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Would you leave you dog alone over night?

i'm in a bit of a sticky situation right now. I've been desperate to get a night away form the dogs. So this weekend, I've suddenly made plans for the morning and evening about 40 miles from home and don't want to go back and forth twice in one day (160 miles for both round trips), especially after a birthday party into the night. 

I've tried to work something out with a dog sitter, but she's not available, so she referred me to a back-up sitter (her friend), whom I've never met before, but my friend says is very cool and responsible. Except she is going to barely be able to come by briefly mid day, and then won't be back until about 11pm. I'm leaving at 7am, so that is really just too long to be alone (and missed meals).

So I'm working up a back up plan of asking my neighbor to let them out during the day while she is home, which it basically just leaving my door open. We are in a small duplex and share a yard/ patio and our doors are 10 feet apart. But now she will also feed them dinner. And said she could feed them breakfast and play with them in the morning. They can't stay with her because my dogs sort of want to eat her cat. Our apartments are too small to confine her cat.

Would it be completely irresponsible for neighbor to just watch them? She will be home all day, but they would be alone over night- basically form 11pm-5:30am. If I pay the sitter, she is really only spending the night, not much else, and it's a drive for her to get here.  I'm running out of ideas and time. I CAN come back home, I just wanted to sleep in for one day :(

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Re: Would you leave you dog alone over night?

  • I wouldn't. It's irresponsible and I wouldn't be able to have fun knowing they were home alone all night.  Dogs don't roll that way; they need someone around.  Why not just have your neighbor do daytime shift and dinner, and then the pet sitter can come for overnight?  That way you know they're being cared for properly, and you can go and have fun. 

    Or would your neighbor be willing to stay overnight in your apartment so they won't be alone?

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  • Personally, I would be okay with this arrangement.   It's not ideal, but not the end of the world either.  Once we had to go to a party from 6pm until 3am.    Chef D was only 14 weeks old.  Our neighbors let him out at 11. We came home at 4.  He was fine.   He normally sleeps at that time anyway.   

    Sometimes we just need to get away.  And sometimes that means our dog has to adjust to different meal or sleep times.  We all seem to adjust just fine.

     

    If it's your only option and you think the dogs will be okay sleeping on their own for a while, I say go for it. 

     

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  • I think they'll be ok alone overnight.  It's not very long either...7 hours?  I've never left my dog alone overnight, but I would if I had too.  We have left him for 13 hours alone before with the neighbor coming over to let him out mid-day.  There's no difference between day or overnight except that they are awake during the day and sleep at night.
  • For 6.5 hours? Most people leave there dogs for longer during a work day, right? And the neighbor is right next door. It seems like it should be fine for a one time thing.

    But then again I don't have a dog and I'm used to leaving cats so my opinion may be worthless. :o

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  • I would be comfortable with this arrangement. Especially since your neighbor obviously knows your dogs.
  • image dexteroni:

    I wouldn't. It's irresponsible and I wouldn't be able to have fun knowing they were hone alone all night.  Dogs don't roll that way; they need someone around.  Why not just have your neighbor do daytime shift and dinner, and then the pet sitter can come for overnight?  That way you know they're being cared for properly, and you can go and have fun. 

    Or would your neighbor be willing to stay overnight in your apartment so they won't be alone?

    I get where you're coming from, but I don't know that it's irresponsible. Also, people leave there dogs during work days all the time, so to say that they can't go 6.5 hours because they need someone around... what about all the happy dogs who have working parents? 

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  • Personally with my dogs, I would not leave them for 24 hours with someone to check on them here and there.  Mine tend to get confused when the routine is off and they really crave human company.  Someone checking on them once or twice within a 24 hour period would not be sufficient and being alone overnight would be so outside their realm of normal they would wig out.  I'd rather board them for 24 hours with doggie daycare.
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  • This is probably a cop-out answer, but I think a lot of it depends on your dogs' personalities. I have one dog who I can imagine being totally fine with that arrangement and another who would completely lose her freakin mind in that situation. It really does come down to knowing your dogs and being honest with yourself about what you think they could handle.

    As an alternative, could the neighbor have them sleep in her house? Or could you find a boarding situation? GL finding a solution!

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  • image mainerocks:
    image dexteroni:

    I wouldn't. It's irresponsible and I wouldn't be able to have fun knowing they were hone alone all night.  Dogs don't roll that way; they need someone around.  Why not just have your neighbor do daytime shift and dinner, and then the pet sitter can come for overnight?  That way you know they're being cared for properly, and you can go and have fun. 

    Or would your neighbor be willing to stay overnight in your apartment so they won't be alone?

    I get where you're coming from, but I don't know that it's irresponsible. Also, people leave there dogs during work days all the time, so to say that they can't go 6.5 hours because they need someone around... what about all the happy dogs who have working parents? 

    Oh I didn't mean that they couldn't be alone for 6.5 hours.  My hesitation is because it's overnight.  And maybe I misread the OP, but it didn't sound like the neighbor would be with them all day, just for outs and dinner and evening playtime. To me that's just not something I would choose to go to a party.  If it was an emergency, and I had to leave the house on no notice, that would be a different story. 

    I just think having the pet sitter do the overnight shift is the better way to go.  Or the PP's suggestion of boarding them for a night.

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  • doglovedoglove member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    I agree that it depends on your dogs personalities. We have a lab who goes with the flow and this scenerio would be completely fine. When we had the Murph - this would not be fine. He was very routine and did not like when something was different.

    Overall though, in the grand scheme of things I don't think this is a big deal for just one day/night.

  • I don't see any problem with leaving them overnight. The boarding alternative I do when I'm out of town leaves them alone overnight, and if DH isn't home when I have to work the occasional overnight shift they're fine too. They're just going to sleep the whole time, and it sounds like you have more than one dog, so it's not like other pack members won't be there.

    I guess I don't get why leaving dogs alone at night is somehow not okay when leaving them alone during the day (when they're actually awake and active) is. 

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  • image LolaNJoe:

    I don't see any problem with leaving them overnight. The boarding alternative I do when I'm out of town leaves them alone overnight, and if DH isn't home when I have to work the occasional overnight shift they're fine too. They're just going to sleep the whole time, and it sounds like you have more than one dog, so it's not like other pack members won't be there.

    I guess I don't get why leaving dogs alone at night is somehow not okay when leaving them alone during the day (when they're actually awake and active) is. 

    For me it is more the fact that the neighbor would let them out twice during the day, then they'd be alone all night.  That's what, an hour's worth of attention and monitoring within a 24 hour period?  That would not make me comfortable.

    Why not have the neighbor do the day shift and the dog sitter do the night shift?

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  • image TobioLovesAce:

    This is probably a cop-out answer, but I think a lot of it depends on your dogs' personalities. I have one dog who I can imagine being totally fine with that arrangement and another who would completely lose her freakin mind in that situation. It really does come down to knowing your dogs and being honest with yourself about what you think they could handle.

    As an alternative, could the neighbor have them sleep in her house? Or could you find a boarding situation? GL finding a solution!

    I agree with this. It depends on the dog, and we have done this with our dog in the past and it is always fine. The neighbors let him out before they go to bed and then first thing in the morning because it works for my dog. They couldn't do that with their dog, though.

  • I just want to make sure I'm reading this correctly: The OP will be gone all day, but her neighbor will be home all day to let the dogs out, take care of them, etc. They will basically only be on their own overnight, for about 6-7 hours? Is that right? 

    I don't think I would do it, I'd just be more comfortable boarding mine, but I don't necessarily think this is irresponsible. Our dogs are alone during the day, and they don't sleep in our room at night, so technically they're "alone" overnight, too. 

    I think what's giving most people pause about this is it's a situation of the OP not WANTING to drive back and forth (which I understand--we live an hour and a half from our families and we used to drive back and forth most of the holidays because of the dogs. It's a pain in the asss). If it was an emergency situation, I'm not sure people would be so iffy about it. But what do I know? At this point, we just take our dogs with us to the family stuff and that's why my MIL has a small zoo when all her kids visit. :)  

    I understand wanting some time away, but maybe make some plans for further in the future when they can be boarded? In the end, it's up to you. I would just be uncomfortable with the set up. 

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  • A happy medium here might be having the dogs spend the day at doggie daycare and the neighbor (or someone) taking the dogs home at night, maybe letting them out once before bedtime depending on what time they get in from daycare.
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  • Thanks for all your input. To make it clear, I do leave them home alone every day for at least 9 hours while I'm at work. Sometimes they get a break, sometimes they don't, and they are fine with this. My neighbor will be home most of the day and night, and she will let them basically be out with her (they can walk in and out of both of our apartments) most of that time. She would put them to bed, so to speak, at 11, and let them out again at 5:30. They would be with her again starting at that time.

    I'm not worried about the daytime so much, and I could take them to daycare during the day until 7, I just don't have anywhere to board them at night. I know this is not a family emergency or anything, I'm just really stressed and wanted a brief break. This was not planned in advance, the situation just sort of popped up.

    While I know they will probably be fine, as it looks now, I'm still not sure and will probably leave them with her for the day and I'll be home at midnight or so. 

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  • I would be absolutely fine with this. When we have friends watch our dogs, they come over several times during the day, and then at 10PM to let them out one last time, and 6AM to let them out in the morning.

     

    It's really no different than boarding your dogs at a facility that does not have 24 hour supervision in the kennel facility. 

  • I wouldn't, but I suppose it depends on your dog. Mine freaks out if he's left home alone in a dark house. If we go out to dinner we have to leave all the lights on in the house for him. I cannot imagine the destruction he would cause if we left him the whole night.
  • I couldn't do this - but that's just me.  DH & I are very picky over who watches our dog & cats when we're gone.  In fact, friends and people who know me have teased us because we actually prefer that the person watching them stays at our home so that the pets are more comfortable with their familiar surroundings when we're away.  Our cats have a self-cleaning litter box, self waterer and self feeder and our dog is very small, so it's highly possible, to have our dog stay at a friend's house and our cats be on their own for 1 day or 2 and just have someone stop in and check on them, BUT, we just feel like if *we* can't be w/our pets, then why not make them as comfortable as we can and that means staying put at home.

    On another note - dogs in general are very very social animals - they are "pack" animals and enjoy other animals and/or people around them.  Our dog is especially true of this.  She is always ALWAYS by one of our side's when we are home.  You can almost bet your life on it that if she isn't near you, then she is getting into mischief! ;)  She sleeps in bed with us at night and loves to cuddle.  She is the prime example of a lap dog.  I really think she would have a traumatic meltdown if left alone for a long, long period of time, and most certainly over night.

  • image jdbmjm:
    as it looks now, I'm still not sure and will probably leave them with her for the day and I'll be home at midnight or so. 

    I don't get why you don't just have the dog sitter to come for the overnight portion.  Is it because it's not your standard sitter?

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  • Caz1221Caz1221 member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    I agree with PPs that it really depends on the dogs personalities and your comfort level.  I personally wouldn't want my dogs sleeping overnight in my house alone.  I'm sure they would be fine, but I would be worried about them waking up in the morning and freaking out that we weren't there.  However, I would be fine with leaving them for 7-8 hours if I was going to be home late (i.e. leaving the house at 5 pm and returning at 1 am).  That being said, the company that walks our dogs also has a "hotel" for day care and boarding, so we pretty much always have somewhere they can stay if we go OOT.  It's much tougher if you don't have that option.
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  • In an interesting twist on this situation, I was just offered a promotion at work that would require me to work 10 hour shifts over night 4 days a week. I would be gone from around 10pm to 9am. Would you feel different about the situation if that was your regular working schedule? (BTW- I didn't take the job, because really, who wants to work overnight Wednesday through Saturday nights for a marginal pay increase?)
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  • Again, I don't have a dog so who knows... but leaving a dog for a work shift is leaving a dog, it doesn't matter which block those hours are in, IMO (although I think 10 hours is too long no matter what time of day, which is the exact reason why I don't have a dog myself).
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  • I think this is a fine arrangement.  Many dogs would be more stressed boarding than they would be home alone in their own surroundings.  It's not like you do this all of the time.  With my last dog, when I would travel, we had a very similar set up with our neighbor.  The only concern I would have is if they are destructive and could possibly be injured if they are out of a crate.  Don't feel like you are being irresponsible OP, that is a bit of a stetch IMHO.
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  • I would with mine. It's one day, they have potty breaks. I'd do it for several days with my dog sitter stoping by 4 times / day. She spends about 2 hours total a day with them on the rare chance they can't travel with me.
  • I wouldn't sweat it.  My dog is home alone 9-10 hours during a work day.  What is the difference with 7 hours at night?  I think the plan for having your neighbor check on them is fine.
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  • cs026acs026a member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary

    I know I'm late in responding...but when DH is out of town & I need to work, I schedule myself nights so that Lucy won't be home alone all day. She spends the night alone in the house, just fine, and loves the extra attention she gets during the day. I take a nap mid day those days, and she naps with me in bed.

    I think it depends on you, your dogs, and your house situation. Lucy never barks, and we live in a very safe rural area. We have great neighbors that are always available in an emergency to check on her if need be. 

    Overall, I feel better about leaving her for extended periods when I know she's sleeping already. Also, I know that she typically doesn't need to go outside to do her business from 8pm until between 6-7am on typical nights (when we're home). Some days she doesn't ask to go out until 9 or 10 am. During the day, however, she is in & out all day. 

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  • I have left Kali alone overnight, provided she gets enough stimulation during the daytime hours and has a potty break before bed.  What we've done in the past is either send her to daycare or have someone with her during the day (go to my parents' house, for example), then she comes back here at night, eats, goes out once more, and sleeps.  I'm okay with her being alone for 8-ish hours at a time, whether night or day. 
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  • I would do this and would be fine. At least they are home, someone is checking in on them and feeding them. Boarding is great for longer periods or if no one can let them out/feed them, but with boarding they are mostly stuck in a cage. For my dog being at home on his couch would be much more comfortable. I did this while I was in the hospital after DD was born and I was very worried about overnight, but he was fine. My mom spent a couple of nights with him, but he was alone the last night and he was fine. Thrilled to see us, but fine...and so was the house.

    I don't think it is at all irresponsible unless you have a dog with SA or some other issue. One night is not going to be the end of the world. 

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