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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When we adopted our Pomeranian mix in January, my live-in boyfriend and I were both working full-time, he at an office that allowed dogs.

In June he got laid off, so he's been home every day since then. We think he's near an offer (yay!), but it's not at a dog-friendly office, and we know the odds of getting that kind of job again are slim.

So we're trying to figure out a good way to handle our dog situation that's also within our means. I figure we can EITHER do Doggie Daycare a couple of days a week-- the sort where our dog gets to play with all the other dogs --OR we could get someone to walk our dog every day.

There are pros and cons on both sides. Doggie Daycare 2x per week is actually cheaper, depending on where we do it, and gives her a long day of exposure that could be interspersed with more "chill" days in between (and lots of fun on weekends). On the other hand-- that's still only twice a week (four if you include weekends), and it would really limit our ability to do stuff in the evenings together since one of us REALLY needs to get home and spend some time with her.

Dogwalking would be more expensive and every day...but still only 30 minutes per visit. On the other hand it could break up the 8-9 hours she could potentially wind up alone, so at least we don't have to worry about potty problems, although we know she can generally hold that if needed.

As a third alternative, I've also kind of hinted around the office that I would love to work something out with a coworker to have my dog stay with one of theirs for the day so she has some fun and socialization (pending that they get along in a supervised visit) but haven't really had any bites yet, and because I commute a bit of a distance that means I can't offer my home up instead, so it's kind of hard to ask.

(ETA: Yes, I've been tempted to try getting a second dog, but there's always the possibility that they won't get along, and we are unlikely to have a lot of time to supervise them together before having to leave them alone.)

I know a lot of people go through this, but I didn't find anything that really worked for me in the major threads...any suggestions/advice is appreciated!
 

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If daycare is cheaper than the dog walker, can you do daycare twice a week and have the dog walker come over the other three days a week? I would never ask a dog to hold their bladder for longer than four hours. If you can only choose one or the other for some reason, I'd put priority on the dog walker.
 

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If daycare is cheaper than the dog walker, can you do daycare twice a week and have the dog walker come over the other three days a week? I would never ask a dog to hold their bladder for longer than four hours. If you can only choose one or the other for some reason, I'd put priority on the dog walker.
Agree. I think it's not very nice to leave a dog alone and unable to relieve herself for a full workday. Definitely go for the dog walker if you have to choose.

Although I would point out that at least where I live, dog walkers generally give a time frame they'll come that is at least a couple of hours. I've heard of dog walkers coming at 10am or as late as 4pm. I think that probably defeats the purpose and leaves the dog home alone for too long, so you'll want to ask about that. FWIW, our dog walker comes at a time that results in my dog being alone and having to hold it for about 5 and a half hours. It works for us.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
TorachiKatashi: That would be a great solution, but it starts to get a little pricey...maybe if the boyfriend's offer has pretty good pay. :)

The daycare 2x/wk would be $40, and a 30 minute walking session is $10, so daycare plus walking 3x per week would be $70/wk. Based on what we're estimating his pay to be we're trying to keep things around $50. The dog walkers also offer 20-minute sessions for $8, so that would get it down to $64...but we'll see. We could also try knocking it down to 1x daycare + 4x walking which would = $52...but I'd really rather she got more socialization than that. Hmmm...

But I'll keep looking around!
 

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Well, to be completely honest, I don't think I'd be at all comfortable with either of my dogs "socializing" without me being present. Anything could go wrong and suddenly you have a dog who is ten steps back in their socialization than where they started. Most of those daycare workers aren't usually training experts, either, so you never know what they may be doing unintentionally that could cause issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hamandeggs: Definitely would be looking for someone who could commit to a mid-range day I'm okay with that being like, between 11 and 1, but too early or too late would definitely be silly!

I looked into a couple of other dog daycare places and found one a little cheaper, so might be able to work this out...it's $15/day, so that x2 + 3x 20 minute walks would = $54, which is getting pretty close into range. (We can also get 10% off if we pay the month in advance.)

Still going to keep poking around the office too, but this idea is very comforting to me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, to be completely honest, I don't think I'd be at all comfortable with either of my dogs "socializing" without me being present. Anything could go wrong and suddenly you have a dog who is ten steps back in their socialization than where they started. Most of those daycare workers aren't usually training experts, either, so you never know what they may be doing unintentionally that could cause issues.
That's a good point. Pixel is pretty chill with other dogs, though and has done VERY well in daycare (ie at PetSmart or at another local place-- too out of the way for work unfortunately, since it's way more affordable). I'm obviously going to check out any place and make sure I feel comfortable, try it out once or twice first, etc. I'm also picking a place that's close to work so that I can get to her quickly if need be, and she has health pet insurance in case of accidents. Obviously I would much rather nothing happen! But she's about as covered as she could be.

So yes, it's a bit of a risk, but knowing her as I do I think it's still better than the risk of leaving her alone for 9 hours minus only 20-30 minutes five days a week (i.e. the risk of separation anxiety, boredom/destruction, etc).

Obviously, I wish I could just work from home all the time, or that I could take her to work, or that I made enough money to take her to the best dog daycare in town every day we couldn't be with her...but we gotta live in the real world, after all. :) My mom likes to point out that the golden retriever we had growing up was home alone for a good six hours every weekday with no trouble of note at all. But Pixel is a little more mischievous than poor old Colonel was!
 

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Just screen the day care as much as you can. Ask about the staff's credentials. Are they trainers or just dog enthusiasts? Staff should have dog first aid just in case. Ask about all their policies. They should have thorough temperament testing and ask about whether they have separate areas for big/small high energy/low energy dogs. Is there appropriate areas to separate dogs who need to be separated for whatever reason. Do the staff use positive methods or otherwise? Do they require vet certificates for health requirements? How many dogs per staff member are there on average?

We had to make the same choice in a similar situation and we ended up doing 3 days of daycare a week plus occasionally being able to bring Gally to work on the in between days so he's only home alone 1 or 2 days a week. I don't like leaving him that long but I know he sleeps pretty much all day anyway. Even when he gets to come to work he is passed out for most of the day under my desk.

ETA: Daycare should let you come drop in and watch the dogs and view the facility before you sign up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just screen the day care as much as you can. Ask about the staff's credentials. Are they trainers or just dog enthusiasts? Staff should have dog first aid just in case. Ask about all their policies. They should have thorough temperament testing and ask about whether they have separate areas for big/small high energy/low energy dogs. Is there appropriate areas to separate dogs who need to be separated for whatever reason. Do the staff use positive methods or otherwise? Do they require vet certificates for health requirements? How many dogs per staff member are there on average?

We had to make the same choice in a similar situation and we ended up doing 3 days of daycare a week plus occasionally being able to bring Gally to work on the in between days so he's only home alone 1 or 2 days a week. I don't like leaving him that long but I know he sleeps pretty much all day anyway. Even when he gets to come to work he is passed out for most of the day under my desk.

ETA: Daycare should let you come drop in and watch the dogs and view the facility before you sign up.
Lots of great advice, especially the last. I work right near them so popping in to watch the dogs on my lunch break should be easy (and kinda fun!)

Thanks everyone!
 
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