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Need honest advice about getting dogs..

(34 Posts)
holidayfairy Thu 25-Jun-15 21:04:14

Bit of a background
1. We have never had pets and so far never been interested in getting them but have slowly changed our views over some time now.
2.we are in our 40s and have two children 7 and 14 years
3. We both work full time and have to commute 45 minutes but there will be one or two days one of us will be at home in the day time. would be happy to have a dog walker if we cannot walk the dog.

Girls love pets especially the younger one. We are a responsible family and will really try our best to give the dog proper care.
The youngest don't know that we are considering getting a dog as don't want to break her heart if it is not for us.
Is having a dog for us?if so, what breed and how to get one.
Would the house smell- sorry had to ask as far as I remember it doesn't but may be I have not noticed it.

Sincere opinions please..

Cheerfulmarybrown Thu 25-Jun-15 21:13:15

I'm sorry but your work hours will be way too long to leave a dog - even with a dog walker so No a dog is not the pet for you.

Panicmode1 Thu 25-Jun-15 21:20:03

Agree with CheerfulMaryBrown, it's not fair to have a dog with those about a cat/rabbits/guinea pigs if the children want pets?

Wolfiefan Thu 25-Jun-15 21:21:15

Even if you get a dog walker your pet would be left for hours 4 out of 7 days a week.

villainousbroodmare Thu 25-Jun-15 21:25:28

Get two young cats who are siblings or friends. A dog will long for you every minute you are away. Which is a lot of minutes.

RVPisnomore Thu 25-Jun-15 21:27:41

I wouldn't discount getting a dog. My DH and I are out all day and our dog goes to daycare 5 days a week. He's happy and exercised during the week and we get to walk him all the other times. It can work.

villainousbroodmare Thu 25-Jun-15 21:31:42

Okay, yes, with a good daycare it could work.

Salene Thu 25-Jun-15 21:33:55

Lots of dogs are left during the day, a dog walker taking it out for 1 hour at midday would be fine, I'd not recommend a puppy though as a puppy might struggle being left alone for so long

Breed wise , there are only 2 breeds the KC recommend to have with children and 1 is the Staffordshire bull terrier which also happens to be a dog that fills rescue centres so a vast amount of choice when looking.

I'd contact your local Staffie rescue say you need a dog known to have lives with children and also one that can be left alone. They will find you a good match.

holidayfairy Thu 25-Jun-15 21:41:20

Wow.. So many replieS. Day care is not an option for us.
This is why I am giving it a lot of thought. It s like leaving a baby at home alone isn't it?
What is kc by the way?

tigerdog Thu 25-Jun-15 21:53:58

I would suggest considering a retired racing greyhound as they are one of the few breeds that can be left for longer periods, as they sleep for 18 hours a day. I am biased because I love my beautiful grey but they are absolutely fabulous dogs. Gentle, quirky, don't shed very much and certainly not a whiffy breed of dog compared with some. They are also good with children and they only need two 20-30 mins walk a day. There are loads of beautiful greyhounds waiting to be adopted and you could easily go to the local branch of the RGT and walk a dog or two to see how you feel.

catzpyjamas Thu 25-Jun-15 21:58:33

Another vote for a retired greyhound here! Just make sure you meet them a few times and get them home on a trial basis if possible.
KC is Kennel Club.

villainousbroodmare Thu 25-Jun-15 21:59:27

Kennel Club.
I know lots and lots of dogs are home alone all day but I personally think it's just setting yourself up for guilt (you) and loneliness (dog) when you are v conscientious (like OP) and know from the outset exactly how your routine will be.
I really would try the cats. They will snooze happily and entertain each other quite well.

CMOTDibbler Thu 25-Jun-15 22:07:10

I know greys sleep a lot (my lurchers spend all day snoring), but they are just as social as any other dog, and wouldn't be happy to be left 4 days a week from 8-6 with just a pop in dog walker.

Dogs are a big tie as well, and they have an impact on every aspect of your life unless you have family very close who are able to take over dog care whenever you want a night away/long day out, or even just an impromptu extending an afternoon shopping into movie and dinner sort of thing.

bakedappleflavour Thu 25-Jun-15 22:09:15

Some dogs can be left. Our King Charles cav is totally happy to be left as long as she gets a walk. We do have a cat as well though who keeps Her company, and she's so diddy she can use the cat flap to go into the garden whenever she wants.

RaspberrySnowCone Thu 25-Jun-15 22:30:23

I wouldn't discount it if you could get a dog walker for an hour or so on the days that you are not home. More what you need to be aware of is:

- the fact that they need a good walk before you leave for work, a good walk when you get home, play time, cuddle time etc. Even if it's only a short 20 minute walk, when you're knackered and just want your tea etc it can seem a long time!

- Will you want to get up every day without fail come rain or shine to walk them, in the dark, in the snow, when you have a horrific hangover....

- Do you mind the stink of a wet dog wafting through the house, the mud, the dust they seem to create/attract

- the need to train them, find ways to keep them entertained etc.

- Can you drop everything at 7.00 am in the morning to take the dog to the vets if needed (at £40 a visit only to find out the dopey thing probably just has wind grin

- the cost. They can be expensive!

If you can cope with the above, then you'll be fine. My pup saved my life the day we brought him home. It's a massive commitment but I cannot imagine life without the smelly little ball of fur smile he's beautiful.... I don't understand non doggy people. They really are very odd grin

WasWildatHeart Thu 25-Jun-15 23:30:40

We managed when we rehomed 2y old terrier, although working full time, because i walked her early every morning and son let her out in the garden as soon as he got in from school. Also had dog walker on three long days and she had a walk every evening. She managed fine - always very pleased to see us when we got home - but tbh she's like that when we've only been gone half an hour! Choose an older calm dog and enjoy the huge, rich love he/she will bring to your whole family!

WeAllHaveWings Fri 26-Jun-15 09:37:59

Do not underestimate the work required to keep a dog happy and healthy (physically and mentally).

If you are out to work from ~8am to ~6pm (rough estimates with your commute), you need to give the dog a good walk/run before work, at least 30 mins in the rain, snow, dark of winter mornings, EVERY morning. Then get home out of your wet clothes, dry the soaking wet dog all before you start getting ready for work.

Then you need a good dog walker during the day for another walk. When you get home the dog needs walked again in the rain, snow etc dark nights of winter.

If our dog (we have a lazy Labrador, but not all labs are like this) gets a good off lead walk in the morning then afternoon, even if we are working from home that day he goes off to bed and sleeps the rest of the day until evening and we are finished work.

Also, your children could very quickly not be interested in walking the dog so it will be you and your DH, if one of you are not about you will need to drag the dc out with you (did I mention the rain, snow and dark nights?).

And that is just walks, never mind training, playing, care (feeding, grooming, bathing, hovering house more), where do they go when you are on holiday/away for Xmas day/invited to a wedding/funeral; what do you do if you are working and dog is sick or has diahorrea etc

Dogs are great; we are in our second year of dog ownership and I wouldn't be without him now, but even when I was warned I didn't totally appreciate they were such a huge commitment. We are lucky dh is self employed and flexible and that helps a lot.

EdwinaLIzzard Fri 26-Jun-15 11:48:17

I am afraid I would have to agree with the view that your life style is not conducive to dog ownership.

They are social creatures who crave human attention and, in my view, simply cannot be left for the whole day, even with a dog walker coming in.

I don't say this lightly as I waited over 25 years to get my dog, I have been a dog lover all my life and was desperate to have my on, but I had to wait until I was no longer commuting and working. I settled for a Maine Coon in the meantime, who are very dog like and can be trained to do tricks etc!!

Dogs not only require company, they are also a huge commitment and even though I am at home all day, I have to plan all my activities and to some extent my daughters around the dog. You can't have a spontaneous day out, even going out for the evening - meals, theatre etc can be difficult as I am always clock watching to be back from my (admittedly) young dog.

You need to look at the costings ( as stated above) they are expensive, to feed, to insure, general vets bills, inoculations, neutering, worming. You have to commit to training classes, although they can be great fun for children as well. You have to commit to getting up much earlier every day to walk the dog before work - in every weather imaginable (and unimaginable!!). Forget lie ins - your furry child will expect to see your smiling face nice and early every morning!

But, having said all that, I adore my pup and have never been happier, we both love the walking and have made so many new friends, we love the training and he makes me a very proud mum! I love his company, his big brown eyes, hearing his steady breathing as we both lie on the sofa - the list goes on - I could not imagine being without him, BUT I waited until I could commit all the necessary time and do with for pleasure not as a chore.

You really do sound like your are thinking this through properly, and its not an easy decision but please make it in the interests of the dog and not just your family smile

lokiDokey Fri 26-Jun-15 13:11:45

I agree, I don't think you should be having a dog. What life is it for a retired racing greyhound to spend most of the day alone? Older and less active does not equate less sociable.
How bloody miserable to be confined to one room with no company for 8/9 hours a day.

Panicmode1 Fri 26-Jun-15 14:41:15

I totally agree with EdwinaLizzard - it's a massive commitment. Even as a SAHM it's a really big part of my day, so if I was still working and commuting, I wouldn't even consider it.

As people upthread have demonstrated, yes, you could probably make it work with a dog walker and doggy day care, but just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean that you SHOULD....think about the quality of your dog's life first, not just your own or your children's wants.

nellieellie Fri 26-Jun-15 16:31:39

I have to agree. I waited to have a dog until I was no longer working, and kids were of reasonable ages. Plenty of people get dogs when they are working full time, use day care or dog walkers, but it's not a great life for the dog, and full time workers are not necessarily going to want to walk the dog before and after work, or have time to groom, housetrain, train, take to vets, deal with issues that arise. At the weekends, supposing you feel like heading off on a day trip? Leave the dog again? Going to the beach? A lot of beaches don't allow dogs. You're restricted in your choice of holiday as well. I am a SAHM and even for me my dog takes up loads of my time, restricts what I can do and where I can go. You're being responsible thinking about it, but I would say maybe get another pet?

MonstersBalls Fri 26-Jun-15 16:34:49

Definitely not a border collie. <twitches>

JohnCusacksWife Fri 26-Jun-15 19:37:26

Based on the time would actually be at home I don't think it would be fair to get a dog. Even with dog walkers etc working full time and having a dog don't mix, in my opinion. Dogs are social animals and need interaction. Perhaps a cat might be better suited to your lifestyle?

Scuttlebutter Sat 27-Jun-15 00:37:28

Another one here who thinks your hours are too long for dog ownership. And no reputable greyhound rescue (thank god) would let you adopt - that's far too many hours for a grey, like any dog, to be left alone. Yes, greys are gentle and chilled, but they are also intensely social, especially as most racers spend their entire working lives always surrounded by other dogs. Our greys love their daytime naps but they also enjoy training, grooming, sunbathing, playing hide the shoe, having zoomies, chewing, and all manner of activities - and they are all seniors too, aged 10, 11 and 12.

There are many ways you and your DDs can get involved with dogs - most rescues are always glad of volunteer dog walkers, and have many opportunities for families to be involved in other ways such as transporting dogs. You could also consider dog walking for the Cinnamon Trust, a wonderful charity.

EasyToEatTiger Sat 27-Jun-15 08:46:30

I was going to suggest much that Scuttle has already said. There are threads here about Rent-a-dog. Dog training places should welcome you to come in and watch and possibly even be stooges. Search and Rescue charities often need people to help and are worth contacting. Working guide and assistant dogs need time off and are often walked by other people than their charges. It's a massive responsibility. I have dcs aged 10 & 8 and really they don't do much with the dogs. Neither are the devoted child trainer with a boundless curiosity about what a dog is capable of!

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