Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

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Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby MissKitty » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:58 pm

My old neighbor is an EMT (or firefighter, I can't remember) and just got a dog (adult), and he knows very little about dogs.
He is being advised that it is a-okay to leave a dog alone for 12.5 hours (24 hours actually, with someone stopping in halfway through to let the dog go potty). Apparently, some other people at the station do it with their dogs. Saying that the dogs 'adapt' to it.

I have given him general ideas on why that is a terrible plan, but I am looking for something more concrete.
What are some of the medical problems that could arise from forcing your dog hold their bodily functions for that long?
Any other info on psychological trauma this may cause is also appreciated.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby Curly_07 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:07 pm

My old GSD and Curly used to hold it for 13 hrs a day when I worked 12 hr shifts. Nela was free roam, and Curly was crated. They never had health problems related to it, never tore anything up, and were fine temperament wise. I think the key is making sure when you ARE home, that they are out, exercised and loved as much as possible. It's not like you are working 12 hrs every day, it's a shift.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby Nichole » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:32 pm

I'm not so worried about anything with the dog's physical health. If it can hold it, great. Some can't hold it that long. I'm more worried about the dog's mental health. That's a long time to be penned up in a small space. Is the dog trust worthy to have more free reign of the house? Maybe have a dog door if it's safe to do so? Not something I'd do, but then again I wouldnt leave my dog alone for 24 hours with only one potty break in between.

He could also look into hiring a dog walker to break up his day further. Yeah it costs money but the dog's sanity is worth something too. It is to me, anyway.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby BrokenAquarian » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:52 pm

Dogs are social animals. That much isolation isn't very good for them.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby Adrianne » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:02 pm

Is this once in a while or regularly? Will the dog have access like a kennel run with food/water/toys or just be in a bathroom? I think those should come into play.

I get nervous leaving mine for more than 8 hours but if I had a proper set up I may be more comfortable with a once in a while thing.

People commonly leave dogs with pet sitters only checking twice a day and they do alright I guess too.

Good luck, I don't think it's a good idea, the dog would probably be bored/lonely out of its mind.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby jamielvsaustin » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:07 pm

Why I don't understand is-why even have a dog? Granted I do believe most dogs sleep when their owners aren't home but I just can't understand this...maybe if was every once in a while or the peron fell on hard times and this isn't a lifestyle but a temporary thing. I don't know about any medical issues but it doesn't seem right.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby AbbyGirl352 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:40 pm

Dexter does just fine in his crate for 13 hours 3 nights a week, there are no physical or mental issues. He is the deffination of a velcro dog. He spazzes like no other when i get home in the morning, but he does that weather he is locked up or not. I see no issue with crating for 12-13 hours a few nights/days a week as long as the dog gets plenty of exercize.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:21 pm

So he works a 24 hour shift, and then gets 4 days off to spend with the dog.

I'd recommend having a dog walker stop twice in one day, but otherwise as long as the dog is mentally well adjusted, I guess its OK.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby FBODGRL » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:19 am

jamielvsaustin wrote:Why I don't understand is-why even have a dog? Granted I do believe most dogs sleep when their owners aren't home but I just can't understand this...maybe if was every once in a while or the peron fell on hard times and this isn't a lifestyle but a temporary thing. I don't know about any medical issues but it doesn't seem right.



This type of opinion actually really frustrates me. This is not the first time I have heard this type of opinion.

I typically work anywhere from 8-16 hours a day. My regular shift is 8, but we pretty much have continuous overtime at my department. I have applied to departments who work 12 hour days all the time either working a 3 on, 4 off, 4 on, 3 off rotation or every other weekend off. So one week you work 2 days, the next you work 5.

Why have a dog? Same reason as anyone else wants a dog. When I work a 12 hour shift I am gone for basically 13 hours. My dog is still exercised 98% of every day no matter what shift I work. He gets plenty of attention and care. He is groomed weekly, fed daily. I also have 4 cats a turtle and a chinchilla and no one is neglected or wanting/needing anything.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:32 am

Nichole wrote:I'm not so worried about anything with the dog's physical health. If it can hold it, great. Some can't hold it that long. I'm more worried about the dog's mental health. That's a long time to be penned up in a small space. Is the dog trust worthy to have more free reign of the house? Maybe have a dog door if it's safe to do so? Not something I'd do, but then again I wouldnt leave my dog alone for 24 hours with only one potty break in between.

He could also look into hiring a dog walker to break up his day further. Yeah it costs money but the dog's sanity is worth something too. It is to me, anyway.

:goodpost:
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby tia_leigha » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:40 am

Yikes. 12 hours?!?! That just seems like a long time. I wouldn't ask my dog to hold it for that long....
I'd have to come home on my lunch break or hire a friend/family to come by. I wouldn't say it is "cruel" or anything, but if there are available options I would certainly jump on those first. 12 hours just seems like a REALLY long time to me without a potty break.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby Curly_07 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:24 am

I think most of you are looking at it as if the dog would have to hold it for that long daily. That's not the case. People that work these shifts usually have 3-4 days off each week. It's really not that long, as long as the dog is exercised and loved on. My roommie actually works this shift, and his dog is not effected by it, neither were mine.

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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby jamielvsaustin » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:28 am

I don't like it and I hope I never have to do it. 12-13 hour shifts means you only have 11-12 hours left in the day...likely 8 of those you'll be sleeping. that's at least 19 hours of no interaction for the dog. It just seems too long to me.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby buckaroo » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:03 am

12 hours isn't that bad. He'll probably be fine. If he's not than he can train the dog to use pee pads.

12-24 hour shifts aren't uncommon and the dog will get plenty of attention on days off.

For people appalled by it think of it this way. Most people are working a 36-40 hour week whether it's 5 eight hour days or 3 twelves or 4 tens. The hours spent at work are very similar. In fact, people who work 3 twelves are gone LESS because there is less time spent traveling to and from work and people who work 3 twelves usually only work 36 hours instead of 40.

I don't know how anybody can work 5 eights, especially during the day. It's the worst shift ever. I don't know how people get anything done.
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Re: Leaving a dog alone for 12+ hours

Postby Misskiwi67 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:23 pm

buckaroo wrote:
I don't know how anybody can work 5 eights, especially during the day. It's the worst shift ever. I don't know how people get anything done.


DItto to that... I'll take my 18 hour overnights with my extra day off over a 5 day straight work-week any day. My job is stressful enough that 4 days is a row is a lot, 5 days is really rough, and 6 will dang near kill you.

Even when my dogs come to work with me, its not unusual for them to be 12 hours without interaction. They got none yesterday. Lena is sitting behind my chair at the moment, but I didn't even get to sit down at my desk until 5pm yesterday.
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