Starting to have doubts about getting a puppy help!(42 Posts)
So I have 2 daughters aged 7 and 3.
My older daughter has been asking for a puppy for about a year.
I grew up with dogs and loved them so much I really do think it's good for kids to have them around.
Weve thought about it long and hard, I've avoided puppy farms/backyard breeders etc and done a lot of research.
Sometime late last year I found a lovely breeder who told me her waiting list is already closed for the next litter planned but after lots of chatting and her vetting me she kept my details as stand by.
This was last November, any fast forward till july this year and she phoned me saying that her bitch had a litter of puppies. 4 boys and 1 girl. Other people on the list dropped out as they wanted a girl so a boy is available.
She gave me time to think.
We talked about and decided to go ahead.
Pups are now 5 weeks.
She sends regular videos/photos. Even just chats to me via watsapp and phone about how he is doing etc.
I'm really pleased with all of this.
Now the last few days I dont know why but reality has suddenly hit about what a huge responsibility this is going to be.
Toilet training/grooming/vets/learning recall etc etc.
She has been very honest about what having a puppy will involve
Now my situation is I work 2 x 12 hr shifts per week as a nurse
Example 2 x nights 7pm till 7am, I get home at 7:30am. Partner then leaves for work and home about 5pm.
I sort the kids for school and nursery (chaos) lots of shouting I'm not going to school etc rushing around while I'm dead from a night shift. Then I drop them off and get home by 0915 then I eat/shower/bed. Sleep from about 10am till 15:30.
Walk around like a zombie for about an hr trying to get my head together then go pick kids up at 16:30. Home by 5pm. Cook dinner/homework/bath/bed.
By 1830 I'm either off to work again and partner takes over or I might not be in work till later that week.
Partner is home all weekend
If I do days I work 11:30am till midnight
I sort kids out in morning for school, come home make sure dinner stuff ready for them all tonight, rush around and leave for work at 10:45 am. Then partner is home with kids from 5pm.
This is too long obviously too leave a puppy for up to 6 hrs and it's only twice a week.
I have a friend who has offered to pop in on those days about 2pm to check on puppy etc so it breaks the day up.
I'm just having a reality check, I know it's the school hols and my kids are annoying each other at the moment but it's just chaos with them running around while I'm cooking dinner/tidying up etc. A puppy is going to see this as playtime and get excited and I'll have him running around mad too and at some point i feel it will end in tears.
My plan would be to have a pen and a crate the pen would have puppy pads/water/toys/crate with door open. And someone will check on him.
Now I'm thinking what if he cries all day when I'm trying to sleep for a few hrs?
What if the chaos is just too much of an evening with the kids running mad and a puppy added to that.
I dont want to make a mistake for the puppy as it's not fair on him and I also dont want to upset my kids.
At the end of the day I'm shattered with work and kids I'm worried I just about cope with that and is a puppy going to make things even worse?
I'm trying to think of everything i can and now i feel I'm talking myself out of it.
My partner said his only concern is that the kids have gone past the baby stage and it feels great that we are now doing more as a family and having fun days out that if we have a puppy we cant just go for a random day out just on a whim as we have the puppy to consider
I get that I totally do.
He said whatever I decide he will go with but he feels it would be like having someone who highly depends on us and do we really have the energy?
He thinks of course the kids will love him bit ultimately it's down to us to take care of him/train him/worry about him etc.
Please any advice or stories that would help.
I'm going to have a long hard think and if I decided no then I need to let the breeder know by weekend as it's only fair. Shes been so open and honest with me that she deserves to know
The pup is a cavapoo
Don't do it, I got a pup with ex when kids were 7,4 and 1. It was so hard. Harder then another baby. The dog is one of the biggest reasons we split. I would never have a dog again, trying to train a dog around family life is nigh on impossible, trying to get everybody in the house to keep to the same rules. I love seeing other people's dogs but never again lol. I am ocd though so that played a massive part in it
Honestly it doesn’t sound like the right time for your family. Perhaps when the kids are older and can be more helpful or you will just feel more able.
The pup deserves a family who really want it rather than one that might struggle to meet its needs.
I’d pass for now.
Is puppy daycare an option for you? Or a dog walker to take the pup for an hour in the morning so you could eat some rest? Obviously these options only work once the pup has had all its vaccinations. We got a pup when our dc were 6 and 3 and it's been great, but I am a sahm at the moment. Is your partner prepared to walk the dog before he goes to work? When will you exercise it on days you've worked a night shift?
Ok so, my partner is up at 6am and leaves at 07:30 he said he will have no issue walking him for 10 mins before work.
I've looked into dog walkers and theres one that lives on our estate
She does either pet checking in where she comes in for an hr feeds/plays with etc for an hr and costs £12
She also do dog walking for same price for 30 mins I think. So that's another option
The breeder is letting pups go at 8 weeks but happy to keep mine until hes 10 weeks and had his vaccines which will cost me £60.
I'm still not sure what to do
Another thing to add is I've been asking other people who own dogs about how they feel.
I think only one person has been honest with me. Another nurse has 2 red setters. She had them 6 yrs ago before she had kids. Now she also has 2 kids aged 3 and 18 months and she said honestly if the kids had come first she probably would never have got a dog.
She said she loves her dogs to bits but her house can be crazy in the morning rushing to get kids ready for nursery and the dogs having a mad half hr too.
She said they feel more restricted with the dogs than they do with the kids and miss out on days out if its not somewhere they can take the dogs.
If they go on holiday she constantly worries about leaving the dogs as it does unsettle them but at the same time she doesnt want the kids to miss out on holidays
She told me think long and hard as if she knew then what she knows now she probably wouldn't have had them
I think unless you are 100% committed to the idea, i would leave it. Puppies are hard work and dogs are a tie. You are planning on leaving your dog alone for blocks of hours and you have no way of knowing if your puppy/dog will be ok with this. Some are, some aren't. I have 2 dogs and am home all day with them. When i go out, if they can't come with me, i have a neighbour who takes them, in return, i have hers, when she's out. When the children were younger, they were an additional burden to an already hectic life. It's better to let the breeder know now, rather than later. If the children like dogs, can you borrow a friends/neighbours dogs for weekend walking? That way you get the fun of the walks, with none of the day to day hassle.
There’s a site called borrowmydoggy where you can borrow local peoples dogs for walks or longer periods when they are on holiday etc. Maybe you could borrow one for a few days soon and see how it fits in with your family life.
Honestly you should back out now. I was talked into getting a puppy last year and although our DS is older - 12 when we got ddog- - it's a huge commitment. In your case you can't leave the DCs alone when you have to walk the dog so it's a double burden.
You can source in dog walkers and use borrowmydoggy ( we have a lovely young couple who looked after Ddog when we were on holiday) but it's all extra expense and administration. Then there is pet insurance and vet fees.
Don't do it unless you're 100% , I think if your DD is still keen when she's 10 or 11 you'd be in a much better position to get a dog then.
I'm hearing what you are all saying and taking it all in.
I never thought of that either about if the kids dont want to go for a walk then I'm stuck.
Like it's raining today and these kids wont want to go out. What would I do?
So say I'd need a dog walker once per week that's about £10 per week. 40 per month.
The pet insurance is coming up as 22 a month plus hair clipping every 8 weeks as recommended by breeder, I've looked up local ones and the going rate seems to be 25 to 30 a time.
My friend told me she spends 10 to 15 a week on food and treats for her dog.
The bill is going up isnt it.
So just as I'm coming to the end of paying childcare fees for my 3 yr old as she gets 30 hrs free next month I'm not going to be any better off when I add up what the monthly cost of the pup will be.
I still haven't made a final decision I'm trying to weigh up all the pro's and con's and so far I'm coming up with a lot more con's 😟
Up until a few days ago I was really up for it but I'm also sensible and I don't know what happened but i just woke up the other day and started thinking about the reality of all of this.
Gosh what a situation, the breeder is lovely and has been nothing but open and honest with me and I really believe she wants what's best for her dogs. Shes told me that when I collect puppy I have to sign an agreement that if for any reason it doesnt work out I have to contact her (no matter what age the dog is) instead of trying to rehome myself as this can be damaging for dogs.
I feel awful telling her weve changed our minds 😥
Don’t do it. So much of your posts screams don’t do it. We’ve had 2 dogs in our time and although they were lovely (not here anymore, they got old and died of different health issues) I would never have a dog again. They take over your whole life, cost a fortune and you’ll never be able to be spontaneous again.
You may feel bad telling her you've changed your mind, but better to do so now, when she can still find a home for the puppy quite easily. It's much harder if the pup has been homed once and is older and has possibly picked up a few habits that the new owner needs to change. If she's a good breeder, she will prefer to know up front and will only want the best for her puppy. If you don't think its the right fit for now, tell her.
Better telling her now than putting a puppy and your family through the trauma of handing it back.
I can guarantee that the children will get bored and you will end up being the one to have to do everything. Cavapoo's also require regular grooming and trimming, which will need factoring in to costs unless you do it yourself, and the one's I know are quite 'needy' dogs and I don't think I'd becomfortable leaving a young puppy with a dog walker.
I think the best thing is to consider it later when the children are much older.
Your breeder sounds very responsible. As other poster says, it will be easier for her to find another owner now rather than down the line . I would give them as much notice as you can if you're not going ahead.
What breed of dog is it? Would a 10 minute morning walk be substantial?
If you're not 100% committed, don't get a dog.
Ah, sorry, just seen that you've factored grooming costs. You could start now by making yourself go out for an hours walk every single day whatever the weather, no matter how tired you feel, because the reality is that that is just part of the commitment, as well as the financial side it is very tying owning a dog. Just when you can enjoy going places with the children, you'll find you can't because of the dog.
I love my dogs, and I've always owned them and had my children alongside owning dogs, but if I already had a family I would think long and hard, you've got to really want to do this and be committed for the next ten to fifteen years.
Don't do it. The commitment of having a dog is something that you cannot take lightly - even more so with young children.
I only have rescue dogs (fortunately the last 2 were already toilet trained when they got here but that was something I was prepared to deal with). I am also an older person who lives alone but works full time.
I have to walk 3 times a day, every day, rain or shine, hail or thunder whether I'm tired or not, under the weather or not. Fortunately I work close enough to go home lunchtimes. If I want to have a holiday I need a house/pet sitter although UK holidays are possible if I find somewhere that allows multiple dogs.
I cannot imagine having to factor in 12 hour shifts and 2 young children - honestly don't think it would be fair on a puppy, and you'd definitely be the one with the responsibility when the kids get bored.
Op I've gone through the exact same thing as you, and I can really sympathise!
I had a puppy reserved, then a week or two before the anxiety kicked in. I barley slept for those two weeks, I coudlnt eat I felt so depressed and worried - I even cried the morning I was due to collect her! What was I letting myself in for?! With two young children?! Our lives were going to be turned upside down, ruind, and it was alllll my fault!
Well, that little dog came home and, do you know what... it wasnt anything like I imagined. She quickly got into a routine, toilet training was easy (along as I stuck to the routine) and before I knew it she was 18 months old, and weve now got a second puppy, who has fitted straight in!
She was the missing peice of our family and has changed our lifes in the BEST way. We spend so much more time together as a family. We do so much outside, the children adore her and after a horrible stressful day the best thing in the world is to get out with her and have a walk (even when I dont feel like it) it clears my head and I'm so grateful we have her! And ofcourse our new puppy!
Can I ask how old your kids are and do you work? Is puppy left alone?
I haven't ruled it out yet as I said x
I think the puppy will be left on it's own too much, it's not good enough to just have someone popping in to break up the day when the puppy has been alone for hours. Even if it is only a couple of days a week.
When we got our first dog I had a one year old and 3.5 year old, with our new puppy they are 5 and almost 3.
I'm a sham now but I did work part time. We use doggy day care - its brilliant for socialisation too! My 13 week old has been left for 1.5 hours - my 18 month old is absolutley fine being left.
What breed is he? I would recommend joining a breed specific Facebook group and asking them, they are absolutely fanatic at giving you advice and tips ect about your specific breed, and how it works (or doesn't!!) for them.
Hes a cavapoo
The breeder said the toilet training is the main thing then once hes cracked that the worst is over.
She said I will be surprised how quickly he settles in and being left while I sleep should be ok as long as hes had a little walk food and toilet break first
She said she thinks the pen with toys and puppy pads is a good idea but obviously she cant guarantee he wont quickly learn I'm in the house and bark/cry for my attention.
I'm still not sure what to do
Other friends with dogs say theirs sleep while they sleep from nights and are more active in the evenings
How long (and in what sort of chunks) will the puppy be left? I'm guessing you'll want it to sleep downstairs in a crate at night? Then downstairs again while you sleep in the day? Then again while you do day shifts? Even with someone coming in to toilet break/walk it for an hour, that seems an awful lot of time for the puppy to be by itself.
How much spare time do you have now that you can dedicate to walking it, playing with it, training it? You need 20 mins for the morning walk, a good walk at lunchtime, then another 20 mins in the evening. Plus half an hour or so to groom it. And that's when it's grown up.
As a puppy, they need to go out for a pee every hour or so, and if they don't wee when they go out, then you need to watch them like a hawk and take them out again in about 20 minutes. It's really time consuming.
So if its after a night shift I would want to sleep from 10ish till 2ish
I'm in the house so if hes upset I can get up to him.
If I'm on a day shift he would be left from 11am till 5pm but a friend coming in between 1 and 2pm.
It does seem a bit long
My plan is to only work nights for the first month of having him.
Supposed to be bringing him home at 10 weeks
So I'll work 1 night in the week and 1 at the weekend so its literally just that one day each week.
But like i say I'll be home and i dont sleep heavy. If I'm really tired and he wont settle without me I guess I could rest on the sofa with him but this may not be best for either of us
You say partner not DH, are you married?
If not, then increasing your hours of paid work should be a higher priority than a pet IMO. For your personal and DCs’ financial security short and long term.
In families I know with dogs, the work falls on the mum. Fine if you don’t WoH or work very part time, barrier to earning money if you do. Even setting aside the dog welfare issues.
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