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If you are busy, how do you take care of your dog?

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Basics here people.  Now that Bailey has decided she is not afraid of dogs (thank you Lord!), she really wants one.  Thing is... I don't.  But I do think that pets can play an important role in a child's life and I have an allergy to cats (funny enough, that didn't show up until my early to mid-30s).  

 

So, I need help understanding dog care.  If the day came, that we ever got a dog, I would think it would be something VERY small.  Here's the thing though...we are a BUSY family and I'm guessing (as the kids get older) we'll only get more busy.  Which leads me to my question:  how do you take care of a dog, when you are super busy?  For example.... do I kennel the poor thing when we are gone, away from the home, for 6 hours one Saturday?  I would think (if we could take the dog) we would take the pet, but there are lots of time when a dog could not come.  What about camping??  How long is too long to leave them kenneled in a camper?  I would actual prefer to adopt an older (2 years at least) dog as I do not want to train a puppy.

 

Can you be too busy for a dog?  I don't want my children to miss out on the experience... but I also don't want to make a poor dog suffer.  

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Depends on how you train them when they are young.

 

Woman I worked with, had her dog trained to go into the cage anytime they left the house (both adults worked full time).

 

When they were home, the cage door was open and the dog went in there to rest/sleep on its own.

 

Our dog would roam the house when we were out.  We closed doors where he wasn't welcome, and covered the couch/chairs (even at night) so he wouldn't go on them.

 

But at that time, he probably wasn't alone more than 4 to 5 hours at a stretch, and that was rarely.

 

We couldn't leave him outside, he was a digger and would get under the fence and "roam" the neighborhood.

 

We would have a relative check on him when we went away.

 

It's a big responsibility to take on a pet, no matter how small or big.

 

If you are as active as you say, I think I would skip getting any pet, but that's just my opinion.

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Routine is huge for any dog - especially in the early days when they're still "learning the ropes" and you're working on training and getting them acclimated.

 

When I worked out of the house, my gang was fine staying home while I was out, but we had to make sure they had regular exercise and plenty of attention on either end of the day.  Everyone had their own space, so they didn't need to be kenneled, but some do. 

 

Making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and "you" time every day is important.  The older the dog, the less exercise usually needed, and the breed of dog (i.e., energy level) is a biggie.  Always get a dog suited to your family and lifestyle - in other words, don't get a border collie if you're gone 10 hours a day and only have time for the occasional walk.  If you're a busy family, I'd definitely recommend getting an older dog that's more settled and may already have a little training under his/her belt, and not a puppy.  Puppies are a LOT of work (a lot... really, lots!)

 

If you feel you can fit a dog into your daily life in a way that's fair to both you and the dog, go for it!  Just remember, kids grow up and often lose interest, and then guess who ends up with the dog?  8)

 

Along those lines, if you do get a dog, I'd recommend doing what my neighbors did get the one that you want.  When their kids were young they wanted a big dog.  Then they grew up, started driving, became teenagers... and their mom was very happy she'd gotten the small dog SHE wanted. 

 

Good luck!

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Our entire children's time at home, we were running like chickens between their school stuff, baseball, and Scouts, my work travel, and family vacations. I can't imagine putting a pet into that mix.

 

Especially during high school ball season. I barely saw my bed, much less spending time with a pet. At work from 6-2, then at the ball field till late every night.

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I grew up with cats but couldn't have any when I got married because my husband (and now son) are allergic. For a long time I was sad about it until I started paying attention to my brother and his dog. Between vet bills, finding someone to care for her if they go away (for the day or for a trip), and her being car sick, etc. it's a lot. When they visit they normally spend the night because they are 2 hours away and stay at my parents with the dog. But my parents are selling their house and moving into an addition they build on my house. So now my brother will have to board his dog to come visit here.

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Sigh... no easy answer here.  Honestly, I really don't want a pet.  If I were not allergic to cats, I would be fine with a cat (actually, we would probably get two/siblings so 1. my children would not kill a single cat by fighting over it and 2. the cats would have each other when we're gone).  Growing up with cats, I know that (while they may love you) they are usually fine if you're gone camping for a week.  With our last cat (we had to put her down a couple of months before our son was born), I would simply leave out two litter boxes and a HUGE bowl of food and water.... and the tv on ;)   She would love on me the first 24 hours we were back from a trip, then she was back to her normal self.

 

My heart is heavy as I know my daughter really wants a pet.  

 

Darn...

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My heart is heavy as I know my daughter really wants a pet.  

 

Darn...

 

My daughter has always wanted pets. We had a dog just before she was born and up until she was about a year. We found that we were terrible dog parents - we didn't walk as much as was needed and the dog didn't get the attention that she deserved. She now periodically asks for a dog but knows that the answer is a resounding "oh heck no".

 

We did compromise a while back and let her get a slew of hermit crabs. She lost interest in them long before they died. And then we got fish and she lost interest in them long before they died.

 

And now we're petless again.

 

I feel bad for your daughter, but you have to make sure that pets really work for you. :)

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Sigh... no easy answer here.  Honestly, I really don't want a pet.  If I were not allergic to cats, I would be fine with a cat (actually, we would probably get two/siblings so 1. my children would not kill a single cat by fighting over it and 2. the cats would have each other when we're gone).  Growing up with cats, I know that (while they may love you) they are usually fine if you're gone camping for a week.  With our last cat (we had to put her down a couple of months before our son was born), I would simply leave out two litter boxes and a HUGE bowl of food and water.... and the tv on ;)   She would love on me the first 24 hours we were back from a trip, then she was back to her normal self.

 

My heart is heavy as I know my daughter really wants a pet.  

 

Darn...

I know you love your daughter, but with all you've had going on in your life, the trials and tribulations of purchasing the new camper, and now struggling with trying to find a truck, you just need to think of you and your husband, and just say NO to any pets.

 

She will get over it.  In a week or two (ok maybe a couple of months) she will be interested in something else.

 

You as the adult know what you will be facing now and in the long run. Training now, cleaning up messes, replacing chewed items, finding a sitter when you go on vacation, worrying about crating and being mean or coming home to a disaster zone, etc.  And if your kids are involved in any extra curricular activities, it's going to be harder to get free time as they get older.

 

Owning a dog and having young kids is not like the good old days of the Lassie TV show where Timmy just hung out after school on the farm and got into mischief (and fell down that stupid well for the 20th time), and ma and pa stayed home all day tending the farm and watching the dog.

 

Don't get me wrong, I miss our dog every day since he's been gone, but our life has been a lot simpler without thinking about who's going to watch the dog and feed the cat, since they've been gone.  Now we just have to get the kids to stop by and water the garden and mow the grass (easier said then done).

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We had a Golden Retriever when the kids were younger. +1 on the comment that the dog's energy level needs to fit the family. We had no problems with Rusty in that area as we had a large fenced backyard where he could run and we could go play with him. I would be careful with small dogs and young children. When I was younger we had a Miniature Dachshund and he had to be watched around small kids. The same for my wife's grandparents Miniature Dachshund. Our neighbors have a pair of Yorkies and a Miniature Poodle all of which can show a mean streak. Personally I would look into a medium sized breed if you don't want a large dog as they generally seem to be better natured.

 

When we owned Rusty we put him out in a pen when we would leave. He could not be trusted alone in the house when we weren't around. At that time most parks didn't allow non-service dogs so we would kennel him when traveling. We were always fortunate to have good kennels nearby that included dog runs where he could run and play. We have talked about getting a dog but decided we didn't want the responsibility now that we are empty nesters. We also get enough of a dog fix from our closest neighbors Lab and passed Border Collie. Lucy (Border Collie) more or less adopted us and would come over whenever she felt like it or she was forgotten outside by her owners. She trained Ethel (Lab) more or less to do the same but she only comes over when we are outside.

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You've been given some very good advice.  I'll add my $.02 worth.

 

You said a very small dog.  Honestly, I wouldn't get any dog under around 20 pounds with small children.  Kassie weighs 18-19 pounds, and she's been able to hold her own around all our rowdy grandchildren.  Although they do get so rough that she sometimes hides from them.  

 

As much as I love Schnauzers (and they are hypo-allergenic), I wouldn't recommend you get one.  Grooming takes too much time for a young family, and haircuts are expensive.  You need to find a breed that's hypo-allergenic, doesn't shed much, and needs very little grooming.

 

We leave Kassie alone for 6-8 hours at home or while camping.  Occasionally up to 10 hours, and she does fine.   But we do take her for long walks every day.  And she loves camping too!  

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Thank you. .. lots of good feedback. For today, I've got her focused on fish. We've had two Beta fish that she wanted, but I took care of until they died....my hope is that she'll realize that any pet looses it's "fun" quickly, and then all you have is the work (yes, I know a fish is super easy). That's my "plan" at least ;)

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There are two young brothers who watch my dog when I am out of town and can't take her. Their dog passed away and the parents did not want the responsibility of another so they pet sit in their home as the schedule allows. The kids are happy, parents are happy and the few of us that get our dogs watched are happy.

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I can tell you that my kids begged and begged for a dog, full of promises that they would take care of it. Now they're all teenagers and it's like pulling teeth to get them to do anything for the dog. So bottom line, it will become your dog, your responsibility.

That being said, I do love our dog, she's part of the family. But I walk her every morning and every night after dinner (which is not a bad thing, keeps the weight off both of us!). We can leave her about 7-8 hours at a stretch. It is a hassle when we go away, we always have to figure out what we're going to do with her. But she really is a part of the family and it adds a whole other dimension to the house. And my kids still love her, they just don't want to take care of her, haha.

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We got our dog to be trained as a seizure dog for our daughter, Kimberly. Turns out she, the dog, is a family pet that pretty much ignores the kids except to move quickly if the wheelchairs are headed toward her.  She is a pretty good size for the house and the MH, about 20 pounds.  Has a great disposition unless someone she doesn't know approaches.  Costs are much higher than I imagined...vet bills, hair cuts, baths, treatments for worms and fleas...  She is usually at Judy or my feet.  Can't help but love her, but she is a responsibility.

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How old is she?

 

She's 8 years old.

 

 

I can tell you that my kids begged and begged for a dog, full of promises that they would take care of it. Now they're all teenagers and it's like pulling teeth to get them to do anything for the dog. So bottom line, it will become your dog, your responsibility.

That being said, I do love our dog, she's part of the family. But I walk her every morning and every night after dinner (which is not a bad thing, keeps the weight off both of us!). We can leave her about 7-8 hours at a stretch. It is a hassle when we go away, we always have to figure out what we're going to do with her. But she really is a part of the family and it adds a whole other dimension to the house. And my kids still love her, they just don't want to take care of her, haha.

Yep... you've said what other's have said (which is what I figured), that the dog would become mine.  That's the kicker, I don't want a dog.  There are some really cute, really sweet pups out there, that are pretty tough not to love... but I homeschool, work PT and volunteer at our church.  Plus we are busy with "everything else" in life; I know that I just don't have the time to devote to a dog.  

 

 

There are two young brothers who watch my dog when I am out of town and can't take her. Their dog passed away and the parents did not want the responsibility of another so they pet sit in their home as the schedule allows. The kids are happy, parents are happy and the few of us that get our dogs watched are happy.

That sound wonderful, for everyone! :)

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We got our dog to be trained as a seizure dog for our daughter, Kimberly. Turns out she, the dog, is a family pet that pretty much ignores the kids except to move quickly if the wheelchairs are headed toward her.  She is a pretty good size for the house and the MH, about 20 pounds.  Has a great disposition unless someone she doesn't know approaches.  Costs are much higher than I imagined...vet bills, hair cuts, baths, treatments for worms and fleas...  She is usually at Judy or my feet.  Can't help but love her, but she is a responsibility.

Sweet pup.  Glad you found the right fit for your family.  The costs... see that's one thing I didn't even factor in.  Yuck  :(

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Honestly, I really don't want a pet.  

 

There's your answer.  Since much of the burden will fall on you (regardless of best intentions to make this a responsibility of the child), if you aren't into it, don't do it.  Just my 2 cents.  

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Sweet pup.  Glad you found the right fit for your family.  The costs... see that's one thing I didn't even factor in.  Yuck  :(

Here's something else to consider.

 

What happens if the dog you choose isn't a good fit for your family even though you checked out the various breeds?

 

Too hyper, too barky, nips, doesn't want to be bothered, destroys everything it touches, etc.  Some of those things may be able to change with a lot of training, some might not be.

 

You are then stuck with an unloved dog for 10 to 15 years.

 

That would be bad enough if you really wanted a pet, but since you are waffling on getting one, that would be a disaster.

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Here's something else to consider.

 

What happens if the dog you choose isn't a good fit for your family even though you checked out the various breeds?

 

Too hyper, too barky, nips, doesn't want to be bothered, destroys everything it touches, etc.  Some of those things may be able to change with a lot of training, some might not be.

 

You are then stuck with an unloved dog for 10 to 15 years.

 

That would be bad enough if you really wanted a pet, but since you are waffling on getting one, that would be a disaster.

 

Mercy yes... that would be terribly sad.

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That's the kicker, I don't want a dog.  There are some really cute, really sweet pups out there, that are pretty tough not to love... but I homeschool, work PT and volunteer at our church.  Plus we are busy with "everything else" in life; I know that I just don't have the time to devote to a dog.  

 

There's your answer.  Since much of the burden will fall on you (regardless of best intentions to make this a responsibility of the child), if you aren't into it, don't do it.  Just my 2 cents.  

 

Totally agree.  Wouldn't be fair to the dog or you.

 

That would be bad enough if you really wanted a pet, but since you are waffling on getting one, that would be a disaster.

 

Also agree.

 

Lots of great reasons to get a dog, but you want to setup the dog and the whole family to succeed from day one.  If now isn't the time, that's A-OK. 

 

Your daughter might still be a little young, but if she's really pushing, maybe see if a local shelter/rescue would can use some volunteer help?  Could get her a dog fix while only taking up a little of your time once in a while, instead of a full-time, 24/7 commitment.

 

Just a thought.  Also possible she forgets about it in a month.  8)

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I agree with Mo check your shelter for volunteer opportunities and check out your library. Our county and some local branches have days that you can sign up and go read to a therapy dog. They are nice, calm dogs that like to be loved and read to.

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I agree with Mo check your shelter for volunteer opportunities and check out your library. Our county and some local branches have days that you can sign up and go read to a therapy dog. They are nice, calm dogs that like to be loved and read to.

 

Great idea, Beckers!!

 

I actually have a couple of friends that participate in these kinds of programs with their dogs.  The kids love it!

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Totally agree.  Wouldn't be fair to the dog or you.

 

 

Also agree.

 

Lots of great reasons to get a dog, but you want to setup the dog and the whole family to succeed from day one.  If now isn't the time, that's A-OK. 

 

Your daughter might still be a little young, but if she's really pushing, maybe see if a local shelter/rescue would can use some volunteer help?  Could get her a dog fix while only taking up a little of your time once in a while, instead of a full-time, 24/7 commitment.

 

Just a thought.  Also possible she forgets about it in a month.  B)

 

I agree with Mo check your shelter for volunteer opportunities and check out your library. Our county and some local branches have days that you can sign up and go read to a therapy dog. They are nice, calm dogs that like to be loved and read to.

 

Great suggestion, both of you... thanks! :)

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