Should I get a dog?

  1. Hi All.

    I'm thinking of getting a dog, i'm only at the beginning of my thought process on this, the reason that i'm so hesitant is that my partner and I both work full time.
    Is it cruel for us to get a dog and leave him alone for up to 8 hours day? Is it a definite no? Do any of you dog owners work and leave your dog home alone?

    Please let me know your thoughts, we had a Yorkie when I was younger and I loved having him. He was left alone in the house a lot during the week and seemed fine with it.
  2. Hi Audrey!

    Some questions that I can think of to help you figure out if you want to get a dog:

    1) Do you have a big house with a big backyard (grassed) for the dog to run around and live in? Or will it need to stay indoors and therefore have to pee/poop indoors?
    2) What breed of dog are you after? There are certain breeds that are VERY hyperactive and highly strung and get separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. So they may end up barking alot or destroying things.
    3) Have you considered getting a cat instead? They are very independent creatures and can be left alone for long periods much better than dogs. There are certain breeds that are very smoochy and almost like dogs too, in the sense that they just want to follow you around and get cuddled. For eg Burmese cats, Ragdolls.
    4) Will you be able to walk your dog twice a day at least if he/she's going to be left alone for long periods. Once before you go off to work, and once after you get back.

    Hope some of this helps!
  3. Why don't you look into potential dog walkers in your area? The person could come by twice a day to exercise your dog and give him some attention, which could work out very well. I would, however, say that a puppy would definitely not fit into your lifestyle, since they need much more training and attention than you seem able to give at this point. My suggestion to you is to look at local shelters and rescue groups, describe your situation (and mention that you plan on getting a dog walker to exercise the dog twice a day, otherwise they probably wouldn't consider you), and ask if they could recommend a dog that would fit your family. Good luck!
  4. Hi, thanks for the questions jo_ee, it's making me think this through properly.

    I do have a small back garden but no lawn, still the dog could get outdoors to "pee/poop". (nice way to put it:smile:)

    It would probably be a small breed, one that doesn't shed hair. Guess I would have to look at breed characteristics.

    I get home from work for lunch most days so theoretically could take the dog for walks 3 times a day.

    Haven't considered a cat, i'm a bit scared of them tbh, there are a few in my neighbourhood and I get very nervous when I see them.

    Thanks heartnaspade, I was thinking of getting a rescue dog but was a bit worried they wouldn't let me have one. I guess if i'm serious I could go to a shelter and they would let me know if my home/lifestyle would be good for a dog or not.
  5. I think that if your home for lunch and you can walk the dog three times a day is pretty good. You should look into the type of dog you want..there are a lot of dogs that don't mind being left alone. They usually just sleep or play by themselves for that time.
  6. What about a bichon frise? They are small dogs and have hair rather than fur, so they don't shed. I found a bichon rescue group in the UK, you should send them an email and see if they can help you!
  7. Maybe consider getting two of them if they are going to be left alone so much while you are at work?

    That way, they have each other to keep themselves company :smile:
  8. I like Bichons but I think my BF would like a slightly bigger, less girly dog. (No offence to any guys who have these dogs btw, this is just my BF's opinion).

    I hadn't thought about getting 2, don't know if that's a good idea are not, suppose they would keep each other amused...
  9. my 2 dogs keep each other company too. knowing that they are there together makes me feel more at ease when i have to work late.
  10. also maybe consider getting an older dog? i adopted a five year old bordercollie mix about a year ago. as long as we go on walks every day she doesn't care how long i'm gone. the puppy doesn't do well at all when no one's home. (i knew that going in though and cut my shifts back accordingly)
  11. If you get a small dog like a Bichon, you most likely have to get it groomed every 6-8 weeks. This can become costly. My cousin leaves her dog alone for 8-10 hrs a day and she's fine. She also has cats, so the dog has someone to hang around with. Do you travel often? If you do, you have to think about housing for your dog when you go away. Good luck!
  12. I would consider an older(5 yrs?) dog. They are usually less active and more affectionate. If you have the space you should consider 2 dogs. But imo most dogs sleep away the afternoon. They only come alive in the evening. Maybe thats just my dogs. Haa.. Good Luck!! Dont make that decision in a haste.
  13. Older, shelter dogs would be great. They'd rather be alone for the day than stuck in a shelter cage anytime, I would think. Perhaps see about finding a pair that have bonded? There are a lot of them that get abandoned together.
  14. I think the breed of dog will play a big part. Some breeds are really sensitive and pine for you all day. They become stressed and often destructive.

    I got my dog when I had no idea about dogs and people advised me that it was cruel to leave a puppy at home for 8 hours +. I agree now, but my dog was really good: he cried like crazy for the first couple of weeks, but soon settled down. As he's gotten older, he got into a routine and now, if I have the day off unexpectedly, he looks at me funny and starts trotting in cirlces as if he's trying to get me out of the house in the morning LOL.

    I got a jack russell BTW, but the trade off is: confident, non-pining dog = needs lots of exercise and stuff to keep his mind occupied.
  15. no problem, Audrey! These are some of the same questions I'm faced with, too. I live alone and there are days of the week that I work very long hours. But I am dying to get a dog, too. DYING! :push: Good luck on your decision! & do lotsa research on dog breeds. A shelter pet sounds great but bear in mind sometimes when you take them in they may have doggy issues that you need to work through first.