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
Is it viable to have a puppy?(28 Posts)
My dd is 8 and desperate to have a dog. She would like a small dog so French bulldog, pug, miniature dachshund size.
I work school hours 5 minutes from home. I come home every lunchtime already. It would mean pup would be alone from 8.45-12.45 and from 1.20 until 3.30. We live over the road from a park, dont holiday abroad, and aren’t out very much in the evenings.
I grew up with a dog and I do think it’s good for children to have the opportunity to experience that. But I’m concerned about the time I’m in work. I could look into a puppy walker a few days a week but couldn’t afford it every day.
What’s the general feeling on here?
My ds is 4 and wants a dinosaur called Blue....
You can’t leave a small puppy. At all. For maybe weeks of toilet training. No 8 year old will take full responsibility for any animal.
I think 4 hours is the absolute max you can leave an older dog OP, certainly not a puppy. Also, a puppy couldn’t go to a dog walker for a while as they can only start with very short walks. I would think your options are an older rescue dog or using a doggy day care which takes pups.
I was thinking that if (and it’s a big if) we did get a puppy then it would be at the start of the summer holidays so a good 6 weeks of toilet training before I would be back at work.
And no of course she wouldn’t be fully responsible for the dog!
That would be cruel, you couldn't leave a puppy that long.
An older rescue dog, maybe, if it was used to being left and you settled it in well first for a month or so.
Dogs are pack animals, and hate being left alone.
It will still be a puppy after the summer holidays OP and not able to be left for 4 hours at a time.
Its not just toilet training though - with puppies you are teaching them all the time what is appropriate to chew, recall, socialising, what to do when people walk past the door and so on. And even when toilet trained, they need to go out at least every 2 hours, often every hour before 6 months.
And any puppy that is ready at the start of the school holidays has a much higher chance of being from a puppy farm, esp with those trendy 'Instagram' breeds, as good breeders have waiting lists.
This jumped out at me
I could look into a puppy walker a few days a week but couldn’t afford it every day.
In the grand scheme of things I would say if getting a dog walker in would break the bank have you considered all the other costs (flea/worming, insurance, grooming, training, food, etc).
Just had a look and doggy daycare varies from 12-22 a day in my area. That isn’t too bad.
The more expensive one has a pick up and drop off service and 20 odd acres! They also do puppy day care with chill out areas which looks very nice. All things to consider.
Six weeks is no time at all in the life of a dog, and all the dogs you've listed are notoriously hard to toilet train. There are posts on here at least once a month about bulldogs and pugs who are one or older and still toilet in the house. There is absolutely no guarantee that your pup will be dry after six weeks. Mine certainly couldn't have reliably held his bladder and bowels for four hours at 14 weeks of age.
You're planning on leaving the dog six hours a day. While this would probably be manageable for an older dog, it's not acceptable for a puppy. They need a lot of input, very regular toilet breaks, lots of small bursts of play/walks/training and most importantly, company.
Your DD is only eight - dogs can easily live for 13 years or more. Are you always going to have a term-time job? What happens to the dog if you go out for the day? Dogs aren't allowed in zoos, theme parks, on lots of beaches in summer etc - who's going to look after it? Daycare is expensive and requires booking in advance - so you can't just spontaneously plan a day trip unless the dog is welcome too.
Also, every single breed you've mentioned is rife with health problems. Pugs and Frenchies are notorious for breathing difficulties, skin infections and eye problems due to their horrific breeding. Dachshunds, while small, are hunting dogs and need a lot of work. They're also prone to back and leg problems. You'll need to make sure you get very very good insurance if you do go ahead.
I think you need to have a proper think about everything. I wanted lots of things at 8yo, doesn't mean I got them!
Personally I’m not feeling that it’s a great idea at this stage. It never hurts to get advice from experienced dog owners though.
Yes I’d already factored in insurance, food, grooming etc. But an extra £100 a week on day care does make a difference in most people’s budgets.
She will survive without a dog! Thanks for the advice.
What about a cat instead? They can be a lot easier to look after and can be left alone while out at work etc
Yes, a cat or kitten could work. Far far cheaper, very low maintenance and are perfectly happy on their own all day!
I actually have 3 cats. They are wonderful but not particularly affectionate with my dd. They think I am their personal mattress.
Her best friend at school has a dog (Frenchie) and she is gorgeous and very cuddly. Big difference being mum doesn’t work. I think dd wants a loving relationship with a furry but dcats are not that interested in her.
I think I’m going to change tactics and get her to do more feeding/treats with the cats as they love the hand that feeds.
You can’t pick up a puppy at the start of the summer holiday. Bitches only have a couple of seasons a year. Bitches should have no more than a couple of litters in their lifetime and most people don’t have lots of bitches having lots of puppies. Unless they’re puppy farmers.
This is a really bad idea.
Dcats are actually quite dog friendly weirdly. Next door has a chocolate lab and a log burner. They often pop over and chill out in front of the fire with the dog . Fortunately my neighbours don’t mind and chuck them out when they go to bed.
I wasn’t planning on just picking up a random puppy at the start of the summer, I was just postulating that it would be the longest period of time I would be off. Having a chat on here has made it very clear that this is altogether a bad idea! Don’t panic I’m not going buy a pup. I’ll discuss why with dd and explain why it wouldn’t be fair on the dog. Once I win the lotto and can retire of course I can have as many pets as I like in my country retreat! Until then I’ll stick with my cats.
Have you considered Guinea pigs? We have three indoors (we have a lot of foxes, and a spare room).
They need to at least be in pairs. Otherwise they are lovely pets. They are pretty easy to handle. My kids love having them sit on their knee and snuggle up for a stroke/eat some green beans.
They can be quite interactive when it comes to food. So will squeak loudly when they hear a salad bag rustling or is walking past the room at veggie time (or any time).
Also they are fine being left all day. Just need someone to pop in and feed when you go away. As long as you do the proper research and get from a good breeder/rescue and make sure their space is big enough (don’t listen to Pets At Home ‘experts’) they make great pets for kids.
How would it work with the cats? Would they be viewed as dinner?
Red flags everywhere. First your cats would hate it and might leave home. Second a puppy needs pretty much full time care for the first t wo years. Third your choice of breeds are the worst you could choose. They have inbred health issues with breathing (french bulldogs) eyes (pugs) and backs ( dachsund) They are also not first choice for children. An 8 year old has no idea and could not be responsible in any way, She wants a toy not a dog. A dog is almost as big a committment as a small child for 14 years. Please dont do this
Our pup is 7 months old and we have only just (in the last couple of weeks) been able to leave him up to an hour, before this he barked and howled when we were gone (even though he was only left for ten mins for school run) he definitely wouldn’t have tolerated being left for hours that young. We’ve only been able to make it work as my hubby works from home and I work 12 hours a week. Weekends have meant one of us takes kids our whilst the other stays with the dog. I honestly didn’t realise how much it would impact our lives, not that I would change it as he’s perfect! But definitely not something I realised before getting a dog - assumed after a month or so he would be fine left for a few hours!
As I said up thread I’m not doing it!! You’ve all successfully persuaded me I would be insane.
Out of curiosity dd’s Friend has a Frenchie, her cousins have cavapoo, and we know another family with small (toddlers) children who have a Maltese. What are good breeds for kids that aren’t labs?
I think guinea pigs would be too big for a cat to see as food. But you can keep them separate easily.
We have a miniature poodle who has been/is amazing with our kids (and doesn’t look silly - they aren’t born with Pom poms). He’s 10 months now and I have to say it took a LONG time for us to relax more about leaving him. And puppies are such massively hard work. My 8 and 6 year old enjoyed him for about 2 hours when he first came, then spent months being irritated that they could leave ANYTHING on the floor without being chewed, we could go out for longer than an hour, we couldn’t go inside the cafe in the park and had to sit out in the cold as dogs aren’t allowed...
What about the Borrow my Doggy website? Basically you pair up with a dog owner who'd like their dog to be walked occasionally or maybe the odd overnight stay etc. That might be good for your son.