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

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 32
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Getting a dog has completely changed our lives.  It’s harder, but also better in uncountable ways.


  1.  We have a lab mix that we adopted at 9 months old.  We leave her home alone (crated) for 6 hours at a time.  It’s a pretty big crate that she can easily break out of.  However, usually she stays put so I figure that means she can’t hate it.  We keep her toys in it, sometimes hide treats in her blankets, and make sure she always has water available.  While she doesn’t love it yet, she doesn’t hate it.  She’ll go in when we tell her to, but when we’re home, she expects to be with us.  She’s (knock on wood) never had an accident while we’ve been gone.
  2. Don’t get a lab mix ;-).  She needs to be walked for about 3ish miles a day.  We do a walk in the morning at night, and give her constant access to our fenced in back yard.  Her foster family lived in an apartment building and said she was miserable.  She’s only 40 lbs, but all wiggle.  She needs plenty of wiggle room.
  3. She eats through about 30 lbs of dog food a month (all that wiggling!). We use Earth’s Pride from BJs, so that tends to be about $50-$60 a month. We also supplement with fruit and veggies I prepare.  Sometimes meat too, if what I’m making is something she can eat.  We spend about $300 or so on necessary vet visits and mediations (flea and heart guard), and about $250 on emergency vet insurance.  I’d say annually, about $1,400 when including treats (we use veggies) and toys.
  4. Our dog gets walked twice a day for about 45 minutes to an hour each time.  She’s allowed to run in the woods and in our back yard.  We live in a great neighborhood so she’ll usually interact with people and other dogs during that time.  We also make play dates with friends/family’s dogs that we trust.  We used to like the dog park until she got bit by someone’s nasty dog (bit several dogs that day), so we stick to dogs we know.  Fortunately there are a lot.


The biggest commitment to having a dog is the time.  We work on her training pretty frequently.  When we first got her, we trained from sun up to sun down.  She’s become a wonderful docile little thing, but it was HARD for a long time. But so worth it <3

Post # 33
1092 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@LoggerHead91207:  I think that because you aren’t set on a puppy then it will be a really great experience for you and Fiance. Puppies are just so much work and much more expensive. Plus you will know so much more about the dogs personality, whether it shows signs of separation anxiety, whether it is friendly with other dogs, etc. 

I would really try not to focus on breed too much. The only thing I would look into (and if I missed that you already mentioned this then sorry!) is to ask your condo/review the by-laws to see if there are any breed restrictions. Many places won’t allow pitbull types, rotties, etc. You don’t want to find the perfect pup and then have the condo tell you that you need to move or rehome it. 

Also regarding being open to breeds if you do rescue, keep in mind that a breed might be in their background but not apparent in their appearance. Our one dog is 1/2 cocker spaniel, 1/4 staffordshire terrier, and 1/4 great pyrenes. He looks exactly like a cocker/lab mix and you would never guess that he is 25% “pit”. 

And if you can’t go through a traditional rescue, don’t feel bad. We got rejected by numerous rescues for various reasons. There are so many places to get dogs and every single one needs a good home.


Post # 34
2238 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

1. Fiance and I have a 2.5 year old goldendoodle. When she was a puppy, one of us was always home with her (we had opposite schedules), but now, she’s home pretty much all day by herself and she does great! She’s not destructive at all, she plays with her toys and sleeps a lot. She’s a bigger dog (43 lbs.), so she’s able to hold it all day – it’s actually amazing how long she can go without having an accident (she lets us know if it’s an emergency). Smaller dogs do have to go more often, though!

2. One of the reasons we got a goldendoodle was because they are good apartment dogs. She is really energetic when she’s outside (or when someone comes over), but is very low-key when she’s home alone or just home with us. We did a lot of research into good apartment dogs – we also considered a Wheaten Terrier and a Greyhound for the same reasons.

3. It really doesn’t cost us much, in a usual month, to take care of our dog. We buy her food – the HUGE bags, and that usually lasts us a couple of months, at least. Unexpected vet visits can be expensive, but in the 2.5 years that we’ve had her, that’s only happened to us once – when she got bit by another dog. I think it was like $200 or something. We buy her toys (probably more often than we need to), but at most, that’s like $10/month.

4. We don’t do Doggie Daycare right now, but we are going to start this summer. We live in the city, so we take her to the dog park a lot after work – she gets along really, really well with other dogs, and always has, so we never had to work on socializing her much. My sister has a dog that she plays with a lot, too. 

Hope that helps – our dog is my first dog ever and I love her more than I ever thought I would. I LOVE being a dog mom and can’t imagine not having a dog in my life from here on out. 

Post # 36
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@LoggerHead91207:  Thank you!  I hope you guys have a wonderful experience with your future pup!

Post # 37
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2016


1.  For this one instead of giving you my personal experience I’m just going to say that it depends on each dog individually.  Some are fine with you being gone and others will flip out.  Some can hold it forever and some just can’t.  The great thing about adopting is that the foster (assuming it’s in a foster home with an adoption group) can fill you in on these things before you commit to the dog so you can get an idea if the dog will be a good fit for your lifestyle or not.  🙂

2.  Again, I think this not only depends on breed but the dog itself.  Also, since you aren’t looking to adopt a puppy, the dog might be a high energy breed but have mellowed out now that it’s not a puppy.

3. We buy a 15 lb. bag of Orijen dog food and I usually budget about $50 per bag (different formulas cost a bit more/less… the fish costs more) and when you add in taxes, I usually guess about $50.  Our two dogs (13 & 23 lbs) go through a bag about every 3 weeks.  For food I would encourage you to really do your research.  We do Orijen because they are grain free and you can switch up the formula anytime you want without upsetting your dog’s tummy and the quality of the ingredients can’t be beat.  Would you want to eat the same thing every day of your life?  How healthy would you be if  you ate McDonald’s every meal of every day of your life?  It’s the same thing.  So to us, the high quality of the dog food is extremely important.  For treats we do things that are healthy that we already have around- carrots, broccoli, banana, blueberries, apples, etc.  They love it!  Our dogs are middle aged so at this point they have way more toys than they need so the only time they get new toys is birthdays or Christmas.  Otherwise we keep some put up and occasionally rotate the toys so they get “new” things to play with often.  We don’t usually have much in the way of vet bills.  The only ongoing items are Trifexis each month (flea, heartworm, parasite protection) and having their nails trimmed and one needs hair cuts/groomed.  Nails are done once a month for a cost of $15 each.  If you adopt then the dog will probably already be fixed and be microchipped but if not, many local shelters offer those services at greatly discounted rates.   (EDITED TO ADD:  Also get a doggy toothbrush/paste and use it!  That decreases the need for dental cleanings which are costly and it’s physically hard on your dog to be under anesthesia.  Also, small dogs sometimes need their anal glands expressed and a groomer or vet will charge $15-25 depending on if it’s done outside or internally- only a vet can do it internally.  That might need done every 6-8 weeks depending on your specific dog.  Grooming for our long hair dog usually costs $75 by the time we add in tax & tip.)

4. We do doggy daycare but our place also offers in home pet sitting and walking.  We have several local dog parks also which are great!  Whatever you chose, socialization is VERY important for your dog so I’d encourage you to go to the dog park or let it play with other friends dogs, etc.

Post # 38
1723 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@LoggerHead91207:  We have a yorkie puppy.  We got her from a breeder when she was 3 months.  We tried crate training her, but she freaked out being locked up in there, so now we have a “play pen” for her (basically, during the day she stays in the kitchen…we have a kiddie gate to keep her withing that little area).  Like all puppies, it took her a big to learn not to go to the bathroom in there, but she’s good now.  My mom gets all mad that we keep her in the kitchen but our way of thinking is its the equivalent of crate training except she has more space.  Fiance actually works nearby so he goes home on lunch when he can to take her out, which has been nice since she is still a puppy.  I get home, take her for a walk or to the doggy park… Fiance also takes her once a week with him to his cousins house (they have 2 puppies) so that all the dogs can wear themselves out.  She doesn’t eat much…although we feed her more right now since she’s still a puppy so at night she eats anywhere between 1/4 cup- 1/2 cup of food at a time.  She only eats a couple bites in the morning and we take the food away during the day since potty training is still in progress. We also have two cats, so a lot of times i come home to my cat and the puppy snuggling in the doggy bed which is pretty cute.  Its definitely exciting to have a new doggy and definitely worth it!  We love how happy she is to see us…even if we are just outside for a few minutes and come back in..its like she hasn’t seen us in forever! haha  It does cost about $45 to get her groomed and we’ve been doing that every month and a half.  Who knew it was so expensive to groom a 6 lbs puppy?!


Post # 39
1796 posts
Buzzing bee


1.  We have a miniature pinscher. He has been my dog since I was seven, and he moved in with us when SO and I moved out of our parents’ houses. I was extremely worried about him having trouble with his bladder being home alone for so long during the day, but it really hasn’t been an issue. We kept him contained to the kitchen area for the first week or so just to make sure, but now he has free roam of the house, and has access to food and water all day. If it becomes an issue since he is older now we will get him a wee-wee pad thing that they sell in stores for use during the day.

2.  I’m not really sure on which breeds just come out with lower energy, but growing up we have had three miniatures pinschers and a toy fox terrier which have all been lower energy. Everyone thinks the toy fox terrier should be high energy, but he is pretty lazy. I think a lot of it has to do with how you train the dog as well. Although my SO’s mom has a Yorkipoo, and when she is left alone at the house she finds things to do. She has plenty of toys, and once when she thought she was home alone we heard her sprinting around the house at a high rate of speed for ten minutes. They will wear themselves out! The highest energy dog that we’ve ever owned is actually our mutt! 

3.  I’m going to base the vet information on our cats. We have a plan through our vet. Our kittens were $350 each for a year of care which basically includes all of the normal vaccinations, neutering, etc. It’s been a great deal for us. I think we’ve saved about $500 on this plan since our one guy was sick when we brought him home. I think my dog’s vet costs about $45 per visit, but they charge an arm and a leg for any diagnostic tests. Medication is pretty cheap though. As for food, unfortunately at 13 my dog isn’t really open to trying any new food. When we got him there wasn’t all of this information about how terrible the cheaper kibble is for them, so he is an Iam’s dog. I just let him eat what he wants at this point. I’m not going to force him to eat something he doesn’t like. Our kittens eat Blue Buffalo canned food at about $1.10 per can and their organic dry food is like $20 for a 14 pound bag. It’s expensive, but hopefully it’ll keep them out of the vet’s office later in life! Other than that we don’t spend too much money on our pets except maybe spoiling them with toys LOL.

4. In our area the whole idea of doggy daycare is still a bit foreign. My dog has four siblings at home, so his main form of socialization is visiting them once in a while. Other than that he prefers people over strange dogs. He is very happy hanging out at home napping during the day as long as he has his people at night! He also likes approaching people on his walks to get pets from them! 🙂

Post # 40
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@LoggerHead91207:  Congrats!!! You’re asking some great questions. I have a 60lb Pit Bull and a 20lb Puggle.  I think a Pug is an awesome “apartment” dog, and they’re such snugglers!


1.  This is a tough one because I have two polar opposites.  Maggie, my puggle, couldn’t care less when we leave.  We can trust her to have almost free-reign of the house without being destructive or having an accident.  She has fresh water when we go.  I got her from a breeder 5 years ago, and she has a great personality.

Allie, on the other hand, is ok when it comes to routine (we crate her), but god forbid you leave to run to the store on a Saturday.  She will break out of the crate.  Once, she locked herslef in our bedroom.  Her anxiety is extreme, and we’re working on it everyday.  We’ve had her for a year and a half.  She is from a rescue organization- was neglected when she was a baby.  We’ve had her for a year and a half, and it’s the longest place she’s lived in her whole life.  Of my friends with dogs, the ones who were from a rescue/shelter are the ones who have anxiety issues.  Just something to keep in mind.

2.  Pugs not Drugs! They’re great dogs.  It will depend on the dog’s personality and age to determine how long they can be left alone.

3. I’d say we spend about $100/$120 a month on average.  We buy Blue Buffalo ($60 a 24lb bag, but I can usually get it cheaper becasue of Petco’s rewards program, as well as sales.  I stalk the pet food online stores to see who has it cheaper…usually between $50-55 a bag).  This bag lasts for about a month between the two dogs.  Remember, small dogs eat less.  My puggle eats about a full cup per day, but Allie eats about 2.5 cups per day.  The rest is on treats, the occasional dog walker, and medication (flea/tick and heartworm).  Plus the additional vet visit- they go once every year for shots/check ups.  Maggie has never really needed emergency vet care, but Allie…. they know her there… When we first got her, we were at the vet almost every 2 weeks.  Be prepared for a surprise like that! I’d say, when we first got Allie, in the first 2 months we spent about $350 on the vet alone.  

4. We go to our local dog park.  Plus, they have eachother, and my parent’s dogs to play with.  We do all the dog walking, but our work schedules permit that.  When I have to be at work late (like parent teacher conference night) we usually hire our neighbor.  She charges $18 to walk both dogs.

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