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Should depression have a dog?

I was looking for a cat to adopt for a couple of weeks, because while I love dogs a lot, I’m afraid my depression would make me unable to take care of one properly. I wouldn’t want to bring a dog into my life without knowing I could take care of it as well as it deserves.

While searching through cats, somehow I ended up finding someone rehoming a beautiful, timid-looking 8-year-old Chihuahua girl. She immediately stole my heart, and I knew I had to adopt her. I decided I would do my best to take care of her (I researched Chihuahua care for hours, everything from teeth brushing daily to how often they need to go out to the best kinds of food for older Chihuahuas) despite my depression. I’m very nervous about it, but in my heart I feel like it’s the right thing to do because I’ve loved dogs since I was little.

The only problem is, I’m pretty much nocturnal. This is mostly due to depression, but I’ve always been someone that stays up late into the night and sleeps through the day. I guess my question is, how would this affect the amount of times I take my dog out? Would I need to be repeatedly taking her out at night instead of in the daytime? Is it important for her to have more daytime outings than nighttime outings, or does it not matter what time of day it is as long as she doesn’t go more than 8 hours between trips?

And yes, I intend to wake up to take her out every morning regardless and as often as I’m actually awake in the daytime, and if necessary, change my schedule completely. I’m just asking if this is necessary.

She will learn and adopt your schedule. Just keep it consistent. I go to sleep around 2am and wake up late. My dog does the same. And for me – he’s a perfect motivation ( depression high five 😉 ) to function and take care of him 🙂

Thanks, that’s good to know! (depression high five indeed) I’m also typically up until around that time. Sometimes later, but usually 2 – 3 AM is when I’m heading to bed.

When you’re up that late, when is the “last outing” for the night? For example, do you take him out at 10 PM and that’s the last outing for the whole night? Or do you do it one more time before you go to bed at 2?

I’m also a night owl and my dog adapts to my schedule. My rule of thumb is that I don’t let him go for more than 8 hours without being able to relieve himself, so I walk him right before I go to bed and immediately when I get up, regardless of what time that is.

Thank you, this is a really sweet response and makes me feel much better. I don’t know why I had it in my mind it was cruel to make her go out at night. I guess I’m just nervous for no reason.

On feeding, are you supposed to have a designated “eating time,” or do you just leave a bowl of food out for them to eat whenever they want to?

Dogs will adjust to your schedule but I’d take an honest look at your depression and whether or not you can commit to always taking care of a dog.

I think a dog can be a great motivator for someone with mild depression, but if you have trouble using care of yourself, having a dog can also make depression worse if you start feeling guilty about not being able to take care of it like you’d like to

By tranthe

We never say no to any dog – mixed breeds, banned breeds, disabled dogs and seniors. We try to rescue them all. Unfortunately, we cannot do that without the public’s continued support.

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