(Closed) Should I foster a dog if I live in and apartment and work?

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 16
Member
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

llcoolray:  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a puppy, because they need a tremendous anmount of time and attention to be trained properly,  but a more mature dog- absolutely. I’ve fostered and had my own dogs for years in apartments. I’m kind of astonished by people who think it is cruel or wrong to have dogs in apartments. For city dwellers, it is completely normal to have all sorts of dogs in apartments. When I lived in Philadelphia there was a 200ish pound mastiff in my building…he was a very happy dog and a gentle giant.

Post # 17
Member
5113 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

llcoolray:  I hate that people think that you need to never leave the house and live in a huge farmhouse mansion to have a dog. Many dogs do just fine in an apartment and are completely fine being left alone during work hours. Seriously, if a dog is homeless, what’s better? Being in a home and being alone a few hours a day or being in a kennel in a shelter all day? We have two dogs and I live in a townhome. We both work. Our dogs are perfectly happy and healthy. With that being said, when one of my dog’s was a puppy he didn’t take well to a crate, he barked all day and the neighbors did complain (I’m glad they did because I had no idea he was barking). I adjusted and kept him confined in a room, but not in a crate. He was fine after that. If I were you, I would look to foster a smaller dog that may be a bit older. If you are leaving it for several hours, you want an older dog that is able to better control their bladder. Puppies can’t wait very long. Also inquire about separation anxiety, a dog with that can be destructive or become very stressed when left alone and that can take a long time to work out with them. 

Overall, I think you should do it. Just make sure that the dog you get will be a good fit. If you are fostering for a rescue, they will usually visit and ask you a ton of questions to make sure that you are prepared for the responsibility and that the dog is a good fit for you. We adopted our second dog from a rescue and we went through the ringer with questions. They didn’t want to let us have him because we don’t have a fenced in yard, but after they visited and say that he fit right in and loved our other dog, they didn’t have any more doubts. Dogs are a lot of work, but if you are willing to put in the work, go for it. 

Post # 18
Member
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

llcoolray:  People who are saying flat out “no” make me wonder if they have actually ever had a dog. If you can work full time and have a child, you can with a dog. That being said, it depends on the type of dog and age. Personally, I have always adopted and never adopt a puppy. They really should be let out ever 2-3 hours at most when learning to potty train, and/or crate trained (which I just don’t like only for personal guilt, not bc it’s bad for dogs at all) and unless you can come home on lunches or breaks, or have a partner to help, training a puppy properly can be hard. 

I would foster or adopt 8+ mths to 1.5 year old dog, in my opinion. I adopted my dog (he is now 7) at about a year and he was already potty-trained. We have lived in apartments, condos, houses etc…and he has never barked, chewed anything of mine or ever had an accident (not counting throwing up when ill, etc…) and I worked full time for most of those 6-7 years.

As PP’s have said, it’s all about knowing and accommodating your dog’s energy level and establishing a routine. We always went on walks or runs in the AM, and while he is 50 pounds and was fine to go 7-8 hours without a walk until after work, sometimes I still came home on lunch just bc I loved hanging with him and eating at home. Or if my DH’s schedule allowed, he would walk him again midday. And while we never had a backyard at some apartments, he had access to the balcony on good weather days and would hang out there or just sleep around the house. (Dogs are usually just sleeping if you aren’t there.) After work, then it was another walk or hike or dog park on special occasions, and one pee break before bed (nowadays he is so used to the routine he literally walks out the door into our backyard we have now alone and pees and comes right back, gets water, and lays in bed and falls asleep).

It just really depends on the dog/breed/size. While yes, lots of bigger dogs need more energy expending, it’s not always the case (depends on breed), and littler dogs need more potty breaks Bc they have smaller bladders — so it can be a trade off. Personally I have always opted for bigger dogs so we can run together and that’s always enough of a daily workout for us both. Dogs are THE best and can bring you so much joy, just make a plan that fits your lifestyle and pick a dog that fits that plan. Don’t force the wrong dog into the wrong lifestyle and vice versa and you will be a great mom with a happy pup and never regret the decision forever! 🙂

Post # 19
Member
2606 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Many of the larger breeds out there actually have very low energy levels and do wonderfully in apartments.  Even higher-energy breeds can be just fine in an apartment if their humans are committed to meeting their energy needs outside of the apartment, (dog sports, long walks, doggy daycare, dog parks, or whatever).  Heck, there are people out there with huge yards and houses that don’t bother to care for their dogs, or just toss them outside in the backyard and expect them to exercise themselves.  So why should an apartment life exclude the OP (or anyone else) from fostering a dog?  If only those in perfect situations could own/foster dogs, almost NOBODY would be able to.

Let’s consider the life of a shelter dog.  Most are kept in kennels all day and all night.  Some shelters have facilities to allow the dogs outside for play time, exercise, and stimulation, but many don’t even have that much.  Dogs are often lucky if they can get out once or twice a day to go potty.  Which means most of them are forced to urinate and defecate in their small kennel.  Potty trained dogs often suffer from UTIs because they KNOW they aren’t supposed to go in their kennel and they hold it for as long as they physically can do so.  And the fact that they know what they are doing is “wrong” this can really stress a dog out.

In most shelters, dogs are scared, confused, and stressed.  If they themselves aren’t, they are surrounded by dogs who are.  Shelter environments aren’t usually very quiet because there is usually at least one dog barking.  Social dogs, especially, have a hard time in shelters, and are at risk for going “kennel crazy” more quickly.  Most shelters just don’t have the resources to provide dogs with the daily one-on-one attention they need.  And unfortunately, many just don’t have the resources to be no-kill….so animals have a limited amount of time to get out the front door (rescue/adoption) or they go out the back door, (euthanasia).

Many shelters have been doing a lot of work to improve the lives of the animals kept there.  But still, it’s not like having a home, and it’s stressful and scary.  Do you think ANY dog, if given the choice, would choose shelter life over apartment life?  It might not be the perfect, ideal situation, but it’s a damn sight better than living in a shelter!

This is an actual photo of a dog in a shelter that a group I’ve fostered for has stepped up to pull. Does this dog look happy to you?  Of course not.  But if there are no foster homes, rescues aren’t able to save dogs.  

OP, if you sign up to foster with a rescue group, they will most likely work with you to find a dog that will fit with your apartment lifestyle.  Some dogs won’t be good candidates because they will be barkers or have issues that require someone to be home all the time.  However, I am certain that somewhere out there is a dog (or twenty) that would be perfectly fine in an apartment.

Post # 20
Member
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Miss Apricot:  that photo is heartbreaking. 

Post # 21
Member
2606 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

WestCoastV:  that photo is heartbreaking.

It is.  It makes me tear up, (but I’m also pregnant and hormonal AND a crybaby!  LOL!), and I can’t wait to see updated pictures of her in her foster home.

Post # 22
Member
2445 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Miss Apricot:  THANK YOU! my point exaclty!

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