Post # 1
Do you work full-time and have a dog? How do you cope? How long is your dog left alone during the day?
We have found ourselves in this situation and are struggling. My husband thinks we should rehome our dog but I find it hard to believe that every dog owner out there is rich enough to stay home all day with their dog. I want to explore other possible alternatives rather than jump straight into let’s rehome.
NB: My husband is in FT medical education. We both have previous degrees and so are paying for his education entirely from our savings (goodbye house!) and from my salary. His degree is a massive financial burden for us but we have committed to it. I took a job with a higher salary but I cannot work from home at all (unlike my previous position) and we are out of the house pretty much 8am to 7pm every day. During the day our dog has run of the kitchen/dining room and is in there with toys, food, water and our cat (his best friend).
Any ideas/suggestions please! I really really do not want to traumatise our beautiful, loving friend but I don’t want to throw him away at the first sign of difficulty either. He’s a cavalier king charles.
PS: He’s walked before we leave and first thing when we get home. We also spend our evenings playing with him and take him for days out at the weekend when we are home.
Post # 3
I think your schedule sounds fine. If he were crated for that period of time I would have another answer, but having the run of most of the house and a buddy he should be able to entertain himself while you are away. I take my dog to doggy daycare twice a week and he loves it. It breaks up the week and gets him socializing and romping with other dogs all day. You might want to consider doing that a few times a week if you are worried about it.
Post # 4
We leave our dog at home for 8-9 hours, with a break in the middle (my DH comes home for an hour at lunch) so 4-4.5 hour blocks at a time. Although, he has been left for the full time if something comes up.
Most dog owners I know leave their dog at home for the workday. As long as you give your dog enough exercise and attention outside of work hours I don’t see anything wrong with it.
Post # 5
We leave our dog around 7:45am and my husband is usually home by 3:45. This happens 4 days a week. (I work 4-10’s). Do you or your husband come home at lunch to let her out? Or have someone come over to walk her for 30 minutes? That would probably break up her day.
On the weekends, were NEVER leave our dog alone – we go hiking, to the beach, outlet shopping, or wherever and we bring the dog always.
We also send her to doggie daycare 1-2 times per week so she can socialize and it tires her out for the following day too. Have you tried this?
Post # 6
- Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo
I think that’s perfectly normal. If you’re feeling guilty, you could look into having a dog walker come in halfway through the day to let him out, but it’s probably not necessary. (Also expensive… maybe a middle or high schooler in your neighborhood could let him out after school if that’s easier, but I still don’t think it’s necessary.) You’re giving him lots of attention when you’re home, and he has a friend to hang out with. I feel guilty leaving ours every day when I go to work (and her papa works nights so is home during the day) but she’s completely fine.
Post # 7
Doggy daycare is awesome but not if you are already in a financial burden with his school. I think it depends on how active you are with the dog once you get home. Do you both get home and just lay on the couch and watch tv? It also depends on the type of dog and his personality. My dog is content just being a lazy bum and sleeping all the time so I don’t feel bad leaving her at home… some dogs aren’t and need tons of exercise.
Post # 8
@hislittlepenguin: Our dog is alone for 8-8.5 hours a day. She seems ok with it. Most dog owners have to do this. Ours is a 2 year old lab and requires a lot of exercise and attention. We do the same thhings you describe: walks both before and after work, playing, etc.
Post # 9
Our dog is almost 3 and left alone for 8-10 hours a day. He is fine and during the summer gets twice as much exercise as in the winter. When he was younger and a TERROR he was crated for that period as well. Had to be done for his safety.
You need to remember he is a dog. Not a human. He can adapt alot better than you give him credit and i guarentee he sleeps the whole time. Literally my lab is beside me snoring right now. Its 7:30am!! But hes tired because we tire him out alot on weekends. So jusy get that quality time and exercise in when you can. Doggy day care is great as well. We bring him to a 1hr play group one night a week when we are really busy. He runs non stop for an hour and is poooooppped the next day.
Another suggestion, get a cat. Honestly. We got a cat 6 months ago and she gets along really well with our lab and i’m pretty sure they play together alot during the day. he seemed alot more tired once we got her.
Post # 10
Personally, that’s way too long. Almost 12 hours everyday. I would not consider getting a dog if this were my schedule.
Post # 11
Usually about 8 hours but sometimes up to 12 and she’s never had an accident and isn’t even that eager to go outside when we get home. She’s very laid back and I guess is used to it. She’s 12, but when she was a puppy my husband would come home at lunch to let her out.
Post # 12
We leave our dog home for about 6-8 hours. Sometimes my husband gets off early and she’s only in there for 4 hours, sometimes he has to work all day and she’s in there for 8 hours. However, she’s never in there for more than 8 hours. “There” is her room…aka the bathroom. We have a pretty big main bathroom and we put her bed, toys, and water in there with her. There’s a window so there’s light. She thinks the bathroom is her “home” lol. She even refuses to drink her water in the kitchen if there’s water in her bowl in the bathroom.
Post # 13
My dogs are alone for about 7 hours a day. I feel bad about it but I have a camera and they sleep the whole time. If it were me, I’d think 11 hours is too long – how does he go to the bathroom during the day? – but I wouldn’t give up my dog, I’d get a dog walker or bring them to doggy daycare a couple times a week. I’m sure you could get a package deal allowing you to bring the dog to daycare twice a week for around $20 – $25 each time. I know money’s tight but I’m sure you could find an extra $50 a week. I’d put it on a credit card if I had to.
I am very against giving away dogs so if the current situation is really the best you can do I’d still go with that versus giving him up.
Post # 14
We used to leave our dog for about 8-9 hours a day. She did fine, but it wasn’t great for her. When my scheduled changed so it would be 10 hours, Fiance started coming home for lunch. Now she’s alone about 4 hours at a time, and I think it’s been much better for her. I’m sure a lot depends on the dog though. Ours is not interested in toys, isn’t food-motivated, and she’s very attached to us (bordering on separation anxiety), so she just sits and waits without having anything like a treat ball or other toys to appease her. We have cats, but their relationship with the dog ranges between mutual disinterest and disdain.
It’s up to you to guage your dog’s personality and behavior. Such long days wouldn’t work for us, but it could certainly work for others.
ETA: Because of one incident of miscommunication, the dog was alone for 11-12 hours once. I felt horrible, but she managed to hold it all day and seemed fine when I got home. I can say from experience though that she’s usually very ready to go out after about 8 hours, so I also wouldn’t want her to have to hold it longer every day. I think hiring a once daily dog walker would be a great idea, as a PP suggested.
Post # 15
DH leaves anywhere from 8am-9:30 in the morning and then i get home, usually around 5:30, but sometimes I will go right home before the gym at 4:15.
so the most he is in a crate is 9 hours.
DH will go home at lunch to walk him if his schedule allows.
i work from home one day a week. when i am home, the dog just lays on his bed and sleeps anyway.
Post # 16
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
@hislittlepenguin: That’s too long time for a dog to be alone. I bet soon you will start to see behavior problems and separation anxiety as he is lonely and not getting enough exercise. A quick walk before and after work is not enough (it’s not enough for us as humans!). Dogs are so much work and they deserve exercise and affection.
And also just because dogs hold their pee and poop does not mean they aren’t suffering and anxious.
My dogs have each other and 2 cats, and are home from 9am – 3:30 and I feel bad. We hike 1.5 miles every other day where they are off leash, playing with other dogs on the trail and sprinting like crazies.
I would maybe suggest getting him into doggie day care just once or twice a week or having someone walk him for even 20 minutes of the day. Maybe consider getting him a buddy….?!