I need cold hard facts please(62 Posts)
We have been seriously considering a dog for the last year. me and DS very keen, DH will go with the flow.
I'm at home 4 days a week, i work 3 days x 8 hours, DH off every other fri/Mon
DD live 5 mins away and is happy to help...
we have an elderly cat.
DS would love a Labrador.
Are we mad? should we consider a puppy or older dog.
Honest views please....
First someone needs to be with a puppy all day, every day, for at least the first 6 months of his/her life. If you cannot cover that then please don't even consider a puppy.
A rescue or older dog that is well trained can be left for up to 3-4 hours max once they have settled in, built up gradually.
Those are the basics op or it is unkind to the animal and you will have behavioural problems.
Our pup is 8 months old and we absolutely adore him. He has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives however, having a pup is very tying!
Simple things like going to the hair dresser, cinema or just out for lunch with friends has to be pre planned. We have to have some one with him pretty much 24/7. We can leave him alone for about an hour but that’s maximum.
The cost of a dog is also significant. Ours goes to daycare (3 Xs a week) when I’m at work. Financially we have to factor in daycare, insurance, food, toys, worming, flea treatment etc. We are in the region of £200-£300 a month.
We thought long and hard and did lots of research on breeds before committing. To us he is well worth all the effort, cost, stress etc.
I agree with Dragon.
You also don’t mention how much exercise and grooming you are prepared to do daily. Labs are active and MOULT!!!!
I spent the first month with my puppy at home after which he went to daycare when I went to work. I was very lucky to find a daycare that would take him that young and continue the training that I was doing. My dog now at the age of 2 is still only happy being left for around 3 hours a day.
Daycare costs me £20 a day, insurance around £40 a month, vet plan which covers flea/worming etc £16 a month and that's before training classes, toys, food, grooming, boarding etc.
I love him so much but as a puppy he was hard work and relentless. As a teenager he was a little shit. Have a look on here at the puppy survival threads to see how hard they can be. Then when you think things have finally settled down they hit adolescence and all that training you did goes out the window and they become deaf, stubborn and recall is a thing of the past.
If you can get past all of that they are a bloody wonderful, loyal, loving companion who brings joy to your life .
Thankyou. Puppies are obviously very cute but I understand they must not be left. we had a dog when I was young and remember it being hard work but extremely rewarding.
I think may be a rescue dog, but there arnt many of them around (labs)
Consider contacting a breed specific rescue. Many tears also get them but often ex breeding dogs.
Not quite a lab but black retriever x do get similar and they’re an excellent rescue.
Only if you can offer what it needs. (Looking at Ddog and wishing we could skip the walk this morning. I’ve burnt myself and it HURTS. )
Puppies are very hard work. Ours is one now and both DH and I have said the puppy months were really bloody tough - and ours wasn't even particularly naughty. He toilet trained early and was generally very good but he was (and still is) exceptionally demanding and a huge tie. I don't regret him for a second now, though.
Saying that adult dogs are still a big commitment. They need walks, shouldn't be left for more than 4h/day (most rescues won't let you adopt if you work all day because of this) and can come with health issues too.
You also need to consider holidays - kennels/home boarding isn't cheap so you either need to pay for that or take the dog with you which can be rather limiting. Not all dogs cope in a kennel environment either.
But saying all that they are hugely rewarding. The excitement when you walk through the door, the cuddles on the sofa, seeing them blossom from irritating pup to grown dog - nothing beats it!
I'm leaning towards a dog now rather than a puppy. DS is 20 and no longer wishes to holiday with us so holidays arnt a problem as someone will always be here. DS will be mostly responsible for walking dog, feeding, vets bills etc. It's his call.
I will spend tomorrow looking at rehoming sites. A lot say they can't be homed with cats which could be a problem.
Is introducing a dog into a home with an older cat always a problem?
really appreciate all your views 🐶
There are loads of labs in rescues. Mostly because people don’t realise what big, powerful, active dogs these gorgeous puppies grow up to be! I’ve had 3 rescue labs. Google Labrador rescues.
Thankyou honey Do you have any thoughts/experience of labs and cats?
I would get an older dog who is past the chewing stage, we have a lab x have had her since she was 6 weeks old and is nearly 10 now could not imagine not having her. But a puppy is much more hard work than an older dog. Also our dog costs £2 a week in dog food and annual injections - £30 thats it.
Your DS is 20, if you take a dog on, you need to do it as if DS wasn’t part of the equation (both being there and financially) because given a couple of years he’ll probably have left home, leaving you and DH with the dog for the next decade (at least). Given your DH isn’t fussed on the idea, you need to be really sure he won’t resent the commitment when you need to go home early from events, pay for kennels/home boarding when you want to go away and your DC are busy/have babies etc. ‘Not fussed’ can turn into ‘I should have put my foot down, I didn’t want the bloody dog in the first place’ quite easily, even if they love the dog.
If you get a dog from a rescue you’ll have an idea of whether it’s cat friendly or not. But only an idea and it’s still risky.
Personally I wouldn’t have got a dog when my cats were elderly as I don’t think it’s fair to them.
But I guess it depends what you call ‘elderly’. Both mine were 20+ when they died.
I agree with pp about the cat. It's likely to be stressed out. If cat is old, why not wait and get a dog for your next pet?
Thanks for your thoughts. The dog will belong to DS, he has a good job, will be buying it, paying all the bills. it's all he ever wanted. When he leaves home the dog will go with him.
When I was a teen we had a dog and 2 cats, (cats first) they used to just ignore each other. if anything the dog was scared of the cats.
Our cat is 15
DH likes the idea of a dog but is afraid he will be tied down. But he is starting to see that the dog will be DS responsibility.
Only you know your DS OP but is there any reason why he won't wait until he has moved out to get his dog? Paying for it now is one thing but when he is responsible for his own home and has the responsibility of a dog for many many years you might still end up being the owner especially if his social or work life changes.
It sounds like you wouldn't be bothered much if that happened but I am not so sure of your DH with your last post. And yes they are a tie but those that want them don't care but if your DH is reluctant now then think again.
OP, you know your family best but this sets off all sorts of alarm bells for me.
-The fact that the dog will belong to your son but you are doing all this research and legwork already. Maybe that’s unfair on your son but if he is not already doing much more research, looking and knowledge gathering than you then the chances of him suddenly doing it when the dog is here seem very slim, to me.
-Coupled with that is all the talk about where you holiday, how many days you work etc. This does not sound (to me) like any of you are really expecting your son to do the majority of care
-If your son works (full time) what will he do with the dog when he moves out and takes it with him? Who is going to look after the dog during the day while he works?
-In addition to the above, 20 year olds tend to go out after work – either socialising or networking because their job requires it. A dog cannot be left that length of time and suddenly becomes an unwanted inconvenience.
-20 year olds also tend to get married and have children etc. Again, this might be unfair but the number of people who do this and then find the dog isn’t so wanted after all is shocking. Suddenly, the dog – who is now too old to easily rehome – finds itself back in kennels because a baby has come along
-What if he wants to move out but cannot afford him own place? Less and less rentals accept pets. It can be REALLY hard to find one that does. Is that going to be a problem?
In terms of cold hard facts, a lab would require the following (at a minimum):
Walking 1-2 hours per day split into at least 2 walks. Good, muddy walks across fields, woodland etc. If your DS works that is likely to mean getting up at 5/6am to get the firsts walk in and then doing it again when he gets home. Or you doing it for him.
Training. They are big, bouncy dogs. Expect to have to train for approx. 1-2 hours per week for the first few months (rescue or puppy) if you want to get a dog that is confident, safe and fits into your specific lives. That training would be best delivered in tiny amounts per day. E.g. 2 or 3 sessions per day of a few mins each.
Food. Depends on what you feed and how high quality. Somewhere between £30pm - £100+ per month. Allaboutdogfood.co.uk is a great site for reviews and estimated costs of the different foods on offer.
Insurance. Am guessing around £30pm for a high level of cover.
Dog walkers costs around £10-15 per hour. Boarding around £15-25 per day.
Vet bills for the regulars (not covered by insurance) around £10-20 pm. Fleas, worms, jabs etc.
DD has only just left home at 29 so I don't imagine DS going any time soon
I would get a rescue dog tomorrow and I would be walking it whenever possible. The only clink of doubt is dear cat and how it would affect him.
So really it's not going to be your DSs dog, only in name.
You need to make sure your DH is defintely on board then because threads on here show how hard it is when one adult in the family who is responsible really detests the dog.
If he is worried about it being a tie then it's true. We don't do anything spontaneous anymore as it needs planning. Is there anything else he is worried about? Dirt, cost, destructiveness? Even rescue dogs can need time to settle and everyone I know that has got one had to do a period of toilet training and had some issues with seperation. Similar to a puppy but they got through the challenges quicker as the dog was older except for one situation with rehoming that ended up failing as the dog was aggressive.
I really wouldn't try and sweeten DH with the 'it's totally DSs' responsibility when you posts are contradictory on whose dog this is really for. Is he ok with 9 years (assuming you DS leaves at the same age as your DD) of the cost/mess and responsibility?
You said you wanted the cold hard facts so trying to point out all the issues that crop up on here ALL the time.
The only clink of doubt is dear cat and how it would affect him
Really? Your Op really didn’t make that clear at all. Or anything like your DS being 20 and this being his dog.
You asked for honest views...my honest view is that you’re not being honest with yourself. Or realistic. Your DS is not your DD & he might well decide to house share or live with a gf-bf in rental accommodation & not be able to take the dog. He might decide to travel.
If you allow him to get a dog while living at your house, you have to take it on as if you are getting a dog.
If this was really intended as DS’s dog, your Op would have been written differently and DS would be choosing the dog, not simply having a preference for a lab.
You’re (unintentionally I’m sure) hoodwinking your DH into thinking you you won’t be tied by a dog. The reality will be very different, especially as you are starting out being the one doing so much.
Your desire to get a dog is clouding your thinking. 🐶
Actually IncrediblySadToo articulated what I was thinking far better than I did.
Cross post bitey. If only I’d known I could have saved myself the effort and just typed ^ what she said 🤣
First someone needs to be with a puppy all day, every day, for at least the first 6 months of his/her life
I really disagree with this, imo you would end up with a dog who hates being left for any length of time.
By around a month old your dog should be ok to be left for about an hour and you should increase this gradually. By a year old a dog should be able to be left for up to 6 hours. Obviously you shouldn't regularly leave a dog this long though.
Our dog spends 2 days a week home alone 9-3.30pm, with a lunchtime walk to break it up, he is absolutely fine.
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