Reality of getting a puppy (if you have a real job)

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If your puppy is potty trained, train your dog to play alone inside a play pen instead of a crate.

One of the most common questions I’ve seen on dog forums is this:

Is it okay to leave my puppy at home for 8-9 hours/day if I have full time work or school?

I was one of these people and looked for feedback that would support my idealistic views (I thought it was okay…once in a while). Now that I’m working mostly from home and able to spend a lot of time with Loki, I’ve realized that there is no way your puppy will grow up well socialized if you are gone 8-9hrs/day.

Well, no shit right? But what does this really mean? Depending on how smart your dog is, your dog may become very destructive when you are away from home. And that stops getting cute, fast. I’ve yet to leave Loki alone for a long period of time (I need to start training him to do that soon), but even in the confinement of my bedroom when I’m there, he gets bored and will try to chew up everything he could get his hands on…like the tiled floor.

The list of negative consequences goes on and on. Imagine your puppy being left alone in your room, with only a pee pad, a crate, and a few toys to play with for 8-9 hours/day? Loki has only pooped once inside our house, and that shit STINKS. Imagine how he must feel if he had to smell his own shit for the next 5 hours? And having all this built up energy after being ignored for so long? The minute you come home and let your puppy out, it will probably go insane…and dread every day that you starting leaving it. It is crucial that you socialize your pup to new smells, sights, and noises before 16weeks of age, otherwise you risk raising a very fearful and aggressive dog. This is a big reason why owners give up their dogs to animal shelters after the puppy phase – they stop being cute and exhibit destructive and aggressive behaviors, but then have the nerve to blame the dog for being so destructive. Don’t be one of these owners, please.

So…as much as I want to THINK its okay to leave your puppy alone for extended periods of time, it really is a terrible idea. When the dog is an adult, you can gradually leave it alone for longer periods of time because they are capable of holding in their bladders longer. Until then, think twice about whether you want a puppy with a full time job. There are enough animals in shelters as it is.

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