(Closed) OK to keep a dog in a basement during the day?

posted 7 years ago in Pets
Post # 47
727 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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@QueenOfSerendip:  I definitely suggest crate training a puppy.  My puppy loves her crate and goes in there on her own – it’s her own space.  Make it a secure place for her, and don’t use it for punishment and she’ll learn not to be scared of it.

We work simlar hours to your and your husband.  I did come home every lunch break to let her out to pee though.  For probably 6 months.  At first she could barely hold it before I got home, but near the end she was fine.  Now she holds it all day and she’s fine.  She’s 1.5yr now and she’s still in her crate when we’re at work.  She gets her bone, and that’s it (no bed or other toys, she will eat them). 

They get used to your hours.  My puppy is confused on the weekends now and spend a good chunk of the day sleeping because I imagine that’s pretty much what she does when we’re working anyway.

Post # 48
5152 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

Let me just say… I adopted a 3 year old dog from a rescue and he is the BEST DOG! He came completely house broken and well behaved. You should totally consider adopting an older dog! Sure, puppies are cute, but they are A LOT of work. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever get a puppy after the experience I’ve had with my dog. And he loves me just as much as a dog would that you raised from a puppy.

I am out of the house from 8-5 every day, and I have a dog walker come at noon every day. It does get expensive, but I can’t see leaving him alone that whole time (though he does go overnight fine…sleeps from 10-6 am with no need to go out). 

I think its ridiculous to say that people who work can’t have a dog…my dog is totally fine in his crate all day (pretty sure all he does is snooze) and happily runs in there when I show him a treat in the morning. 

Post # 49
997 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Agree with pp…get an older dog. We have two older dogs that we let stay out all day. They pretty much just sleep on the couch or guest bed all day. They never go to the bathroom inside. 

Post # 50
9680 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@deetroitwhat:  I feel your pain with squish face dogs. I have a boxer and he has already had eye surgery. Pugs are terrible, lol. Cute, but I could never afford one (plus I don’t want a dog I could kill if I step on it by accident :P).

Post # 51
1623 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@QueenOfSerendip:  So, did you say you’re for sure getting a puppy or a bit of an older dog?  I saw you mentioned that in a post too so wasn’t sure what you decided.  DH and I were pretty much in your same sitch last year, so I can share some things on what we did.

First, we originally wanted to rescue/adopt a 5+ year old older dog from the Humane Society or an acquaintence.  However, we decided not to because those dogs had already had schedules they were used to and we felt bad if we adopted a dog, for example, who was used to being around people all day and would now have to adjust to being alone.  (That was one of our possiblities).  So I DO think it’s good your adopted a puppy b/c then you can create the life for it instead of worry about what it is used to.

We crate trained our dog from the start.  DH is a teacher so we got puppy at 12 weeks in the beginning of the summer and he really worked on potty training/crate training.   You for sure cannot leave him more than 4 hours (3 in my opinion) when potty training or you will have accidents.  So make sure you have someone who is available like this and can work with the pup to get it started.

At 6 months DH went back to work and we crate trained all day.  At first, Flynn was in the bathroom in a crate made for his size.  But, I hated locking him up in a small crate, so we moved him to a crate for 75lb dog and he is 30lbs.  He had a bit more room to move around and toys to play with.  I still felt bad every single day even though we did walks in the morning and walks at night.  I could tell at his age he had so much energy and had to build it up all day.  However, he was excellent with not having any accidents.  We started taking him to daycamp once per week (mid-week) which was about $22 per day.  I would do that if you can.

Now, at 1.5 years he is gated in our (big) bathroom that has access to his crate.  I swear he just sleeps all day but it at least makes me feel better not being locked up.  I truly still feel guilty about doing that to him so just be aware you may have regret. 

I do not think it’s bad that you get a dog, I don’t think it’s wrong to crate him in the basement (although please get him a bigger crate for his size so he can move around), and he will be able to hold his bladder that long.  BUT, you will need some time to get to that point so please make sure you are able to work on it.  🙂   

Post # 52
1138 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I would crate train while he is being potty trained, and get a dog walker to come let him or her out at least once a day, maybe twice early on. It’s not cheap, but you should factor it into your doggy budget. Once your pup is fully house trained, you can leave him or her out of the crate during the day–DH and I didn’t do this with our pup until she was about a year old, and we still have a walker come twice a day so she is not too lonely. Good luck!

Post # 53
537 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

As a couple PPs have alluded to, it’s in your (and obviously the dog’s) best interest to choose a breed that matches your lifestyle. If you’ve always had your heart set on an Australian cattle dog,now isn’t the time, you know? There are certain breeds that will handle long stretches of alone time far better than others, and I think that is the most important thing to consider. 

Ive spent years volunteering at shelters and I can’t tell you how many times animals have been returned because the person only focused on what kind of dog they wanted, without any consideration for breed-specific needs or what was appropriate for their lifestyle.

Post # 54
501 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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@QueenOfSerendip:  Chiming in from the shelter volunteer and 9-5 (well, 8-4:30) dog owner perspective here 🙂

8-9 hours is the max I think it’s fair to leave a dog alone just b/c they’re social creatures, but an adult dog (over 18 months) can certainly be expected to ‘hold it’ that long barring any medical issues.  I left my adopted dog alone in the house for around that length of time when I first brought him home, and aside from the occasional fear-based urination (the UPS guy is scary!), he was fine.  When he had to be crated post-surgery, I hired a dog-walker to come mid-day for a short walk, and since part of his post-surgery prognosis was smaller, more frequent meals, I’ve kept the walker thing going (short walk + lunch) even though he’s back to being free in the house.  Having the mid-day break buys me some time if I get stuck at work late or have to run an errand on the way home; since we have a walker come every weekday, we can usually get discount packages (in my old neighborhood, it was *only* $200/month).  But if I were you, I would definitely crate  or baby-gate- train the dog rather than use the basement, I think it’d be a more consistent approach to training since by nature, dogs don’t want to go to the bathroom where they eat/sleep/hang out with their people, and the basement might not have those same associations.

Post # 55
2393 posts
Buzzing bee

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  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.




I would not want to spend most of my life in a basement.

OP, I like your idea about doggy daycare. I used to do that with my dogs and they LOVED it.

Another idea…. Do you have a trusted neighbor, maybe someone elderly or a stay-at-home-mom who has time on her hands, who you could hire as a part-time occasional dog sitter, who could let the dog out while you’re gone?

Yet another idea: Is your yard fenced? Could you have a doggy door installed so that a pet could let him/herself in and out whenever they need to “go?”

Post # 56
2563 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I don’t think the basement is a big deal that people want to make it.  As long as he has a nice place to sleep, you already said there are windows with natural light, it’s not a big deal.  People like to anthopomorphize animals, saying “I wouldn’t want to spend all day in a basement” I seriously doubt your dog cares or knows the difference it is in the basement vs the main floor.

I stayed at a hotel in Costa Rica that has an animal sanctuary where animals had been seized from the illegal pet trade.  This one man was furious at the size of the enclosure a boa constrictor had and was about to complain to an emplyee when I told him to calm down, it is a snake.  A snake moves only if it has to find food, then sits and digests for a month, it was fine.

Post # 57
2529 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I wonder if there are any dog-door flaps that might help your situation?

I never used them in my house and don’t know much about how they work. I am sure someone on here knows better than I do about them.

Post # 58
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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@MrsPanda99:  +1

Fiance and I are going to be getting a dog soon – work 9-5. We will be crate training our dog, and putting it in our unfinished basement as we want our dog to be used of the crate in the same spot, and once we finish the basement there will be much more room down there then on our main floor. I will be coming home for lunch to let the puppy out while she is in “puppy stage”.

My parents have a 2 year old rotti, their dog is alone 8-4 and does JUST FINE in his crate all day. He infact, loves his crate, and will go in there on his own, its just routine now. Now that he is two, they have been leaving him out and he has been good out. But he will still go into his crate before they leave, because that is what he is used to, they just dont close the door anymore.

Post # 59
1609 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@QueenOfSerendip:  We keep our dogs in the basement during the day.  They are both crate trained, and their crates are down there for them to lay in, but they are open, so they can move around if needed.  We also have an old couch for them to cuddle up on as well.  

Post # 61
1277 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

We adopted a 4 month puppy, and worked very long hours, during the first 4 months we had my mother in law pee him every day at lunch time, until he was fully potty trained. He is now almost 2 years old and is left alone from 530 AM-230 PM 3 days a week, he has had no issues, we didn’t crate train him either, we closed off the kitchen and living room area downstairs using baby gates and he has that entire area to be in during the day. He is also walked for 30 minutes every morning before work (that’s my job) and another 20-30 minutes in the afternoon (that’s the hubby’s job)….I am not saying we didn’t have any issues and/or accidents with him, but for the most part it was not anyting we couldn’t handle.  

I think the walking every morning helps him, because he’s calm when we leave him in the mornings….

The rule of thumb is for every month the puppy is add an hour to how long they can go w/o a potty break (for example: 4 months equals 5 hours, 8 months equals 9 hours)….we used this and it worked out just fine for us.


I personally don’t like the crate idea, seems too cruel, especially when I consider my dog a part of the family.


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