Dog home alone

lin01December 8, 2009

I am looking for some ideas for my 5 year old beagle mix that is now home alone all day while I am at work. My husband is out of state and will be for a while. He was home with the dog all day for the past 2 years and now she is home alone.

I feel bad about this and have checked in to day care, but it is $400 month. A know a kong will only last her a few minutes and the toys will bore her pretty fast. Any idea anyone would have that can make this situation easier for her would be appreciated.

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If you could leave the radio or TV on at a low volume, that might help a bit.

In many communities there are trustworthy professional dog walkers who will come and exercise your dog daily, not charging anything like what you describe for daycare. You could check into that in your area.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 8:27PM
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Do you have any retired neighbors or stay at home moms? They might be agreeable to letting your dog out midday and spending a little time with her. Even 30 minutes is nice. You can work out a price or some other trade-out. I had a retired neighbor that did this for me and I cooked for him and his disabled wife. Not every day, maybe 6 times a month, and made enough so they had leftovers. He loved dogs, so it was a win for everyone.

They are both in assisted living now, so I'm coming home daily to let mine out. Luckily I only live 10 minutes from work, but some days it's hard to leave. The most reasonable service I could find was $16.00 for 30 minutes, that's $320 per month if I did it every work day. I am considering doing it 3 times a week.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 8:47PM
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You do not necessarily have to take your dog to daycare every day. Our dog gets his fill with 2 or 3x per week, as opposed to 5 days. He is pretty tired the day after day care and is content to sleep all day the following day. If your $400 quote was for every day, that should cut the cost neatly in half.

If not, getting a mid-day dog walker is also a great idea. Another alternative might be for you to take him for a very long walk before you go to work, say 2-3 miles.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 12:14PM
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You might call a dog trainer and ask if s/he can refer you to a dog walker. Of course, anytime you have people come in your home, you want references. Also, you want to see how s/he interacts with the dog. My son and DIL have their trainer come and walk the dog. He's doing it pretty cheap, not sure why. Maybe he needs the work.

Good luck. Lucky dog to have such a caring master.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 6:26PM
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I would suggest several different things. The one thing I would do everyday is give your dog a good half hour to hour walk before you leave for the day. A good brisk walk should do it. That might tire your dog out for a good hour after you leave. Then I would change it up everyday. One day provide toys, the next have a neighbor walk your dog, the next take your dog to doggie day care. This way you dont have to spend so much money and your dog will have something different to do everyday.
Be sure and have your dog given meds for kennel cough if you send it out anywhere there are likely to be more than a couple more dogs (especially sharing water or a cage or pen)
I dont know if you have a local beagle group, or dog park, or just ask your vet if they know someone willing to take up the chore of taking your pup for a mid-day walk or ride to the park every third day or so. Good luck, hope all goes well with whatever you decide.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 7:36PM
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I think it's great that you would consider your dog's well-being while you are gone for the day. I wish more people would do the same.

My next-door neighbor works around 14hrs/day. I work from home. Her dog barks (and cries...) almost the entire day. Many times, the neighbor comes home late and the dog has been sitting in the dark for hours - alone. Not to mention, how long can a dog actually 'hold it'?

I know she loves her dog, but, the dog is miserable all day being left alone for hours on end.

Again, good for you (and your puppy!) for thinking about about your pet's day to day quality of life.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 10:46PM
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i'm lucky in that i only work away from home 2 days/week. my 2 great dane girls (one 8 yrs old, one 3 yrs old) know the routine like the back of their paws. when i'm getting ready to leave, i tell them "you stay here, i'll be right back" and they just go to bed.

i have a pet cam at work so i can watch them. for the most part, they sleep all day. occasionally, i will see one of them wander into the kitchen for a drink but they are very good about just chilling till i get home. of course, when i do get home, the poo hits the fan and i have 2 rested-up dogs ready to set the world on fire!

i do leave the big screen t.v. on for them all day. :)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 10:16AM
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Marcia Thornley

I leave the radio on and have someone stop in 2-3 times a week for a visit and short walk. Our dog does fine!
Dog walkers are a great idea. Check with friends, your vet etc. I am lucky to have a retired relative to count on but know several people who rely on hired walkers. They generally charge by the day or week and walk several dogs at a time. They will need a key for entry to your home so references are a must!
You could also hire a student or retired neighbour to help.
When my dog sees us put on our jackets and pick up my purse, he knows we're off to work. He gets a treat and heads upstairs to the bed for a nap.
He does just fine even on days when he's alone all day. But I feel better if I know he gets some fresh air and a potty break.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 2:48PM
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Generally the dog will mostly be sleeping when you are not at home... so a good long vigorous walk before you leave for the day will help encourage him to nap it off.... and then another one when you get home, will reward him for being so good while you've been gone.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 3:30PM
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I didn't necessarily see it mentioned, but you might consider a companion dog. However, bear in mind if you do this, the time you need to spend with them in the evenings when you get home is doubled.

I've never found 2 dogs to be much more work than one. However, vet, boarding and grooming costs are doubled, and they both require training and attention.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 3:57AM
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When my former dog was a senior and suffering from terrible separation anxiety, I was lucky enough to have some neighborhood kids that were trustworthy who came over to visit him every day and take him for a walk. They were about 12-13, so they were grateful for the $. It was so cute, bc when I would walk him through town, all the kids around town would pass us and say hi to him. He knew more people than I did! I knew the kids' parents, and they were all dog owners. I had them come over over a few times and walk him while I was home, so that they could ask me any questions. When Scruffy died, we had a little funeral ceremony and some of the kids were there. It was very sweet.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 10:45PM
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Our dog, Magic, was a Lasa mix. When I went back to work after the kids were grown, she was left alone during the day. I came home sometimes at lunch and DH would drop by the house if he was in the area and had time. We usually found her sleeping. I think she had learned to like her alone time and it seemed like on Monday mornings she was glad to get us out of the house so she could sleep undisturbed. We usually left a tv on for the noise and in the winter, we had a light to come on in the afternoon since it would get dark so early. I think all dogs are different. Some will like being alone, others won't.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 10:09AM
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We've had our younger dog (now 3 1/2) for 3 years. I've been home for about 2 of those years. Last year, I realized he was very adjusted to my being home or coming places with me pretty much all the time. He started acting out when left home (with the other dog but no people) - chewing up a few things, a problem we'd never really had with him. We set up an area in the unfinished (walk-out) basement for the dogs. They can use the dog door to go outside but have an 8'x8' or so area to come inside (we did this rather than kenneling since we sometimes are gone longer than they can be kenneled, if we go skiing it's a 12 hour day). Since I've been leaving them more often he has gotten used to it again and doesn't act traumatized that I've left him (did I mention he's about 85 lbs). Sometimes when I come home later at night, they're both so sound asleep in the basement they don't hear the garage door and bark when they hear my footsteps.

My point is the dog will get used to the alone time. Maybe try daycare now & then or some of the other suggestions to help her adjust, but she'll get used to it.

I have used a pet sitter a couple times as well. It cost me about $18 for 1/2 hour visit (and she did walk the dogs when appropriate).

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 1:25AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions.My nephew is spending time with her when school allows. I am also taking her to dogging day care one day a week. If it would get warm and stop raining I would take her for a walk in the AM before work. At night, I get home after dark and where we live it is not safe to walk at night. Since she is not getting as much exercise as before, I spend a lot of time playing chase the ball in the evening. It is more fun then watching the news!!!!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 7:01PM
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