(Closed) Dog lover looking for some advice from pet owners

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 17
322 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Restaurant

We have a 5 year old Newfoundand and she is fine holding it for even 12 or more hours (although she doesnt usually have to).  If you both work, I would recommend a big dog for bladder control.  Our huge Newfie is about as mellow and lazy as it gets. 

After everything (food, meds, vet visits, etc.), owning our dog now costs about $100 a month.  I keep finance spreadsheets so this is pretty accurate.  Big dogs cost more for everything, but we have been pretty lucky in that she has no health problem and really only sees the vet once a year for her checkup. 

Puppies, with their million shots, vet visits and training cost easily double or triple that each month. 

When our dog was a puppy, I hired a dog walker to come to the house during lunch and take her out.  It cost me about $60 a week!!  After a year I worked closer to home, so I went home to walk her.  When she was about two, she didn’t even want to go out anymore at lunchtime, so I stopped going home.  Now I only take a trip home if she is sick or something. 


Post # 19
543 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013



1. Our older dog, who we adopted when she was 1-3 years old can go a full 8-9 hours. Our puppy, who is now 1, is smaller and cannot go that long so I go home at lunch or work from home in the afternoons. The older dog has the run of the house, the puppy is in a crate or kept in a small area, as he has a tendency to chew!


2. I strongly recommend just going in with something like a size/temperament requirements but be as open-minded about breeds as possible. Shelters do a lovely job at assessing energy levels and many use foster homes so you can get a really good idea of what the dog’s personality is. Our hound/terrier mix and our pit bull mix are both couch potatoes, but they do need at least one long walk/run everyday to keep them healthy and stimulated. 


3. We buy expensive grain-free, locally-made food. We budget $400/month for two dogs for food, toys, vet, and daycare. The puppy goes to daycare twice a week. 


4. Daycare is so good for our puppy. The reason we prefer it is because it allows him to socialize with dogs and people all day long. The staff work on maintaining his obedience skills, which is a bonus! I am personally not a fan of dog parks because anyone can take their dog there, regardless of how poorly behaved or aggressive the dog is. We have had some horrifying experiences at dog parks and we only go rarely now at off-peak times. What I like about doggie daycare is that all dogs are screened for their temperaments and are constantly supervised by many trained people at once. If we didn’t do daycare, we’d definitely get a dog-walker. We go for hikes when the weather allows, which I really prefer to off-leash dog parks. I trust our dogs off-leash, but the problem is, I don’t trust other people or other dogs!


Post # 20
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014



1. We have an almost 2 year old Black Lab (we got him when he was 15 weeks old) and an almost 8 year old German Shorthair Pointer.  If you will be gone for periods of time, I highly recommend crate training.  Both of our pups LOVE their crates and view it as their “home” so they will never soil in there.  Both can hold it up to 8-10 hours in their crates but I know if we left them out to wander the house we’d find accidents if we left them alone that long.  One of the things that our trainer recommneded is to spend time with your pups in the morning before going to work or school or whatever and then about 15 minutes before you have to leave, place the pup where they will be the rest of the day – crate, gated off room, etc..  Say your good byes and then leave them be.  Ignore them and don’t make a big deal while you continue to get ready to leave.  You can casually say “Bye Puppies” (our words that we use when we leave) and walk out the door.  When you come home in the evening, don’t address them or make a big deal out of your return.  Take them out of their crate or area and take them outside as if you were the dog sitter…keep it business like.  Then after they’ve gone potty and you come back in, then lavish them with attention and cuddles, etc. The excitement of you leaving and coming back can cause additional stress on them so by making it “no big deal” they are able to more easily adapt.  It just becomes part of their normal routine.  It’s worked well for both our pups.

2. Just about any dog will be ok alone, it’s all in how you handle it and how well adjusted they are.  We have big dogs so I can’t really give you suggestions on which pups would be best.  My future Brother-In-Law has a boston terrier, he’s a fun little dog.  My niece has a shih tzu and a llasa apso, they are both great little pups and great with kids.  I also have a friend who has a maltypoo – maltese/poodle mix.  adorable little pup, again great with kids.

3. I would really suggest looking into health/medical pet insurace to help with any catastrophic things that come up.  For general expenses, it’s about $300 a year for regular vaccinations and check ups, I spend about $50-75 a month in dog food for ONE dog (But I have big dogs!) and easily another $25 in treats, toys, etc.  They get ZERO table scraps or people food other than an occasional raw carrot.  But I also spoil them rotten…lol.  If you are getting a smaller dog then the treats and chew toys will be less expensive…but my pups can chew through a regular dog toy in seconds so I really have to buy the more expensive stuff.  Most of their rope toys are $20+ because the smaller ones are a waste of money.

4. Obedience training, K9 Nosework, dog walking groups are good.  We have two pups so they socailize with each other, however our older pup was a single dog (she technically fi’s dog) for most of her life and she’s not very well socialized.  Thankfully our pup is a lab and very laid back so when the older dog gets high strung he just ignores her…lol  There are lots of obedience classes and doggy play groups that allow socialization and training at the same time…

Having a pup is like having a child, they will get sick, they will need attention, they will act out, they will be expensive!!  My lab is my first dog that belongs to *ME*…I grew up with dogs all my life but my parents never really took care of them.  I have taken this dog ownership responsibility very seriously.  His life is my responsibility and I owe it to him to give him the best life possible…just as I do my own son.

Looking forward to hearing about your new addition!

Post # 21
1348 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

1. When we adopted our australian shepherd (3 years old then) we knew that she would be home for about 8 hours a day at least 3 days out of the week. The other days the hours were scattered with both of us in school and coming and going. I worked on the weekends while Darling Husband stayed home working. We were amazed at how well she adapted. She always holds her bladder (longest hold was 14 hours when my sister when into labor). Pretty much, she just sleeps during the day. When both of us were working 8 to 9 hours a day every day, she was still great. Honestly, she just sleeps the whole time.

2. From my experience, it just depends on the dog! Small breed/big breed… sometimes you can never tell how a dog is going to react to you leaving. My moms yorkie PANICS when she leaves. She has a whole ritual before leaving to calm him down. He scratches at the door and barks almost all day. It’s awful. My dog is a medium/big dog (50 pounds) and sometimes could care less that we are leaving (depending on how early it is). My recommendation, try to foster before you adopt!! That will give you a good idea of whether or not the dog would be a good fit for you! As for specific breeds, I’m of no help… 

3. At first, plan to pay a lot. You’ll need to stock up on toys, treats, collars/leashes. You’ll need to buy a name tag, food/water bowls, possibly a gate, dog bed, pet shampoo, brush (maybe furminator) etc… It is a lot at first. Now, we pay about 33 dollars a month on her food. She gets 3 cups a day. We have to buy her a specific brand that is easy to digest for her stomach. She also gets a probiotic twice a day. Those cost about 20 bucks every 3 months. Besides regular vet visits which usually cost about 70 dollars per-visit… that’s all we pay for her. 

Note: Some apartments/complexes charge a pet fee/pet rent. Sometimes both! Look into that. My mom pays 20 dollars a month for her two pups as well as a 250 dollar one time pet fee.

4.  We make sure she has stimulating puzzle toys during the day. We also fill up one of her toys with some kibble incase she gets extra hungry (plus, that means she has to work for it).  She gets hyped at night when we get home. We make sure to play with her until she cannot play anymore. Also, we try to always give her a walk/ spend time outside. Now that I stay at home, she STILL sleeps during the day and wants to play at night…Regardless of my baiting her with toys and walks. 

For our dog, doggy day care wasn’t possible for two reasons. 1- It it too expensive in my town. Plus, it would have been A LOT in gas just to get her there. 2- She doesn’t play well with other dogs. No matter what we try to do. Socializing of any kind hasn’t worked. So they will not accept her. 

For her, our tactics work. She has her moments where she acts out (for example, when I became pregnant after the honeymoon she started using on the carpet, she has since cut it out) but overall, she is very happy and healthy. For other dogs, you might need to do more to make them happier. That’s why I recommend fostering first. We REALLY lucked out with our adopted pup. 🙂 

Post # 22
5154 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

@LoggerHead91207:  Aww yay pups! 

First, can you afford a dog walker? I am out of the house from 8-5 pm every day and Fiance is out of the house from 6:30-7. We have a dog walker come in and walk my dog around 11:30/12 every day. He takes him out for a 1/2 hour walk so he can do his business and get rid of energy. I know that other people will leave their dogs home w/no issue from that amount of time – but smaller dogs tend to have smaller bladders (I don’t know if you have a weight limit in your complex – ours is 25 lbs.)

We have a cockapoo that is SO FREAKING LAZY! He does get hyper from time to time, playing with toys and tearing them up, but most of the time he is just sleeping the day away. I am pretty sure all he does is sleep all day while we are gone. He is also such a sweet pup and everyone loves him. But he’s a perfect apartment dog.

Honestly, my dog hasnt been a huge expense. We take him yearly to get his shots/check up but that costs less than 100 at my vet. His food is about $30 for a bag that lasts over 2 months. I do like to buy him toys but that’s an expense of maybe $10 a month. He has gotten pink eye, something in his foot and a stomach bug in the 2 years I have had him – but nothing major and those were all less than 100 dollar visits too. 

For the social aspect – my dog gets nervous around a lot of other dogs/people. He hates the dog park and wants me to hold him the whole time we are there. The dog walker walks him with another dog in my complex and they are best buds, so he gets to play then. 

I think you have a great idea of adopting an older dog for all the reasons you listed. My pup was 3 (a guess) when we got him. I honestly can’t imagine having a tiny puppy I have to take out all the time! 


Post # 24
295 posts
Helper bee

I have two dogs. One is a 3 year old Chihuahua/Rat Terrier mix and the other is a 8 month old Chihuahua. The mix can be a bit high mainthence when she playing outside because of her high energy level but for the most part she very low low maintence.The other one is even lower maintence.

Food about 15 lbs every month and a half of Taste of the Wild. Vet bills haven’t been to bad. With the mix outside of the 1st year the cost been about $250 a year for shots and flea/heartworm preventive meds. The other will probably be in the same ball park.

Separation anaxity was bad for the mix until she reached a 1 1/2 but after that she stopped whinnying in part because she had a friend to keep her company.

For socialization our dogs usually gets it from going for walks and hanging out with our neighbor dogs. With the two dogs we have had we haven’t lived in areas that had doggie day care. I know my parents use to take our lab to one and she hated it. The few times we took her there she would run away from the center or just sleep. So in my prespective it depends on the dog personality. Although one of things we do with our little one is that we take him to classes and tractor supply to get keep him socialized outside of the neighbor dogs. Also another thing we do is that we partner with our neighbor with if someone has the day off or the capability to come home for lunch is to take each other dogs out. Or if someone goes on vacation act as a dog sitter. 


Also from my experience when you gone for along periods of time it seems that having two dogs make things easier versuses the one. But that’s my own take from what I seen with my dogs in childhood and the dogs I have had as adult .

Post # 25
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

1. Our dog is a 5 year old malamute and does awesome on his own. Fiance lets him out to pee at around 6am and then leaves for work. I then leave around 7am. Fiance gets home around 4pm, so he is alone for around 9 hours during the week day. He has the run of the house (with the cats) and we’ve never had a problem with him peeing or getting upset. The only thing he ever does is occasionally get into the trash if he smells something tempting in there. 

2. I think part of it is breed and part of it is personality. For example, our dog is a malamute… pretty much known as a high energy, troublemaker dog. Yet, he’s the laziest dog in the world. Sometimes I come home and he’s still sleeping in the same position we left him in, haha. 

3. A big bag of his kibble is about $30, then we spent around $15 a month in wet food. Other than that, we don’t have a lot of monthly costs, so it ranges from about $45-$60 a month. Of course there are vet costs, but they are minimal for us since he hasn’t had any major health issues. 

4. Our pup doesn’t like other dogs, so we don’t worry too much about that kind of socialization. He doesn’t fight with other dogs, he just couldn’t care less about their presence. As for his other social needs, he gets walked every single day. Usually, Fiance walks him for 45 minutes while I make dinner. On the weekends, we take him to the dog park or the park for a long 1-3 hour walk. We also take him with us anywhere we can (friends houses, running errands etc). 

Post # 26
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We have a 2 year old golden retriever (82 lbs)

1. We have set up cameras in our house to watch her on our iPhones when we are not at home – she just sleeps the entire time. We try not to leave her longer than 6 hours per day, but she has gone as long as 10 hours (one time) and was totally fine.

2. In my experience, extra large breeds (Newfies, great danes) are very low energy. I have no experience with small dogs.

3. The first year is very expensive – you need to stock up with collars, leashes, toys, food/water bowl, bed, etc.. But after, that I have found that they aren’t all that costly.


$50 per vet visit (anytime you just walk in the door)

$200 Hartgaurd and flea/tick prevention – 6 month supply

$46/mo for premium dog food – 30lb bag usually lasts one month

$20-$40/mo for treats, bones



$130 for 6 week training/basic obedience class

$25/day for doggie day care


4. My husband and I have somewhat alternating schedules – he leaves early and gets home early and I leave for work later and get home later so our dog gets a short walk in the morning and a longer (usually 1 hour) walk in the afternoon. We go to the dog park on the weekends. We usually do doggie day care once per week. I also take her EVERYWHERE with me – shopping at Home Depot, Kohls (both dog friendly chains), trips to Petco once per week. In the summer, we eat at outside restaurants and she can come lay under the table, etc. She gets plenty of socialization.

Post # 27
491 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I have a Cavalier King Charles, and they are very low energy, loving, lap dogs. I work full time as well (9 hours a day) and he stays at home himself. I got a webcam to watch him at work, and all he does is sleep all day anyways. lol.

We got him when he was 9 weeks old, at the time, Fiance was able to come home during his lunch breaks to take him out, etc. He was really good about holding it, he was potty trained completely by 16 weeks, of course, with accidents here and there until he was a year old.

We used to live him in a kennel of sort, we would put down potty pads in there just in case. He did really well.  Eventually when he’s a year old, we trust him to run around the house alone. And he hasn’t had any problems.  He holds it until we get home. But when he has diarrhea from an upset stomache (it happens occasionally), he can’t hold it, so he will go downstairs and try to do it no where near furniture… we have all hardwood floors and its easy to clean. I wouldn’t recommend rugs.  

We also live in a condo, and have had no problems.

He costed me 1500 dollars in the first year because he was a puppy, and  I spent about 500 on vet care alone.  The rest was food, toys, treats, bedding, crate, kennel, and all the other essentials plus extras like cute clothes lol.

He’s also a treat snob, he won’t eat cheap milk bones, he only eats those expensive treats like chicken meatball, jerky, etc. I have no idea why. LOL so that makes our bill a little bit higher, and I admit, I spoil him a little too much, haha.

Now, he probably costs around 600 a year, including a yearly vet exam, tests, and heartworm/flea/tick meds which are very important! 

He has not had any health issues where I have to take him to the vet more than once a year, but trips to emergency vets can cost a lot of money.  I know a lot of ppl have done that. 

We live 5 minutes from the dog park, and take him probably everyday after work in the summer, and always on the weekends. We don’t do doggie day care or hire a walker because he’s just not the type to need it. So it really depends on the dog breed you get.  High energy ones will always need walks to calm down. But if you have to hire a dog walker, it’s not that much, probably $20 per walk (thats how much they charge here).

sorry for the long post, but let me know if you have any other questions, I’d love to help! 

Post # 29
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011


We have an 85 lb female pit bull mix of some kind.  She’s a rescue and we adopted her when she was around 1 and we’ve had her for 2 1/2 years.

1. Our dog seems to be fine with separation during the day as long as she is regularly getting enough exercise and attention when we’re home.  We’ve noticed if we have a really hectic few days where she is not getting what she needs then she will destroy something.  She is also not a fan of us coming home and then leaving again right away but we try to avoid this.  So day to day she seems happy with hanging out at home and resting.  She is a champ at holding her bladder but I suspect this is because she’s bigger.  She can hold it for 9 hours or more.  Most people we know with small dogs use pee pads and train their dogs to use them.

2. I’m not sure about which breeds are low energy.  Ours is super high energy so I can’t help you!  However, we do find a way to manage this even with both of us working full time and living in a small rowhome.

3. I think we average around $100/month.  Food is $60 every 6 weeks or so and preventatives are $35/month.  She usually gets at least one bully stick/week at $8 each.  However, she recently tore her CCL and had to have TPLO surgery which cost over $4000.  I would recommend building up a healthy emergency fund if you are able to, or looking into an insurance plan with really good coverage.

4. Our dog is young and active and we both work full time.  We don’t use doggy daycare or a dogwalker although I think those are both good options (even a couple of times/week).  I take her for a walk before work and my husband walks and/or plays with her after work.  Usually before bed she will get another quick session of fetch or tug inside the house.  This was a big lifestyle adjustment for us, even though it doesn’t sound like much.  It means waking up earlier for me and for my husband, who works outside all day, it means going back out there with her when he really wants to sit down and relax.  It is also fun for us though; we love to see her out playing and having fun.  We did the dog park for the first year we had her, but something flipped in her and she can no longer tolerate other dogs like that.  That was a huge bummer, we loved taking her there and letting her run around but it just stopped working.  She ended up making a doggy best friend though and once she recovers a little more from her surgery, she can start playing with him again.  We usually meet up with his owner and take them to an enclosed spot to wrestle and play.  Some dogs are just not fans of being closed in with a bunch of strange dogs and we had to accept that and find other ways to get her energy out.

Post # 31
322 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Restaurant

@LoggerHead91207:  We live in a 1200 sq. foot townhouse now, but for years I lived in a 700 foot apartment with our newfie!  They are big loungers and really don’t require that much room.  They just love being with their people and napping in whatever room you choose to be in!  I walk our pup a lot, for 2x a day (I do a morning and after work walk with her, about 15 minutes each, or longer if it’s nice out).  We go for hikes or to the dog park on weekends.  Sometimes she wants to play and we run around from room to room with her and she seems pleased.  But overall I would say in determining space needs, it’s more about the energy-level of the pup than how big they are.  Having a newfie is a big commitment – dealing with the slobber and fur is not for the faint-hearted.   But they are so lazy, not very needy, gentle with people and animals, not big barkers – they are so easy in other ways.    


The topic ‘Dog lover looking for some advice from pet owners’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors