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Anyone else get paranoid they're not a good 'dog parent'?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by JRH9099, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. JRH9099

    JRH9099 PetForums Newbie

    Mar 1, 2017
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    It seems ridiculous but I get so worried that my dog isn't happy and I'm not giving her enough attention/time etc. She seems happy and is perfectly healthy so I don't really know why..

    I work full time, shifts so sometimes long days, sometimes short days, occasional sleep-ins. But I have about 5 people from 'borrow my dog' who I trust fully, and are great, who come in and walk her and give her company so she is never alone for more than 3 hours (have recently been gradually putting this up to 4) and she loves them all so I don't feel guilty about that. Very occasionally none of those people are available so I will pay a dog walker/sitter to have her for the day. When I do sleep ins I usually leave her with my housemate, who isn't the biggest dog fan but is ok with having her sleep on his bedroom floor while I'm not there. She'll cry if she's left outside a room alone and knows someone is in there.

    When she's left in the house alone she is confined to the hallway, downstairs and upstairs, with her bed in it and her toys, usually leave a stuffed kong too. I was going to let her have run of my bedroom too but she started chewing the wood legs of my bed..

    I don't go out on nights/evenings out all the time but when I do I feel so guilty! She seems to know the difference between me getting ready to go out with her and without her..

    She gets at least 2 walks a day, even if I'm starting work at 7am I'll be up at 5 to walk her, as if she's left alone without having had a walk she gets bored and chews things. Then sometimes a walk with the dog walker if I'm at work and another short one when I get home (if I don't finish late), or 2 walks with me if I'm not working, or one big long walk with me if we go for a hike or something. She'd have 60 walks a day if she had it her way. I'm 100% sure I am walking her enough, and as she's only 10 months I know they're not meant to be walked really long distances at once every day, but I still feel like she has so much energy and I feel guilty that I haven't entertained her enough to burn it off?

    She also gets fed twice a day, morning and evening, yet always seems hungry? I guess that's just a labrador thing. But again, feel guilty that I'm not feeding her enough! Even though she is a perfect weight, I feed her the recommended amount and she gets lots of treats, too.

    She's very clingy when I'm home, in that she'll follow me up the stairs if I'm going to the bathroom, basically will follow me everywhere. I don't know if I did something to cause this when she was a young puppy, but she also sleeps on my bed and I can't get her to stop! I know I should never have let her do this at all, but too late to think about that now. And I feel like if I do stop her from sleeping on my bed, I'll feel horribly guilty about it!

    She is almost the most perfect dog, everyone that meets her is amazed by how well behaved she is, people who walk her love how good she is on and off lead, and she's been so easy to train I feel like she's almost done it herself, I don't really feel like I can take any credit. Her only problem has been that she doesn't like being alone, but she is getting loads better and doesn't chew anything now unless left for longer than she's used to. Right now as I'm typing this she is entertaining herself with a tennis ball and some chew toys.

    I just wanted any general advice on what more I can do, to make her happier and make me feel less guilty!! And wonder if anyone else has felt like this? I wanted a dog for sooo long before I got her and it's been the best thing I've ever done but I just want to feel like I'm being the best dog mum I can be!
  2. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

    Dec 10, 2012
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    Sounds fine to me, the feelings you have personally are probably no reflection on how the dog feels. Most dogs are perfectly happy provided all their needs are met which yours most definitely are.

    There is an element of guilt on my part when I have to leave mine but it's usually fairly short lived. They are fine, it's me with the problem! and at the end of the day I have to work to be able to afford them, and there are dogs in far worse situations than mine, who get daily exercise, attention, good food, sofas(!!) and various other creature comforts. I actually THEY should be guilty for making me work.....I'd give anything to have their live, they have it made!
  3. Katalyst

    Katalyst A Lanky Lurcher and a Delinquent Dobermann

    Aug 11, 2015
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    Like @labradrk, I get a bout of the guilts if I go out without them. They really don't care but I really don't like leaving them so it's very much a guilt that is entirely unfounded and I have built up in my head for no reason.

    I used to constantly question if I was doing things right, if my dogs were happy, if they were getting the best care they could ever be given.
    These days if I find myself thinking like that, I will make a point when out of a walk with them of watching their happy, easy and loose movements and nd cheerful demeanour. I will mentally point out any dogs we see that clearly aren't getting as much love and attention or who are being permitted to get grossly over weight.

    I have zero doubt that if my dogs belonged to someone with a sprawling mansion and 10 acres of land, they'd be even happier (and so would I!)
    But the reality is, my dogs want for nothing. They're well fed, kept safe, get considerably more attention than many dogs I know of, get exercise both physical and mental.
    My dogs are happy. Whether they'd be happier with someone else is a moot point and it's pointless concerning myself over that when they're perfectly comfortable with me.
  4. Moobli

    Moobli PetForums VIP

    Feb 20, 2012
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    I don't think you have anything to worry about. Your dog sounds like she has a great life!
    Team_Trouble and Katalyst like this.
  5. ForestWomble

    ForestWomble PetForums VIP

    May 2, 2013
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    Oh yes, I'm a worrier anyway, but I go through times of 'is he happy?', 'did I do the right thing getting him, for him?', feel guilty that I can't do as much with him as others could etc etc etc.

    I see it as a good thing in a way as you will do all you can, whereas lots of dogs sadly don't get as much as they should/could get.

    From the sounds of it you do plenty and your dog sounds lucky to have you :)
  6. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

    May 8, 2014
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    All sounds good to me! In fact it sounds as if she has a lovely life with lots of variety :D

    As for her 'always being hungry' .....ha, you should meet my gang .... if I have worked a full day my wife usually feeds the dogs before I get home ...and yet as soon as I come in they will often head straight into the kitchen and put their hungry faces on ...so much so that I often have to check with my wife that she did feed them. (I have Labs, too!)

    I think many of us 'feel guilty' when we have to go out and leave the dogs ...or maybe haven't been able to give them as much time as we would like ....I do as well ...I think it's natural ....my day is often timed around the dogs.....and sometimes their walks are shorter than I would like, but like you, at other times we spend longer together.

    Relax and enjoy her .....she sounds lovely. If you are looking for activities to do with ber maybe you can try an Agility introductory course or maybe a training class?

    Any photos? :D

    Katalyst likes this.
  7. steveshanks

    steveshanks PetForums VIP

    Feb 19, 2015
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    All the time, then he'll wag his tail jump up for cuddles and kisses and make me realise all is fine :)
  8. kirksandallchins

    kirksandallchins PetForums VIP

    Nov 3, 2007
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    I'm not a good dog parent - but I am a good dog owner

    I work part time, but give the dogs a minimum of an hours exercise before I go out and the same when I get in. I leave the radio when I am out and leave some dry food in their bowls. They get a treat to chew when I leave and I tell them I'm off to work and Lottie the eldest is in charge
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