Part-time Dog Ownership – A Frugal Option

I am in the unusual situation of having a part-time dog. I didn’t plan it, but in hindsight it has worked out really well for everyone involved.Part-time Dog Ownership Messy Money

After I lost my beloved dog to renal failure I swore that there would be no more dogs in our house. After my parents retired, they decided they wanted to roam around the globe but they had one problem -what would they do with the dog?

 

Meet Miss Sally

Sally is a westie-poodle mix and a really, really sweet dog.  She alternates living at my house and my parent’s home every 3 months.  She has adapted well to her living situation and transitions between her two homes easily.  It allows my parents to travel without worry, they did not have to give Sally up for adoption and now she gets twice as much love.  Dog ownership is a big commitment in terms of time, money and responsibility.  We have found that pet sharing works for us.  (I admit that I do miss her so much when she goes back to my parent’s house – but I can visit as much as I want.)

If dog ownership does not make sense because of your lifestyle or budget, there are other options, that let you have all the doggie love you can handle but without all the responsibility.  If the situation ever changes with Sally and our living arrangement, I will consider another part-time dog.

Where do you find a part-time dog?

1.  Dog Sitting:  That’s the thing with owning a dog – it can make travel, hospital stays, emergencies etc. very difficult.  My neighbours travel from time to time and they let us dog sit for them.  Their dogs are a hoot!  We get to love and spoil them for a period of time and give them back.

2. Dog Walking:  An acquaintance of mine started dog walking as a side-hustle and eventually left her full-time job to become a dog caregiver and she has not looked back.

3.  Foster Care –  Many shelters and rescue organizations need temporary foster homes to care for pets that are waiting to be adopted.  I will definitely consider this if I am not in the position to adopt a dog.  You can find out more about fostering dogs and search for local shelters at Pet Finder.

I love dogs but I know that owning a dog full-time right now would not be fair to my family or a dog so in the meantime part-time dog ownership works for us.

Debt Discipline

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22 Comments


  1. We have been looking for a similar arrangement but it would probably work only with people you have close relations. Your arrangement is perfect for everyone (assuming Sally has no objection). Biggest problem with us is our regular travels. Even for several days it is difficult to ask someone to look after it and we don’t have the heart to leave it to a kennel.
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    1. You might want to look into an in home service – someone that will come to your home and look after the dog, feed, walk them. Cheers.

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    1. There are pros and cons for sure. I miss her when she is gone.

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  2. what a great post.. part-time dog is a great phrase!! hehehe you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s a great way to have a dog without all the hassles of actually having one. Plus, people can pay you for having it! love it. great idea. hope you enjoy your part time dog!
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    1. Sally is a princess – need to post some princess pics next time she is here. Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. My kids would turn this place into a zoo if they could …. actually

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  3. After having our dog bark at the 100th person that walks by the house, I would definitely be up for part-time dog ownership! haha

    But this guy has become a big part of our family so definitely no part-timing right now!
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    1. LOL Yes barking can be such a joy and also a frugal alarm system.

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    1. The shelters are always looking for help so I am sure it would be appreciated. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I love the part time dog idea! My mom does this with my grandma after my grandma’s dog passed away. It’s such a savings and brings so much joy to people! I personally have a full time dog and I love him dearly, but they are expensive!

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    1. Glad to hear dog sharing worked with your Mom and Grandma. We didn’t think it would work because of Sally’s temperament (she is shy) but has adjusted better than we could have imagine. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. At one point between me and my two sisters, we had 5 dogs. My parents had to banish dogs from family get togethers! The house became a zoo especially with niece/nephews running around (with the dogs chasing of course).

    That tangent aside, I don’t think I could ever come to love and live with a dog just to have him disappear for 3 months at a time! If I were you, I’d slowly convince them to let the dog stay!
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    1. LOL – I get to visit her whenever I want and she goes BANANAs when she sees me. I think I am special …. but then I see her do the same thing when my parents come back. I am pretty sure we are being manipulated.

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  6. Sounds like everyone is happy with this arrangement, Sally, your parents and you! Wins all round!

    I would love to dog share. We’ve been thinking about dog sitting as it would be a good way to earn some side income. We lost our dog in Jan 2013 and said we would never get another one but some days we rethink this decision. It’s complicated though because of my two grandogs and my sister’s dogs when we all get together.
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    1. Yes, it can become a dog circus when everyone in the family has dogs. I know 2 people now that are making decent income from dog sitting or walking. Sorry to hear about your dog – I know how hard that can be.

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    1. Oh that would be hard – don’t know what I would do if anything happened to Sally while my parents were away. I would like a full-time dog too but waiting for the right time. I need to stop looking at them on Pet Finder – it is too tempting. Thanks for stopping by.

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