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Is it ok to own a dog if you work shifts?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Cabbage85, Jun 21, 2018.


  1. Cabbage85

    Cabbage85 PetForums Newbie

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    I am currently and have been for sometime looking into getting a dog.
    However, depending who I talk to I am still a little undecided.

    First of all let say I am aware of how much of a commitment a dog is and I and a responsible person and wouldn't go a buy one willie nillie just because I want one.

    So here is my dilemma, I work average of 4 days a week and in general the days I am at work I am out of the house for around 10 hours. My week is normally broken up with a working pattern of some days here and some days there.

    After reading varying articles from dog owners and talking to friends that own dogs I still don't know wheather it would be fair getting a dog.

    My plan would be to walk the dog in the morning if I am on late shifts (1400-2300). Walk the dog in the evening if I am early shifts (0600-1600) I would also spend time with it on my days off.

    I would be limited for people dropping by during the day when I am at work but would be confident that I would be able to keep it stimulated by hiding toys for it to find and using feeding puzzles...etc.

    I would like to know peoples thoughts on the matter. I wouldn't like to get a dog if it was going to have a poor quality of life, so please leave me some comments and opinions and help me decide whether I should get a dog or that I am just a dreamer and it should be left to the people that have more flexibility in their life.
     
  2. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    10 hours no you can't leave them that long the dog will need the toilet and feeding as a minimum. Could you hire a dog walker ? Even then 10 hours is a lot. Also are you going to want to do a long walk before work ? After a 10 hr shift ?
     
    Sairy likes this.
  3. ForestWomble

    ForestWomble PetForums VIP

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    Could you afford doggy day care? Or a dog sitter/walker?
    If yes, then I see no problem.
    If no, then I'm sorry but personally I wouldn't get a dog.
     
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  4. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    As above. 10 hours is a long time without a toilet break and food. You need someone to come and feed and let out your dog at the very minimum, otherwise it's a no-go I'm afraid.

    Early shift you could give the dog a short walk before work, then give it breakfast in some kind of activity feeder like a stuffed Kong, treat ball etc to keep it occupied when you leave. Then have someone come in at lunch to let the dog out, have a play and walk and then give it a chew to munch on. Then when you get home you could take the dog for a nice long walk, have a play etc.

    The late shift someone would need to come in the evening to feed and let the dog out. The dog would be fine as long as you've walked it and spent some time with them during the day.
     
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  5. SinneJ

    SinneJ PetForums Member

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    All the above, but also you should be able to be home a few weeks to get the dog settled first, before going back to work :) even if it's not a puppy. Just wanted to add that.
     
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  6. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    If you got a dog walker in possibly, but it's quite a long time to leave a dog 4 days a week. I'm assuming that that doesn't include travel time either?

    Don't underestimate the physical impacts of having a dog from your perspective when you are working long shifts. It's going to add another hour of activity either side of your day, so your days are going to be 12+ hours x4 days a week. That is a lot, just sayin'. I only do a long 12 hour shift once a week, the rest are 'normal' hours, and I find it knackering because my day starts at 5am dealing with the dogs and I don't sit down until about 8pm, 14-15 hours later!!
     
  7. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    I echo what everyone else has said! You would definitely need a dog walker (or family/friend) to come in and see to the dog during your shifts. No dog would be OK being left for 10 hours straight. If a dog walker is a possibility then there's no reason you can't get a dog. But do consider how much time and energy they take up, after a 10 hour shift you can't just go and sit down you need to be up and taking your dog for a long walk and keeping it entertained etc (for you daytime shift). For your nighttime shift you'll have to do all that before you go too.

    If you're committed and can get a dog walker or equivalent then go for it. If you're unsure you'll have the time or energy then perhaps a dog isn't for you. Perhaps you could try, after/before your shifts, going for a hour or so walk everyday for a couple of weeks and see how you feel?
     
  8. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    I agree, it would be tricky. You would need dog walkers, day care or reliable family/friends who could come in for some of the day.
    I used to work long day shifts and just had cats as I realiesed that I wouldnt be able to fit dogs into my life properly. I didnt get the dogs until I was on permanent nightshifts (much easier but still a PITA with the lack of sleep and the fact they have to have access to puppy pads when Im working).
     
  9. Cabbage85

    Cabbage85 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for all the feedback. I am in no rush to get a dog so I will look into dog walkers as well as day care and what not. My job isn't physically taxing and I do go out to run errands and what not after earlies and before lates. It would just be good to have the company.

    You have given me some thing to think about and it just means giving myself more time to decide what I will do.
     
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  10. Kimmikins

    Kimmikins PetForums VIP

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    I’m a shift worker and I have 2 dogs...and I’ve built up Team Hooligan, which consists of a walker/sitter, my mum who lives up the road and works from home, our neighbours and a group of “doggy” ladies who I can call on in a pinch. Plus my OH is also a shift worker so we often have at least one of us home.

    It can be done, but I would never leave my two alone for 10 hours without a pop-in or a dog walker. My two go for a max 5 hours, normally 3-4.
     
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  11. Westie Mum

    Westie Mum PetForums VIP

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    Would you consider a cat instead ? You would still have company when you’re at home without the restraints a dog brings.
     
  12. CheddarS

    CheddarS PetForums VIP

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    Afraid I would never have a dog unless I was at home the majority of time. You can make it work but bear in mind it will become a tie....get home from a long shift and have to take dog out (in the dark) and then play with dog as well as chores. Time off you cannot socialise as much as the dog needs time. This is when the dog is an adult, a puppy will be less accommodating. We desperately wanted one but decided to wait and it was the best choice.
     
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  13. Cabbage85

    Cabbage85 PetForums Newbie

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    I do have a cat as it goes.
     
  14. Cabbage85

    Cabbage85 PetForums Newbie

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    I don't really have a social life (get your violin out) but at this time waiting until the right time is what I will probably do.
     
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  15. Pappychi

    Pappychi PetForums VIP

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    Depends on the intricacies of the situation.

    I work 12 hour night shifts. 4 on and 4 off. I specifically chose nights as it’s easier on my dog.

    When I work nights she goes to my parents (who I live behind so not far!) and plays all day in their garden with their Newfie before sleeping in their living room with Elsa. She loves it if I say ‘going for a sleepover’ she gets ever so excited.

    If my parents can’t have her she stays with my OHs parents.

    However, our 4 off are all about her. She’s taken various places, hiked, trained etc.

    Walking wise I walk her after getting home at 7am and then my dad comes at walks her around 7pm. Without the support of my parents and my boyfriends it wouldn’t be possibly but together we make it work.

    Works both ways however! When my parents are busy with their business I have Elsa :)
     
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