How does the dog handle your 12 hour shifts?
- 0Aug 9, '10 by SnowStar4*I meant HOW*
I'm most likely going to be switching to 12 hour shifts soon. Although I am happy about it for me, I worry about leaving my two dogs alone that long. I don't really have family close enough to let them out and I am leary of hiring a dog walker because the idea of giving a stranger a key to my house creeps me out.
So, I am just wondering how your dog handles the day? Mostly, can they "hold it" that long?
- 12Aug 9, '10 by Jules APlease consider hiring a dog walker or taking them to doggie day care. 12 hours turn into 13, 14 etc. with shift reports, commuting, errands etc. As with people it is not healthy to expect them to "hold it" that length of time even if they can. There are veterinary technicians that moonlight as dog walkers, licensed and bonded companies as well as doggie daycares where you can drop them off if you really can't allow someone in your house.
- 2Aug 9, '10 by SnowStar4Thanks for the advice. I definitely plan on finding some arrangement, I was just wondering if people just leave them home.
I used to always go home during lunch and let me dogs out (I lived only 1 mile from work) just so they didn't have to hold it 8 hours. This is going to be an adjustment.
- 0Aug 9, '10 by TLeechWe live in Virgina and many of the advertisements for dog-walkers boast that they're bonded. (I'm not sure how much that means at the end of the day...but it is slightly more assuring than handing your keys to just anyone off the streets, at very least this person is bonded with the state)
Also meeting with the potential dog-walker before hand can set your mind at ease. Although they could just be a good actor/actress, you'll probably get a good/bad vibe from them.
However if you're unable to find a suitable dog walker, it is possible for a dog to regularly hold it for 12+ hours. The key is to gradually train them to go longer, in the time before you switch, start going to the gym or somewhere else before coming home, so that they begin to expect to wait longer. As long as it's not an older dog with bladder issues, it's not unreasonable.
You might want to confine (with baby gates or doors) the dogs to an area with hard floors--like the kitchen, while you transition them to the longer days. Just make sure they have toys/bones to keep them busy. At first you might want to not leave out water for them--just make sure they have plenty of access to water while you're home, as they get more used to when to expect to go out, you can give them more freedom and water while you're gone. I would highly advise against crating a dog for more than 6hours, unless it's a last option (they're being destructive, or possibly getting into things that could hurt them). The hardest part will be the transition, but remember dogs are creatures of habit, and once they realize they get to go out at a set interval, they adapt quickly.
Even after you're dogs have adapted to a new schedule, it's probably a good idea to have a dog-walker that you can trust (to some degree), since sometimes our dogs get diarrhea--and when that happens I do crate them and have a dog walker come midday.
I used to worry about leaving the pups alone all day, but I'm fairly certain they just sleep since every time I've come home at an unusual time--they're just sleeping
- 2Aug 9, '10 by gentlegiverAfter only 8 hours my canine babies act like I've been gone for a week. I am lucky enough to have a big kennel attached to our heated garage that thier "bedroom" is inside of. So leaving them home alone isn't so bad, but, I wouldn't want to leave the poor babies in the house for 12 hours, that would be setting them up for accidents.
- 6Aug 9, '10 by Batman25Dogs should have water available at all times. DO NOT take their water away for 12 plus hours. It's extremely unhealthy for your dog.
I hire a dog walker. They can't nor should they be asked to hold it that long. They come in at 11am and 4pm for half hour each time. Most of my co-workers get someone to come once at like 1pm to split up the shift. It's well worth the money. My dog loves their walker. It's also worth it for your sanity and peace of mind as well. I live in an expensive area and the price still isn't bad. Do a background check or even see if you have a really trusted neighbor or college student looking to make some extra cash.
Doggie day care is another nice option and really picking up in business as well. I would do this if I couldn't get a dog walker. My friend's dog goes to one and loves it.Last edit by Batman25 on Aug 9, '10
- 1Aug 9, '10 by nebrgirlWhen my dear Jesse was alive, he I think managed the 12's because I would give he a good 1/2 hour walk before I went to work, and first thing when I got home he was rewarded with a nice long 2 mile walk...admittedly sometimes that was a killer on me....but I think it made it easier for him to sleep the 12 hours...knowing his time was coming.
- 1Aug 9, '10 by saltwaterstatI understand what you mean about "the key thing...to a stranger" (even if bonded, its a hard thing for me too). what about one of those "dog doors"?, the kind that fit into the sliding door, if you have one.
as for what someone said about not leaving them water...OMG! LEAVE WATER PLEASE!!! and the comment re if they have diarrhea, that they "crate" them and someone comes in mid-day, or mid something. !!!!! awww c'mon. I would think for most of the time, dogs aren't sick..if they are , then block off a section of house or garage (if its cool there), but confine them w/ possibility of diarrhea episodes??? I feel sick.
off the soapbox now. I had an older dog that I put thru this. 12 hr shifts definitely can turn into 14. I put out the water, a few snacks...toys, papers on the linoleum floor. --and worried like crazy. this dog never used the papers...and she never did anything elsewhere. she waited, I came home in the very early am...and we would go for a walk, in the dark, she made it short and quick...ok, actually about 10-15 mins..but I call that short for a dog who's been in the house that long. we always went for a walk on the beach before my shift, and for longer on my days off.
she was hmmm, about 11 yrs old at that time. (just for bladder info, lol).
she's gone now ;-< but damn, she was THE BEST!
good luck, hope you make the right decision.
- 0Aug 9, '10 by Bionic WomanI just started working 12 hours shifts two months ago. Funny as it may sound, I think my dog has figured out my schedule and adjusts his water drinking accordingly (like when he "knows" I am going out or when he is going for a ride in the truck and gets excited). Right before I leave for work, I take him for a 20 minute walk. As soon as I get home and shower, I then take him for another 10 minute walk. He is 13 years old and is always sleeping when I get home. It is only for 3 days.
My cat is a lot more low maintenance. I hope the training pads work when I get my next dog...