Can I leave my dog in house alone overnight?

(19 Posts)

Or, more accurately, can the neighbour who is caring for it whilst we are away?

Our 2 year old cockerpoo is very nervous, but loves one of our neighbours. She usually looks after him if we are out for more than 4 hours, takes him for walks, plays with him in her garden etc. She's his favourite "auntie"!

We are thinking of going away for 2 nights in half term, we've never left him for longer than 4 hours on his own, or 5 or 6 hours with our neighbour. For this mini-break she has agreed to have him during the day but she doesn't want him to stay overnight in her house, even in his cage. So the plan is for her to put him back into our house, with his bed and food/water, with a free run of downstairs, for both nights, then 8am she'll come back and get him.

I was sort of thinking that was ok, after all if he was in a kennels he'd be without human company (and in a cage) overnight. Or am I kidding myself? When we go to visit our friends overnight and take him with us, he has to sleep in a cage in their kitchen - is what my neighbour and I proposing any different?

typicalvirgo Thu 17-May-12 09:35:44

what do you normally do with him overnight ?

its just our dog sleeps alone downstairs in the utility room. If someone were letting her out about 9.30 then back around 8am I would have no problem with that.

He normally sleeps next to our bed on a cushion. I was wondering if the fact that he is not upstairs with us, and knows there are no humans in the house, will stress him out too much.

But then when we go to other friends' house and he is downstairs in cage in their kitchen, he makes a few moaning noises for about half an hour then that's it, asleep rest of night. Perhaps I am over-thinking it.

Freddiebump Fri 18-May-12 12:51:34

I was stressing over this same sort of thing recently, but when I thought about it rationally, my dog gets her last walk (and therefore last wee as we have no garden and she simply will not wee on the concrete out front!) before ds goes to bed at about 7.30pm and doesn't go out again til the school run walk at 8.30am; she sleeps in the hallway away from us at night, so being let out by a friend at 10pm and then me returning at 9am really wouldn't be any different, but I still fretted about leaving her!

musicposy Sun 20-May-12 00:13:06

How near is the neighbour?

We've left one of our dogs overnight (and longer) with my parents feeding him/ walking him/ putting him to bed. I think he gets a better deal than he would in kennels. But my parents are next door, so if they hear any noise in the night (barking etc) they come in and check up on him. I'm not sure if I'd be happy or not if no one was in earshot.

out2lunch Sun 20-May-12 00:20:01

next door neighbour should be ok - i have never done this though as i worry about fire

Neighbours are a few doors down so they won't hear him barking - and I'm not going to start on the fire issue, or the burglars etc. I could go out and leave him for 4 hours whilst I went to the cinema or something, and the house could burn down in that time, but I do still occasionally leave him for up to 4 hours. We've booked it now and paid for hotel, but its not something I'd repeat as its a worry - I think he's more likely to run away from my neighbour in the park!

Zakinthos Sun 20-May-12 22:41:18

My neighbours went away once years ago and left their son and daughter in law caring for their dogs. They were meant to be staying there but one night the dogs barked all night - I knew as my dd was 6 mths at the time and kept waking. All I could hear was these dogs all night long as I couldn't get to sleep! And these dogs didn't normally bark when noone was in during the day. They must have sensed that noone was there at night, which wasn't normal for them.

TwllBach Mon 21-May-12 08:04:23

We have done this before as DP doesn't like the idea of people staying in our house when we aren't there <weird> but it was only for the night. My friend walked her during the day and spoilt her rotten and then let her out for a wee at about 10pm and put her to bed in the kitchen as we would do anyway, then left. DPs mum came in the morning at about half seven, let her out, took her for a five minute walk and then put her back in the kitchen. My friend went back in at about half 11 for another walk and then we were back by five. Ours didn't appear to be adversely affected, if anything she would have enjoyed he different people! But she is quite independent anyway.

hmc Mon 21-May-12 08:09:49

Rationally there is no reason that you shouldn't leave your dog in these circumstances - I guess it is whether you are comfortable with this. I wouldn't be comfortable but I can't say why exactly!

horseylady Mon 21-May-12 13:30:21

Can you try the dog downstairs on her own so it gets used to it (sorry can't remember he or she!) or just leave it in one room only? It should be ok though

outmonday Tue 22-May-12 21:23:15

I wouldn't do this, in case he howls all night. There are dog-sitters who would stay in your house with him. Try telling your nice neighbour that you can't leave him alone at night so must put him into kennels. She might decide she will have him at night after all.

Thanks for all opinions. When we visit friends, we stay in a nearby hotel and they have our dog. In the evening we head off for the total and they they put him in his cage in their kitchen at night, then go to bed - 3 stories up in a stone built house - and leave him. If he howls, they can't hear him so they have no idea if he is ok, but he seems fine every morning. This was what I based my decision on to leave him in care of neighbour for 2 nights albeit with her putting him back in our house overnight.

Having paid for the hotel for this trip which is due in 10 days we are stuck now. I shall have to chalk this one up to experience - its the first time we've ever left him in 2 years and it looks like it will have to be the last unless we use sitters etc. But I still think what I am doing is exactly the same, if not worse, than putting him in kennels. How do things normally work in kennels? Surely they have, say, a row of kennels, they put the dog in its allotted space in the cage or whatever it is, shut all the doors, turn the lights out and that's it for the night. If a dog howls do they have someone on duty who goes in and tries to cheer it up?!

Sorry got confused there - "I still think what I am doing is better than kennels" - guilty slip?!

musicposy Wed 23-May-12 12:29:10

BurningBridges, I think this too. When we go on holiday we sometimes leave our elder dog at home. We often take the younger one and that sounds like we're being really mean. But the elder one is 10, hates travel, hates anywhere new, hates going in the car for even short journeys, and spends the whole holiday in terror awaiting his obvious imminent demise!

So, unless we are camping fairly nearby he stays at home. My parents are next door. They walk him at least twice a day, let him in their garden and sometimes in their house. They fuss over him a lot. At night they leave him in our house.

People have been a bit hmm that we leave him, but I honestly think it's the kindest solution. I've paid for the younger one to go to dog sitters etc, but I think he is happiest in his own familiar home. He never seems unhappy, parents say he loves the walks, enjoys being in their garden, seems chilled and relaxed and only barked once the first night we ever did it.

I'm not sure what kennels do more than this. I suspect what you are doing may be better than kennels too. And you know your dog best.

Yes I think what musicposy is saying sounds best - I've had several people in real life trying to force me to use kennels even for this 2 night holiday and I've been a bit hmm. We are also planning to go to USA but for that dog will be with the friends who keep him in their kitchen. He seems relatively happy there and they walk him a lot which he likes.

How do you find camping with a dog? The logistics of it puzzle me - do you leave him in the tent, where does he sleep, what do you do if you want to have lunch somewhere, what if it rains etc - I like to have everything covered before I set off?!

musicposy Fri 25-May-12 22:19:34

We don't leave them when we are camping so it is a bit of a tie. I wouldn't dare leave our elder dog in a tent as he can be very vocal and would alert the whole campsite! Plus the tent gets very hot when zipped up in summer.

We tend to have lunch at the tent or somewhere that allows dogs - some pubs do and we've often been surprised at the number of quite family friendly places that say no problem when we ask about the dog.

Always beforehand I've researched nearby kennels and made sure their vaccinations are up to date and the certificates with me so if we get really desperate we can put them in kennels for the day. We never actually have, but it's nice to have the possiblity. In the spring we went to the theatre one night whilst away and a lovely lady from mumsnet had my younger dog for me. If you put out a plea on here for people nearby where you are going you may find people willing to help, especially for a small amount of money.

We are also lucky that the girls and I like shopping but DH detests it and would much rather stay in the tent! So sometimes we've headed off to a nearby shopping centre and left DH relaxing with the dogs. He also likes to do some fishing if he can and the dogs are quite happy to lie beside him and relax while we do something less boring else.

It is a tie, but it's do-able. Our younger dog just loves camping and thinks it an amazing adventure. Our elder one finds the whole strange-place-thing a bit nerve racking, and is always so pleased to be home, but we do take him sometimes.

musicposy Fri 25-May-12 22:26:08

Oh, and elder dog sleeps in the main body of the tent. He's very reliable and would never wander off or out of the tent in the night - I would trust him completely not to leave the tent. Our younger dog would hear a rabbit and be gone over the next set of hills, so she has to be zipped up in the bedroom with us. She sleeps on my feet - there's no room anywhere else - which is quite nice on chilly nights!

just updating - in the end, our water main sprung a leak a few days before we were due to leave, so we had no choice but to leave if you see what I mean - if I hadn't already booked a hotel, we would have had to book a hotel! We went away, had a lovely time, but then every night I lay awake missing my dog and worrying about him. When we got back, plumber had worked his miracles and the dog was absolutely fine, no sign of stress at all. Neighbour who took care of him during the day said he was very keen to get back into the house at night so I think he felt "safe" there, we had a light on a timer and shut the curtains and most of the doors which I think helped.

However, we all missed him and worried about him so much, we have decided to buy a tent for future use!

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