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To get a puppy or not?(26 Posts)
Hello all. I'd really appreciate some advice/ideas.
I am a single parent of 3 DC aged 14, 11 and 7. I don't drive, but am currently learning. I work 3 days a week, on thise days the house is empty from 730am - 4pm when my eldest gets back.
My children and I very much want a puppy. I am thinking that on the 3 days i work i could use doggy care or a dog walker.
Am I being realistic?
I don't think that would work with a puppy, it would spend too long on it's own, maybe an older rescue dog would be better.
Yes I think that would work. Your children are good ages.
We got our first puppy last year and it has been a steep learning curve. She goes to daycare when we’re out (which does cost a fortune). I think as long as you counter in the fact that you may get a dog who hates being left alone and you’re prepared to go with that as we had to, then you’ll be ok.
It would depend on how you could manage the early period of a puppy's life, as the set up would probably work for an adult dog. Puppies, though, need a lot of input, company, supervision and training, and I wouldn't feel happy leaving one for that length of time at such a young age. Is there any way you could make sure that somebody (you, or your 14 year old if reliable) could be at home until the puppy was about five months old, and then gradually introduce a dog walker? Could you work from home for a few months, and come home at lunchtime once you do go back?
Or, as Barmaluz says, just look for a dog in rescue - though it can be hard to find a rescue that will rehome to a family with children. In general, smaller rescues and those that foster dogs in people's homes are more flexible about whether there are children or not, and also account for the fact that most people have to go out to work.
No real chance to WFH, as I am NHS. My 14 year old could walk the dog when he got in from school. Alternatively we could get the pup at the start of the Summer hols so DS1 would be home a lot to walk the dog.
I did look at rescue dogs, but as a PP said, lots seem to say no to children, which is a shame.
I'm so undecided.
We got our puppy at the beginning of the holidays so had 6 full weeks at home with her. From then on we found a fabulous dog trainer/daycare who had her and continued with the toilet training etc while we were at work.
Is there a daycare you can use which takes younger dogs? Some daycares will take puppies once they are fully vaccinated - it's not what I choose to do, but I've always had the option to have someone at home with a puppy.
Once dogs are older, they can usually be left for longer, especially if they have outside accessor someone comes in to walk them in the middle of the day. Our younger dog had a midday visit and walk on the days I worked until she was about 2. Our dogs cope well with being left and TBH the hardest thing is getting up at 6 to walk them before work when it's dark, cold and wet.
Do you know any working dog owners you could chat to?
No. I'm sorry, but that's far too long to leave a young dog alone all day.
And whatever you do, please don't rely on the words of a 14yo. Puppy care is frustrating and gets very boring, very quickly. Waking up 2-3 times a night to let them out the toilet, cleaning up accidents, training, being bitten and scratched by a hyper bundle of fur...
It needs to be 100% your responsibility. If you're not around to do all the work (which you're not) then please don't do it. It's not fair on the puppy - they can't be left all day like that.
Get a cat instead.
Yes, I think a puppy is a good idea are you at home now or still working? We were originally going to get one at the start of the summer holidays so we'd have 6 weeks at home with it. As I'm now at home for the foreseeable we've got a puppy coming home next month to us instead.
Doggy daycare would be fine on your working days as long as you get a breed who can cope with being alone. On this forum you get flamed for using daycare whereas in my real life everyone I know with dogs either uses daycare or has a walker in at lunchtime!
I would wait until the summer holidays, to give a young pup time to build up familiarity and for you to ensure that socialisation and basic obedience gets off to the best start possible.
I would then budget for three days of doggy day care, which could be around £100/week. Just a walk isn't enough for a young pup who needs company, socialisation and training if they're really going to be a good family pet and have a halfway decent life.
You also don't want the dog to turn into a bone of contention between you and your children - assume you will be doing 90% of the work and see if you are happy with that.
If you're prepared for all that, then I would say give it a go.
Just consider the costs and the kids getting up for walks etc, I am the one who has to do the early walks despite assurances for the post teen kids!
Summer hols is a good idea, every child should have a dog.
We rehomed a 2 year old dog, she's great but it is a huge commitment, you are stuck with restricted days out and expensive boarding kennels.
The thought of broken nights and toilet training, the chewing 😭😳
No we have a 2 year old a home. Very very glad to have skipped the puppy stage!
Ours went to day care at 13 weeks. Hardest part will be the first few weeks before pup has had its vaccinations. They really can't be left alone at all. I work approx 3 days a week but it's on a rota so it could be 2 one week/4 the next etc.
I made sure to research/visit/check they had space for pup before committing.
Thankfully our daycare is very flexible too which is a great help as rotas can change last minute.
This as worked well for us and for pup.
It definitely does add up though so bare that in mind. We also have in laws who will take our dog now which helps a lot if daycare is shut for hols etc.
I'm a single parent and we are getting a pup, the plan had been for DP's to have puppy while I'm at work - leave at 9 home by 3.30 term time til the summer holidays - we have 7 weeks this year but currently now off for the foreseeable it's worked out incredibly well. I think the option for you if getting at the start of the holidays if you can coordinate that with finding a reputable breeder would be a good one and day care facility while puppy was young. I suppose it depends on the dog but mostly it would still be too young to leave for that time. It's definitely not something you could assume to be able to do
Oh I see @RandomMess I read that the wrong way! Facepalm!
No, don’t get one, you can’t trust the teenager and it’s not their responsibility. I would have thought a rescue would consider you as your children are older
Hi @Worried234. I can't comment on the adult stage, but we have an 11 week old first puppy here. We've had her 3 weeks, and to be honest, I just can't imagine leaving her for more than about an hour at the moment. Even working from home it's very hard. I also agree with the "not relying on the kids" thing someone mentioned above. Our two (13 and 9) love the puppy, but I really need to be there for any kind of reliability or decent discipline (e.g., there are times when she's being crazy, and they can't handle it; and they get distracted chatting to friends online and forget to take her out... etc).
Beginning of summer holidays sounds more feasible, assuming your older one is REALLY up for it... it's hard work being in charge of ours for a day, even for an adult.
Having said all this, I'm not very experienced, and am not terribly efficient with my puppy care, so....
Good luck with it. Hope you find a good solution
Oh, also you mention walking the puppy, but remember that that can't happen till they're fully vaccinated - usually not before 12 weeks. Which means for the first month or so (depending on how young when they come to you) they are at home ALL THE TIME....
So when I was younger we got a puppy, she was left from around 9-4 some days with my mum popping in at lunch time. She was never distressed. I should say that she did have a really good walk through woodlands when old enough before she was left and again at the end of the day. I think if you got someone in to walk at lunch time then it will be okay. I do agree with pp I'm not expecting too much help from your DC.
And what about toilet training? A puppy needs to be taken out every 20-30 mins, after eating, sleeping, for months until they become reliable and are physically able to hold it
So when I was younger we got a puppy, she was left from around 9-4 some days with my mum popping in at lunch time. She was never distressed.
In the nicest way, how on earth do you know she wasn't distressed? You weren't there! Leaving a puppy for seven hours a day with just someone "popping in at lunchtime" is cruel.