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Dog ownership and full-time work

(9 Posts)
Gwennan Tue 30-Oct-12 09:39:46

DP & I really want a dog. We both grew up with dogs and love seeing our parents', and my sister's, dogs. We live some distance away from family but love seeing the dogs when we can. We can't have a dog right now as we're renting, our house is too small, and we're planning on moving across the country within the next nine months. We are hoping to buy our first home together within the next couple of years (sooner, if we can!) and would like to get a dog at that point. We will also live closer to our families then and they are all dog lovers so would help us out!

We work full-time and, although it's some time off, we've spoken about dog walking routines, hiring a dog sitter or coming home at lunchtimes, dog flaps, and are aware of doggie day cares (as my sister almost used one with her dogs before she changed jobs). We will have enough money to be able to afford to look after the dog (food, insurance, care, etc.) but it is likely it will need to be left by itself most mornings and afternoons in the week. We need to work and both have enjoyable full-time careers. We have no children yet.

I've read that it is OK to leave dogs for around 4-5 hours at a time. How do you get the dog into this sort of routine? I think our lifestyle can be compatible with dog ownership, as we're thinking about it very early and we're very keen on making it work.

Are there any breeds that are particularly suited to being walked morning/lunchtime/evening and then sleeping or entertaining themselves during the day?

And, in the meantime, is there anything I can do to get my 'dog fix'? I've looked on the Cinnamon Trust but there's no one near me that needs help.

midori1999 Tue 30-Oct-12 10:04:58

Personally, I don't think it is fair to leave a dog for such long periods of time, even with a lunch time walk.

It does sound like you take this seriously and have done your research, but 4-5 hours is once per day at the absolute maximum and not every day and not 4-5 hours, then a walk and then 4-5 hours again on the same day I'm afraid.

It may be possible to find an older rescue dog that is used to being left on it's own for long periods and is happy with this, but I am not sure how many rescues would home to you on this basis. A puppy would absolutely be out of the question.

Otherwise could you consider doggy day care for half of each day, so the dog was only alone, in the mornings, for example? Or do you have a dog owning friend who would consider having your dog for some of the time as company for theirs?

Rhinestone Tue 30-Oct-12 10:22:51

Doggy day care only in this circumstance, sorry.

Shalloween Tue 30-Oct-12 11:33:17

Sounds like your dog will be alone for 8 to 10 hours every weekday with perhaps a lunchtime visit. You sound like you'll be very loving dog owners and I think in a very short time it will break your heart to leave your dog alone for such long periods.

SpicyPear Tue 30-Oct-12 13:17:50

I agree with doggy day care or going to family/friend for at least half the day. Otherwise it's far too long. Puppy is an absolute no. Some adult dogs would accept being left all day, in the sense that they would mostly sleep and wouldn't be destructive, but it would be absolutely no life for them and not at all in their best interests.

paddythepooch Tue 30-Oct-12 14:55:25

We use excellent doggy day care when we need to be out. I work 4 days a week but that varies sometimes I work at home, sometimes out half the day, sometimes a whole day. DH works similar. It costs (£30 for a full day) but worth every penny. Having a dog you realise just how much they love company and I would simply hate leaving him alone for a long period. I simply wouldn't be able to relax.

stowsettler Tue 30-Oct-12 15:20:00

My dogs have had doggy creche, a daily dog walker and stayed with family - depending on my situation at the time. I have never let them be alone for longer than 4-5 hours and they have always been happy, well-adjusted and obedient little pooches. Of course, they do have each other for company which I think did help them.
My friend got a rescue lab in London when she and her DH were working full time. They secured a daily dog walker and he went out for a good long walk in the middle of the day. He too is a very happy and contented dog.
Personally I have no problem with any of the above solutions. This is just my experience. When I was home during the day unexpectedly they seemed uncomfortable, as if I shouldn't be there. This was their snooze time, what was I doing disrupting it?
Of course not all dogs will accept this - but a lot will IME.

LST Tue 30-Oct-12 17:08:58

My mum has a dog. A border terrier. He has a walk in a morning then is left in with the cat from 7.30 until 1.30. He's fine. Some dogs won't be however.

LST Tue 30-Oct-12 17:09:24

Oh and that's mon-fri

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