Dog lover looking for some advice from pet owners

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
8518 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

@LoggerHead91207:  Woohoo! How exciting.

First of all, I’m so thankful you’re taking the time to research and think about this. I see so often on here people are gone 8+ hours every day and want to get a puppy and just expect it to be housebroken.

I think a pug could definitely be a good match. I’d look into having someone stop by once a day though.

Llasa apso (or mix) might also be a good match, if you dont mind grooming. They arent as velcro as a lot of other similar breeds, and should be okay being alone for that amount of time, though a dog walker once a day would still be a good idea.

Post # 4
Hostess
15072 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We have two Rat Terriers. They are amazing in smaller spaces. DH calls them the perfect mix of a dog and a cat, lol. When we leave we put them in the bathroom so they have room to move around and play. We don’t leave them out as they can be mischievous. Their have a set of beds in there and some toys. They can hold their bladders for twelve hours. We let them out in the morning and when we get home, which sometimes can be twelve hours or more (when I was working). They are relatively inexpensive. So far no health problems, just yearly check ups and shots. Toys, they really like. They love tug of war, chasing balls, and stuffed animals. They also love to run. They Chase each other in a track pattern around our coffee table. They are very social dogs usually but one of ours was highly abused before we got her so she is antisocial with other dogs but the younger one just wants to play with other animals.

Post # 5
Member
1349 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@LoggerHead91207:  

 

Hi there,  I’ll answer your questions as best as I can.  I have a standard poodle (the big kind) that I rescued from a breeder that was in way over her head.

 

1. She doesn’t like it but she handles it just fine.  My sister brings her dog over to my house during the day.  Together, we have hired a dog walker so they get a 30 minute walk daily.  If it’s too cold for their paws, they get let out then played with for 30 minutes.  She’s adjusted to that really well.  Poodles generally just want to be with their people at all times but she copes well.

 

2.  If my husband had his way, we would have an English Bulldog which are low energy.  I’ve always had poodles and have also had a Bernese Mountain Dog (low energy once they aren’t puppies but huge) and an Irish Wolfhound.  (HUGS)

 

3.  It’s really hard to say.  Our dog has to have specialty food because she has a million allergies.  So we have to buy special hypoallergenic food which is $70 a bag.  We also give her benadryl in the morning and in the evening which adds up.  Also, we get her groomed every 6-8 weeks which is $72 which includes taxes.  It all depends on the dog.  They can be pretty low in cost or high in cost.  We might have to start allergy shots with our dog and that will be another expense.  Oh, and we pay our dog walker $20 a day for both dogs that my sister and I split.  Then, there is class.  I HIGHLY recommend that.  

4. CLASS, CLASS, CLASS.  There is not such a thing as too much school.  We go in the evenings.  School prices vary, you’ll have to research your area.  Doggy day care and dog parks are also great to socialize.  For human socialization, bring the dog with you places!!

 

Good luck!!

Post # 6
Member
5932 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@LoggerHead91207:  Yay dog!  I don’t really consider a house a home until there are dogs in it….but that’s just me.

If you’re looking to adopt, and you want a low maintenance, easy going dog, please seriously consider a racing greyhound.  They don’t bark, they hardly shed, they’re very relaxed and easy going animals, sweet and gentle, they don’t mind being alone, or crated AND they have very lovely dispositions and are often well socialized from being at the tracks for their whole lives.  They’re happy in smaller homes with no yards, and walk like a dream on a leash, plus, the youngest you’ll find in a rescue situation is 2 years old…that’s when they separate the racers from the non-racers, and put the ones that aren’t runners up for adoption…so you won’t be dealing with any puppy sillies.

Cost wise…it costs what it costs.  And I’m not really sure how much one is, since we have three….I would imagine you could get by on 45 lbs of food a month….that’s like $50….vaccinations, vet visits and the dreaded teeth cleaning and such…put at least $800 – $1,500 on the books for that on an annual, for emergencies….and odds are good you won’t use it every year, but as dogs age, things pop up that need attention.

Social wise, greyhounds don’t care, they want their squeak toys, a soft, warm bed, a walk every day and YOU…that’s it….so do some checking around, find a breed that works for you.  Some other low energy, but totally awesome dogs are out there, and shelters are chock full of dogs looking for their families….just don’t forget the race tracks while you’re looking.

Post # 7
Member
3989 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I have a french bulldog.  We got her because we thought she’d be low energy, but she didn’t start slowing down until age 4.

We did not start leaving her all day (8 hours) until she was about 3.  I don’t think she could have handled holding it that long prior to that.  She still has her accidents, maybe once a month, which make me feel terrible.

I do think that if you adopt a dog at the age of one (especially a small apartment dog), you may still have to let it out at lunch or have someone come walk it.

Larger dogs with larger bladders do better for longer periods of time.  But more easily at ages three and up.  Three, to me, is when my pup is no longer a puppy.

We used to do doggy daycare but it got too expensive, so we take her to the dog park once a week.  I think that’s more than fine.  She has more interest in finding an escape plan than playing with other dogs nowadays.  She’s getting crotechy..haha.

Post # 8
Member
3989 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Also, we spend a RIDICULOUS amount of money on her a month because she is highly allergic to everything.  She takes daily medicine and has prescription dog food.  We estimate we spend around $300 a month on her.  So if you’re adopting, make sure to find out all you can on the pup before you take it on.

Post # 9
Member
1021 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@LoggerHead91207:  the rescue you work with will help you find a dog that is suitable for you. you might want to email foster moms to see how the dog would deal with in this situation.  find a reputable rescue or shelter.  

and thank you for adopting!!!

Post # 10
Member
1669 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@LoggerHead91207:  

1. we have 2, and they do great with us gone for at least 8 hours a day. they are both 4 year old crate-trained rescues – one is a white boxer/american bulldog mix, and one is a black lab/weimaraner mix. before meeting my FI and his dogs (these two babies) i had a chocolate lab rescue for 10 years who was a dream. she was never in a crate, and was so well behaved. she was an “only dog” and never really had any trouble, and was even a delight when she moved in with her new siblings. sadly, we had to put her down in november because she had cancer 🙁

2. i am 100 PRO-RESCUE! there are so many animals out there who don’t have homes that you can adopt already housetrained, and over 1 year old…and its a win-win for everyone. get a medium sized mutt 🙂 they’re the best.

3. we feed our dogs science diet and spend about $50/month for the two of them, plus $5 in treats, and $5 in meds, so $60 monthly…plus their 1 year check ups are $60 each. you also have to plan for emergencies. i didn’t do that when i was single and only had my chocolate lab, and she went into anaphylactic shock and had to go the er over night, which ran me about $960.

4. due to them having each other, we don’t worry about doggie day care or anything like that. we do have a lot of friends with dogs so we tend to have doggie get togethers when we all get together to hang out on weekends, and they love it! we also try to get our local dog park at least 1 time a month.

Post # 11
Member
1083 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

We have two dogs and they are best buds so maybe that helps but we owned the one dog alone for awhile so I will answer based on that.

1. Our first dog is an Pit mix (technically AmStaff but that gets lumped into Pit). If the weather is anything decent then she was outside while we were gone. But, if it was bad then she was inside and she was fine with holding her bladder until we got home. She was probably in for approx. 6 hours at any given time. I don’t think she had any separation anxiety…pretty sure she just napped all day.

2. Both of ours are mutts and we love them. The pit is actually surprisingly content to laze around most of the day. We have a cocker spaniel mix too and he is much more high energy. I second the person who mentioned a greyhound. They are great apartment dogs. My FIL’s have two chihuahua mixes and they are super low energy. I think one might actually be more italian greyhound mix. They don’t care at all about being left alone. They can be yappy though and that might be an issue in a condo.

3. I think we spend approximately $150 per dog on basic vet visits. Then I think the heartworm is $45 for 6 months and then flea might be something similar. We pay about $50 for a big bag of dog food (45ish lbs). We buy high quality food but it is worth it. I guess we buy a bag every 3 weeks or so. But, if you have smaller dogs then obviously you will need less (ours are each about 45-55 lbs). 

4. Our dogs go for lots of walks and I run with my pit. We don’t do doggie daycare or anything like that. We love finding new places to hike and in the summers we bring the pups down to various lakes/rivers for swims. Our dogs socialize with other family members dogs but we don’t, and would never, bring them to a dog park. We are careful about introducing our dogs to other dogs and would not feel comfortable just releasing them to unknown dogs. Also, ours have certain things they love to do and we try to do each daily. Like our cocker mix loves to chase tennis balls so we probably spend 30 minutes each day lobbing tennis balls to him. Our pit loves to play tug of war and “keep away” with a stick. So, we do that with her.

Honestly, I think it helps a lot that we have two dogs. Yes it is more expensive but a lot of the issues you are thinking about are mitigated by having another dog. 

 

Post # 13
Member
1178 posts
Bumble bee

@LoggerHead91207:  

1. I have an 11 year old pug. I’ve had him since he was 6 months old. He has always handled being by himself during the day just fine. I walk him for 1/2 hour in the morning before I go to work and then he just sleeps all day. I walk him 15-20 after I get home.

2. Pugs are NOT low energy. They need stimulation. As long as you are giving them plenty of stimulation then they are fine. I adopted mine from a shelter. He was $80 total for shots and getting fixed and adoption fees. This was in Idaho though and so other cities will be varied as far as costs.

3. My dog gets Blue Buffalo. I also buy dry food from Costco. The only toy he likes is his Kong which I fill with peanut butter or cheese. I probably spend $40-$60 a month on food. I think a wellness plan is a great idea from your vet as your pug will probably need teeth pulled at some point in their life. Mine has had 3 oral surgeries so far. He is also having more issues as he is getting older.

4. Dozer used to go to Doggy Daycare but he kept getting giardia even though it was a clean environment. I got tired of him getting sick all the time. Daycare is still a great thing though if you can find a good one and you trust them. Pugs do need friends. You almost need to get 2 or 3 pugs at a time. Mine has been fine by himself but we’ve always had friends with dogs to play with. Stimulation is the key. You must find parks and cool places to walk them. Whenever people see my pug they always want to pet him. He is very popular 🙂

Good luck!

Post # 14
Member
825 posts
Busy bee

1. We own a 19 month old male lab, and a 2.5 year old border collie lab mix. They’re both fine with it. They’re both adults and crated for 7 hours while we’re at work. They certainly enjoy the weekends more when we’re both home all day, but they are both crate trained so it’s fine. The lab could be left out alone all day easy, but the mix gets destructive when bored so she’ll be crated probably forever. 

2. I’d look into dogs/mixes like the Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Bichon, Havanese. Anything in that family will go a long way toward making your life easier. They all enjoy exercise but don’t need it and won’t destroy your home if you are gone all day. This doesn’t mean that all dogs of these mixes will be calm. Your best bet is to get a dog that is 2, 3, 4 years old and is in the 20-30 pound category. Anything smaller than that and you may face potty training issues and the lack of an ability to hold it all day. Stay away from terrier and hound mixes. 

3. Here’s what we pay for our dogs in an average month. I split in half so you get an idea. 

  • Dog Food: $65/bag which lasts a month.
  • Flea/Tick Preventative: $20/dog/month (important even for an ‘inside’ dog all year round)
  • Pet Insurance: $35/month (we don’t have the money if our dog gets hit by a car or breaks a leg, or get cancer, so we have $20,000 of coverage for emergencies)
  • Boarding: $80/month (we typically get away for a weekend once a month, and so this is what it costs to board one dog for three days)
  • Training Classes: $120/month (we’ve had both dogs for over a year, but training is important beyond the basics. It releases energy and builds a bond)
  • Treats and Toys: $80/month

This does not include the startup costs (leashes, collars, crates, bowls), grooming (both our dogs are short hair), or yearly veterinary costs (which average $300 per dog.)

4. We do doggy daycare on occasion, but we’re their main source of entertainment and both our dogs are very high energy. A word of warning on dog parks. They can be entirely hit or miss, particularly with small dogs that can have big personalities. I’d set up play dates with people (with yards) you trust to learn your dog’s playstyle and see how they react to other dogs. For some dogs, dog parks can be very overwhelming and one negative experience can scar your dog against other dogs if you take them too soon. 

Training classes are a great way to tire out their minds. Also look into interactive feeders like the IQ ball and the Kong Wobbler. For human socialization (and training practice!), try walking around town on a Saturday morning or go to a college campus (you’d be amazed how much kids away from home miss their family pups.) Also, places like Home Depot and Bass Pro Shops allow dogs in the store and people love it.

Post # 15
Member
825 posts
Busy bee

@LoggerHead91207:  Also, if you have any questions about dogs, obedience training, what dog food is a good dog food, or pet insurance — feel free to PM me 🙂

Post # 16
Member
765 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@LoggerHead91207:  We rescued a greyhound. For us, it was the smartest thing we did.

She came crate trained. She rarely barks, she hardly sheds, and she’s happiest on the couch. She gets 2 20 minutes walks a day (one in the am with me, one in the PM with DH and I.

Some greys are known for some seperation anxiety but I have a farely flexible schedule and for the first week, since it was a holiday week (thanksgiving) I was only working one full day and I took a half day the next day to get her acclimated. We’ve never had any major problems with the seperation anxiety. In fact I think she enjoys it more when we’re not home. We’ve had out dog hold her bladder for about 10 hours max; not ideal but she seemed fine. Because I go in earlier and leave earlier and DH leaves later, she never waits more than 6 hours.

Greys do well in any environment so long as they have a cushiony spot for their bony butts. I would suggest a higher quality dog bed unless you want your couch taken over. And no I’m not kidding on that. They’re couch hogs.

The initial cost when you rescue is waay less than what you’d pay for a purebred puppy (in my estimation) but as much as they do the preliminaries with vet care when rescued, there are things they can miss, like parasites and allergies. If you are thinking of rescuing, have a little $ stocked up in case you run into those things. We have to buy grain-free for our girl. Completely worth it but its higher end.

Socially, some greys are totally oblivious to other dogs… and some are not. Ours still thinks some small dogs are squirrels so we socialized her early with obedience classes and having friendly neighbors willing to work with us. Don’t think you can just take a dog to a dog park and there will be no incidences. Dogs need to learn social skills, so be prepared to take a more guided approach to introducing to new dogs.

Hope this gives you some things to think about. Considering your dedication to researching your options, I think you are going to make an awesome pet parent 🙂 whatever breed you decide on make sure you really look at your lifestyle and what you think works best for you and your DH. A greyhound worked perfectly for us, but we are lazy couch potatoes who prefer a sprint to a marathon.

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