View Full Version : Heading back to work - advice on home alone pup?

6th May 2011, 03:36 AM
Hi all!
So I need some advice :) I just got a job offer this morning (yay!) and I will be heading back to work. I am a bit nervous and antsy for a lot of reasons which I won't bore you with, but I am hoping from the doggy side, I can get some advice on here from those on the forum that work or are away from home for long periods (I know there are a lot of views on this forum of not leaving your dogs home alone...so please just advice from those that have it to give on the helpful side of things if that is alright...because I have to go back to work regardless, so I just want to make this as easy on Brooklyn as possible! :thmbsup:)

Okay, so this new job is full time, but it is with the government so it is strict on the hours per week that you work (i.e. my job is 38). So, I can choose my times to work 8 hours a day...like 8-4 or 9-5 etc. Brooklyn is okay with being left alone for around 5 hours (that is as long as we have pushed it), but I am nervous for this 8 hour stint. What do people do out there? Obviously she will get a lot of exercise in the morning (already does) and toys, kongs, etc. But she usually gets through all that in a few hours.
I could get a dog walker to come in the middle of the day...but that would be $125 a week, ouch. And there is daycare...but that is something that costs even more (though I am willing to do it if it comes to that).
So, does anyone leave their pup at home while you are at work? For how long? Inside or outside? Full run of house or baby gated somewhere? How do you keep them from getting bored? Tips? Tricks?
I just want to know what every other working person does out there. I will do anything to keep my Brooklyn happy...I wish she could come with me!

I was hoping to find part time work, but this offer came out of no where and it is a hard one to refuse. I'm gonna think about it over the weekend though and keep you posted!

I hope there are some good thoughts and support out there for this transition we are about to go through :)

Thanks everyone!!!

6th May 2011, 06:11 AM
I work full time. Fortunately I live 10 minutes from where my office is, so I can be home for lunch. My dogs are baby gated into the livingroom so they have the couches to sleep on, and some room to play (they sleep the whole time).

Things you could try:
Daycare doesn't have to be everyday, try Tuesday/Thursday, and then make sure you get her exercised Sunday (don't run her too hard as a puppy, just let her play herself out in the yard or at a dog park). Our local daycare often does free baths for coming dressed for holidays (bandanas, or shirts for the dogs), so there may be some "perks" included in the cost.

Move your activities with her to the evening, training classes are great for this. For the price you get quality time with your pup, a mental workout for her, and a better behaved dog. It's well worth the investment.

If you have a neighbor who is at home they might be willing to take Brooklyn out once a day (older retired people, or trusted children of people you know- 14+ probably). They will almost certainly be willing to do it for less than a professional walker. This is easier if Brooklyn is perfectly behaved (training classes are great for this). I wouldn't want a stranger, but if you have someone you would trust I'd start there.

Some dogwalkers give discounts for multiple dogs, if you and a neighbor or two have similar work schedules (and dogs) you can probably split the cost so that it works out cheaper.

She may be fine in the house, you can always try that and see how it goes. Laundry rooms, or large bathrooms are good places to start because the floor is usually easy to clean and the rooms are hard to destroy (make sure any wires are inaccessible, of course).

6th May 2011, 02:55 PM
I work full time 8 hours a day. I do shift work so Leo isnt left for that long as someone is usually home after I leave. However there are times when he has to be left.
Im very fortunate that my neighbour/friend will come in and let him out for the loo or sometimes walk him. I know Im lucky but do you have someone who could help you out like this?

I do leave toys, kongs for him. He has the free run of down stairs, the dog flap is LOCKED so he doesnt have any outside access when no one is here.

I also leave the radio on......not sure if this helps or not. He's usually snoring loudly when I get in.....and then the excitement starts.

6th May 2011, 05:43 PM
I am lucky enough to be able to come home for lunch so the boys get some attention then. I also leave the radio on. They now get free access to about half the house. When they were younger they were first in an xpen - then the kitchen.

When I had to leave them for more than 8 hours recently my neighbour boys came over and played with and fed them and then back again to let them out (we were gone until late in the evening). That worked wonderfully. I also found out that the vet techs at my vet's office will do this and dog walking. For now my neighbours are the best bet for me. They are responsible boys and the little girl and mom came over as weill:p

Sydneys Mom
6th May 2011, 06:45 PM
We never had to leave Sydney for that period of time. One of us always managed to come home to let him out. Usually we left him for about 4 hrs. The longest we left him was about 5 hrs. However, when we started leaving him, we put up baby gates for the kitchen and left him there. As he got older we sectioned off the formal living room and dining room. That gave him the kitchen, family room and hallway. We closed all the bedroom doors. Whenever we came home, he was always sleeping. The noise of us coming in would wake him up. Now we also have good neighbors that will let him out if we need to be away for longer periods.

Maybe you can do a couple of test runs, leaving her longer and longer each time. I don't think I would leave her outside all day alone, much safer in the house I think. They sell artificial grass in a box that some indoor dogs use when thay can't be let out that's easy to clean afterwards or even pads that you can toss away.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

6th May 2011, 10:51 PM
Well, first, best wishes on the JOB!

We've been fortunate that one of us is normally here with Claire......but there have been times when we've been gone longer jaunts. I think the most has been about 6 hours (maybe 7). We normally crate Claire, but it's a large crate, with enough room to lay and play a bit (unlike the travel one we have that is only meant for standing and sleeping). We've also left her in our master bath which is VERY large and has a very large walk in shower where she has used to potty in if we've been gone and she had to go. She has a bed and water and her hard rubber ring for chewing on.

I guess I would look at neighbors for the dog walking thing. $125 seems high for someone to just come in and let out the dog. I have a friend who found a local school teacher to walk her dog. The teacher only works till 2, so the dog has only been alone 6 hours at that point. My friend has a baby gate on her laundry room/back hall area. The gal comes and walks the dog for about 1/2 hour, and only charges $10 or $12.

Can you ask at your Vets and see who they might recommend.

If I remember right, Brooklyn is still quite young, and I'd be afraid of leaving her full run of the house for a long period of time. Just my opinion.

Jasper and Holly
7th May 2011, 08:36 AM
Sorry I can't offer you any advice on this except just make sure she is safe from doing any harm and cannot get out of you yard/garden. Wish you lived closer I would have had her for you.