Should I foster a dog if I live in and apartment and work?

posted 2 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
812 posts
Busy bee

Have you looked into what Rescue groups are looking for in a foster home? I think that’s your first step. You can be matched up with a foster dog that is special needs are has certain behavioral issues that need to be worked on. 

The fact that you are willing to open your heart and home is admirable, but it may not be possible at this time. 

Post # 3
2751 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

That doesn’t sound very fair to the dog though. Who cares about the neighbors…it’s about the dog & its happiness,  ya know? 

Post # 4
13 posts
  • Wedding: April 2015 - Vintage Movie Theater

Is it just you or do you have roommates/live with your so?  Do you have a set schedule (like, home by 5:30 every night) or is it more chaotic?

Are you looking to foster a paticular dog (like, your friend found the dog on the street and you’re watching it until it gets adopted) or want to reach out to a shelter?

If you don’t live alone and you (or someone in your household) has a set schedule, I would say go for it!  Just be clear with the shelter that you would prefer an older dog (not a puppy) or one that was abandoned by a family already.  See if the shelter will also provide a crate/kennel for the dog.  Being able to say that a dog is crate trained is actually a huge bonus with adoptable dogs, since nobody is home 24/7 and at some point, a dog will be let alone.

I’m fostering two dogs right now and my fiance and i both work, but they adjusted almost right away to our schedule. The one actually waits by the door every day around 5:30 because she knows I’ll be home soon 🙂

Post # 5
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

llcoolray:  My personal opinion is that yes you can foster a dog and still live in an apartment. You just have to understand that dogs are like children, they needs lots of love and attention and they can be pricey. So as long as you are financially prepared and have the time to nurture and give the dog lots of attention after work and on the weekends then I say do it.

Post # 6
1002 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Most people who foster dogs have jobs, as long as you keep a schedule the dog will be fine.  I crated my dog when she was really young, which sounds harsh but she actually enjoyed it and would even hang out in her crate when we were home it was “her space”.  I also make sure to walk or run my dog for 45 mins every morning before I go to work and another long walk when i get home.  It is helpful that my FI runs a restaurant so he doesn’t leave for work till 3 in the afternoon but I know plenty of people who have fostered dogs while working 8-5 and it is fine as long as the dog is getting the right amount of exercise, this will be heavily dictated by the breed.

Post # 7
1272 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

llcoolray:  I didn’t read the whole thread, but my short answer is probably no, I don’t think you should foster the dog while living in an apartment. The disturbances to your neighbors is a good thing to consider as you mentioned, but even if you were to only consider it from the dog’s perspective, an apartment isn’t always the best place to raise a dog, especially if you work during the day. If it’s a small dog, this is probably not as much of an issue, but I truly believe that large dogs should have an area like a yard to run around in. A lot of apartments have doggie play areas that you’d be able to take the dog to in the evening, but I think it could cause a lot of stress for you and the dog if he is alone in a small living space. A lot of dogs have anxiety when left alone and I’ve known several to get pretty distructive (even though they don’t mean harm, they just miss you!) That might be a big risk in an apartment where you are more liable for damages. A foster cat would work really well in an apartment and maybe even a small dog that is already well-behaved and well-adjusted, but it might be better to foster a dog once you are out of the apartment or in a place with less neighbor interactions. If you are really set on fostering or adopting, maybe look into doggie day care options in the area! My dog goes to a really cute place once or twice a week when we are going to be gone for an especially long time that day. Best of luck!!  

Post # 8
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

llcoolray:  Depends on the dog, we had a dog in apartment for 16 years (till he died of old age) an he was one happy dog. He was not too hyper though.

As long as the dog gets enough outdoor time and exercise he’ll be fine and happy. It’s all about the schedule. And no he did not bark all day. lol

Post # 9
232 posts
Helper bee

Have you considered fostering an older dog? They need to go out less often and are usually more quiet and much less needy. Plus their chances of being adopted will get much better after having lived in a home and been housetrained. Rescues are usually thrilled to find foster homes for old dogs because god knows they need a place for the winter.

Post # 10
745 posts
Busy bee

Agreed with some pp – it’s definitely possible as long as you keep the dogs needs in mind.

Smaller dogs or older dogs need a lot less excercise. If you get a dog that needs less excercise, and take them for a longer walk in the morning, they should be fine during the day. Dog walkers during the day are also an option.

As long as your commute isn’t too long, and you go home after work, you should be fine. You do however need to be realistic about the commitment. Can you work from home sometimes? Do you like to go for happy hour after work (or out for dinner, etc) and are you willing to give that up, or go home first for a while?

Personally, I almost never go out on weeknights unless FI is home with our dog. If I do go out, I like to either work from home that day, or stay home for at least an hour so my dog isn’t alone all day.

Post # 11
2428 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

If it means the difference between the dog being in your home, and continuing to be in a shelter, I say yes. Even if you are gone for work, it’s still way better for the dog to be in a home and have you than not. You can crate train, which is very effective for puppies. A puppy can’t and won’t bark all day, they might whine and cry but eventually they’ll tire themselves out. As long as your apartment allows pets I don’t see any issues with it. 

Post # 13
2385 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

llcoolray:  I think it’s fine so long as you understand that the dog will need a good bit of attention when you are at home. You probably want to get into a set schedule for the dog, take them out on a walk in the AM & PM (or lunch breaks if your close enough to work), and spend a few hours every weekend out with them as well. It would be way better for a dog than living at a shelter, and foster parents provide the animal a realisitic adoption situation so you will need to keep an eye and report their demeanor and behavior once settled into your home. I read something the other day that said dogs that are fostered are usually adopted out much quicker because they are more relaxed and their normal selves than they are able to be at the shelter. 

I second pp’s recommending small or grown/older dogs. we rescued our girl from the shelter when she was 2 and it was waay better than a puppy because she was 100% fully trained already. I’d be worried about a puppy home alone all day, but a grown dog will just nap usually (unless they don’t get enough stimulation then they may poop/pee/chew on anything)…. 

I hope it works out for you! I would get waay too attached to foster animals and would end up a hoarder within the week! 

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 12 months ago by  .
Post # 14
353 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - The Fairmont, SF

My snap reaction was, “No, that’s horrendous.” My second reaction was, “I suppose it depends on the dog.”

That being said, here’s a story that I feel is appropriate to share.

My mom went out of town for 6 months and asked me to watch her dog (full grown) during that time. I was working 40 hours a week + overtime and couldn’t realistically come home very often during my lunch hour to walk him. He’s extremely well-behaved and has been housebroken since he was a puppy. Plus, he’s only 30lbs so he was within my apartment’s allowed range. I was happy to take him.

However, it was a total nightmare. I tried to create a schedule for him: I was up at 6:30 and walked him until 7:15 (when I had to leave for work). When I came home, I’d walk him again for an hour.

Unfortunately, he didn’t always need to do his business during that time. When I could, I tried to come home during lunch, but for the most part, the poor thing was stuck in the apartment and bored. He became very destructive and started ruining furniture and eating garbage. Not only that, but I started coming home at night EXPECTING there to be pee and poo somewhere in the apartment because he was terrible at holding it, not to mention the garbage was making him sick. Eventually, I realized he was miserable (so was I) and I put him in long-term boarding at a farm. Dog and human were both much happier.

It’s my personal belief that it’s cruel to keep a very small dog (cat-sized) alone in an apartment all day. They need stimulation – especially puppies and rescue dogs and they deserve the opportunity to run around freely. 

Post # 15
6789 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

llcoolray:  I raised 2 puppies while living in an apartment. My neighbor only complained once, when I moved my puppy’s crate near my front door and she could hear her whining throughout the day. My neighbor was a nurse that worked the night shift and really needed to sleep in the daytime while I was at work, so I got a hateful note from her and then never moved the crate by the door again, lol. 

It is possible, but puppies are hard work. Also, if you’re going to be fostering, you could possibly get attached to the puppies and then not want to give them up when you need to. I know there’s probably a need for foster parents, but what about just adopting a dog so that you can train it and once the training starts to pay off you won’t have to give it away?

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