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AIBU or is DP- getting a dog

(52 Posts)
coralpig Fri 18-Mar-16 16:38:04

Trying to be as objective as possible in this post as DP thinks I'm being unreasonable.

DP and I are a young couple, we're in our mid 20s, getting married this summer and just bought our first home. We are lucky enough to own it outright but we don't have a lot of disposable income- we're still studying so we live on his student loan and my PhD stipend which runs out in 18 months. I'm not on track to finish on time so potentially looking at up to a year with no income or very little income - whatever I can get from ad hoc teaching.

DP is 2 years off qualifying as a doctor so going into a stable career. I'm trying to become a lecturer but I'm certainly not guaranteed a job anywhere in the UK, let alone where we're currently living.
We both work and volunteer part time so generally out of the house until the evenings and I travel most weekend. We have small pets.
That's the context.

DP really really wants us to get a dog within a year and has researched dog breeds that are compatible with 9-5 working. He's desperate. He thinks we can afford it because we don't have rent/ a mortgage to pay.
He grew up with pet dogs and loves them.
I love dogs but I don't think we can. My arguments are that we don't have much money, we should build up savings as we hope to start a family in 3-4 years. We also don't have jobs yet and may have to consider moving.

I also don't think it's fair on the dog as we are so busy and our home is quite small.

DP thinks I'm being really unreasonable and keeps bringing it up. AIBU?

QuiteLikely5 Fri 18-Mar-16 16:41:59

I think it is up to him, if he wants the dog and he is going to look after it and assume all responsibility for it then I think it's a tad harsh saying no.

If you had to pay for it, walk it, feed it etc then I could see your point.

Clarify these things.......

19lottie82 Fri 18-Mar-16 16:42:23

Of course you can employ a dog walker if you work FT, but personally I think it's unfair to take on a dog when there's no one at home during the day.

Greyhorses Fri 18-Mar-16 16:43:28

He is being very unreasonable to expect a dog to be left alone 9-5 during the week and then again when you go out or go away for the weekend etc. To me it seems cruel and pointless, dogs are social animals and can't be left all day and be happy in my experience.

I would wait until you are both settled somewhere and can afford a dog walker/dog daycare/to work part time or from home and go from there!

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Fri 18-Mar-16 16:44:01

I agree with you, it's unfair to a dog if no one is home during the day, many rescues wouldn't rehome a dog with you in this situation anyway. Many but not all rescues will have behavioural issues that need working with and need time spent training consistently

I also think if you're both on low and not stable income, it's not a good time to take on the extra cost of a dog, food, insurance, vaccinations, training, bed, lead, toys etc

passmethewineplease Fri 18-Mar-16 16:50:32


It's a shame more people don't think like you before getting a dog. It often ends up with the dog being rehomed.

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Fri 18-Mar-16 16:55:12

I agree with previous posters, it is not acceptable to get a dog if you're intending to be out of the house for most of the day - dogs are social animals, it's downright cruel to leave them alone for 8 hrs + five days per week. If your DP persists, explain to him the cost of doggy day-care, it's not cheap.

HermioneJeanGranger Fri 18-Mar-16 16:56:21

I think it's very unfair to get a dog when there's nobody home to let it out, play with it and walk it for eight plus hours a day. YANBU.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 18-Mar-16 16:58:27

Very few dogs will want to be left home alone, day in day out. Doggy daycare is expensive. Yoyr DP need to wait until a stage in your lives when someone can be at home a bit more.

Nanny0gg Fri 18-Mar-16 16:59:04

If you were planning on getting a rescue dog, I doubt the rescue center would touch you with a bargepole as the dog would be on its own far too much.

Point that out to your DP.

OliviaBenson Fri 18-Mar-16 16:59:25

He is unreasonable. Dogs are a huge commitment. He needs to think about the dog, rather than his wants and wishes, your situation at present wouldn't be fair on a dog. I imagine much of the care would fall to you in any case given his job.

SuperCee7 Fri 18-Mar-16 17:07:02

With those working hours your OH is being ridiculous and I pity any dog you would get under these circumstances. YANBU.

April2013 Fri 18-Mar-16 17:17:46

He is wrong if he thinks he can get a particular breed of dog that is OK being alone all the time - they are all dogs and all need plenty of time with their humans. Perhaps he should look into doing some voluntary work with dog rescue charities instead. It's not just the working hours it's the fact you are busy evenings and weekends too. Research shows the majority of dogs do not like being alone, a significant portion display this through their behaviour and a significant portion seem OK but actually have the same increase in cortisol, but I think even those that might be OK to be left for a couple of hours would definitely not be OK to be left for such long periods. He needs to apply his medical expertise to this situation. Perhaps he should consider if\when he can work part time in the future.

Princesspeach1980 Fri 18-Mar-16 17:26:33

There are no dog breeds suitable to be left 9-5 all the time, especially when they're young. I have a tiny chihuahua and he still gets walked 1.5 miles twice a day which takes time. maybe it's something to revisit later when you are both in jobs and have a better idea what your lifestyle is like

badtime Fri 18-Mar-16 17:34:00


I really want a dog. My husband really wants a dog. We are comfortably off.

We are not getting a dog for the foreseeable future as we both work full time and it wouldn't be fair on the poor dog.

MissingPanda Fri 18-Mar-16 17:35:09


Your DP is BVVVVVVU and potentially cruel if he insists on getting a dog under those conditions.

BlueMoonRising Fri 18-Mar-16 17:37:38


CosyNook Fri 18-Mar-16 17:38:09

Why not compromise and get a cat, which can be left outside and doesn't need 'company' like a dog does.

SnobblyBobbly Fri 18-Mar-16 17:39:59

Dogs are a total pita if you're working full time. He can research the breed all day long, if a dog is lonely and potentially not getting enough exercise typical traits go out of the window.

Your DP will feel guilt, closely followed by irritation, neither of which the dog will deserve.

He really needs to wait until he's been working for a while and assess then if it will work or not.

coralpig Fri 18-Mar-16 17:40:25

I want cat(s) - 1 or 2 and he used to too but is now fixated on the idea of a dog.

I will mention the details about rescues not allowing couples in our circumstances as he would like a rescue dog. Thanks for the responses

Godstopper Fri 18-Mar-16 17:42:56

You can financially afford it, but the dog emotionally cannot.

There is no breed "compatible" with being on its own 9-5: in that situation, one of you either comes home and walks it around lunch-time, or you employ a dog walker (that will be a significant outlay!).

I'd hold off for now, and wait until you are both a bit more settled job-wise so you know what is realistic in terms of the hours you will both be away from home.

Mrsw28 Fri 18-Mar-16 17:47:21

Don't get a dog. My husband wanted a dog in our first year of marriage. I received a letter from him while he was on tour in Afghanistan with a drawing of a dog and a "let's please get one when I'm home" message (he was in the army). We discussed it, reaearched dogs that didn't shed loads of hair, good companion dogs etc, drove from Wiltshire to Wales to get the puppy etc. Husband was able to pop home mid morning for half an hour+ to see the dog, home for lunch for an hour and back early evening, I generally left first and got back later but I had school holidays off. Our dog had a good amount of company and a neighbour dog to woof at and run up and down along the fence with.

Fast forward four years, husband no longer in the army and we have two young children. Dog has taken a backseat massively, we don't have as much time for him and he doesn't have the same privileges he had before we had children.

Also, in his short life our dog was diagnosed with a life limiting illness, he had to have an operation last year that cost £4k. It should have cost more but I told the vet that that was our insurance limit and if it couldn't be done for that price then it wasn't going to be done. Our dog is on twice daily medication because of this condition/illness and I pay £75 every 3/4 months to buy his prescription from the vet and then the pills from online vet med dispensers. If we didn't have insurance (which costs £40 a month) then we wouldn't have the dog anymore.

Dogs are expensive, they need you to be there a lot. They are not a practice baby - I feel that our dog got a raw deal, he went from being the baby to having rules put in place because of a baby and its hard for them to adjust.

We love our dog but if I could rewind time knowing what I know now, I would have answered my husband's letter differently.

scarlets Fri 18-Mar-16 17:50:58

Many people love the notion of a dog, but the reality is different. Growing up with dogs is irrelevant because his parents presumably took responsibility for those dogs' welfare, so he won't have seen what exactly is involved.

Headofthehive55 Fri 18-Mar-16 18:04:45

My DH would love a dog. However he works long hours similar to what your DP will do. I am at home quite a bit but not totally. I'm not prepared to look after a dog or walk it and he can't so we can't have one. DH sees this and agrees.

I presume he would expect you to walk the dog and look after it?

Birdsgottafly Fri 18-Mar-16 18:05:40

I've just had to rehome my dog through ill health, I'm trying to concentrate on the £30 a week that I'm saving and the fact that she has permanent company and enough excercise.

My hobbies were walking and camping, so my dog fitted in with that, but there were occasions when I would have loved to have been able to wander around a Stately Home, or Castle and couldn't, so I was still restricted by my dog.

There were sites that she wasn't allowed on (German Sheperd), but I needed a breed that could be left and could walk for miles.

A dog will restrict your life, or you'll have to figure in boarding fees and this will make your dog unsettled so it can't be left.

Ask your DP if he's planned the next thirteen years because that's what he needs to have done.

I don't know many young Health Professionals that can fit in twice daily walks, either, tbh, only those with SAH partners, or family that help out.

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