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To not walk the dog every day?

(206 Posts)
StuRedman Mon 21-Mar-16 17:13:36

Just had a horrible row with DH and dd (12) because I asked her to take the dog for a walk and she refused, DH kicked off a bit about getting rid of her because she doesn't get a daily walk and he never wanted a dog anyway. He never walks her, although sometimes comes with me or dd when we do. They have now both gone out with her, although she would have gone alone.

She is a miniature breed, a chihuahua cross, she's tiny (2kg) and I walk her maybe four days out of seven but not every day. I have severe depression and often can't face getting dressed let alone taking the dog out. We have a large garden that she spends a lot of time in. She's a happy little thing and mostly sleeps on me all day with a few bursts of playing outside, with me with her rope toys, or with a kong. Imo she is fine with the amount of exercise she gets but dh can get very fixed on rules and in his mind you walk a dog every day.

I love her, we've had her since she was a puppy (she's 15months now) and dh saying he would put an ad in the paper has broken me. I know he won't, it was just a rare loss of temper, but the whole exchange has really upset me.

What do you think? Am I a terrible dog owner? Would she be better off elsewhere? I can make more of an effort to take her out, and will, but I just wanted to find out if anyone else has a happy dog that doesn't get a daily walk or if I'm deluded.

StuRedman Mon 21-Mar-16 17:14:33

The 'she' at the end of the first paragraph is Dd, btw, I didn't mean the dog would go alone.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Mon 21-Mar-16 17:18:55

4 days out of 7 in a happy home where she is loved and has a large garden and company all day is ok.

My dog is walked most but not every day and is happy.

You know your dog. If she was stressed, hyper, or left at home alone bored with no walk it would be different.

curren Mon 21-Mar-16 17:19:21

My mum rarely walks her dog. It's a chihuahua.

She has a big garden. She does however interact and play with the dog a lot.

Did you get the dog on the condition dd walked the dog? Does the dog play up more when it isn't walked.

MetalMidget Mon 21-Mar-16 17:20:02

Unless a dog has health issues, all dogs should be walked at least once a day. I don't think it's a massive issue if they miss out on one occasionally, but if it's happening on a regular basis, it's really not fair on the dog.

dontbreathesomedays Mon 21-Mar-16 17:20:04

Weeeeell ... I don't know. In general I am with your DH. There are exceptions though.

dontbreathesomedays Mon 21-Mar-16 17:21:21

I also think a lot of people assume small dogs need little in terms of exercise which is categorically not true.

It's not just the physical exercise but the stimulation. It's as bad for a dogs mental health to be stuck in the house every day as it is for a humans.

MyKingdomForBrie Mon 21-Mar-16 17:22:15

If she's having proper outdoor exercise in the garden that might be ok, her behaviour should be a good reflection - does she show any destructive behaviours? Chewing, barking, messing inside etc..?

Her size doesn't mean she needs less exercise, she still needs at least 30 minutes a day, but if you're playing ball etc in the garden this could be ok on the days you don't get out, as long as you get out more often than not.

Have you considered a dog walker a couple of times a week? I think having her re-homed is a real last resort and not the best for her if you can do anything else/

icklekid Mon 21-Mar-16 17:22:18

You walking her 4 days is fine if dh wants her walked every day he/dd only have to do 3 days a week!

2ManySweets Mon 21-Mar-16 17:22:40

You need to walk a dog every day.

It's part of the responsibility of dog ownership.

To do less is not only unfair on the dog but you're also setting yourself up for barking/messing/sofa chewing etc.

Having lived with a depressive myself I'd say that having to take the dog out will get you out from the usual four walls and will give you a little lift; a tiny one but a lift nonetheless.

Your dog needs you to walk her daily. You can do this.

StuRedman Mon 21-Mar-16 17:23:00

I got the dog knowing it would be my job to walk her, and I genuinely thought I'd be up for a daily walk. I wanted a small dog because I knew I wouldn't be able for miles and miles every day. She is happy and well behaved, she does sometimes get a bit nippy and hyper if she hasn't been walked in a while but in that case I will always take her out or bribe ask Dd to. But generally so long as I'm having a good week and have taken her out three of four times she is lovely and cuddly and good.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 21-Mar-16 17:24:36

If he's so concerned, why doesn't he walk her?

NeedACleverNN Mon 21-Mar-16 17:24:55

I had two chihuahuas that were walked everyday.

Not just little walks but proper on the river bank, off lead and muddy walk walks

Realistically the dog needs walking everyday.

every other day missed is not an issue if you are poorly but apart from that they need walking.

Can you hire a dog walker?

PennyHasNoSurname Mon 21-Mar-16 17:25:34

How old is DD? Does she have chores? If so a dog walk on a Saturday and a Sunday is a good one to add to her list. You can take care of the weekdays and maybe have dh walk her one day?

AnotherEmma Mon 21-Mar-16 17:25:45

Are you getting professional help for your severe depression? ADs and/or counselling?

What was the agreement when you got the dog - did you agree that the dog would be your responsibility or a shared one? Did DH agree to take care of the dog if you were ill or away for work? These are all things you should have discussed before getting the dog. But even if you didn't discuss it, it would be reasonable to help look after the dog while you are ill (depression is an illness).

Having said that, fresh air and exercise is good for depression so you should be trying to walk the dog every day for your own sake and not just the dog's.

BabyDubsEverywhere Mon 21-Mar-16 17:26:50

We tend to do one very long walk at the weekend with odd short walks to school or the shop in the week - they are both played with a lot and really don't seem to care either way tbh. We have two tiny dogs (the cat is bigger!)

AnotherEmma Mon 21-Mar-16 17:27:05

I meant "it would be reasonable for him to help look after the dog while you are ill"

StuRedman Mon 21-Mar-16 17:27:16

Dh only agreed to me getting a dog on the condition that he has no responsibility for it. I wasn't particularly well when I got her and completely rail roaded him. I know how awful that is.

When I do walk her we go for a good 30-45 minutes and I take her to a big field for an off lead run.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 21-Mar-16 17:27:23

BTW I think dogs should be family pets with everyone responsible. They are a member of the family and their welfare should be everyone's concern.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 21-Mar-16 17:28:06

x posted. I think this is the issue TBH.

AnotherEmma Mon 21-Mar-16 17:28:40

Sorry OP but that was a terrible decision. It's just not fair or practical for him to take zero responsibility. If he was so against getting a dog you never should have got one!

CaptainCrunch Mon 21-Mar-16 17:28:53

You need to walk her every day. Dog ownership is a huge responsibility and I'm sorry but you're currently not fulfilling it. Either everyone in your family helps and ensures the dog gets a daily walk (at least...my dog is walked 3 times a day) or you have it rehomed.

dontbreathesomedays Mon 21-Mar-16 17:29:23

In fairness, if a wife posted saying her husband really wanted a dog but would only walk it half the week, we wouldn't all be saying 'you need to walk it then!' We'd be saying 'he needs to as its his responsibility.'

StuRedman Mon 21-Mar-16 17:29:59

I am on lots of meds and in therapy. Dogs are a sore point with dh because his ex had two dogs and left all the work to him, he often says how he took them out rain or shine twice a day.

I will make more of an effort to take her out every day. We always do a longer walk as a family at the weekends, either round the village or at the local country park.

TheWitTank Mon 21-Mar-16 17:30:12

I don't think you are a terrible dog owner, buy I do think she needs to be out at least once a day. Mine are out twice at least (but both are much larger, working breeds and are very fit). It's very important for mental stimulation as well as physical fitness. I presume you interact/play with her? My mum has a chihuahua, and she is walked every day, twice a day. She certainly isn't a lap dog, and would be miserable being at home all day. She is very intelligent, fit and fast. Chuihauas get typecast as this little handbag dog, but it's not always that way!

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