Post # 1
Here’s the sitch: DH and I want to get a dog within the next month or so… we are closing on our house Thursday and are dying for a pet! We both work typical 8-5 days, so we’re usuallly out of the house from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or so. The dog will definitely need to be kept somewhere, as our entire main level has wood floors, and our top level has carpeting, neither of which I want ruined because the dog isn’t house trained yet. The question is: Where should we keep it during the day? My mom says keep it in a kennel, where I would prefer to keep it in the (unfinished) basement. I would obviously have a doggie bed for it, along with some toys to keep it busy. It has two windows, so it’s not completely dark and dingy. It also has lighting. I guess I feel like I’d rather give it space to move around than keep it in a tiny kennel for 9+ hours a day.
What do you guys think? Is this horrible? Or no big deal?
Post # 3
We always crate trained our dogs so they couldn’t get into anything that would injure them during the day (and also so they wouldn’t tear up the house!)
I think it depends on how old the pet is… if you get a puppy, (s)he obviously won’t be housebroken. With a dog that young, it would be a good idea to crate him/her and arrange for someone to come by in the middle of the day and let the dog out to potty and stretch.
Post # 4
Crate training is absolutely the best thing you can do for a dog. However, if it is a puppy, it will need to be let out at least every 4 hours. When I got my puppy, I worked close to home, and I would come home at lunch.
Honestly, with your working situations, you do not sound like you should be getting a dog. That’s too long for the dog to be left alone like that.
Post # 5
Probably not what you want to hear but with your schedules you guys should not be getting a dog. People do it all the time but that doesn’t mean they should.
That’s a long time for your dog to be left alone. I know people who do it but they also have dog walkers/sitters come to their house for 30-45 minutes to walk and play with the dog. Will you be able to provide that for him/her?
Post # 6
Getting a cat would be a better option given your current situation. Or at least an animal that is a bit more independant and doesn’t need as much supervision as a puppy. Sorry, I know that feeling of wanting a pet because something is missing when you get home, but leaving a puppy alone for that long would be a bit cruel in my opinion.
Post # 7
Would you deny a child access to a toilet for 11 hours each day? That’s just not fair.
Post # 8
@QueenOfSerendip: I have to agree with everyone else, a puppy is not the best fit for your situation right now. Its a very long time, I just want you to imagine having a few toys and a bed in that basement, and being locked down there all day? A kitty would be very much better fitted for you, and gosh they are adorable! Fiance and I are also itching for a puppy, but I said no because we are away working full time, not fair to puppy.
Perhaps even think about saving an older dog who is already house trained? Thats what my mum does, we have always saved older dogs and they are much better at being alone for longer periods! 🙂
Post # 9
@QueenOfSerendip: Crate training is the best thingto do for a puppy. However, you cannot leave a puppy home alone for 9 hours. They need to be let out every 4 hours or so. Having a puppy is ALOT of work. When my DH got his puppy, he slept downstairs on the couch every night for a month while potty training the dog so he could let her out every few hours. And he also worked from home so he was able to let her out during the day frequently. It’s kind of like having a newborn!
Even an older dog shouldn’t be left home for more than 8 hours alone in my opinion.
Post # 10
Hmm, you ladies bring up a good point. I know plenty of friends who have dogs that work long days, so I guess I didn’t think about how it might not work. But I don’t know if I could be at work all day thinking about my poor dog needing to go to the bathroom. I could go home at lunch, but I don’t know that it could happen every day. Same for DH. I’m sure there are days where neither of us could get away from work to let the dog out. I could drop it off at my moms during the day, but that’s out of my way. I’m wondering if hiring someone to come by at lunch, or looking into a dog daycare would be the best solution?
I was definitely leaning toward an older dog to begin with, I guess I didn’t state that in my post. But even an older dog may have trouble being alone for 8+ hours a day right?
Post # 11
That really is too long to leave a dog alone. If you think that now is the best time for you to get a pet, you should look into a service where someone can come by and walk your dog at least once or twice during the day.
ETA: I posted before I saw your update. You are on the right track thinking about a dog walker, or look into doggy daycare! Somewhere you can drop your dog off while you are at work.
I’m sure you can figure something out! Dogs are totally worth it 🙂
Post # 12
I wouldn’t leave a dog home alone for that long. My dog is home for about 6-7 hours every day and I feel absolutely terrible about that – there’s no way I could do any longer without feeling totally neglectful. And our dog is really good at being left alone – she doesn’t damage anything or cry. She mostly just sleeps. But some dogs cannot deal with being left home for extended periods of time. And like PPs have said, with a puppy, it’s just impossible. When our dog was a puppy, my SO was only going to school at night, so she was never alone for the first year of her life.
What about doggie daycare? That way your dog will be around others and can work on socializing/house training at the same time. Or at least a dog walker, which is cheaper and will ensure your dog gets out of the house and is able to go to the bathroom.
Post # 13
@QueenOfSerendip: You are brave to post this here. People are going to judge the shit out of you because they are all dog experts and know best. I am going to answer your question rather than tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
I think what you’ve suggested is fine for an older puppy but not a young one – they get into everything and you will come home to messes every single day (I am assuming you wouldn’t leave anything down there that could hurt the puppy).
I would crate train the puppy initially and then slowly introduce him to being left out on his own. If you can, a dog service can provide “puppy visits” to break up the day for your little guy. If you can’t, then I sure think a loving home is better than leaving a puppy in a shelter.
With so many dogs without homes, it’s great that you are providing one. If you listen to the PPs, then no one who works should have a dog. I call bullshit on that. I have done something very similar, so PM me if you want to know more 🙂
Post # 14
An older dog would be able to hold his bladder for that long, sure, but I think (at least in the beginning) it would be easier for the pet to adjust to a new environment if he had more interaction throughout the day.
I agree that if you can get someone to come by to take the pup on a lunch time walk (or if you guys could rotate days to come home over lunch) then it will all work out A-ok 🙂
Post # 15
@QueenOfSerendip: I think the basement is fine, but I would get an older dog (1+ and house trained) NOT a puppy!
Post # 16
We leave our dog alone for 8.5-9 hours a day. We leave at around 7:45 and I get home around 4:30. It’s really not that much if you get the right dog. Our dog is a homebody. Tiny dog. Hates going on longer walks. She basically lounges around our living room all day. She’s a 7lb chi mix who couldn’t be bothered even if we were home to give her walks.
I am a board member of an animal rescue and I also work as an adoption counselor. What we usually tell people is that 10 hours is the max a dog should be left alone. Anything over 10 and you should look for a dog walker. A puppy is not a good fit for you. But an older dog (over 1 year) would be. Look for dogs that need less exercise or outdoor time. Or, if you have a secured fenced yard, look in to making a doggy door and training a dog to use it.
A dog walker in Chicago can be pricey (about $15 a day for a half hour walk), but you could always hire a dependable college student or family member to do it for you. Dog walkers are great for training too.
As for the basement, I’d say leave your dog in a crate in your home. Crate training is essential. Dogs mentally have more stability when they are able to be crated.