View Full Version : How much work is a dog, really?

10-07-2011, 07:58 PM
When I was a kid, we had beagles...never less than two dogs at a time. A few got lost in the canadian woods. They were mostly used for hunting rabbits, my father's past time. They lived outside in a the doghouse. They had a fenced in portion of the yard. They went hunting every weekend during hunting season. I didn't really take care of them, as they were my dad's dogs and they weren't allowed in the house much. They were fed by my parents. When they were allowed in the house though, I loved to play with them. The first beagle, Regina, had two litters, we all took care of them before they were given away.

So, in essence, I didn't have the responsibility of caring for a dog. I've been a cat person since I moved out as the building I lived in at the time didn't allow dogs.

I'm thinking of adding a beagle to the family. I dont' know how it would work as I am out of the house for 10 hours a day. I am not very keen on using crates...and dont know if leaving the two cats and a dog home alone, with the run of the house is a good idea either. I don't have a fenced in yard either. My community is a very dog friendly community though..and we have lots of walking paths, lakeside...

The dog would only get walked twice on the weekdays, morning and night...it would have to stay home during my workshift. On the weekends, I would devote more time to it, and take it out to the dog beach and dog park. I have been meaning to get on an exercise schedule...and this would make me take walks and be more active.

I'm not worried about the financial obligation...but I do like my vacations...so boarding may add up..but it's doable.

My daughter is 2 and she is pretty good with the cats..so I think she would be great with a dog as well. I want her to be an animal lover like me...so this would certainly add to it.

Any advice?

These are the three I want to go look at...not sure if I'd get male or female:


The top two are from the same litter.

10-07-2011, 08:00 PM
BTW...these are beagle mixed dogs....from a local rescue group. All of their animals are fostered.

10-07-2011, 08:48 PM
When I was a kid, dogs went to the vet once a year for shots, and got bathed mostly in the summer when kids were bored or the dog had gotten into something. There was no box on the kitchen shelf marked "Doggie records and meds". They came into your life, lived for somewhere between six and twelve years, and either got hit by a car or died in their sleep.

Standards have changed. I adopted a rottweiler and we were best friends from day one.
She got ear infections common to dogs with floppy ears, so I had to clean her ears religiously. Fortunately, she didn't mind that.

She did mind very much having her nails trimmed, and I paid the vet tech $10 to do that now and then.

I started off feeding her Iams, and ended up feeding her Hundenflocken or Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance. A lot of the time, I would simply cook for her, rice and chicken breast. She had some skin problems in the summer, the itchy bald spot on her butt you often see on labs. Good food, Critter Oil, and Benadryl spray did the trick most of the time.

She also had a tendency towards odor. Not horrible odor, but doggie odor and outdoor odor. Between that and swimming in the Gulf, I bathed her about once a week, using the critter oil and soap. She smelled wonderful and it was like sleeping with a fur coat next to you.

Regular meds were generic heart pills (available from Pet Shed dot com) and Advantage (purchased online as well). When she developed cancer, the vet bills and medications really skyrocketed though. So for the last year of her life, her medical bills were pretty high, but I am grateful for the time it bought.

And there are still people who don't take the dog to the vet, don't give heartworm or flea meds, and some don't even get vaccinations. Some of these people have animals that are indistinguishable from the best cared for.

Dogs are fairly expensive considering not having one costs nothing. But compared to cigarettes, alcohol, or other habits or entertainment, a dog is cheap and he loves you.

10-07-2011, 08:55 PM
PS- just took the poodle to vet for annual and shots, it was about $150.

If you get a dog and you can get health insurance, and if the health insurance if $10/mo and includes the annual check up and shots, then it would be a good idea to get the doggie health insurance. It will break even with the normal costs, and come in really handy if you need to have xrays or something serious.

10-08-2011, 12:40 AM
............Any advice?..........

Sure. Get your daughter (and you) a dog. Get two, if they're beagles.
And have a kennel built for them. Doesn't have to be all that large. And it'll be for day use - you know, when they are home alone. Our lab lived like that for years. Then when the kids came home Suzy would go in the house with them.:)

Worked great for us.

Forgot to add: Try to determine in advance whether or not your chosen mutt sheds! That is very important, and I have seen otherwise good adoptions go bad because of shedding.

10-08-2011, 01:48 PM
How old are the pups available for adoption? If they're being fostered, I'd see how they're doing with the housebreaking. If they're roughly the same age, I'd opt for the slightly older one, if it's further along in the training.

I'd check with other beagle owners. It varies by breed. When I was a kid, my only dog was a beagle, Buster the Beagle. He was adorable but really wanted to roam. No matter what my dad did for a fence, Buster would figure a way out.

Perhaps the females of the breed don't wander as much or try as hard to escape. Even as a kid I eventually got tired of playing Buster games----chase the dog. He'd run, wait for me to almost catch him, then run again. :D

I think a beagle should be super for your little one. My son called us on skype this am , and we saw the 1 year old sitting on their boxer and the 3 year old patting her. The female boxer is much friendlier to the kids and more forgiving. Their male boxer is ok with them, but just makes himself more scarce.

10-08-2011, 01:51 PM
PS Be sure to temperament test them. I'm sure there's something on the internet, but it's important to get one that will behave with your little girl. Personally, I'd avoid one that's too shy. The friendly ones generally socialize easier.

10-08-2011, 04:03 PM
Oh yeah, about crate training. Best idea in the history of man after indoor plumbing, anti-biotics, and air conditioning.

I had never had a dog that uses the crate before I got my Rottie. The next day I had to go to Tampa on business, and while I hated to leave her locked up, it occurred to me as I went up the freeway that it meant that she was not getting into trouble and I wasn't going to come home to a problem. It was protecting us both.

As it turns out, she didn't really need a crate to behave herself. But I did install gates on the doorways to the family room because it has glass walls front and back and she got really excited when she saw cats or other dogs. It was for her protection as well as mine.

The gates just kept a good dog good. She was perfectly capable of breaking the gate or going over it. But she didn't.

10-09-2011, 12:20 AM
Hawkgirl, judging from your post, I'd advise against getting a dog.

11-01-2011, 01:48 AM
They are about the same amount of work as an extra child....

I love dogs, but have passed on ownership.

11-04-2011, 07:51 PM
Hawkgirl, did you make a decision yet on dog ownership? They are a lot of work, but for me, it's worth it. But we're in different stages of life. It sounds like with your work hours and your darling little girl, it would be tough.

I will admit it's a heck of a lot easier with 2 dogs vs the 3 that we had. But if I could still have Blue, it would be worth it, but impossible due to my knee surgery.

11-22-2011, 11:39 PM
No, I haven't gotten a dog yet....I didn't want to make a premature decision and then having the difficult task of returning it. I just CAN'T do that...so I am still in the "thinking" process. I did email the rescue coordinator tonight to enquire about one of the dogs that is still available...but she told me they may already have an application on him. He's from the same litter of beagles I posted at the start of this thread. All the other's have since been adopted.

My hesitance is the work that will be involved. He is almost 4 months old so hopefully already house and crate trained....but dont' have all the details yet. Plus I want myself and my daughter to meet him to try to gauge his personality..He seems sweet and docile, from the photo...I think photos tell alot when it comes to dogs...but I still will need to meet him.

They call him Bagel