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Is it ever possible to have a dog if you both work F/T?

(24 Posts)
DrunkenDaisy Mon 15-Apr-13 15:39:15

I grew up with dogs and would dearly love one of my own, particularly now that we've left London and have the space, a garden and lots of nearby parks.

The problem is that both DH and I work F/T (although some of it is work from home). But the dog could potentially be alone for up to 4 days per week. I would spare no expense for a daily paid dog walker but would like advice on whether this is a goer.

I would ideally like a rescue dog, but then what about separation anxiety? And I could take a couple of weeks off to settle the dog in, but what if it's not enough?

Thanks in advance.

Lilcamper Mon 15-Apr-13 16:02:02

As long as you are willing to have the first couple of weeks off and pay a dog walker to break up the day I don't see why not.

Lucyellensmum95 Mon 15-Apr-13 16:05:49

To be fair, most rescues wont consider you if you are out more than 4 hours a day without a dog walker, these can cost up to £10 an hour, so if you could spare the cash then i would say go for it. Otherwise i wouldn't no. I have two dogs and i do leave them and may have to leave them for the day but they have each other. Even then, its not ideal.

DeepRedBetty Mon 15-Apr-13 16:07:47

If you've got a reasonably stable rescue, take at least two weeks, and arrange to work from home as much as possible for a month or so after, and get a good dogwalker (like me or one of my staff grin), yes it's do-able. Wouldn't do it with a rescue that's suffered illtreatment and will need intensive work, but the sort of rescue that's simply grown too big/family break-up/job loss/death of owner, no problem. We look after quite a few.

Lucyellensmum95 Mon 15-Apr-13 16:09:49

Ah, i misread your post, you would spare no expense - then yes i would think it would be perfectly fine, however some rescues still may be funny about it. I am sure many of the dogs who find themselves in rescues have been left so may be happy, from experiene though of dogs trust and battersea they do ask this question.

Don't be fooled into thinking a small dog will need less exercise though, i have two JRTs and they are mental, my old rotties would have not really noticed if they missed their walks, they were actually quite lazy. It really does depend on the breed.

seeker Mon 15-Apr-13 16:15:27

My friend works full time and leaves her dog- it breaks my heart to see her little face (the dog, not my friend) pressed up against the window every time I drive past. I have asked if I can walk her, but she refused. And then she gets into trouble for being mental in the evenings sad

Lucyellensmum95 Mon 15-Apr-13 16:23:36

Oh Seeker, that is sad about your friends dog, why did she refuse the walk? it would be good for the dog and good for you, thats quite mean spirited of her really.

My dogs are both asleep, which is pretty much what they do all day, sleep, play fight, eat, playfight, sleep - im not sure it would be very different if i wasn't here. Although one of them is asleep on my lap and they both were earlier grin

Scuttlebutter Mon 15-Apr-13 16:33:49

I'm a rescue volunteer, and contrary to myth, we do home to people who work full time. The key is to responsibly match the dog to the person, and to be realistic about the hours you work and your lifestyle. Full time work actually covers a pretty broad spread of hours, especially when you factor in travel to work time, and whether you travel for your job. To be honest, if you were working very long hours and/or had a big commute at each end, this might not be the best option right now. On the other hand if you work a pretty stable set of hours with a short local journey to work this can work really well. smile

I would never home a puppy in these circumstances, or a high energy dog, but many adult or older dogs can cope brilliantly with this pattern. Greyhounds for instance would be perfect - a busy terrier or active collie or spaniel, much less so.

Daytime options are varied - there's dog walkers and in many places, also doggy day care. There may also be retired or older family members, or neighbours who'd be happy to help out. One friend of mine had retired parents, who lived near her work so she would drop off her dog with them en route to work two or three days a week, then collect on the way home. Her parents loved the dog and she knew he was getting fantastic care - worked brilliantly.

Bear in mind that rescues will like to see that you've got arrangements in hand when they do a homecheck - and that you have fully understood the financial commitment - if a professional dog walker is your main option, this is not cheap.

If a rescue does say no to a particular dog coming to live with you, don't be downhearted - the right match is out there.

Good luck!

Keepthechangeyoufilthyanimal Mon 15-Apr-13 17:01:32

Me and DH work full time and we have a smallish dog who is just over a year old.
We wanted him for years but waited until I got a job locally so I could come home in the day to see him.

Every day I come home at lunchtime (5 min drive) and even if I don't take him for a walk (if I have errands to do) I sit and play/fuss him.

He is never left alone for more than 4 hours at a time in the week (we both work mon-fri so have all weekend with him)

I'd feel so guilty leaving him all day - I have on occasion when there have been reasons I can't go home for lunch and he usually gets up to mischief (ie rips up toilet rolls or chews things he can get his paws on) if I don't come back to see him - suppose he gets bored in all that time (but I supposed he is so used to me coming back he gets upset when I don't and thinks i've left him)

HoneyDragon Mon 15-Apr-13 17:11:28

You really honestly need to look at your life as it is now and think "what's in it for the dog?" If its good for the dog it's good for you. smile

DrunkenDaisy Mon 15-Apr-13 17:23:34

Thanks everyone, you've all been really kind and helpful.

I get what you're saying HoneyDragon which is why I've posted. I would like to give a loving home to an appropriate dog, with no expense spared, so if there is no appropriate dog then that's fine. I do understand. I am an animal lover and part-loan a horse so do understand the demands, I was seeking advice that's all.

I have colleagues who use a dog walker which works well. I certainly wouldn't choose a dog and expect it to fit in with us, I'd let the experts pick a dog that would be happy living with us.

So are Greyhounds quite a possible option then? I always think of them needing acres of space but that's probably my misconception.

DrunkenDaisy Mon 15-Apr-13 17:25:33

Also, I do live locally and can work from home occasionally so the dog would only have a dog walker 3 days per week, hopefully.

More advice and criticism gratefully received. Thanks so much.

SirChenjin Mon 15-Apr-13 17:27:49

Scuttle - that's interesting to hear that you would rehome to people who work f/t. I work 3 full days and DH works 5 full days. We've come up against so many problems with this, as the rescue centres we've looked at across the country are only happy for the dog to be left for a maximum of 4 hours at a time - and this is for older/settled dogs.

needacoffee Mon 15-Apr-13 17:30:28

We used a doggy day care in London. Our dog was picked up with other dogs from the local area driven in an air-con van down the motorway to a farm where they got the run of a huge field, pond and converted stables to romp around in all day, before being driven home and dropped off in our house at tea time to await for us to come home. Our dog ran around with about 15 other dogs from 7am until 5pm and came home flipping knackered! It was about £20 a day and well worth it. just Google doggy day care and then visit the ones in your area. We were lucky that our day care was amazing.

DeepRedBetty Mon 15-Apr-13 17:31:58

Greyhounds are actually one of the less space hungry dogs when it comes to exercise areas! Ever been on the Pointy Hounds Cushion Thread?

The best rescues (like the one Scuttle works with) look at each dog and each potential new home as individuals.

Scuttlebutter Mon 15-Apr-13 17:33:40

Greyhounds are terrific as they are a surprisingly low energy dog - all four of ours are fast asleep at the moment, having been worn out by an exciting weekend with their human puppy cousins and a thrilling morning walk in pursuit of some squirrels. Yes, they can be quite large (though there's considerable variation within the breed), but they fold up nicely and because they're chilled out, they are actually much less in your face than say a smaller high energy dog like a Jack Russell. If you're interested, come over to the pointy thread and you'll hear all about them. smile Lots of us there have a range of working patterns. Though I work from home now, when we had our first and second, we were in exactly your position, and used a professional dog walker - it worked brilliantly, particularly as we lived 5 minutes from my work.

DrunkenDaisy Mon 15-Apr-13 17:38:05

Thank you all so much, I shall head over to the Pointy thread.

flowery Mon 15-Apr-13 17:40:35

We have a good doggy day care we've just started using one day a week. It's fab, on a farm and our Springer plays all day with other dogs and has walks and games all day. Far better than he gets from me when I'm working from home, although he is always very good.

Only problem is they don't pick up, so I will be doing three drop offs on those days... hmm

Scuttlebutter Mon 15-Apr-13 17:54:32

SirChenjin - the key is to show the rescue that the dog is not being left for a long time, so if you have a professional dog walker coming in at lunchtime on your three days out of the house, then the dog is having their day broken up nicely. If one of those days was at a doggy care too - then for an adult dog I'd say that was a very good combination.

More generally, the big red flag would be an owner who hadn't thought this through - sadly, this does sometimes happen, or more frequently, isn't willing to make the financial commitment to the dogwalker/daycare.

Obviously I can't comment directly on your personal circs (time out of the house/other factors etc) but I'd regard those working hours as perfectly feasible to combine with dog ownership. It's really encouraging actually on this thread to hear so many positive reports on doggy day care. smile

looseleaf Mon 15-Apr-13 18:00:23

I now can't find the website but there's a 'dog sharing ' website where peo

looseleaf Mon 15-Apr-13 18:01:56

Sorry- people longing for a dog can help owners who want extra walks etc so mutual benefit. Not sure if I explained that ok but means you can search for local people to spend extra time with your dog, too if that helps

looseleaf Mon 15-Apr-13 18:06:59

It's called BorrowMyDoggy

DrunkenDaisy Mon 15-Apr-13 18:17:11

That sounds like an excellent starting point, thank you looseleaf.

DrunkenDaisy Mon 15-Apr-13 19:26:40

Thanks looseleaf, I have been on that website and set up a profile. Any Brighton folk who would like free dog help, please go and have a look.

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