I know absolutely nothing – Getting a Dog

posted 2 years ago in Pets
Post # 31
608 posts
Busy bee

Butterfly6 :  So my concern is that the adoption event is this weekend (?) and you don’t have any knowledge and/or experience with dogs.  I would suggest that you sit this event out, do some reading and learn more about the type of breed you want, size, etc.  Not all dogs are ok with children. Not all dogs are ok with living in a small space.  Different dogs will have different training needs.  Are you ok with shedding? Do you/your kids have any allergies? Are you willing to take on the responsibility of daily walks, even when it’s raining/cold out, vet bills, flea and heartworm medicine, etc. etc. etc.  It’s a lot to consider. 

My dog is my world – I want everyone to experience the joy that he brings to my family. But all too often I see well-intentioned people adopting dogs with zero experience only to abandon them at a shelter a few months later when they realize they took on more than they could handle. 

I think you should really wait this one out until you are more prepared for this. There will be another adoption event – there will always be dogs that need homes.  Wait until you are truly ready to take this on before going down this road. 

Post # 32
458 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

Butterfly6 :  He is a mutt!  He’s a chow/retriever mix (probably has more in him though).  The chow in him makes him lazy but I do not suggest that breed because it is a restricted breed and they can be hard to train.  He is super protective over his family too.  He literally doesn’t move off our bed all day even though he has free reign of the whole house.  Look at this article about other lazy dog breeds great for apartments! 

10 Dog Breeds That Hate Working Out Just As Much As You Do

Post # 33
5113 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

Butterfly6 :  I think you could make it work if you really wanted to get a dog. I do think that it would be better to get a small dog that’s already housebroken and has been exposed to children. I would not crate a small dog for 8 hours though, small dogs can’t hold their bladders as well as large dogs, so I think it would be better to keep it in a room with a pee pad (you don’t want to put pee pads in a crate, you don’t want them to associate a crate with a bathroom unless that’s it’s sole purpose). I know many PPs are against it, but yes, people do set up potty areas inside for dogs. I wouldn’t do it for a large dog, but we have two dachshunds that have a closet set up like a “bathroom” where they have a washable pee pad that they can go on, much like people do with litter boxes (you can also litter train small dogs). The one thing that I will say is that if you set up a pee pad, plan on always having one, don’t set it up with the intention of removing it after a few months, that’s just confusing to the dog. Little dogs can also get tired out playing inside and don’t need long walks multiple times a day, a couple short walks should be fine. 

That said, if you are unsure of the commitment, then starting with a hamster or a cat might be a better option to ease into pet ownership. 


Post # 35
5956 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

Butterfly6 :  Yup! And another dog I had had an opthamologist.

Schmashley :  Yeah, he does. I think you commented on my post a little while ago about it. So far so good!

Post # 36
9808 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

If you get a dog you also need to seriously spend some time learning about the traits of different breeds. For example, border collies and huskies are adorable dogs but have loads of energy and can be destructive if they aren’t being stimulated enough.

Also, dogs aren’t the only animals you may have to pay out the wazoo for if they come up with a health problem. My bff spent a crazy crazy amount (Like, we’re talking over $25k) in a one year period for her kitty that was in renal failure. 

Post # 37
2867 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

Butterfly6 :  Sorry but I don’t think you are anywhere near ready to care for a dog. I know your little girl wants one but YOU have to be fully prepared to take on the responsibility should she realize it’s not all rainbows and giggles in puppy land. Dogs are a full time commitment much like a child. They need an obscene amount of attention, special diets, tons of stimulation, special meds and treatments for various things (heartworms, fleas, joint pain for larger breeds), and the more they age, the more they will need all of those things. 

FWIW, we have three large dogs (my smallest is 65 lbs) and we live in a small two bedroom home BUT we live in the country where they can go outside whenever they want. Some dogs may be able to narrow down potty time to twice a day but not all dogs can. My pittie is completely house trained (she will sit at the back door when she needs to go) and she goes like 4-5 times daily. Our other dogs are fine throughout the day. 

I would strongly suggest a cat. They are typically low maintenance and are pretty independent animals. They won’t need to be crate trained and can be left alone with some toys and a scratching post for hours. They don’t need to be taken out and changing a litter box is quick and easy as long as you don’t let it get out of hand. My mom has a self cleaning one for her kitties and she litterally just flushes the special “litter” when she is done. You can get a kitten, but there are thousands of grown cats in shelters that are just waiting for forever families (and they already know manners!) 

Post # 38
585 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017 - Nepal

ButternutPoppy :  Ugh it’s so rough and the vet bills….. We go back next week for her 6 month retesting 😩

Post # 39
5956 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

Schmashley :  I’ll PM so we don’t get in trouble for threadjacking! Wait, can we get into trouble?

Post # 40
2039 posts
Buzzing bee

Butterfly6 :  I’m torn– on the one hand I think kids should learn how to be around and treat animals, and 8-11 years old is when you can really emphasize their role in helping care for them.

On the other hand, your situation doesn’t sound ideal and you would need to be 100% on board. You said you’re going to bunny or hampster route, which I think is much better.

Depending on where you live, your kids (daughter especially) might be old enough to help out around a farm or horse barn. There, she’ll be exposed to all kinds of animals, their care, how much work is actually involved. At my barn there’s horses, dogs, cats, the occasional goat and various other equine and bovines that come through with clients. It’s super neat, and kids get to experience all kinds of animals– and the parents don’t have to take any of them home! Best of both worlds! She could help out brushing horses, or taking the dogs on a walk– there’s always something to do.

I’d advise against a cat, though… cats are the devil.

Post # 41
219 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

A friend of mine lives in a one bedroom apartment and she has a corgi. It works out fine for her. But she also lives right across the street from a park and has a flexible work schedule that allows her to come home regularly and check on the dog during the day so the dog has plenty of opportunities to go outside. Basically what I’m saying is that it is possible to keep a dog in an apartment, provided that it’s a smaller breed that doesn’t require as much space or exercise, and that you make time to take the dog out regularly. I wouldn’t get a puppy. They are A LOT of work and very high maintenance. Find an older dog that’s already housebroken. 

Post # 42
1984 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

Butterfly6 :  I’ll start by saying that I absolutely love our puppy and she’s a part of the family, she feels likes always been a part of the family. BUT, in the four months we’ve had her we have both ended up having accidents because of the dog, both accidents have needed some a trip to the accident room. I would also say that I’ve not had a lie in since we got her because she needs to go to the bathroom early in the morning. She cries a lot. It kind of sounds like she’s screaming. She’s also destroying toys at the moment because she’s teething and it’s costing us a fortune. Fortunately she’s been great to train so far and hasn’t been too destructive but she’s still only little. She’s hard work and we’ve researched the breed most suited to us and been preparing for about a year.

We do crate train her. She didn’t take to it straight away and so we had to keep us next to us at night when we first got her and slowly move her away. She’s in the crate for 8 hours a day but we have a dog walker in during the day. She sleeps for the rest of the day (we have a recorder so we’ve been checking to see if we needed to increase the dog walker). We also make sure she has a walk before we leave for work, she gets played with before work and she’s played with and walked every evening. At weekends we will take her on a longer walk. I did feel bad about being out all day at first but we’ve both been home during the week with some leave and the dog is actually fed up of us and has taken herself off into a different room. (Which is charming, thanks dog).

Finally I want to add that not all hamsters are “easy” pets. Our hamster is a lot more hard work than the dog. Whilst she requires less overall looking after and no toilet training etc. she’s awake at the times that we aren’t, so cleaning her cage out, getting her out and socialising her all has to happen late at night. Or she wakes us up. I’ve had more disturbed sleep from the hamster than I have from the dog. The hamster also has WAY more stuff than the dog (and we have a medium sized dog). She’s got behaviour problems and is probably a bit feral and we can’t train her because of her age and issues. Case in point – the dog is sat beside me quietly playing with her toys by herself. The hamster has refused to come out of her cage today but is dropping her metal ladder repeatedly because she wants attention just not to be out of her cage. 

ETA – I do love our hamster. She’s getting old now and I’ll be very sad when she dies. She’s part of our random little family but she isn’t an easy pet.

Post # 43
1593 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Butterfly6 :  I’ll try and answer your questions but my experience is limited to one dog.

1. We have a dog in a 2BR apartment with a small courtyard. However, we have a pug and they can’t tolerate cold or hot temperatures so they are ideal inside dogs. A larger breed would be ill suited to these conditions.

2. We had a pen for our puppy which was large enough for a bed, a water bowl and a separate area for his toilet mat. He was in there for eight hours a day. After a few months we transitioned to a baby gate separating the laundry from the rest of the house. He is still not well behaved enough to have the run of the house – he goes number 1 on the mat at all times while inside and goes number 2 on the mat as well…but sometimes he smears it around or eats it. It’s probably not the most fun ever but plenty of people work full time with dogs, I don’t think it’s cruel.

3. As above – yes, they can go inside, particularly handy if you work long hours or if your dog is a wuss about going outside in the rain. Our pup goes inside and outside.

4. Walk schedule depends on the dog. We walk our pug twice a day for 20-40 mins each walk, weather permitting (due to their lack of tolerance of extreme heat, some days we have to walk him early in the morning and exercise him inside at night, same when it rains). Walks are a fun time for the dog to play as well as toilet time. Low maintenance dogs could handle less walking than high energy breeds.

5. Essentials for puppy were food and water bowls, toilet mats, urine stain remover, bed, toys, pen/crate, travel crate, grooming brush, food (initially provided by the breeder), and pet insurance because pugs can have health issues. There are a lot of vet visits with a puppy, so be prepared for that if you choose a young dog (or kitten I’d assume). Things like vaccinations, flea and worming treatments are all done frequently at a young age until they transition to yearly vaccinations and three monthly flea treatment. We also had to get him desexed at 7 months. You will go through paper towels, cleaning supplies and urine remover like nobody’s business. Also, if you get a shedding breed, invest in a good vacuum.

6. Depends on the dog. Puppies are a LOT of work and very expensive. We decided to get a puppy first, TTC when puppy is around a year old, then wait until our child is past the toddler years before getting another puppy. If you adopt an older dog, make sure you are well informed about its temperament. You want to avoid dog or people aggressive dogs, and probably want to avoid reactive dogs as well if you anticipate your kids walking it. Puppy school/obedience classes can be a good idea for socialising your dog as well as observing how your dog reacts to others. 

Post # 44
266 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2017

We have 2 terriers in a small apartment (we’re ground floor which helps) dogs get on a poo schedule, ours go on their morning and evening walks and get multiple trips out (maybe 4 a day) to pee which takes minutes. They get an hour or so a day of walking and all evening they spend with us in the living room getting lots of attention. Training takes time but is fun and rewarding. I wouldn’t encourage an indoor poop station. More than 4 hours in a crate is cruel, our pooches stay quite happily in the living room while we work and lounge about all day in the couches (they are in such a routine that on our days off they still consider this down time and have to be prodded for extra park time etc) we take them to a dog park 2-3 times a week for a proper off the lead run and our shared back yard is fully fenced in so they can run round out there for a bit supervised most evenings. They are happy, healthy and loved. Your plans don’t sound good but just a few small compromises on your part could make them good. 


1. Give the dog a room not a crate

2. Take outside to train to a toilet schedule don’t set up in house poop station

3. Get an adult dog who is a little older and calmer


Your lifestyle sounds more suited to a cat if your child would be as happy with a kitty?

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