daschund about to go in to get spayed. Would an irresponsible owner bother?

I honestly couldn't NOT exercise and stimulate him before I went out, I would have GUILT smile

Do you think rescues should offer further flexibility with regard to working arrangements or is it too difficult a scenario? I have no knowledge of rescue work.

Dog's Trust did tell us not to get a Springer as a first dog though, looks at Springer asleep on floor smile

watfordmummy Thu 14-Nov-13 19:40:47

Our dog goes to doggy daycare and is very well settled. We both work, but the joy he brings pre and after work and at weekends is well worth it!

WereTricksPotter Thu 14-Nov-13 19:50:18

Doggy daycare is different to being stuck in the house all day alone and ideal for many dogs. I'd choose it for ours, if circumstances meant I had to get off this farm and stop baking cupcakes all day wink

The farm dogs where we keep Dpony are marginally insane as our friend who lives at the farm has a serious medical condition, meaning they rarely get walked.

When I say Ddog romps with them, he usually gets juggled by them, but doesn't seem to mind. And they are all still good natured souls.

The baking at the farm is seriously amazing though, as are the sausages smile

AllOverIt Thu 14-Nov-13 22:01:11

Have you considered dog day care? They can be dropped off in the morning, and picked up on your way home from work.

Ecuador Thu 14-Nov-13 22:04:50

I have to agree that not fair if you know you will be working all day although if your DS is home at 3pm and a dog walker did an hour from say 11.30-12.30 that wouldn't be so bad?

I have children roughly that age and a dog so whilst they are great company for him (although I'm here all day too) they don't actually do much in the way of care or walking.

Could you afford a dog walker 5 days a week? That would be essential. I don't think it would be totally out of the question just not ideal.

LadyTurmoil Thu 14-Nov-13 22:33:28

Quite apart from the issue of any dog being alone for some hours during the day, you need to think about potential relationship between a dog and your son.

If it was an older dog, they probably wouldn't be so interested in playing very much with an 11 y/o (not to the same extent as a younger dog anyway). They would probably be sleeping more, could be slightly grumpy if your son came and wanted to play when they wanted to sleep etc.

You also have to be realistic that you would need to do a short walk in the evenings with the dog, perhaps having to leave your son in the house while you went round the block for 20 mins in the dark (winter time). When you want to have days out/hols/half term with your son, you would still need to pay a dog walker if you were planning a full day out, to pay for kennels if longer holidays happen where you can't take a dog etc etc.

Do you have "spare" money to pay pet insurance every month, vaccinations every year, worming and flea treatments regularly plus dog walker every day - just the dog walker would be around £10 a day. Any visit to the vet could cost around £50-70 easily, you wouldn't claim it back on the insurance 'cos the excess payment would probably be about the same. Food roughly a £1 a day plus extra toys/treats you'd probably want to get.

It does add up - if you're the sole wage earner, you really have to think about whether you want to use that money for a dog or whether you would prefer to use it to buy things for you and your son, enjoy days out, trips to the cinema. Dogs are fantastic but they are not cheap nowadays and they are a serious commitment in terms of time as well.

Apologies for length!

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