View Full Version : Advice needed - home alone

Super Princess
4th June 2012, 10:52 PM
Okay, long time member..looking at getting my first puppy on my OWN. Oliver was always a family dog...raised when my mom worked from home..and in his later years she changed careers to work outa home..he went to stay with grandpa during the day who lived a block away.

so...i dont have that luxury..i work outa home..and although grandpas close enough dad dosnt seem to think thats an option that will go over well with mom (good enough for them..not for me :) )

I know many many people who leave their dogs home all day..but im really nervous about this..

I have placed a ad on a local classifides site. for advice AND to see if there were cheaper /more affordable servies out there then $20/day saying i just cant afford that...and a really nice older lady has replied saying she has a small dog of her own and would love to care for my (future) dog for a agreed on price.. ive explaind the situation to her completly. i asked her what shed charge and she asked me what budget i have and we could go from there.

i havn't replied yet..i was thinking $10/day (puppy daycares are $20)but as im thinking about htis..im also thinking thats STILL $200/ a month at the cheapest :(

It's just me...and make a reasnobal salary..and have more then enough budgeted out to own a dog (and i was there for alllll of olivers vet trips haha i know how pricy this breed can be)
but can i justify $200 a month on daycare?

what do you guys all do?

oliver was probably the worst example because he was raised with someone home almost all the time..that when he WAS left alone he howled like a baby.. i defently dont want that.

4th June 2012, 11:17 PM
I guess, as I did on a similar topic recently, I'd have to suggest a very serious consideration of whether now is the best time to get a dog on your own, if the dog will actually spend most of its life with someone else (your daycare service?). And when someone else is going to need to do virtually all his housetraining and basic training? At $10 a day (which would be extraordinarily cheap -- I think $20 is a good price for daycare) -- how qualified would someone be to take on all this work and basically, create your future adult dog? what if something happens to your dog while in their care -- they will not be insured. Where does the dog go if the carer is ill, away, or no onger wants to mind your dog? How can you vet someone? What happens if you have a cavalier which has one of the health issues that are all too common in cavaliers and needs daily meds etc? Can you give all your time on weekends and evenings to your dog, rather than heading off with with friends as most younger people starting a career would wish to do -- a dog is a huge time commitment that is easy to underestimate when previous ownership has involved a family dog, and others have probably done much if not most of the care over many years. If you are in your 20s now, that means you will have a fairly limited social life -- if you want to give your dog any decent level of interaction -- until your are into your 30s. That's a lot to trade away for a dog for most people. It would have been for me at your age. It was hard enough even when I got a dog in my 40s and, as I lived on my own and had not yet met my dog-loving partner :), I had to totally change how I lived my life, give up spontaneously going away, staying out at late parties or all day -- now I had to work everything around Jaspar. :) I loved having a dog but it meant significant changes and sacrifices over my single life in the past which should not be underestimated. You just cannot check in after work. enjoy a few wags and licks, then again leave the poor, lonely dog alone all evening or for the weekend, on a regular basis.

These are pretty big questions and directly affect the quality of life you can offer a dog, or have yourself. Because of these kinds of issues, a lot of people wait til they have a settled family life, or til they are old enough that their life is more home-based, to get a dog because they are so demanding.

It doesn't mean you shouldn't get a dog. But much of your life would have to center on your dog, not your friends, evenings out, weekends away, days out with pals, travel. In other words all the things the majority of people want to focus on when they are younger -- and which are very hard to work around a dog. You do need to really think about what you want out of your own life over the next 10-14 years and if what you want means your dogs is likely to get only tiny bits of your time and for all intents, would actually really only be someone else's dog that you timeshare into for the weekend and a few hours each evening before bedtime. It's a very big decision. And you are right, cavaliers are not a breed that likes to be left on its own.

I'd strongly advise getting insurance as well and budgeting that in, if you do get a cavalier.

5th June 2012, 12:14 AM
All I can tell you is my experience. Fletcher is a puppy I have had him what 3 weeks now(?-time flies) I have had dogs most of my life, I even worked with a rescue group keeping as many as 5 foster beagles at one time. But Fletcher is my first puppy....and I do feel like I have a new baby. Only honestly, its a little harder because Fletcher is like a toddler he moves around faster then me and I have to constantly know where he is and what he doing. I has been a total joy, but life change at the same time. And just like with a new baby more work then I originally realized. But its fun work to me, I work outside the home with children, so I have the option of taking Fletcher with me to work but even then I need to be able to do my job and care for him. Lucky for me I have a staff who loves him too and step in to help sometimes, I was on a conference call that lasted longer than it should have and my staff ended up feeding Fletcher his lunch and taking him outside to play a bit. Again, I'm very lucky.

What both Karlin and I (and others) are trying to say is getting a puppy is a real commitment...just as if you had a baby now. As far daycare is concerned, well I have to say I'm all for it.....after all that is what I do for a living with children. Personally, I would go with a doggie daycare facility for the same reason Karlin mentioned, what if this person is sick or away?? What would "qualify" this person to care for your puppy? What happens when or if your dogs is ever sick or injured over this persons care? I'm thinking/hoping a doggie daycare facility would have policies in place for these issues or I wouldn't use one that didn't have them.

Then there is the issue of why did I get a puppy to take it to daycare all day and only be with it on evenings and weekends??? Well, parents do it with babies all the time. You will have to work harder when you can be with your dog. Also, I would PERSONALLY only do it if I could take the first few weeks off work to stay home with my puppy before starting doggie daycare and returning to working outside the house. Just like puppy maternity leave. Could you work that out? I actually waited a long time to get a puppy like 3 years. I lost my rescue failure when my youngest son was 1 I knew I did have time for a puppy yet.

Its a big decision, only you know what right for you....but this is also one decision you can't take back either. I'm guessing most rescue/dumped at shelter dogs came from people meaning well at first but failing to follow thur.

Again just my experience. I enjoy raising a puppy so far but its an adventure and a sense of humor is REQUIRED!!!! I try really hard to always go the extra mile to care for him and the kids. But when I wake up every morning to a wagging tail and puppy nose in my face and a little boy (my son's) his foot in my back I know I'm truly blessed.


5th June 2012, 02:37 AM
First of all... I have to say you have gotten some "excellent" advice from Karlin & Melissa.
Not that I could add anything really...but this would be my advice...
(and sorry, I know I am new to the forum & a huge chatter box...forgive me*)
What they said is true....owning a puppy is a big commitment. It is like having a little toddler.
You are watching them at all times.
We've raised dogs & all kinds of animals for the last 36 years. I was fortunate enough that when our kids were growing up...I only worked part-time. I am now a stay at home "Grandma" that can devote all my time to my furry friends.
My husband & I have been a huge advocate of having 2 dogs at a time...not just one. Reason?...they keep one another company when you are gone.
We always had large dogs...but doesn't matter. They are pack animals..and don't like being alone.
IF you decide you do not want to wait ....then in my humble opinion..I'd get 2.
(And then you have 2 waggin tails to greet you when you get home !!! It's wonderful *! )
Or a rescue dog that is a bit older & already potty trained.
Is it possible to have someone come to YOUR home and let the pups out for you a few times day? Is that an option?
I know they would be alone most of the day...but that is why I feel 2 are better than one.
It's not an easy decision...but as Melissa said...people w/ young kids ( that have full or part-time jobs) have their children babysat. Kind of the same thing. Soooo...if you go that route....??
I also tend to agree w/ spending a bit more for the doggie daycare rather than the nice lady.
Your pup most likely would get more socialization perhaps at the DC... than at this ladys home.. but I dunno?
You would also have that extra assurance/commitment perhaps this lady could not give you "long term".


I too would wait till you have a few weeks vacation ...and get your pup used to YOU & it's new home before toting it off to doggie daycare. JMHO

5th June 2012, 11:49 AM
I think the advice you've been given so far is good, a lot to take on board, but I do feel maybe you need to think what sacrifices you will need to make to give a puppy a home right now.

Maybe now is not the right time as apart from work your life is going to become quite curtailed for -if you get a puppy- possibly 12 years. I have three dogs and would not consider them company enough for each other if I worked full-time and wanted to socialize on occasions also. I work part-time and they are rarely left longer than 6 hours and mostly less.

You could leave your puppy with someone else but then what's the point?

I know you would love a dog for company etc. but maybe now is not the time and you don't want to get into something you regret or find hard to manage.

Just my opinion of course and no offence meant, just friendly advice:)

Kate H
5th June 2012, 02:51 PM
Having two dogs may seem an answer, but if left together without your input they will tend to relate to each other and not to you. You will also have to train them separately, which could mean two nights a week at training class (leaving the one you're not training at home alone). You are going to have to spend literally every minute you have got at home doing things with your dogs - training them, cuddling them, brushing them, exercising them (I try to give mine an hour a day, but then I work from home), which will be on-lead in the dark mornings and/or evenings for several months of the year. The only way working full-time away from the house and having a dog or dogs works is (a) being able to afford daycare, or at least someone completely reliable coming in to spend time with them at lunchtime (which works well with my two when I occasionally have to be out all day for a work meeting); (b) having family or a reliable friend who can take them in for the day; or (c) working near enough yourself to get home at lunchtime. The primary question is 'Can I afford - both in money and time - to give my dog(s) a good life? Or am I wanting a dog for my own sake rather than the dog's?' If the honest answers are 'No' and 'Yes', then please wait.

I had 20 years without a dog because work made it impossible - I wasn't even thinking about having one when a friend gave me my first Cavalier, but fortunately I did the sort of work (book editing) where my employers allowed me to work part-time at home and part in the office. Since then, I've always had a Cavalier - but never applied for a better-paid job that would be full-time in an office. The two just don't mix unless others can help.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Super Princess
10th June 2012, 12:07 AM
Thankyou for your advice and tips.:D Much appreciated. It shows how much you guys care about your dogs.

I have raised a couple dogs in my time (i may have been at home..but i know what it takes..and did the majority of work for oliver)
I think in an ideal world everyone could bring their dogs to work...or not have to work 8 hours a day. or work from home..but not everyone is that lucky. and i do belive there is a way to juggle both.

Ive talked to my Dad and a couple friends who were in the same situation and have come up with a few solutions.
At this point in my life..it will just be the one dog. Like Oliver, the pup will be raised along side a couple cats.. one is 16 the other is 2. Oliver was brought into a house with 3 cats and im pretty sure he thought he WAS a cat ;)

I am not worried about not giving the dog enough attention. Im pretty anti social (HAHA this is why i am STILLLLL single!!)as a rule for msyelf..i dont go out on weeknights.. I come home..hang with the cats..ill go out for my nightly walk around the bog..watch tv and unwined.
Weekends i do alot of nature things (im a ammature photographer..take me and my camera out to a new park or rive and im a happy camper) A lot o outdoor things. Oliver always came with us and had a good time. always met alot of people.
Weekends away up in parksville.. oliver always came with us.. or me..soemtimes it woudl just be the two of us. As you say with a toddler ..you focus your life around the pup.

This isn't something im jumping into or underthinking.. I know how much work a dog is. And how big of a part of your life they are. everything needs to be worked out before i make the commitment.

10th June 2012, 04:49 AM
I am not able to work from home either (at least not all the time) but got BB during a "slow" time to make sure I could work out of the home while she was younger. I also have a dog walker (if needed), doggie daycare (she loves it and it helps with socialization - they have packages here so costs can be contained) and then I am able to work from home sometimes. I usually try to do doggie daycare 2xs a week and then there are some young girls on my street wanting to earn extra money - they come and play with BB sometimes if I have to work in the office - this has been a great idea because between doggie daycare and the 2 little girls she has gotten great socialization!

Anyway, good luck to you - hope it is not too much information but I like to have options so if something falls through there is a back up plan. The 2 best things that I do which BB loves is the girls coming to play with her (I know their Mom & they are 12&10) and then doggie daycare.

21st June 2012, 11:27 AM
I work full time and have 2 Cavs who are left at home for up to 8 hours a day, I took a month off when I first got Baxter and spent all of my time training him, when I went back to work I couldn't handle the guilt of leaving him and got Theo, I took more time off for him, I had saved my holidays all year and worked extra time before I got Baxter to accrue lieu time so I could have the time with them. I too am single so I know what you are going through. I have been on one night out on my own since I got my boys in November 2009 and if I do go out then they come with me, my family are all well aware now that we come as a package and if I am invited to gatherings then we are invited as a unit. I am lucky to have an understanding family. They also sleep in my bed with me so they are literally on their own for the 8 hours, the other 16 is by my side.

It took me 5 years to decide that I was responsible enough to be able to look after a pup and 6 weeks for the second but I can honestly say it's the best thing I've ever done and I wouldn't be without them now. Good luck with what ever you decide ;)

21st June 2012, 01:35 PM
It is good that you have an understanding family and are obviously very committed to your dogs. Do you have someone to come in and let your dogs out though during the day? 8 hours is an awfully long time for them to not be able to toilet :( I'm sure most of us visit the bathroom more often than that!

Maybe not quite such a problem whilst they are young but as they get older, they will not be able to hold themselves that long.

21st June 2012, 08:04 PM
My Dad pops in if he's in the area, though it is very rare that they go to the toilet while I'm at work but if they do they go by the back door, I have a tiled floor in the kitchen so is easy to clean up. As they get older I may use a day care service, there is a very good one near where I live and they are happy to come to your home for an hour a day to take them out for a walk or just for company. I am hoping to start working from home for 4 hours a day in the next couple of years so hopefully I wont have to use anybody else. I cant wait to be at home more, although it does worry me that I'll never be able to get any work done!