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I have a yearning to get a dog but am clueless and allergic..(18 Posts)
Just that really. Am I mad to think of it?
We had a dog when I was a child. We have two children who would love a pet. I know it's a big deal though. I need some information and advice before I suggest it to DP, who loves dogs too. Our home is quite small but we have a garden.
Any advice to help me decide?
Some dogs are better than others for allergies. You can also have allergy injections and I’ve found I’ve built up a tolerance to mine.
Do all the adults work full time? Have you researched breeds who are less allergic reaction creating? Can you take meds for it?
I have a spaniel and I work full time abs have 2 dds 6 and 9. I work flexi, he has 2 short days and I pay a dog walker once a week minimum and extra days when I can't finish when I need to. We walk him before school quite often and for hours at weekends.
I have a holiday home so I take ddog away with me most of the time but going anywhere else I have to figure out dog care in advance.
I don't regret the ginger idiot he's lovely and the dc are very attached to him but it's a huge huge tie.
I should add if I screw up and leave him at home too long I am risking him being destructive. Currently putting hard floor down in my living room due to a dog mishap!!!
He wouldn't leave my side given the choice and is my furry shadow. He is rewarding and joyful all the time
Don’t fall for the “doodle/poo” hypoallergenic crap.
Crossing a poodle will only reduce the coat qualities that make a poodle less likely to provoke a reaction.
There are breeds that you are less likely to react to- poodles, yorkshire terriers to start.
Best bet is to spend time with different breeds and dogs and see how you react. Make sure you find a reputable breeder- they will let you visit multiple times, and also return the dog if it doesn’t work out.
DP works full time and I work from home and childmind after school so I would be the main person to look after the dog. I wouldn't have considered getting a dog until a friend mentioned her hypoallergenic dogs and I realised I hadn't had any allergic symptoms.
Our house is generally scruffy due to children in the house and we already have a bleach cleanable carpet.
Thanks for the advice about the doodlepoos, that is just what I need to know.
BIL said never get a dog as they are a bind.... but I'm just drawn to the idea.
Given we have never had one, would trip to Battesea Dogs Home be a bad idea?
We were in same boat and got a bichon frise. None of us have reacted to her. Having a dog is amazing but it is brutally hard in the puppy stage.
I love my pup and at the same time he isa nightmare, they steal and chew anything, but they love you unconditionally and will give you lots of kisses. Dogs are the best as long as you have time, lots of time to train, we are talking 6 months at least
For me, the best place to start is a serious think about:
a) how much walking you can and WANT to do every day
Expect even the laziest of dogs to require about an hour a day, best split into 2 x 30mins. The most to require a couple of hours and some of the most active breeds to require even more. This is worth serious consideration because it has to happen 99% of the time. That could mean cold, dark, rainy walks. Windy walks. Muddy walks. Walks when you feel sick. Walks when you have a really busy day ahead and so have to get up at 5am to fit the dog in then walk him again at 10pm when you just want to go to bed. Walks when the kids are playing up. Walks when they are sick. You get the picture
b) how much time you can and WANT to dedicate to a dog every day
This includes grooming, training, playing etc. Again, some dogs might be happy to curl up and snooze most of the day away but others (active, young) will find thier own entertainment if you just expect to walk and feed them but do little else.
c) which of the typical dog behavious you definately could not live with.
Barking, digging, chewing, brining mud into the house, taking a while to toilet train, needing to be around you most the day, hating to be left alone, not good with cats or other small furries, poor recall, pulling on the lead. All of these things can be imprived by training but that takes time and is harder with those dogs prone to do these things - e.g. teaching a Jack Russell not to bark at the door is much harder than teaching a naturally quieter dog.
d) looking at the last year of your life and counting up how many No Dog days out you've had (anything 4+ hours) and thinking about what you would have done with a dog for them. Perhaps you'd be happy to give up all those trips to a musuem or maybe you have friends who are happy to dog sit for foreigh holidays. Or maybe not and having the dog will feel like a real tie. This could be especially true if you get a dog that doesn't like being left alone at all.
Thinking through those things will give you an idea of whether or not getting a dog is a good idea and also start to guide you to what type (age, breed) of dog.
p.s. also cost per month. I think most dogs cost between £50 and £100pm (food, regular vet stuff, insurance). Quite a few cost more.
Everything Battenburg said...
If you want to research breeds - whether you decide to go for a rescue or not - Crufts is from 7th to 10th March at the NEC. They have Discover Dogs - over 200 breeds of dog, all represented by a breed club stand, with knowledgeable owners and dogs for you to meet.
Depends what your allergies are - but it might be manageable with some anti-histamines!!
What specifically are you looking for regarding advice?
Financially factor in costs of vaccinations and boosters, flea, worming, food, training and insurance along with the usual toys, leads, beds and misc. items that cost which for me has been walking clothes, stuff for the car to keep clean. Boarding for dog free days out or holidays.
BIL said never get a dog as they are a bind.... but I'm just drawn to the idea.
They are a bind and in the early days when mine was a puppy it was a hard stressful bind but now I look forward to coming home all the time and happily use him as an excuse to get out of social events . It's a bit like having a child that never grows up. No more mooching about the shops for a day, evenings out have to be planned so he won't have been left for too long. When your DCs want to go out for the day you need to think about how you are going to manage the dog. Lots don't like being left for long (mine is ok for around 3 hours) and then he gets restless. Other dogs cope for longer but some are anxious and destructive.
Depending on the breed you need to think about exercise. I am so fortunate as I have a working breed but he gets so much exercise at daycare I don't have to walk him if I am ill. However, that it unusual and some dogs 'need' one or two walks every day no matter the weather or how you are feeling. How will you manage if one or all of you are ill?
How will you juggle that around your time now with your DH working FT and your childminding? Just to give you an idea DH and I work full time but we act as a tag team in the morning and night because BiteyDog still needs to be fed and given attention along with doing all the household chores etc. Again think about how you will manage this if getting your DCs up and out in the mornings, your childminding etc.
Do you have time for training? I see you are looking at rescues and whilst some may be trained I know people who have rescued and they have had to start with basic toilet training and managing certain behaviours. Do you have time to work on training a dog especially if it has some habits such as pulling on the lead or jumping up at everyone? Can you afford trainers to help you if you were struggling with a particular behaviour?
What breeds would suit you. All dogs are different, even from the same breeds and litter. However, they will have traits so you need to think about what you can live with. For example, my dog is a hunting spaniel so we have had to manage his urge to go off hunting when he picks a scent up outside. For rescues which may be a combination of breeds look up the 'downsides' of those breeds and see if they would be a real issue for you. Whilst I got a puppy I discounted a few breeds because their typical traits would not have been compatible with my lifestyle.
There are many dogs who don't shed fur. Then you have to cross reference these with the ones who are good with children I know many people say it's down to the owners but no a lot of the time it can be the breed.
People have started cross breeding dogs to get the non shedding fur to the popular breed these are still classed as a mongrel and won't have "papers" so please don't get robbed.
King Charles spaniels
West highland terrier
Having children about a small dog would be better as a larger dog would knock them over. However saying that Labradors. Golden retriever. Are great with children so the new mongrel breed labradoodles might a idea as they won't have fur everywhere.
Dd is allergic to animals with fur, badly so, in so far as she can't go to houses that have cats and dogs and rabbits living there as she gets severe allergy symptoms such as scalded skin reaction, swelling to her face and lips and eyes. We have a lhasa apso and exh's dog visits regularly (he's a poodle/shis tzu cross) and she has no reaction to either possibly because neither have a coat that sheds and also because she has simply built up her tolerance to them. It has made no difference to her allergy around other animals at all though .
We have a cross between a bichon frise and a kind charles, and I don't react to her - it seems to be mainly short-haired dogs that I react to (e.g. BIL has 2 boxers and I can't go to their house without taking allergy meds 1st.
DDog is lovely, very placid temperament and fab with kids, equally happy to go on a long walk as snooze on the sofa. In a house full of males it's nice to have another girl, even if she is a dog!
She is generally very friendly with other dogs too, although is now a bit wary of larger breeds having unfortunately been knocked around by a couple of bigger dogs who wanted to play.
Are great with children so the new mongrel breed labradoodles might a idea as they won't have fur everywhere
A labradoodle has a 1:4 chance of inheriting the poodle coat. So a litter of 6 puppies one or two if they’re lucky will be poodle like. The rest will still shed and and likely produce an allergenic reaction.
Plus you’ve now got the excercise needs of a retriever combined with the intelligence od a poodle- good luck with that!
Plus a poodle coat crosses with a straight haired dog produces a coat that “felts” if it isn’t throughtly combed every day and professionally groomed every 6 weeks. Groomers hate them- a neglected doodlepoo coat will need shearing like a sheep- to the skin.
There’s a reason these crosses end up in rescue. I was offered a chihuahua poodle cross- the owners had paid £1000 to find their child was allergic. Basic genetics people! Take a dog which you’re not allergic to and cross it with one you are, why do people seem to think the resulting puppies will magically be better for those with allergies.
It’s like dog homeopathy- the more you watwr down a desirable quality the stronger it gets...!!!!
Just get a standard poodle. Same size, looks the same as a labradoodle, you have much more predictable coat and personality qualities.
Much easier to find a reputable breeder as well.
It’s not just the fur you can be allergic to.
Avoid cross breeds. You have no idea what you will get.
How much time will you have to dedicate to a dog? Mine needs grooming and an hour or two of walking a day.
Puppies are bitey little shits. You can’t leave them alone for a minute and you need to watch them pretty much constantly to toilet train. Then there’s training. Classes but also constant reinforcement. Can you manage that and work?
I have allergies. I knew what breed I wanted. I spent months and months meeting as many as I could and getting as close as possible to see if I would react.
Dogs are a bind as others have said. What you have to think about is what you will do with your dog when you: go on holiday. Fancy a trip out for a day. Want to go to the cinema. Need to make hospital visits, etc etc. Every time you want to go out for more than a couple of hours (assuming your dog is happy to be left once an adult/settled in) you have to wonder what you are going to do with the dog, and if it is something the dog can't do with you, you will have to make alternative arrangements for its care. You can't be spontaneous with a dog around!
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