Need advice on getting dog & intro to cat...

  1. Hi all! I love seeing all the pics of your babies (doggies) in your avatar, pets & purse contest, and posts and I've been yearning to own a dog for two years now. About two weeks ago, my roomate found a lost dog running around on a major boulevard near my home late at night.. so I got the opportunity to babysit the dog (a chihuahua mix of some kind) until we could get him to the SPCA. I wanted to keep this precious dog but I knew there could be someone looking for him. But the next day, my BF and I stopped by our local pet store to see if they recognized the dog... sure enough, the sales person did. She said the day before, a woman brought the dog to the store to get him fitted for a muzzle and she was quoted as saying "if I do not find a muzzle that fits this dog, I'm not bringing him back home". Apparently, the dog tried to nip at her teenage daughter's face. The woman left the store without finding a muzzle that would fit because his snout is really small. We think maybe she abandoned this dog, but who knows.. it was too much of a coincidence. Anyway, the owner of the pet store happened to be there and fell in love with him on the spot. He volunteered to foster him as we told him we were just on our way to the SPCA. Needless to say, he ended up adopting him for himself.

    Anyway, (sorry for the long post), to make this story short, the experience has made me want a dog even more now but my BF is very reserved at this time about getting one and we are huge dog lovers BTW. Since we're both working and only home after work, is it even a good idea to own a dog? Our roomates are in and out of the house. We also have a cat and my cat did not like the dog we had for a night... bapped him on the nose when he got too close! How do you working gals with dogs deal with the logistics so to speak? Also, anyone with experience introducing a new dog to a cat?

    Would appreciate any input about this! :flowers:

    BF took a pic of this cute dog we babysat for that one night.. maybe I'll post it soon if I can get it out of his camera phone.... he was just so lovable..warmed up to us so quickly. I sort of regret that we gave him up to the pet store owner but at least he is in a good home now.
  2. Having a dog is a tremendous responsibility, both emotionally and financially. If you are busy and working, might be better to stick with the cat. How about a brother or sister for the cat?

    I work at home about 70% of the time so I am with our dog a lot. I would not even consider having a dog if we were both out of the house all day. Not fair to the dog, IMO...
  3. Yeah, that is the main thing I am concerned with. My boss seems to do this though. She has a dog and since I've started working with her, she has brought her dog to work once (it's a pretty casual work place). She loves her dog and her dog is well taken care of but no one is at home with the dog during the day usually. But when she's not at work (after work) or on the weekends is when she gives him quality time.

    I guess I can continue to yearn until one day the time is right! My cat prefers the current situation anyway. I understand that there is a much bigger responsibility in having a dog. I know some people bring their dog to work everyday, acquaintences who work 9-5 and own a dog... I guess I'm just wondering if there is a situation that works where someone works but owns a dog. What sort of compromises are made.. maybe hiring a dog walker twice a week, etc etc
  4. I'm on your cat's side :biggrin:

    Maybe you should wait until you find a dog that your cat can get on with or at least tolerate?
  5. It seems like in a lot of dog-cat households I know, the cat ends up establishing dominance and the dog is ok with that. If you have a friend with a well-behaved dog, maybe you can have them visit a lot to get your cat used to the idea of having a dog around gradually so when you end up getting a dog it will not be a major drama. During the first few days, you might have to crate your dog or use a baby gate to keep the animals separated but able to smell each other so they can get used to each other's presence.
  6. we have had out cat for about 10+ years and it wasn't until this past year that the dog and cat started getting along, and we had had the dogs for about 5 years! When we got out first dog, the cat and him fought horribly! The cat stayed upsitairs, the dog, downstairs. It wasn't until we moved her food bowl to the same room as his that they started getting along. But, they still fought! We no longer have either dog, and, the cat is still with us lol!

    It's hard taking care of a dog when you are not home most of the day. It was pretty rough on our dogs when we had them, but, we always walked them A LOT once we got home, and, they got the run of the house when we weren't home, so, they were ok for the most part :smile:
  7. I have 4 cats and a dog. When we brought the dog home the cats freaked. He wants to play, and they're...well..lazy cats who sleep 20 hours a day. Needless to say they still don't get along (9 months and counting). He chases them, jumps on them, and they just hiss back. Sometimes they hit him, but he bounces right back.
    They all adapt though. The cats no longer sleep on the floor...they go0 up high where the dog can't get them.

    As for my purchase of a dog....I got him 2 days before school started...big mistake, but I wanted one sooooo badly. The first couple of weeks involved getting up at 2 Am, 5 AM, 7 Am to let him out. Coming home on my breaks from school to let him out.
    Now he is 11 months old. He sleeps in our bed every night, the first person in the house wakes up at 5:30 and he goes out and then comes back to sleep with me until I wake up around 6:30 AM. We play together every morning for around 30 minutes (my designated puppy time), then he goes to bed around 8 AM.
    he is usually in his house (he is crate trained) until around 2/3ish (although this varies daily based on my school schedule) when hubby gets home, and then is out all night. We play all the time, and we have a 1/2 acre fenced backyard that he plays fetch in every night or we go for walks.

    If I was a strict 8-5 worker I probably wouldn't do it. Just not fair to him.

    My g/f just bought a puppy and I feel so badly for it. She leaves for work at 7:30 AM, doesn't come home for lunch (even though she lives a 5 minute drive away), comes home at 6 PM, lets dog out and then usually heads out to the bar an hour later.
    she shouldn't have bought a dog :sad:

    I also found that even when I'm home during the day my puppy usually goes into his house on his own and sleeps anyways.
  8. I have a dog and three cats. We got our dog when he was 6 weeks old, and because he was smaller than the cats they weren't afraid of him. He jumps on them, tries to pick them up, lays on them, chases them etc. But he is very gentle in doing so and never uses teeth. If he annoys them too much they'll give him a good swat on the nose. They are definately the dominant ones in the house and put my 70lb pit bull mix in his place.

    I think the best way to introduce them is just to let everyone be and let them work things out. Obviously watch the dog and make sure he's not getting violent, but they will play and sometimes he'll get scratched. Make sure in training your dog that he respects the word 'no' so that you can easily stop him from bothering the cat all the time.
  9. Don't introduce them directly. First leave them in separate rooms. And get them used to their smell. So take the dog out of the room, and put the cats in there so they smell dog (and do the same for the dog smelling cat). Then after a while, get them both in kennels and they can be together for a bit. Do that a lot until they seem comfortable. Then you may have the cats roaming around and the dog crated and so on...

    Ya know? Not directly
  10. I waited five years for my baby. Should really think about the dogs welfare. Every dog owner has to work, especially to feed and look after them. But having a dog bored at home all day would only give them separation anxiety. They need so much love and attention just like a baby.
  11. I agree with Roo. If you do decide to get a dog anyway, maybe an older dog? So many older dogs need homes, and they are usually finished with the destructive things younger dogs do when they don't get enough attention. I'd wait, or get a sibling for your cat.
  12. We have two dogs and five cats, and we foster animals for a rescue group so our cats are used to having to tolerate strange animals coming in and out. If your cat is really cranky around dogs, a young puppy might be the way to go. We found that when we got our dogs as puppies, the cats were really curious and wanted to "mother" them. Since they are too small to really threaten the cats, the cats feel more secure. BUT puppies take a TON of your time, and should not be left alone for more than a couple of hours at a time. You should crate train, too...and you can't leave a puppy in a crate for extended periods. I am at home quite a bit during the day, and when I am not here hubby usually is, or my son is, so our dogs are out of the crate and with someone most of the time. If we have to both teach at the same time they are sometimes crated for 4-6 hours, which an older, trained dog can tolerate (or we can have the neighbors come over to let them out), but that happens maybe once a week during the school year.

    Adopting an older dog from a rescue is great, but kitty might take to a puppy better. Just remember that someone needs to be there with the dog to spend time with it (they are not solitary like cats) and the dog needs activities to keep it from being destructive while you are away (toys with treats inside that they have to "work" to retrieve, etc.). And of course there is doggie's day out!
  13. Makes me smile reading the posts about cats generally being the dominant party in households with cats and dogs. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs but prefer cats :biggrin:
  14. i just came home a few days ago and i had to introduce my new pup (shih tzu - female) to my sister's dog (maltese - female). the maltese is NEVER friendly towards other dogs or strangers. she growls and barks (it doesn't matter how big the other dog is). i put my pup in her carrier and set it on the coffee table and let the maltese sniff her out. the shih tzu was scared so she moved towards the back of the carrier. but after a while she was a little curious too. we let the maltese sniff her out for 2 more days & now they can both run around the house without much trouble. once in a while the shih tzu will bark and try to snip at the tail, but she stops if we say her name.