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Should we get a dog? Novice .(36 Posts)
We would like to get a pet.
We’ve decided against rabbits , cats and rodents and are thinking of getting a dog.
We have 3 DC aged 9, 7and 7.
The older DC has ASD.
Firstly , will a dog suit our situation ?
I work from home 2 days per week but I need to visit clients 3 days per week.
The dog would be alone for 6 hours a day , 3 days per week. Would this be too much ?
Getting a dog walker in or going to kennels is not an option due to the extortionate costs in our area .
We would like a puppy but would also consider a gentle rescue .
The dog must be a small breed, excellent with children and not need tons of grooming or exercise .
Could anyone recommend a breed ?
Or does it seem like we wouldn’t be suited to a dog?
I work full time with a mixture of at home and office. I use daycare.
I would say if you categorically cannot afford a dog walker then I wouldn't get a dog when you work.
Whilst some are fine to be left alone if your dog isn't and is noisy or destructive you would have a lot of problems.
Unfortunately you won't know whether they can cope with 6 hours until you get one and certainly a puppy needs to be gradually introduced to being left alone for small periods at a time and can take many weeks to build up to a few hours. Also responsible rescues are very unlikely to rehome to you when you will be out for 6 hours let alone stipulating no dog walker.
I think a stuffed toy dog would suit you
You shouldn’t leave a dog more than 4 hours per day, and you don’t want to do lots of grooming and exercise. You can’t guarantee that any dog will be perfect with young children, that’s partly down to the breed, and breeder, and partly down to training of the dog, and the children
For a puppy someone would need to be with it more or less all the time for at least a few weeks as they need to be taught to toilet outside and that takes time and practice, and someone who is watching all the time for the signs that they need. They also need to be taken out after sleeping, eating, and roughly every 30 minutes while awake, and you have to stay with them to make sure they perform and give masses of praise/get them used to a cue word
Puppies bite, nip, chew, jump up, cry at night (at least to start with) and some breeds don’t grow up until 18 months to 2 years
The only vaguely possible option is an older rescue who can go 6 hours without needing a pee, and is happy to be alone for that length of time. Some rescues won’t be happy with your set up though
CostaCoffee I can’t work out whether you’re joking or sniping?
The reason I asked is because I was doubtful a dog , especially a puppy, would cope with being left .
We are at very early stages of deciding - the first two replies have nailed it for me. I agree , it wouldn’t be suitable for us right now .
I doubt a puppy would, but an older calm rescue dog might work out well.
Sorry but there is no way you can leave a puppy 6 hours a day, at all. A rescue dog will have been through some trauma to a greater or lesser degree. They've been failed by humans so leaving them for that amount of time in unfamiliar surroundings is just not fair, or acceptable.
For an older dog - possibly a greyhound, who will have a flat out fifteen minute run then happily sleep the day away - much more ok but a puppy is the last thing you should be thinking of and as a home checker for many dog rescues I'd fail you on that basis.
I think a cat is much more suitable, or degus. Have you looked into them? Not smelly, sociable and not noisy at night like hamsters.
Can I ask why you've ruled out some other pet options? Your situation sounds much better suited to a cat or smaller pet.
I'm not entirely certain you have a realistic idea of the other costs involved in dog ownership if a dog walker three days a week is going to break the bank.
As an example, for my small breed young and healthy adult dog, monthly costs in a cheap area are
Lifetime Insurance £18
Healthy pet club (vaccinations, flea and wormer and other perks) £13.80
Food - up to £30 for nutritious, good value but not fancy food.
Treats (vital for training, which never ever stops) - £10
If you get a non shedding breed they will absolutely need professional grooming every six weeks with daily brushing done by you. I gather this is about £40-60 a time (though mine doesn't need it so I'm not entirely sure)
And then there are the random costs that come up - vet visit insurance excess (£85), new coat (£30), replacing household things a puppy has chewed (£££), new harness (£30), new collar (£10), kennels or dog sitting when you go on holiday, new dog bed (£15-20++), new hiking boots because you've worn out yet another pair (£120), new outdoor hiking clothes for winter dog walking, petrol to take DDog to more interesting walking destinations,
a fortnight off work on SSP because you've broken your ankle while dog walking, dog bowls, deciding to take the dog to a local dog show, having the car valeted to remove the mud the dog tracked in, a dirt trapping mat for the back door because the dog is constantly tramping mud in (£5+), fixing the garden when the dog has been digging (£££)...
You start to get the idea. Dogs are not a venture to undertake unless you have a fair bit of elasticity in your monthly budget, and some savings for unexpected events.
I had no intention of getting a puppy and just leaving it immediately ... that would be cruel . We had planned to work around both of our annual leaves to settle it in .
However, as I said upthread this was VERY early thinking and I wanted to see if it would be an option for us . Sadly , I don’t think it will be until DH changes jobs (he can work permanently from home in a year or two) .
I don’t like cats (sorry cat lovers ) .
Back to the drawing board !
Avocado thank you that’s helpful.
We haven’t looked in to costs fully as this was just an idea and we wanted to gauge opinions on whether our work setup would work .
We’ve fallen at the first hurdle so I don’t think a dog would be right for us .
I know you said a clear no to cats, but they're actually a good option i your situation. They're happy to be left alone, are easily housetrained, and need minimal care. All they need day to day is feeding.
I think a cat would make a good family pet, even if youre not immediately drawn to them. My autistic kids find our cats really soothing and more predictable than a dog. They get a lot of joy out of them, especially if you get a jolly rescue neutered boy cat, theyre often more people friendly than female cats (in my experience), and leaving them 6 hours would be no problem
I think an older dog would suit your family fine, a puppy no as they can be very destructive. Are there any dogs homes near you where you can have a dog on a trial basis ?
Well done for accepting that you’re not in the right place for a dog at the moment
Thanks for the responses .
I’m heading over to the guinea pig board
Glad you’ve decided no before I could say the same!
A cat would be a perfect pet for you. Caged animals are a massive pain in the arse, and unless the cage is meticulously cleaned, simply stink. My children had a guinea pig years ago, never ever again.
Guinea pigs are very popular on MN! Also have a look at fancy rats, which I'm told make fab pets (much better than hamsters!)
I’ll take a look in the litter tray - a cat may be an option.
Chickens ! Much easier than anticipated, great fun and rainbow eggs. Initial start up costs but then very cheap and you can sell a few eggs to fund some of the costs. There are auto door openers so you don’t have to keep going out, treadle feeders that hold lots of food and hopefully keep the rats out. Coop really easy to clean as they crap under where they sleep so takes 1 minute to scoop up and can make compost.
Cats are pretty easy too to be fair.
Cats are easier than guinea pigs... and more interactive.
If the cost of a dog walker is out of the question I I would seriously consider if you can afford a dog. They cost a lot more than you think - worming alone is £10 a month, insurance is £28, and that's before food or vet deductibles. Also some small breeds are not overly tolerant so choose wisely.
Our dd has asd and our dog (collie) is great with her and is fine alone for extended periods (he ignores me if I work from home in fact) but dogs need walks, attention etc - perhaps offer to dog sit for someone as a trial?
I doubt a puppy would, but an older calm rescue dog might work out well.
No. Six hours is too long for a dog of any age. Maybe as a one-off emergency of caught out by traffic, but not as a regular occurrence.
A cat (or two) would be the better option.
But.... you have already rules out cats.
You do need to be a cat person for cats, they're a lot more independent than a dog.
How about a hamster? Or fish?