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To get a dog or not

(22 Posts)
lobsters Mon 22-Jun-09 20:37:06

As long as I've known DH, he's wanted to get a dog, he always grew up with them and misses not having one. However we've always agreed that as we're both out at work all day we're not in a position to be a decent dog owner.

Now I'm on mat leave and we'll have a nanny once I go back to work, he now thinks this is the ideal time to get a dog. My opinion is that I can't cope with a baby (DD is 5 months) and a puppy. DH thinks we should get a puppy as they will be better with the baby growing up together. I also think it will be unfair on the nanny to suddenly land her with a dog. I've also been under the impression that dogs are very tying, but I'm not sure how true this is.

DH is really excited at the thought of a dog. Which one of us is being unreasonable?

Not sure if it's relevant, we do already have a cat, and she's driving me mad at the moment.

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 22-Jun-09 20:52:13

Message withdrawn

lobsters Mon 22-Jun-09 21:02:45

Shineon - I don't really want one, and think it would be better not to get one, but was just wondering if I was being unnecesarily negative. DH looks like a hurt puppy everytime I so, I think I need to point out I'd be the one doing most of the care and I don't want the responsibility

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 22-Jun-09 22:31:42

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RumourOfAHurricane Mon 22-Jun-09 22:31:43

Message withdrawn

lobsters Mon 22-Jun-09 22:39:24

I think a monster was created when we visited a friend with a really lovely dog and a 21 month old baby, and he fell in love with the whole picture. Mind you I think dog was quite chilled as it had been for a 15 mile run earlier, and there's no way DH would be taking the dog for a 15 mile run.

We have a cat and she's driving me mad. She's been in a mood since DD arrived, and at the moment she's moulting, clearly consuming a lot of hair, which is causing her to vomit regularly, usually in the worst places, like on the spare bed or on the landing in front of the nursery door.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 22-Jun-09 22:43:51

Oh c'mon, a puppy is much easier than a newborn baby. I'm not saying you should get one, if you aren't keen, but they aren't anything like so hard. They are 'tying' unless you have someone close to you who is happy to have them for the holidays. And getting one at the same time as having a baby doesn't sound ideal.

Certainly don't do it unless your nanny is a dog lover. (we were lucky with ours, we already had a dog before DD and the nanny was great with both, I wouldn't know the dog had sicked on the carpet till after she'd cleared it up and cheerfully told me - I think she was one in a million!)

spugs Tue 23-Jun-09 09:30:32

I have a 15 week old puppy, a 15 mth dd, 3 year old dd, 8 yr old dd and a dh whos not into dogs (apart from springers). It is hard work, not quite as bad as a newborn but fairly trying. I do all the looking after of the dog and the only thing dh does is let him out when hes at home. So a dog, young children and one person is doable but not if its the person who dislikes dogs doing all the work.

I must say though my puppy is a fairly low maintenance dog, small, doesnt shed, not too much exercise but also needs grooming everyday and is constantly pinching the kids toys! So how trying a dog would be could also be linked to breed/type.

As for the nanny looking after the dog i think it would depend on the nanny they might help but then they might not like dogs. It would be something you would have to mention in interview.

Like i said before dh doesnt like dogs and the lurcher we had previously had a very bad relationship with him. She knew he didnt like her sad. After she went he said never again but like your dh ive always had dogs and hated not having one around. I lasted a year and managed to persuade him to get another one grin. I did tonnes fo reserch to make sure that the dog would fit in with our family and be as unannoying to the dh as possible and so far so good. (I think he secretly likes him but is being pig headed). Since getting our puppy the dh has developed a liking for springer spaniels and has even mentioned the possibility of getting one in the future. So us getting the dog has changed his opinion slightly.

missingtheaction Tue 23-Jun-09 09:40:41

I got a dog in similar circumstances and had him rehomed 6 months later. As a first time owner I found him hugely tying and time consuming. We didnt make a great choice of breed but there aer two things to consider. Firstly the very practical stuff - have you got a spare hour or so a day for walks, and another for training and attention and feeding and pooh patrols? Secondly, I found dogs very interactive and needy compared to cats. They are bigger and want to play and spend time with you and be there. They chew things and lick things, and my dog wanted my attention the whole time! And if you need to pop to the shops - what abotu the dog? go on holiday - what about the dog? out for the day - what about the dog?

You may find an aged well trained dog to rescue that needs less exercise and attention and will just fit in, and that dh will do all the work for. And you may find a nanny who likes dogs. But if you have a nanny already no of course you can't dump the dog on her all day - she will leave!

Personally, I would say absolutely don't do it!

doggiesayswoof Thu 25-Jun-09 14:01:51

I have a new puppy, a 13mo DS and nearly 5yo DD.

We are determined to make it work and DH and I both want the dog 100%.

However it is really hard work - REALLY hard - and I would advise you not to do it if you are not keen on dogs.

I love dogs, she is the cutest pup, and yet at times I find her a hassle if I'm being honest.

I started a thread asking for advice a while back - most people said don't do it -

here

doggiesayswoof Thu 25-Jun-09 14:07:40

The things I find hard:

You need to take pup out to the garden really frequently when toilet training - what do you do with the baby? DS is mobile and not safe alone in the house - so you have puppy under one arm and DS under the other, out in the rain

You may need to get up in the night to let pup out to the toilet.

They pee and poo on the floor, sometimes for a while.

Vets' bills - about £80 to date for us (wormer, flea treatment, vaccinations, microchip) and £114 in the next few months to neuter her.

Walking every day - and you have to take the baby too, in all weathers.

ATM pup and DC are separated unless they can be supervised 100%. Pup chews carpet, nips or scratches DC, chews DC's toys, takes clothes off the clothes horse and chews them, etc etc.

I am painting as negative a picture as possible grin But for someone who doesn't really like dogs, you would find this unbearable I reckon.

MaybeAfterBreakfast Thu 25-Jun-09 14:41:04

I wouldn't get a dog in your shoes.

Dogs need not necessarily be hard work (once the puppy stage is over) BUT dogs and young children together are very hard work.

Ime, dogs and young babies generally coexist quite well. The problems begin when children start crawling and walking. Dogs don't like the unpredictability of toddlers. And toddlers don't understand why they can't pull a dogs ears and tail, hit them with things, chase them, torture them, etc. My 16mo is trying to do all these things all day long at the moment. I have to watch them like a hawk.

Dogs are tying. They can't be left alone for more than 4 hours (less for puppies). They have to be walked whatever the weather, and you may have to take children with you (or maybe not if you have a nanny). Their needs have to be considered if you want to go away on holiday or for a weekend or have people to visit.

I adore my dog, and would love to get a 2nd, but don't feel it is fair on any dog to do so until my dcs are a little older.

doggiesayswoof Thu 25-Jun-09 16:00:28

Yes absolutely agree re toddlers or older babies, MaybeAfterBreakfast. And I'm not sure how to solve the current problem - DS hands his or DD's toys to the puppy through the stair gate we have at the kitchen door - it's lovely, he loves the puppy and wants to show her a toy - dog then destroys it or, worse, risks choking on it...

everlong Thu 25-Jun-09 20:34:01

Dogs are beautiful, funny, loving creatures, they bring a huge amount of love and companionship to any household. They make you feel safe when your DH is out or when a stranger calls. They make you take exercise everyday.

BUT they are another living thing to look after and be responsible for, they smell, they chew, they are sick on your carpet, they poo and wee on your carpet too. They need training and they are hard work, also if you like a meticulously clean house, they can be exasperating because you are forever cleaning, wiping, sweeping etc.

If you are easy going and not to fussed about everything being spic and span I think you are probably better suited to a dog iykwim.

Days out, holidays, weekends away, all have to be thought about to before you go ahead with any plans.

I'm not trying to state the obvious, I'm sure you have already thought of all these points, just trying to help.

Also there is nothing sweeter than sitting on your sofa with your doglets ( as I am now ) whilst on mumsnet!

Good luck!

CountryGirl2007 Fri 26-Jun-09 01:02:28

Dogs are great pets and I think any child growing up without a dog is missing out on so much! they really learn a lot about responsibility.

Looking after a dog is easy. Food twice a day, a brush down once a day, an hours walk and let out into the garden every so often for toilet.

IMO it's not really work at all, as a dog lover one enjoys such activities and getting to play with the dog and teach it tricks etc are all bonuses. Even the serious stuff like training and socializing can be fun if you make it so.

As for you're DH, is it really fair to deprive him of something he wants so much? It is easier to learn to live with something than learn to live without. How would you feel if you really wanted something and you're DH or DC was stopping you?

as for being "tying" there are pet sitters, dog walkers, boarding kennels for holidays etc. So at this time, finding somewhere to put you're dog if you want to go away on holiday is as easy as picking up the phone.

As for cost, besides the initial vet bills and equipment, dogs are very cheap to look after (approx. £10 a week for food and £3 every 6 months for wormer)

If you can provide a good, stable home for a dog, where it will be looked after properly and treated as a member of the family, then there is no reason not to get a dog really.

rupertsabear Fri 26-Jun-09 06:18:23

Sorry, haven't read everything, but we're just getting a puppy and the breeders all say wait until you're youngest child is 5. Ours will be almost 5.

Madmentalbint Sat 27-Jun-09 09:32:58

We got our puppy (now 7yrs old) when my youngest was about 15months. Never again! Luckily it worked out for us, and he's a great addition to the family, but it could have easily all gone horribly wrong. They really are such hard work as puppies (well mine was) especially if you have young children, and they are more expensive than you think.

We've been unlucky and had some huuuuuge vet bills. Luckily we were insured but now my premiums are almost £30 a month. Food isn't always that cheap either. My dog doesn't get on with the cheaper foods so I spend around £40 on a 15kg bag - which lasts a few weeks. The extra treats, poo bags, toys etc. soon add up too. Plus worming and flea and tick treatment and yearly boosters. A packet of three frontline will cost between £15 and £20. My dog goes to a groomers every few months too which is £27 a go. You also have to add the cost of kennels to any holidays as well as the cost of additional vaccinations (kennel cough).

I don't think training your dog should be thought of as a bonus and every dog owner should be prepared to take their puppy to socialisation classess at the very least. The last thing you'd want is an untrained dog with young children around. Obviously it is possible to train your dog without going to classess but only if you're an experienced dog owner and you know what you're doing. I realised how little I knew when I started the classess with my dog. Also, puppy's do tend to mouth things, and their teeth are razor sharp until they get their adult teeth.

I don't think putting off getting a dog is depriving your DH - you're being sensible and putting your baby's needs first. I'd also worry you'd come to resent the time/effort/mess/expense etc. because you don't really want a puppy.

I hope you don't think I'm being a miserable bugger but these are the things I wish I'd been told. I probably would have gone ahead anyway, but then I really wanted a dog.

NellyNoKnicks Sat 27-Jun-09 09:58:19

Three years ago me and my then partner decided to get a puppy. Having rose tinted glasses on (because I was lucky enough to grow up with a wonderful family dog) we got one.

We really didn't know what we had let ourselves in for, he chewed everything, including toys, shoes, cushions, floor boards, chair legs, even managed to pull the wallpaper off the wall! As well as this he wee'd and poo'd everywhere, then there was the dawn call for his walks which could be anytime between 4 and 6am.

It cost me a small fortune to replace all the things that he chewed and destroyed (and I cant imagine it was that good for him). Many a time I considered rehoming him because he was such a handful.

However, now that he is no longer a puppy he is a fantastic pet, and absolutely wonderful with children (my nephew often comes round and pokes, pulls and chases him - and he absolutely loves it), but it took almost 2 years to get him to be the well behaved dog I wanted him to be (he is a border collie - and very very stubborn)

If you could guarantee that your husband would look after the dog and clean up all the mess then by all means get a dog. But, in my experience the novelty soon wears off and having a young child to also consider it really would be taking on too much at the same time.

woodstock3 Sat 27-Jun-09 22:07:56

we got a puppy when ds was four months old. they're now both 2 years old and would not trade the dog for the world: ds adores him and they have loads of fun.
BUT you sound to me like you really dont want a dog, and that's more important than anything else.
it is hard work at first - like having two babies, both constantly peeing everywhere, and it'll be worse for you with an already outraged cat. it's also hard now walking the dog with a toddler in tow, and some nannies might be put off by the puppy issue (we were lucky ours wasnt). having a dog crap all over the garden when dc are small is no fun either,
and even if your dh promises to do all the walking/picking up of poo (dh did) there is every chance he wont when the novelty's worn off (dh sure as hell doesnt) and even if he is willing, in practice if he is working all day and you are at home it's going to be you.
so while dog ownership is fabulous, it's not for you if you're reluctgant

hercules1 Sat 27-Jun-09 22:08:31

you can put a nappy on children...

lobsters Sat 27-Jun-09 22:22:50

Thank you for all the advice. I think I have convinced DH to postpone the dog issue, we might be in a better position in 4 or 5 years, so I'm quite happy to wait 'til then and DH seems to be coming round to that. I'm not completely against a dog, I just really don't think now is the time.

I'm at the end of the tether with my cat at the moment, I really can't handle a dog at the moment

cbellesmum Sun 28-Jun-09 08:31:56

we too are after a dog a border terrier is the breed we are looking at.
My Dd is 5 nearly 6 and is desperate for a dog, i grew up with dogs so i know what to expect.
we have three cats and i get up for them in the night more than i do for my dd, - we have never had to get up for puppies when i had them at home. is this a new way of thinking?
to be honest we are all very excited about getting a puppy.

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