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Getting a dog when you both work full time

(38 Posts)
MechanicalTheatre Mon 18-Feb-13 21:28:08

Is it possible?

I am a teacher, partner also works full time, often til late in the evening but doesn't leave the house til 10 most days.

I grew up with dogs and miss having one about. I am very aware of their needs and would never want to leave a dog at home for long periods of time. I'm just thinking about what the options are - how feasible is it to get someone to come in to walk/look after the dog during the day? Would it confuse the dog to have different people coming and going?

Is there anyone who works full time but has a dog?

We don't have any children and aren't going to have any so that's not an issue.

We would definitely get a rescue and go for training. Just the thought of coming home to a happy furry face makes me feel happy! I suffer from anxiety and depression and sometimes it's so hard for me to socialise and it's a bit hard on my partner because he feels he has to stay in with me and I think he'd feel better if I had a dog to keep me company.

worsestershiresauce Tue 19-Feb-13 19:37:13

Mechanical - 2 hours of dog sitting every day will add up, but if you can stretch to it you'll have one happy lucky spoilt pooch smile. Good luck, I hope you find yourself a loyal friend.

paddythepooch Tue 19-Feb-13 18:35:01

Hi. We use doggy day care when we need to be out all day but I do sometimes wonder as his nibs sleeps most of the day! He's a young lurcher. I am a complete wimp though and have not managed to leave him more than two hours so far. Having a dog gets you out of the house rain, wind or shine and that does your soul good. They give lovely gentle cuddles and don't judge you - what more could you ask for?

MechanicalTheatre Tue 19-Feb-13 18:29:43

Aw thanks GetOrf you made me do a SOB (another one!)

Spicy I might take you up on that (lobs pointy hound at Spicy).

Floralnomad Tue 19-Feb-13 18:24:17

I think what you're suggesting sounds fine and a rescue dog will be lucky that you've chosen him/ her . Good luck with finding a lovely companion.

ReluctantMother Tue 19-Feb-13 18:22:23

Ours are staffies too. Nice lazy dogs who are happy to sleep a lot.

ReluctantMother Tue 19-Feb-13 18:21:42

We both work full time and have two dogs. At one point we had three.
We leave the house at 7.20 and get home at 6pm.

SpicyPear Tue 19-Feb-13 18:18:25

Ooh, if you are in my bit of London I would love to dog sit a beautiful rescue hound smile

I think that set up with timings would work well for an older calmer dog. My 5ish year old rescue staffie, for example, would be fine with that as she sleeps for at least two hours mid morning and afternoon anyway!

GetOrf Tue 19-Feb-13 18:16:20

I am sorry that you have had a hard time with your depression mechanical. That is a bit heart rending reading your post about a dog comforting you when you cry. I hope you start to feel beytter soon.

I would dearlt love a dog but have thought about it so carefully and can't justify it - I am ouit the house all hours and so is dd, it really wouldn't be fair even with doggy day care.

Have a look at the oldies website - lots of pictures of elderly dogs with grey whiskers who need homing, the poor dear things.

MechanicalTheatre Tue 19-Feb-13 18:09:39

Wow, really therein . It would have to be something I broached after a few months I think!

"Hello, I'm Ms Mechanical and oh Jesus fluffy don't pee on the HT!"

thereinmadnesslies Tue 19-Feb-13 18:02:52

Could you take the dog into school with you? several of DHs colleague bring dogs into school and they sleep in the corner of the prep room. They then walk them at lunchtime. It wouldn't work with a puppy but might work with a older, calmer dog.

MechanicalTheatre Tue 19-Feb-13 17:47:55

Thanks for all the thoughts everyone.

worcestershire I'd be looking at getting someone to come in for two hours a day really, rather than just a short walk. The way I'm thinking about it: partner leaves at 10, someone comes at 12, leaves at 2, I come back at 4-ish. So the dog would never be alone for longer than 2 hours.

LadyT I have had a look at the cinammon trust before, had forgotten that. It's such a lovely idea! I will definitely look into that.

The other thing that I am considering is working part time and tutoring in my home to make up my wages (which would be much better for me in terms of the stress of teaching as well!)

What would really be my ideal would be my mum moving to London. I know she would love to, but my dad's having none of it. She loves dogs as well and I know she'd look after them during the day. Just a pipe dream though.

MagratGarlik Tue 19-Feb-13 16:57:15

I think rehoming to homes where both adults work depends very much on the individual rescue and the individual dog. Some larger rescues might have a blanket policy, but smaller ones are more likely to consider circumstances on a case-by-case basis. I think many want to see if you do work, you have considered how you will be able to take care of the dog and if you are prepared to take on an older dog (or couple of dogs who have maybe come into rescue together) who may be used to being left.

SomeRainbow Tue 19-Feb-13 14:34:13

Be aware that a Rescue Centre may refuse you a dog if you both work full-time. The RSPCA near us wouldn't even let us have a cat when we were in FT work which we found slightly odd given the needs of a moggy.

Toughasoldboots Tue 19-Feb-13 14:27:16

There is a dog in my local rescue who has been there for 18 months now, he spends all day chasing his tail and gets walked around the same field every day by a volunteer. I think that for a dog like him, he could benefit from a loving home, albeit not perfect. His pen is tiny.

needastrongone Tue 19-Feb-13 13:33:25

I see the point you make worsester, but is that a more traumatic circumstance than maybe an older dog with little chance of ever being re-homed spending the rest of its days in kennels? Better some love and company in the morning, a nice walk, then cuddles and company in the evening, plus weekends maybe?

Teaching has famously good holidays too, so, in reality, the dog wouldn't have too much time on their own possibly.

It's not something that I have considered so I haven't thought about the practicalities in depth tbh smile

worsestershiresauce Tue 19-Feb-13 13:03:19

It's pretty miserable for a dog to be left alone all day with just a short walk at lunchtime. It's not about the exercise it is about company, social interaction, and mental stimulation. A young dog would certainly get bored and perhaps start up some unwanted behaviours out of stress, like chewing, or barking. An older one would cope better but I still wouldn't consider this myself for anything other than an occasional day.

If you are a teacher would you consider fostering in the holidays, volunteering for the cinnamon trust or dog walking for other people?

If not, I'd definitely recommend re-homing 2 older dogs that know each other. Dogs need company. You'd feel fairly depressed if you were shut in a room by yourself all day every day wouldn't you. When getting a pet their needs are just as important as yours.

specialsubject Tue 19-Feb-13 11:56:14

the dog will happily get to know one or more walkers, and anyone who turns up with a lead will be most welcome at any time of day! Lots of freelance dog walk and pet care people now so it should be easy to hire walkers.

if you decide to do this, go round the neighbours and tell them that if there is any barking, to let you know and that you will do something about it. And of course the obvious - everyone who walks it picks up the faeces and puts them in a bin.

other thought - if you like dogs but the full-time thing is too much, turn it round and become a weekend dog walker for others?

needastrongone Tue 19-Feb-13 11:48:53

Just wanted to add that my dh is bi-polar. Our puppy has transformed him, which is no exaggeration. He runs a very busy company and used to come home late, eat then get back on the laptop, work is his mood trigger. Now he's home earlier and plays with the puppy, gets up early and plays with the puppy! Dogs are fab for meeting people too, which your dh might like on his walks, such an icebreaker.

Given I work few hours I can only comment on this aspect really but that's our experience in this area anyway.

Good luck

MagratGarlik Tue 19-Feb-13 10:49:09

I've just career-changed to teaching and have a whippet and a lurcher. When we got them I was only working part-time (mornings), but they have coped very well with the change.

We deliberately got ddog2 because we knew my working hours would change and felt whippy needed company during the day.

I leave the house early in the morning (7.30) but like you, Dp doesn't need to leave till 10am, so he walks the dogs in the morning. Someone usually comes at lunch and walks them again, then my mum collects the ds's from school and brings them back to our house so there is someone in from about 3.30 onwards. I get home at maybe 4.30pm but essentially they are not usually left for more than a couple of hours before someone comes in to keep them company. Then, in the holidays like now obviously we are in all day.

Defiantly do-able, but would second the recommendation to consider two, especially as some pointies get separation anxiety.

Clg199 Tue 19-Feb-13 08:40:24

We are in a v similar situation - both work full time, but we both do flexi time. We have a 7 year old greyhound, and until Nov last year we had a retired working whippet too. He's left about 9.15, DH comes home about 12 for half an hour, and is then home by about 4. It is quite a few hours, but greyhounds are bred to be happy in kennels for the majority of the day with a quick blast to let off steam.

I am working at home today, he is still in his bed asleep, so I doubt he pines for us when we're out. If DH can't get home at lunchtime we get friends to come and let him out, he's also had dog sitters when we've been on holiday (v infrequently) and it doesn't confuse him at all, and he is a bear of very little brain! He loves seeing people and is pleased to see whoever comes to give him love.

It works v well for us and a lot of greyhounds I know are the same. Be wary of lurchers though, while they are lovely dogs, some get the greyhound laid back attitude, and some most definitely do not!

LadyTurmoil Tue 19-Feb-13 08:32:01

You might also consider a "halfway house" sort of solution. I don't know where you are in the country but you could look at Look on the map and there maybe older people who need help looking after/walking their dogs and you can volunteer... wouldn't be quite the same as having your own dog but maybe very rewarding. Just a thought!

MechanicalTheatre Mon 18-Feb-13 23:53:04

Oh thank you for more posts.

My lovely dog (family dog, collie, lives with parents and v old, poor thing) has helped me so much with my depression and anxiety. When I cry, he jumps up on the sofa and puts his head on my lap. And has got me out of the house many times when it seemed impossible. And cheered me up with his bonkers collie activities. I don't see him too much as I live quite far from my parents, but he is the best dog.

Very very old now (15) and not able to get out much, and I know his time is coming soon.

VeetorWax Mon 18-Feb-13 23:52:15

Oops! A dog and leave it on it's own for most of the day except for a walk by a dog walker. Doggy day are is different but I think you should only really get a dog if you can guarantee to be able to spend proper time with it. When we got our dog we had to assure th family that we could look after it properly, it wouldn't be left for long periods on its own, show photos of our garden etc. I think rescue places can be even more thorough.

VeetorWax Mon 18-Feb-13 23:48:45

I personally think it's unkind to have a f

SpicyPear Mon 18-Feb-13 23:44:17

Just popped on to second the comments about dogs being great for anxiety and depression. We got SpicyDog when I was recovering from a very bad period and she and SpicyPup have totally transformed my life. We also don't have children so they ensure I get out and about even on the odd bad day. SpicyDog is cuddly, loving and calming. SpicyPup is a hilarious little tasmanian devil and always lightens my mood.

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