Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Dogs & divorce(21 Posts)
Ive posted on relationships board but not here before & need some advice.
Ive just separated from my husband, will eventually divorce.
As well as ds we also have 2 ddogs, one is 11& 1/2 other is 3.
At the moment we agreed the dogs will stay with h (who is at his dads) mon am - thurs pm with me the rest of the week. Ive just got them back, they look stressed & knackered. H works 12 hour shifts fri-sun is off mon- thurs. He now lives in a town, no enclosed garden, im in the county with an enclosed garden. H says hes been walking them 4 times a day.
Im feeling conflicted, i love my dogs & think they would be better off here with me. H would never agree to this, im pretty sure he loves them more than ds.
Im worried about the effect going backwards & forwards will have on them.
But also worried if i gave them up they would be alone (together) for upto 14hours at a time.
Does anyone have any experience of a similiar situation or have any advice? If it helps my ds is staying with H 2 nights a week (mon & weds).
Could the stress just be because of the initial upheaval? How long has the arrangement been in place?
Dogs do get used to different places and different routines. Mine goes to daycare at least 3 times a week and I know he has different rules and routines at the dog walkers house than at mine which he is now used to.
I know in the same circumstances DH and I would have to have 50:50 time each with BiteyDog as we both love him. I think it's a matter of getting them used to the different houses and giving them time to settle into the new normal.
Thank you biteyshark its very new - this week, so it is probably my anxiety as much as theirs!
To give you a situation which is similar from the dog's point of view but without the emotional aspect, my DDog is frequently looked after overnight by DF when I have to travel for work. He rapidly got used to it and now moves seamlessly between the two homes.
What did unsettle him for a few weeks was when I moved house, though he got used to it in the end.
Thank you, ive been really worried about them, hopefully they will settle - ive had two dog poo incidents on my rug today which is VERY unusual :-(
Not quite sure how he can walk them four times a day, if they're left alone for 14 hours a day?
Hang on. If he's working 12 hour shifts are these dogs being left on their own for that length of time, plus commute? If so that's really not acceptable.
He might love them but if that's what's happening to them at his house then he's not taking care of their basic needs at all. Dogs need company, stimulation, attention, fun. You can't coop them up at home all day while you work!
Who owns the dogs? Whose name is on the KC reg? Dogs are legally property. If you own them then just keep them and tell your ex to get stuffed. Particularly if he can’t care for them because he’s at work. Dogs don’t understand shared custody, they need a reliable and familiar carer every day.
Leaving them alone for 14hrs is cruel. And there's no way he could have walked them 4 times.
Hi everyone thank you for all the replies, i think there has been some confusion. The dogs arent being left for 14hours alone, when he works fri- sun they are currently with me. He claims they have 4 walks per day mon- thurs - this is whilst looking after a toddler.
Im worried as the dogs seem stressed, he says they were fine with him. They have had 3 ' poo accidents' in the house since yesterday, twice when i was in another room, the other i was out for less than an hour, they had been walked & let out before i left them.
Neither are KC registered.
Im starting to think they may need to be with him if his dad (who he now lives with) can care for them at the weekends, its breaking my heart, i love my furbabies
How long has the current arrangement been going on for? Are they getting better or worse?
They may still be settling in to the new arrangements - mine took weeks to settle into my new flat, and is still looking much more worried about anyone he doesn't know and love coming into the flat.
I think you need to give it more time. I wouldn't even consider it for at least 6 weeks to give them time to adjust.
Personally I would give it more time. I am sure between me and the lady that looks after BiteyDog three days a week he sees us both as his 'owners'.
Mine has had his fair share of stressful periods and he exhibited behavioural issues (anxiety etc) after each one but with time settled down. Every time this has happened I tended to go back to basics as if he was a puppy so with yours I would spend a day or so reinforcing that pooing/peeing is outside e.g. supervise more than normal, let them out more and stay with them and then praise when they toilet outside.
Obviously if you think it's best they live with him full time then no one will judge you for putting them first but equally I think that with a bit of time to settle down and get them back on track in your house with your rules that you can't both look after them.
Give it time. I think you’re emotional and that’s impacting on the dogs too as well as the new situation.
If they’re used to all their ‘pack’ being in one place and now they’re split in two and spending time in new places, that’s a lot to get used to.
You say your DH loves the dogs - I’m sure you have no reason to doubt how he takes care of them. Leaving them with his elderly father over the weekend sounds like a poor choice.
Give it a bit of time then reassess.
I think PP are right in that it's an emotional situation for you as well and probably isn't the right time to make any big decisions. Maybe give yourself a set time when you will review the situation, e.g. in 1-2 months and in the meantime you will give yourself a break worrying whether it's the right thing and you just concentrate instead on settling into your 'new' routine.
Thank you all, biteyshark thats a good idea, you are all right im emotional & shouldnt make any snap decisions. I'll give it until the new year, hopefully we will all be a bit more stable then
Yes give it time. They need to adjust and may be feeling the upset vibes too. For what it's worth, I'm cabin crew and have met several colleagues whose dogs go to family members or dog sitters regularly while they are away on long trips, and the dogs are quite happy..
I have recently split with my husband. The dog is staying with me and the kid but I am currently feeling very guilty - the dog's walks will be shorter and there is less time for him.
Currently his schedule is:
30 minute walk when I take kid to school (with a run in the field for 10 mins during this)
30 minute walk at lunch
30 minute walk at dinner time
A few runs in the garden during the day.
I am home all day and but I work so am sat at my desk in between school drop off and pick up times. All the time I have available in the work day to not be at my desk is spent either sorting house / food or dog but it feels like he is getting a raw deal.
He used to get an hours field run morning and evening so this is definitely less for him. He is only a little Bichon Frise so probably doesn't need the exercise but he is a clever little guy and needs stimulation. I am trying to improve the other bits of stimulation he needs but TIME to do stuff is really hard to find.
@Cath have you considered Borrow My Doggy? Even if someone only took him out once a week it sounds like it would make a difference.
Could you swap one of the walks per week for an activity like agility or a trick for treat class? I know a class always tires DDog out more efficiently than a walk of similar length.
There's also a great group on Facebook called Canine Enrichment which has lots of ideas. Many of them you can set up in less than 5 mins and will then keep the dog independently entertained for 15-30 mins.
Thanks Avocados - I would sign up for Borrow my Doggy but house is on the market to be sold and we are hoping to move after Xmas - will sign up in the new area then. I'll go look for Canine Enrichment group. The dog looks miserable and that is making me sad!!!!!!!