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Can I leave a dog on it's own?

(11 Posts)
Lottiedonnegan Sun 29-May-11 16:16:50

I have 2 dc's aged 2 and 4. I have always wanted a dog, and now the children would love one as well. I am currently a stay at home mum, but I am soon be going to be working, initially 2 days a week and in a year or two full time school hours.

I would love a dog but have always written it off as it would be on it's own too much when I go back to work. I have been thinking about it again and wondered whether it would be feasible if I had 2 so they were together, and had a small breed and a dog flap so they had access to the garden.

I am interested to know people's thoughts on this, if it isn't fair on the dog I won't do it. Think I can persuade dh, he would rather this than another baby.

I have never had one, so would be interested in thoughts from people who have.

BeerTricksPotter Sun 29-May-11 16:33:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lara2 Sun 29-May-11 16:39:09

I have 2 dogs, I work full time, but it works out that they are very rarely home alone for more than 3 hours at any time because of the way everyone's timetables/work days etc are. I wouldn't have even considered getting them if they were going to be alone all day everyday, even if they did have access to the garden. What would be the point of having them if I/we didn't spend time with them? People have said that dogs get used to what they have - well, yes, to a point, but that doesn't mean it's ok. It isn't just the going to work that has to be thought of; I get up at 5am everyday to walk them for an hour so that I can fit everything else in before I go to work - kids etc. That's winter and summer, rain, shine, gales, pitch black mornings. They need another walk at the end of the day too - this one is about 30 minutes, and again that has to be done no matter the weather and no matter how shattered I am from a day teaching. I don't think the size of dog would make a difference to the amount of exercise they need, I think it's a total fallacy that small dogs need less exercise.
Also, have you thought of the hassles of 2 puppies together (if that's what you had in mind)? Mine were rehomed and 2 when I got them - much easier.
Have you thought of a couple of recued greyhounds? They really are couch potatoes and very mellow dogs - we had them when I was a child - they hated going out in the rain and came home clean - which is more than labs or springers do! smile
Having dogs is so lovely, but needs alot of thinking round possible problems and pitfalls. We can't just take off for the day if it's somewhere the dogs can't come unless we arrange someone to let them in the garden during the day and possibly walk feed them at teatime. The spontinaity has gone out of our lives to some extent, but it's so worth it!!!

Lottiedonnegan Sun 29-May-11 16:47:57

I have no concerns with being able to look after it, walking it etc. and putting in the time with training, walking etc. summer and winter. I have always wanted one but have never done it because I knew I would be going back to work. We have just been playing with a friends dog, the kids loved it too and I was wondering whether we could do it, but maybe not.

NamyMcChanger Sun 29-May-11 17:49:39

If you were going to work school hours everyday, then you would need a reliable (preferably professional - less likely to let you down) person, to walk and spend a couple of hours with your dog a day.

DooinMeCleanin Sun 29-May-11 17:55:06

There's no reason why it couldn't be done if you would be prepared to pay a dog walker to come in at lunchtime to break the dogs day up a bit and give him chance to relieve himself.

It would depend very much on the dog of course. My terrier actually likes being alone and spends much of his time sulking on the landing away from everyone. My Whippet is distraught if you go to the loo and shut the door hmm

Contact a rescue and be completly honest about your experience with dogs and your working hours.

I would be very wary of having a puppy with children that age. Puppies nip and jump and chew toys, they do not mix well with toddlers. A tried and tested adult dog from rescue would be a much better choice.

chickchickchicken Sun 29-May-11 18:00:29

agree with dooin

Lottiedonnegan Sun 29-May-11 19:58:09

That is very good advice Dooin, thank you. I'll speak to the rescue centre and look into the cost of dog walkers. Wouldn't want to leave it all day and have a miserable dog, but do think we could offer one a good home apart from that. Thanks.

2T2T Sun 29-May-11 21:29:32

I have been on here too Lottie - I was thinking about a rescue labrador as we had one when i was growing up and she was beautiful in every way. But have shifted my thinking now and am considering a variety of breeds. My circumstances are different to yours in taht I will not be workig full time at any stage and I do have family who are prepared to dog sit/walk if I do ever need to go out for extended periods of tiem. Even taking that into consideration I am stilll delibarating as to whether to go ahead or not as it is a life altering decision which I have to be 100% certain I can take on. Sometimes I am so excited i want on NOW and other times I feel quite nervous about it! I'm sur eyou will make the correct decision for you all smile

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 30-May-11 15:50:31

I work full time, and have a 4 month old Labrador. I live walking distance from work, so I go home at lunchtime to feed and play with her. She is thriving.

She is the kind of dog who whines when I shut the toilet door, but seems to cope fine with being left alone for 4 hours at a stretch. I create lots of different ways for her to hunt for food and treats in the house/garden to keep her stimulated when she is alone, but frankly I think she just sleeps when I'm not there (so say the neighbours who have a view on my yard). She is a bright and clearly well-adjusted dog so I don't think the time alone is harming her.

Starting next month, I will be hiring a dog walker to do give her a lunchtime walk and feeding.

diddl Tue 31-May-11 18:11:12

I would say no more than 4hrs.

Aside from that, what if the children are ill?

I waited until mine were old enough to be left whilst I walk the dog.

What if you´re ill?

Atm I´m out a couple of hrs in the morning & again in the afternoon & the best part of an hr at night.

It´s a big commitment.

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