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Feel guilty re dog and kids(11 Posts)
How do you deal with the massive lifestyle change to your dog when kids come along?
We have a 3.5 year old cockerpoo. He's seriously high energy and could walk for hours and hours and do endless brain training. We now have two children under 2yrs old.
We went through a stage of thinking he would have to go when he hit doggy puberty as he became a right little shit tbh. He kept randomly attacking DP, biting him. He was also super possessive of EVERYTHING. Literally you could drop a pen and he would leap on it and defend it. Thankfully we worked hard and he's now a different dog that my eldest could literally take food from (if we didn't run interference to keep them safe)
But how do I keep the dog happy? As you can imagine having two such young children - 20 months and just 4 months old, my life is pretty manic and I'm not getting much sleep. Consequently the poor dog is not getting the mental or physical stimulation he would love.
We have a dog walker three times a week and also use borrow my doggy people when they're free, but I just feel like I'm outsourcing dog ownership and he literally just lives here, like a fluffy housemate i occasionally say 'sup' to.
Do you think it's ok for him to live like this? I'm hoping it's just short term and as the babies get older I'll have more time and also he'll be older so will need less??? Or do you think it's cruel and he's bored and should go elsewhere to a more active family. My best friend (a gay man, which is relevant as his lifestyle is not going to change as he doesn't want kids) has his this weekend and he looks so happy in all the photos playing out
Well I outsource dog care as mine goes to daycare when I work.
Whilst I play with him for short periods when he is with me he does not get the 'full on' days like he gets when playing with all his doggy pals.
Does it really matter that it's outsourced? I am sure some people would think so just like they do when people outsource childcare. But I just view it that he gets the best of both worlds so full on dog playing heaven intermixed with quieter times when he gets to chill.
I think you are worrying too much. He is getting the physical exercise when he's out with other people and also down time with you which even the most active dogs need (I have a working cocker so understand the need to mentally stimulate them).
Thank you. That's a helpful perspective
Whilst I get what you mean about outsourcing care, I also think there are many positives to this.
For a friendly dog it can only be a good thing to have many people he loves and has fun with and many different places to go where he has doggy pals too. A dog cannot be loved too much, imo (though they can be spoilt!).
As a dog owner you have a responsibility to give a dog everything he needs to be happy and healthy - but this doesn't mean automatically doing it all yourself. You are still providing this for your dog by paying/arranging for other people to help. It seems very sensible to do this while you have young children so your time and energy are focussed on them.
For perspective, I wfh 3-4 days a week. I adore Battendog, we do lots together and I have the time and opportunity to walk him twice a day, almost every day. Despite that, I still keep his dog walker booking for 3 days a week, even when it clashes with days I am home. I do this, despite it feeling like a waste of money sometimes, because he loves going. A walk with her and some of his best doggy pals is a great deal of fun - fun that I cannot provide because when I walk him, it's just him and me. We do a different kind of walk.
If I had a reliable brrow my dog or friend who wanted to take him off for a jolly I'd welcome that too. Not because I want rid of him or cannot be bothered to do it myself. Because I think it would be something different he would enjoy.
Don't feel bad. It sounds like your dog has a good life.
My dogs kept me sane when I had young children - I put the DC in a buggy and went out with the dogs everyday - had one evening off a week to go to agility.
I outsourced the cleaning, ironing and shopping
But in answer to your question if your dogs need are being met by whoever your dog will be happy
Thanks everyone. @Jouska unfortunately I struggle to walk him on my own with the kids as they are in a TANK of a double buggy! I have to wait for DP to be home. You've all made me feel a bit better thank you. I just hope I'll have more time for him in a year or so when the youngest is a bit older.
I used to walk my two dogs with a double buggy but it took a few goes to get a lightweight one. The best was a maclaren fold-up.
Mine were in a double all terrain buggy as I had a small age gap between my DC's . It did restrict us on some locations but I did lose the baby weight quickly .
Not saying you should do that but just what worked for me. You have to work out what works for you and if it is to get others to walk you dog then go for it - your survival and well being is really important
It also helped my dogs build up very happy associations with the children!