Post # 1
I have a 4-year old dog. Even though she’s an adult, she’s new to us (we’ve had her for 3 months). She is usually home alone for 8-9 hours a day when Darling Husband and I are at work (she has access to her ‘room’ inside the house and access to the back patio and side of the house (we don’t have a yard), when we aren’t home).
I’m really struggling – because there are occassions we have plans in the evening after work. Even after walking her (30 minute walk) and feeding her, I don’t like leaving her again.
Do I just need to relax about it? Is this normal?? Or am I being a bad pet owner for doing this to her after she’s been home alone all day.
The stints we are talking about are usually 2-3 hours. In the time we’ve had her, it probably happens every other week (if that) – but, I could see it happen more frequently (maybe once a week?) . I’m feeling it especially tonight because I’m considering doing something with Darling Husband that will have us out of the house for 4-5 hours this evening. (We will walk/feed her before leaving again.)
I’m a new pet owner (can you tell)?!
Thanks in advance for your input!
Post # 3
You are not a bad pet owner at all, the fact that you worry about this makes you a good pet owner! We have three big dogs and I don’t leave them home alone for any more than 8 hours and that’s because I work 8-5. We don’t make plans for an evening if the dogs have been home alone all day, they are not just our pets but a part of our family. We got them so that they would be given a great home life and be loved, not to be home alone all day. Just make sure your pup is loved as much as you she deserves. There are many times where we can’t or choose not to do something because of our pets, its a sacrifice we decided to make for the sake of our pups.
Post # 4
@Birdee106: Thanks for your input and sharing what you do. What you stated “We don’t make plans for an evening if the dogs have been home alone all day” was exactly what I was wondering. On one hand, I do see her as a dog – yet, on the other hand, she’s MY dog and the responsibility I chose.
When Darling Husband called to talk to me about going out this evening – my first comment was: “will the dog be ok?” He seems to think she’ll be fine – but it makes me sad. Yet, having Darling Husband go out without me (we have a pair of tickets to something) made me feel silly too – afterall, he’s the human. 😉 There have been other times I’ve turned down plans, because she’s been home all day alone – and it also made me wonder if I
I’m “rationalizing” it because leaving her alone after we’ve been gone all day is a rare occurance – but I don’t want to rationalize bad behavior either!
Post # 5
We have three dogs as well…luckily, I work early in the morning and MrDane doesn’t go in until later in the morning, and often times one of us is able to let them out in the middle of the day. There are days when they are home alone for 8-9 hours, but not very often.
If we have after work plans, usually I make sure they are made late enough in the evening that I have a chance to go home and spend a little time with the pups & let them out.
Every now and then, I’ll have my sister or a trusted friend go over and let them out for a while and leave them with treats. I’m lucky enough that one of my friends lives less than 3 minutes away and has a house key. We take turns looking after each others’ pets!
We do try to limit evenings out to once or twice a week, and we do make sure to spend a little extra time with them when we are busy during the week. I can tell you, the guilt doesn’t really go away when you have to leave them but they haven’t declared mutiny or mauled us to death in our sleep, so I think they’ve been able to forgive us for our schedules!
Post # 6
I feel gulity when we do this as well. So I try to leave work early so I can spend some hours with him before going out. Or maybe u can get someone to go keep her company.
Post # 7
Do you have the option to take her to day camp? We hate to leave her all day so if we know we’re going out that night, we’ll drop her off at day camp all day so she romps and rolls and then sleeps all night while we’re gone!
Post # 8
@oracle: Totally normal to feel this way! My husband is home with the dogs four days per week, then does 72 hour shifts when I’m at home. The one day per week that they are “locked up” (so to speak) for the 8 hours I’m at work, I try REALLY hard to come home and let them out. But I am fine with leaving them again after they get their walk and are fed and poop and pee. haha. I think that as long as you give her a good walk, you are fine to let her be at home for a while every once in a while.
Post # 9
We go through the same thing…our dog stays home during the day by himself and some nights we have plans…I just try to really pay good attention to him when I’m home and we tire him out on his walk….we don’t do it too often but he does tolerate it well.
Post # 10
My baby is home alone for a max of 6-8 hours during the day. He’s a really small dog (5 pounds) so he’s litter trained and I dont worry about having to let him out or anything like that. That being said, we MAYBE go out twice a month (FI is a student, so funds are a bit tight right now) and I always feel guilty when we leave the dog by himself. Though, he usually starts falling asleep around 9 pm, so it’s not like he really needs us/ wants us around in the evening. I totally get the guilt part though. You’ll find a happy medium eventually between having such a sweet fur-baby at home and time for socializing.
Post # 11
We have five dogs (yep, five), all rescues. I work mornings and he works nights so they’re really only home about 2 hours alone. There are days that I have to work late and have plans after work so the dogs will be alone from about 12-6, then I usually walk them and let them play in the yard until 830 or so when I’m ready to leave. The one thing I do to make myself not feel quite so guilty is giving them Kongs or bones to chew while I’m gone… I have this idea in my head that if they have a toy they won’t realize they’re home alone haha 🙂 I personally think as long as they’ve had exercise and got to relieve themselves theres really not an issue with going back out at night.
Post # 12
My dog always stayed in a crate while I was gone, so if I left again at night I would leave him out of the crate. He was okay for a couple of hours not in the crate, but if he stayed out all day he had a tendency to get into the trash or eat anything paper he could find. But I lived close to the school I taught in, so I could go home at lunch every day to let him out.
I tried not to leave my dog at home alone more than one night a week after a day of work. But sometimes I had to leave him, and that’s okay. He was fed and walked and cared for. I had friends that would get annoyed with me because I would leave get togethers earlier than they thought necessary (before anyone had kids). But I needed to be home to let the dog out or just spend time with him. But those people are not pet lovers, and I didn’t take it personally. I found that if I left my dog at home alone too many times, he let me know about it by being extra needy when I was home or barking a lot when he was outside.