Does anyone (COVID aside) work outside the home and manage a dog?

(19 Posts)
polkadotpjs Tue 26-May-20 13:23:04

My kids and husband are mad keen on getting a dog and after we go back to work, getting dog walker in
I grew up with dogs and know there's a lot to owning a dog before you flame me and I've by no means said yes to getting a dog. If mum lived near its be great as she'd do daytime and we'd collect. She can't walk a dog but loves them and we can walk them so combined we'd be great. Separate I'm not sure. I'm being very calm and pragmatic. Please don't flame me. Does anyone manage a dog with a dog walker? Or is it too much ?

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poozel Tue 26-May-20 13:30:09

Yeah I did. Dog actually mostly came to work, but if I was in court dog walker came to office and if I was away on a course a different one came to the house.

It's the puppy stage that's tricky as they need out more for shorter periods.

I'm now on a long maternity break, if I ever return, and have been walking puppies and dogs with baby for local people. Pre covid. Got us out and about and was handy for those short visits for a young dog.

I started doing it for one lady just to help out, ended up with four for various reasons. Ad hoc.

vanillandhoney Tue 26-May-20 13:33:40

How long will the dog be left alone, if at all?

If your mum is home with the puppy during the day and a dog walker comes to take the dog out, I can't see a problem at all. When the dog is older you'll probably need to walk the dog before and after walk though. Is that feasible?

Notsafetogo Tue 26-May-20 13:40:25

Our plan was to use a dog walker but our puppy was so stressed when we left her even to nip upstairs that we ended up sending her to daycare. She’s a year old now and still goes. She loves it.
Round here it would have cost £12 an hour for a dog walker and the daycare is £15 for the whole day. She goes all over, mixes with other dogs and the man who has her is a qualified trainer.
It’s meant there is no spare money for much else but she’s happy and we don’t have to feel bad leaving her.

bloodywhitecat Tue 26-May-20 13:53:09

Yes but my kids were adults, I worked shifts and so did DS, exDH worked 8-5 and DD worked in a school so between us we could make sure the dogs were never left for more than 3 hours a day.

RedRed9 Tue 26-May-20 13:59:00

Doggy day care is £20 an day here.

But keep in mind that you might really need to search to find a good one and that some dogs find them very stressful.

A dog walker is a good idea if your dog doesn’t mind being by itself for a few hours. But I wouldn’t want to leave a dog alone every day, I can imagine that’s a very lonely existence for such a social animal.

rookiemere Tue 26-May-20 14:29:12

Yes but I work 4 days a week and one of those days from home and DH also works one day a week from home ( goodness knows how dog will get back to normal with us both wfh all the time now). It's doable dependant on the dog - ours is very laidback - and how much effort you put in at the beginning- so with a mixture of annual leave and extra wfh ddog didn't start with dog walker for first 5 weeks.
For the days we were both at work previous dog walkers took him out for full day, but have now changed and he gets taken out for a couple of hours - I'd also got a couple of students lined up to take him out for some afternoon walks.

I think with what you're proposing it sounds doable but you'd probably want some paid back up to your DM.


WhySeaEmm Tue 26-May-20 14:58:53

£25 a day here!

polkadotpjs Tue 26-May-20 15:18:31

Mum isn't able to have him sorry if I wasn't clear there. She'd love a dog but isn't round the corner so couldn't help. So it will be paid help. I work 4 days and we'd be out 8 until 3.30. So a long dog walk in the middle might be ok. There is a good doggie daycare but I think it's expensive so it all needs weighing up. I'm the sensible (unpopular ) one p*ssing on their chips according to DH!! Thanks for not attacking me. I really do take dogs seriously. I've loved walking our pal's dog during lockdown for him and love the company and the fact he has no expectations of me ~ always happy to see me and just fabulous

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HamAndCheeseToastie5032 Tue 26-May-20 15:30:45

On the days when both of us need to be in the office, we do a good hour exercise first thing in the morning, then dog goes to MILs whilst we're at work. Out again in the evening. My office is actually dog friendly, but I could never take ours in, too bonkers grin

Dogs need company imo, not just the walking/ toilet. You will always get the people with dogs that are happy to be left, but I think these are usually older dogs, where they've worked up to it over time.

MrsWooster Tue 26-May-20 15:48:41

I had two lurchers (consecutive), both of whom slept all day, apart from a long walk each day with a dog Walker. I was teaching and was out from 8-4. There was also a secure garden and a dog flap.

vanillandhoney Tue 26-May-20 16:07:47

Thing is with a puppy they can't have a long walk in the middle of the day because you need to protect their joints, plus how will it be toilet trained if there's no one home to let it out

I'd say for the first 12-18 months you would either need to be at home or fork out for daycare or a sitter - it won't be cheap. Daycare around here would set you back £25 day which is about £500 per month. A sitter would be the same price - the only difference is they'd come to your home for the day instead - kind of like a nanny for dogs!

A walker five day a week for an hour each time would cost you £50 ish a week, so around £200 per month.

lorisparkle Tue 26-May-20 16:20:26

We have a very chilled at home dog with no separation anxiety (through luck not judgment) We organised it so the time he was left at home was the shortest possible and had a dog visitor come in half way through the time we were away. We are lucky that I only work three days and teen time only and have teenagers we let him out when they get home.

It works for us with our current dog but not sure if we would be that lucky again!

RedRed9 Tue 26-May-20 18:54:51

It wouldn’t work with a puppy as you’d need to be around to train them. But with the right rescue and a good walker it could work.

polkadotpjs Thu 28-May-20 10:38:28

Pressure still being laid on me. Husband WFH until Christmas so there would be someone here for first stages of training and he says he'll pay for a walk but how do we know it would be ok for 3 hours until walk time? I see puppy pics and remember the joy of snuggling into a dog's neck when I was a teen but oh my, there's a lot of work

OP’s posts: |
vanillandhoney Thu 28-May-20 10:47:42


Pressure still being laid on me. Husband WFH until Christmas so there would be someone here for first stages of training and he says he'll pay for a walk but how do we know it would be ok for 3 hours until walk time? I see puppy pics and remember the joy of snuggling into a dog's neck when I was a teen but oh my, there's a lot of work

You don't know until you try, that's the problem. Some dogs are absolutely fine on their own for three hours - others would toilet everywhere and eat your furniture grin

You'll need a back-up plan in case your dog is the latter type - some dogs just don't like being alone no matter what training you do with them. Mine is one of them - two hours is his absolute maximum before he gets upset. And that's two hours in a day. Not two hours, go out with a walker, then another two hours. He would really struggle with that.

Maybe have a look into your local daycares and see if you'd be happy to send your dog there. Lots of daycares and walkers are hugely struggling for business while everyone is at home so I'm sure they'll be more than happy to talk to you and answer any questions smile

Even if you get a walker 8-3.30 is a fair amount of time to leave the dog, and that's not counting things after school. Your DC won't be able to go to the park on the way home - they'll need to go home for the dog. No long days out on a whim - because who will watch the dog. Zoos and theme parks and amusement parks - none of those are dog friendly and while some have kennels on site you need to book them in advance and they're not the nicest environments. Dogs are a lot more restrictive than you think they'll be, especially with young kids.

I don't mean to sound negative or patronising (sorry if it comes across that way!) but it's important people know all the pitfalls. I'm on a breed group on FB and the number of people who get a puppy, leave it all day and get angry because it's toileted on the floor/escaped it's crate/eaten their sofa is surprisingly high!

Could you arrange to watch someone else's dog for a while and see how it goes? Look on BorrowMyDoggy - you'll be able to find a dog to walk and maybe it could stay with you overnight or for a few days. It might give you a better idea of dog ownership without the commitment.

LostaraYil Thu 28-May-20 11:04:00

I will probably get flamed for this but I work and have 2 dogs. They have a walk in the morning, the kids let them out when they get back from school, I play with them when I get back from work around 4pm, then another walk in the evening. They're home alone from 8-3:30, and are fine. Neigbour has said they don't bark much. They settle down in a bed/on sofa before I leave. One day a week MIL comes over to visit kids/dogs and arrives a bit earlier because she likes spending time with the dogs. They are happy and well and I don't see any problem with this. During lockdown it has obviously been different and I notice that the dogs are really tired in the evening because they're awake more during the day, but they still doze on and off a lot. Go for it, you (or DH) have loads of time to house train and to gradually get the dog used to time alone.

WhatWouldDominicDo Thu 28-May-20 11:16:08

Your "dog home alone time" isn't factoring in journeys to collect DCs from somewhere in the evenings, family days/nights out, weekends away, or holidays. And there will probably be other occasions when the whole family is not at home at the same time too.

Can you afford the damage to your furniture, carpets etc on top of the costs of actually owning a dog?

Have you thought about getting an older dog instead of a puppy? Because if the family want a puppy, dogs aren't puppies for very long.
Just wondering whether you might be able to find an older dog that you know would be happy on its own, or in care, for extended periods.

FWIW though, although I'm not a dog lover, I think it's cruel to leave dogs at home for more than a couple of hours on a regular/daily basis, and even more cruel when people put them in cages (not that you've mentioned cages).

Have you thought of getting a cat instead? Might be more suited to your lifestyle.

LochJessMonster Sun 31-May-20 20:46:15

Puppy no, dog yes.
I work full time and have a dog. It’s all down to the individual dog, some can cope with long times alone, others can’t be left at all.

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