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Old 09-24-2016, 07:42 PM
 
811 posts, read 554,158 times
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I haven't had a dog for very many years, and way back then my life allowed me to spend more time at home.

I'm much older now, too, and I've been wondering about getting a dog again. But I can't figure out how it would work. If everyone in the house leaves for work and school very early in the morning, and nobody comes come home until early evening, then how does the dog manage at home all alone every day? Wouldn't he get bored and chew everything up waiting for the people to come home? Also, how can he control his bodily functions for such long hours?

How does this work? Do you have to hire a stranger to come to your home and take the dog out for exercise and relieving itself?
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Old 09-24-2016, 11:24 PM
 
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You can hire dog walkers/sitters or drop them off at daycare or neighbor's house if they are willing to watch them. However, if you cannot commit time to train, walk the dog yourself before and after work, feed and provide mental and physical care to the dog, then don't bother. This include being patient and help your dog should a behavioral issue come up (There is always at least one problem. There is no such thing as a perfect dog). This can take time, money and lots of effort on your part to make sure your dog is happy, safe and well behaved in public. This kind of responsibility applies to other pets as well, such as cats, reptiles, small animals, etc.

The animal should thrive, not only survive, under your care. If you want a pet and do not have time to address behavioral problems, then I would suggest getting a fish.
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:22 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,599 posts, read 10,503,353 times
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When I worked full time and we had dogs, during work hours they stayed out in the backyard with access to a safe, dry place with plenty of water (covered porch with beds) to lounge in if they wanted or the weather got ugly. They were just fine and very happily trotted out each morning. However, at that time we had a large yard and lived in an area where if they started barking it wouldn't cause issues. I could never do that where we live now.

A lot of people around here get dog walkers or take them to doggie daycare. I have one dog I dayboard if I am going to be gone for more than 5-6 hours because he gets himself in all kinds of trouble, the other two just lay around. I know a few people who keep them restricted to a particular part of the house, such as the kitchen, while they are at work.
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:17 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,130 posts, read 1,296,627 times
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Wait until you are retired.
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Northeastern U.S.
1,458 posts, read 881,014 times
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How many hours a day do you work; and do you work more than five days a week?

I really don't think it's a good idea to get a dog if you will be too tired to spend time with him/her after and before work and plenty more time on the weekends.

It would help if you are not the only person in the household.

You could become a good dog owner if:

1. you can hire a reliable person to come in once or twice a day to spend at least 20 minutes (hopefully 30-45) with the dog (taking the dog out, playing with the dog, possibly feeding the dog); or bringing the dog to doggie daycare during your workdays. (if you decide to take the dog to daycare; the dog should be of good temperament with people and other dogs)

2. You are willing to spend at least a few minutes before work and especially after work taking the dog out, walking him/her, giving the dog some attention. And several hours on the weekends. Your days of partying or sleeping a lot during the weekends might be over. If you like to go away every other weekend, or have to travel a lot for your job; I don't think the time is right for you to have a dog unless there is someone else in the home who will love and care for the dog in your absence.

3. You are willing to hire an obedience trainer to come to your home on weekends to work with you and your dog if you cannot find a group obedience class that fits your schedule.

4. There are veterinarians nearby (or at least not too far away that you couldn't drive out there in less than an hour in an emergency situation) who are open after you come home from work or on the weekends.

5. A fenced yard would be ideal, but a nearby fenced dog park might be almost as good; the dog should be able to trot/run around off-leash at least a few times a week.

You must be a flexible and patient person to manage dog ownership while working full-time; and have fairly deep pockets.

It will help if the dog is not a puppy, and is not a very high-energy dog. If you can fence your yard or have access to a fenced dog park, a retired racing greyhound might be a good pick; most of them are calm and gentle and need walks but not constant running.

Good luck.
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,057 posts, read 5,314,842 times
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We're away from the house from 6:30am-5:00pm, M-F. We have a dog walker that comes during the middle of the day to take him for a short walk.

If you do get a dog, I suggest that you get one that is already house trained and definitey not a puppy. And hire a dog walker for a mid-day break.
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:40 PM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,599 posts, read 10,503,353 times
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People, dogs can be and generally are successfully part of a family with working humans - a much better option than languishing in a shelter. Many of these dogs do not have owners that can or will fork over the $15-35 a day it would cost for a daily dog walker. I have never owned an adult dog that wasn't capable of "holding it" 8-10 hours, and it doesn't cause medical issues for them, either. If you are worried about loneliness while the human is gone, get a pair or add a cat, they are more than capable of getting emotional comfort from each other.

I never saw or heard of a dog daycare until about 6-7 years ago, this is new and still doesn't exist in many communities. Nor does every community have dog walkers. Now, suddenly it's a must have? Dogs have not had an evolutionary change in the last decade or so, if it was okay for dogs when you were a kid, it will work now.

I do agree that a puppy or a high energy dog are probably not a good option. The shelter has plenty of middle age, laid back dogs that need a home.
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Last edited by Oldhag1; 09-25-2016 at 09:46 PM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,038 posts, read 5,926,867 times
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Get two older cats, instead, and provide them with cat posts near a sunny window, as well as some cardboard boxes to play and nap in.

They will keep each other company, and you don't have to hire a dog walker to come in at midday.
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Old 09-25-2016, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
3,505 posts, read 2,196,994 times
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I'm glad that this thread came up, here's my situation. I had a dog (Zachary - Shih Tzu) who lived to 13 1/2 and we were devoted to each other. Back then I was working all the time and I would get guilty about leaving him all day. I live in a townhouse , so no yard and he would "hold it" all day after his morning walk waiting for his walk when I got home. We played plenty when I was home and he slept in my bed with me. He passed away about 15 years ago and for the longest time I couldn't even THINK about "replacing" him. Now I am working less as I get older. On a typical day I will leave the house at noon, do an appraisal inspection or two and be back by 4 or 5 (earlier when the clocks change). All of my office work is done at home. I'm thinking that this schedule wouldn't be too bad now to have another dog and I miss having one around to play with. I'm not too keen on getting two as I like that one on one bond. I'm curious what you guys think. Does my situation sound OK to get another dog now ?
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,695 posts, read 10,091,913 times
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Ok working people can have a dog. Most of my dog owing friends still work full time and their dogs do fine and most do not have dog walkers or do day care. I have 2 dogs as I work 12 hr night shifts and I do not like the thought of a dog being alone that long. That said I only work 3 shifts a week so am home 4 . I do live in a town house but do have a pet door that goes out to a small fenced area so the dogs do not have to hold it 12 hrs.

I have raised two young puppies, an 8 mo old puppy and the others have been adults when I got them. I try to take a week or two off work when I get a new dog. Outside of my first dog who was an only dog but did have a cat for company I have had 2 or 3 dogs at a time.

By the time I do return to work they have all been house trained. I think having a pet door has really helped there as once they understand they need to go out to take care of business they do so. My two I got as young puppies Jazz and Chaos were house trained in days . Jazz pee'ed in the house once my other dog ran over and let her know that was not the correct place for that and lead her out the pet door and that was it, so really she was house trained by my first dog!

My dogs do not suffer separation anxiety nor do they bark and annoy my neighbors and I have always asked my neighbors to inform me if they do hear them barking. I want to know instead of having neighbors mad at me. When Chaos was a puppy and I returned to work that fist week she was going out doors and barking so one of my neighbors told me and instead of being mad I thanked her and told her I had a plan and to let me know if it continued or stopped and she happily informed me it had stopped.


I give my dogs a treat filled toy as I leave as then they actually do not seem to mind my leaving and I have been lucky none of my dogs has ever fought over food so I can do that. Jazz and Dash use to get food stuffed bones hidden around the house as they loved to hunt for them while the two current ones would rather just have a stuffed Kong handed to them as I leave.

My dogs have done agility and get lots of fun beach walks or runs in big fields. I try to keep them mentally stimulated too as that tires them out faster then just plan physical exercise. When I come home from work at 7 :15 AM they have no problem crawling into my bed or the dog bed and sleeping some more as they know when I get up we will be going out. Jazz probably had the hardest time as she was the most active as she was a non stop girl but she quickly found fun things to do while I slept and one was to stockpile balls on my bed so that when she saw my eyes flicker she could start dropping them on me.

Jazz is the only one that went to day care but it was to help her get over her fear of other dogs when she was a puppy and she went once or twice a week for a couple months and that was it.

When working people ask me if a dog is possible I say it is up to you and what you are willing to give up to make it work. Because when I was younger I loved the high energy intelligent herding breeds I was willing to give up hanging out with none dog owning friends or going to movies etc. I made new friends in agility and at a dog park that enjoy doing things with their dogs and those became my outings. I do not feel you can work full time have a full social life that is dog less and own a dog as you and the dog will not be happy. If you work full time want to go to happy hour after work then work out at the gym or have dinner and or a movie out several times a week a dog just is not going to work out.

My sister gets up at 4:30 everyday so she can give her dog an hour long walk out in the dark, rain or shine before she goes to work then they go again after work. I do not think she enjoys getting up that early but she does it for the dog.

People that know my dogs have always said "when I die I want to come back as one of your dogs" as my dogs seem to be very well behaved and happy dogs. So yes you can work full time raise a puppy and have a dog. You do need money to own a dog as dogs can be expensive.

So my advice to any working person is to be honest with yourself are you willing to do what it will take to keep a dog happy and healthy not just for a week or a couple months but for the life time of that dog?
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