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Is a dog a possibility for us?(37 Posts)
At the very early stage of research here so hoping for some help! I've never owned a dog but DP always has one growing up and now DD (11) is mad about dogs so we are seriously considering one. We have a decent size house with an enclosed garden in a small town but the problem is I work full time. I do go for a walk most mornings at 6am so could take the dog out then and DD doesn't leave for school until 8.15am. She's first home around 4.30pm so I realise I'll probably need a dog walker for the middle of the day. Between us we can exercise the dog against in the evening.
How do people who work full time manage with a dog? What breeds are better suited to this kind of household and would the dog stay indoors or be in the garden while we're out?
Excuse my naivety here - as I say I'm in the very early stages of exploration here and want to spend a good few months looking into things before I make a decision. Thanks in advance for any comments.
You can’t leave a dog outdoors. It could eat things it shouldn't, be a noise nuisance or even get stolen.
You can’t leave a pup at all in the early days. So that’s out unless someone can be home for a bit. If you’re working full time an hour visit or so at lunch time isn’t going to be enough. Daycare would be better but expensive.
In terms of breeds I would avoid any designer cross breeds and anything hugely popular (like frenchies). You need to consider the size of dog, level of activity and amount of grooming you’re happy with.
Why don’t you adopt an older dog that would be happier left for longer periods than a puppy would.
The issue with that is many rescues may not consider someone who works full time.
Not all rescues will discount you if you are getting a suitable dog and are committing to daycare or a walker . You definitely need an older dog and will need to take time off work to settle it in .
I worked full-time when we had our first dog.
We chose a notoriously lazy breed, and had a dog flap installed so ddog could go into the garden when he wanted.
Ddog two was same breed and same set up... No problems.. Now on ddog three and four and they are also fine being left. Though they have each other for company.
And at home in Cornwall they have dog flap, in London they are in flat but I take them running for about 8km in the morning if they are going to be on there own most of the day..
I agree we have never had a rescue accept us as potential re homers due to work.. Even when we offered lunchtime walkers.
Which I think is sad and short sighted.
I also think it is how you start that matters, if you are home all the time and then suddenly leave a dog they might struggle, if. Puppy knows no different it might be OK. Certainly in our experience it's been OK.
So choose your breed carefully, consider. Dog flap and consider two together.
We have cavalier spaniels.. The best dogs ever
I work full time but mixture of home and office. I spent the first month at home with my puppy before going back to work when he went to daycare. Daycare costs a lot and around here £20 a day is the going rate.
Whilst I can leave my dog he really only copes for around 3 hours so a dog walker in the day still wouldn't be enough when I am out of the house.
I adopted my greyhounds while working full-time, at the time I could nip home at lunch to take them out. I have a dog walker now, depending on my needs walker offer a home visit, let out to garden & play (cheaper with multiples) or they take for a walk. There's also day care/boarding but depends on dog/setup if suitable.
I chose the breed to suit my lifestyle as they are fairly low maintenance, used to being handled, quick wipe over grooming, low energy so don't need to walk miles, sleep a lot so reduces getting bored & destructive. Generally quite calm dogs & relaxing to have around, characters vary some are very cuddly others more on their terms (quite cat like).
Not small, they vary fair bit in size 22kg to 45kg, however spend most of time horizontal in a comfy spot so aren't as noticeable as busy dog that's on the go constantly.
I wouldn't get a puppy if out at work all day as they take lot of time input to train/socialise and you'd have to put trust & outsource that to another carer. People like to see pups as blank slates but can easily end up with training/behavior issues(baggage) so need to do best to minimize that.
I personally prefer to get a dog 2+yes when they're mature and characteristics/energy levels etc tend to be clearer, they're still very trainable. Of 5 rescues adopted, 4 the past history from birth was known & the 1 stray I took on a foster so that other potential adopters could know what she was like in a home, but she decided her home was with me.
We work FT (3 days compressed hours for me and 5 days for DH) and pup goes to doggy day care. He is only 7 months and no way could I leave him alone. Even leaving him for 30 minutes alone is an issue.
He couldn’t start daycare until he has all his vaccines so needed someone at home 24/7 for the first 5 weeks too.
We made sure day care was a viable option before getting pup, without it we couldn’t have him.
Day care is very reasonable here and only £14 a day, however over a month it all adds up!
I'm watching this thread closely as we're in a similar situation - I work ft but can work from home once/ twice a week.
What breeds would people recommend as more relaxed/ less likely to get bored if home alone before dog walker comes?
Never knew you got dog-flaps so I'm away to investigate that!
This is all really useful - thanks so much. Any other experiences from people who work full time are much appreciated. Not sure about doggy day care in my area but that's definitely something for me to investigate now.
Some dog walkers also do daycare. Mine is one of them and he just tags along on the walks and then stays at her house.
You won't be able to leave a puppy that long - no way. Mine needed regular toilet breaks up until six months of age and even after that couldn't go 8 hours on a regular basis until about 9-10 months old.
It is workable with an older dog and a walker, or using daycare for a younger dog. DH and I work full-time and our pup is one next month - he goes to daycare when we work and then we have different days off so he spends the other four days with one of us.
It works fine but we're very lucky in that we get mates rates so we only spend £10 a day on daycare. Lots of others I know can cost £20+ or even longer for a full day. It's an expense you need to factor in because not even all older dogs will be happy for 8 hours alone every single day.
Our dog flap is just a large cat flap.. Though had to be replaced once when ddog 1 had got a bit portly and we came down one morning to him sheepishly wearing it round his middle...
Have a look in borrow my dog. You may get lucky and find someone local who’d have your dog some of the time and become a second home.
No dog should be left during the day for 8 hours without the chance to go to the toilet.
Dog flaps aren’t a good idea. Risk of dog being a noise nuisance or being stolen etc.
Consider The Cinnamon Trust to get some time walking a dog. They don’t have all cases on their website.
If you can’t do daycare or work from home then I can’t see this being feasible.
I did look at dog flaps but was worried about security and whether my home insurance would consider that it was technically leaving a door open and thus invalidate the insurance (no way would BiteyDog fit through a cat flap sized one).
Haha. To get a Wolfie sized one would undoubtedly invalidate insurance. on the plus side? If I lost my keys I could get back in.
I can't recommend greyhounds enough.
DH and I work full time so didn't think we would be able to have a dog but then we found out about greyhounds.
They are the 45mph couch potato. They sleep for about 20 hours a day. Contrary to popular belief they don't need alot of exercise.
There are so many needing homes as they typically retire from racing between 3 and 5. They are quite big dogs but very calm and gentle. My Mother is quite scared of dogs but she's fine with my greyhounds because of their nature.
Definitely look into a dog walker to break up the day.
One thing to be mindful of is prey drive. They have a strong instinct to chase which their training for racing will have only enhanced. This generally means they need to be walked on lead unless you are in a secure field, then they can have a good run.
Adopting our two has been the best decision.
Talk to a couple of rescues near you, I am sure they will be only to happy to talk to you and advise.
Whichever way you decide to go it is crucial you are completely honest with a rescue about your situation I.e. working hours, what you are willing to work with etc. all of this feeds into how the rescue work out which dogs they think will match your lifestyle.
For example even though you may love the look of a particular dog if they are prone to separation anxiety not only would it not be fair on the dog it makes life so much harder for you all.
In terms of how we manage. I do the morning walk, we break the day with a local dog walker and then we take them out of an evening. It does change things, we want to spend our evenings and weekends doing things with the hounds. We love coming home to their happy wagging tails, melts away the stress of the day xxx
I work full time and use daycare. It costs £20 a day but is cheaper if you use it 3 days a week or more a week. If you don't mind saying roughly where you live someone might be able to recommend daycare in your area.
We have King Charles Cavalier.
Both work full time ( sometimes night shifts too). He's left at home for long days and nights. He copes fine with it. Never messes inside. Been like this for most of his life. We were home more when he was a puppy though had both made redundant around the time we first got him. Plus had teens home then too. He suffered a bit with being left at first when we both returned to work. ( sofa was destroyed). However he got over this and has settled into his life as it is. So yes you can have a dog and work full time. We don't use daycare or a dog walker. Our Oli is a lazy boy and only likes short walks 30 mins usually is enough. We do take him out with us on days off and weekends when not working though. Mostly he's happy just home with us. Guess he's use to it now he's 10 years old and it's all he's ever known.
Poor dog. So because he manages not to toilet all over the house then he must be fine?
Wolfiefan you don’t know me my family or our dog. Must be nice to judge when you don’t even know us. Just what I expected though. Despite what you think our dog is a happy boy, he’s well loved. Would we like to be home more with him yes but we need to work. We work rotating shifts so not always alone. Some weeks are better than others.
Of course I judge someone someone who denies a dog access to toilet for maybe 9 hours a day. That’s completely cruel.
Where did to say the dog doesn’t have access to toilet? I never says anything of the kind. I said he doesn’t mess inside which you have misunderstood that he couldn’t go elsewhere. We have a dog door so he can go out....if he needs to. So please don’t judge so quickly.