Dog-sitting for a week. Please help me!

Okay so, I’m a cat person and I know next to nothing about dogs. I’ve been getting out to my friend’s house twice a day to let her dog out to pee and poo (on a leash of course), and to feed it. How much should I be feeding a normal-sized 11 month old purebred Jack Russell terrier (it’s a fairly small dog)? At first I tried putting down a handful of dry food (Beneful brand), but she gobbled it all up in about 5 seconds, and I didn’t want her to starve so I put down more. Which she ate. She also eats the cat’s food if I don’t stop her (which is in a separate room and separate bowl, so she should know the difference).

I don’t know if I’m overfeeding her or what, but she had pooped in her crate when I got there today and her legs are all dirty (ew, gross). So I guess I should give her a bath? She has dog shampoo and a bathtub. Do I dry her off? Leave her in a towel for a while so she doesn’t catch doggie pneumonia? Will she even let me give her a bath? She’s a pretty friendly, not very well-trained female puppy that play-nips but doesn’t bite, she runs around a lot when I let her out but I don’t have time to stop by more often than every 12ish hours. And I don’t have time to take her on proper walks, but I want to give her a bath so she doesn’t look like she’s been left alone to rot in dung all week.

I know this type of dog is probably way too energetic to be kept in a crate for the entire day, but my friend didn’t want to fork out for a week at a kennel caretaking place, and I work full time and have very limited time to spend over there. So that’s that. Any random advice would be appreciated as well. I know cats can free-feed, which I tried (I put the dog food bowl into her crate overnight) but I think that’s why she needed to poop so badly that she couldn’t wait til I got there to let her out.

Please don’t yell at me if I’m doing this wrong, 'cause I know almost nothing about dogs.

The amount the dog should be eating is going to depend on the food, and the particular dog. Is there any way to ask your friend how much it eats? If not, there should be a guide on the back of the food bag. Just go with that. Don’t leave her with extra food, because a lot of dogs will eat until they can’t hold anymore in.

Bathe her, dry her off with a towel, and keep her inside until she’s completely dry. How she’ll feel about being bathed is an individual thing. Be ready for her to leap out of the tub; dripping water all over, and scrubbing herself on the carpet as a way to dry off. Keep a hand on her, so you can stop her before she makes a mess.

Wow, your friend left her without any instructions for you? That’s just insane, and terrible for the poor dog.

Agree with Omega about the bath. I know you say you don’t have time, but is it at all possible to get her out for at least one good walk a day? Jack Russells are *very *high energy dogs, and I think your friend is a bit crazy to think she can live in a cage for a week and not have major issues.

For the bath - if there’s a shower door, use it. It will save you tons of cleanup time.

Make sure she’s at least mostly dry before you put her back in the crate.

For feeding - use the directions on the bag if you can’t reach your friend and next time, get those details up front.

As for the amount of time in the crate - is there any way you could spend the night so that she gets a little more time with freedom?

Oh, and make sure you’re not leaving her collar on when she’s in the crate. Some people’s dogs have gotten strangled when their collars got caught in the bars.

Well she lives in an apartment (so no yard) and I think the dog spends a lot of time crated even when my friend isn’t out of town. She crates it at night because she doesn’t have the time or will to train it, and it chews her stuff. It scratched and bit up the tile floor in her kitchen when she tried to baby-gate it in there. And she works at the same place I do, so I’m pretty sure it’s crated all night + 8 hours during the day.

When I told my mom about the situation (she doesn’t know much about dogs either, but more than me), she said she thought it bordered on cruelty to take in a Jack Russell without having a proper yard. But I think this is a puppy mill dog too… my friend paid an exorbitant amount for it from a pet store ($1700). She’s not very savvy when it comes to animal rights so I’m sure she’s never even heard of a puppy mill.

Regardless, I do want to do the best I can for the week, but I really cannot afford to go out for more than a half hour twice a day. I work full time and I have to take care of shit at home, too. I’m not getting paid for doing this either.

That’s crazy. Poor puppy, to be kept in a crate that long - especially a high energy dog like a Jack Russell. I agree with your mother’s feelings. I have a bad feeling you are going to be greeted by a poopy mess everyday no matter how you feed it. Dogs, especially young ones, eat and poop a lot. It is fine to have a JR without a yard, but I’d walk it for at least an hour 2-3 times a day, plus the dog needs to socialize with other dogs and have other playtime (balls/tug toys/fetch/etc.). I know it isn’t your fault, but this situation is a recipe for disaster. Poor pup. :frowning:

If it’s any consolation, she’ll be moving in less than 3 months’ time back home with her stepdad and sisters, who I think are better with dogs than she is. I agree it’s an unfortunate situation. Mostly I want to smack my friend for not talking to me first. I’m a big proponent of animal rescue and I could have told her that the puppy was probably a puppy mill dog and NOT worth spending that much $$ on. And I could have helped her do breed research to find a more laid-back lapdog type of animal, instead of one that’s perpetually hyper. I did take the pup for a walk on my day off Saturday, and she was very cute, inquisitive, and pointing all over the place. Has a lot of potential if she could just get some training!

But what’s done is done.

<tangent> Perhaps you can talk your friend into hiring a neighbor kid to walk the dog a couple times a day after she gets home. 16+ hours in a crate is insane and cruel.

Omega is right., read the package. It may be too much or too little, but as good as anything until the owner gets back.

I agree on a mid day break. I have been beaten up for leaving my puppies in the crate 16 hours a day, but people that work for a lving have little choice. I was always careful to give them a mid day break.

Poor you, rachelellogram!

I can only echo what others have already said - the package of dog food ought to say how much the dog should be getting for that age/weight combination. Make sure the collar is off when you put the doggie in the crate. As much walking time as you can give - Jack Russells have a lot of energy to burn off. If a trip to the doggie park is possible, that helps. Try to leave some chew toys in good condition in the crate. (Chew toys that are coming apart aren’t a good idea; the dog could choke on something when there’s no one in the house to help.) A tug toy jammed in between the rails of the crate might be a good idea, too. Ideally, you’d be able to take the dog to your place or stay at your friend’s place, but I realize you have your own kitties to look after.

You are doing great - your friend left you a big task with no preparation. Rest assured, there’s very little you can screw up, and it sounds like you are making this dog’s life as happy as possible while the owner is away.

She has been crating the dog with its collar on (which I know because the day she left, she had it in its crate when I came over, then let it out and took it outside). I don’t even know how to take a collar off and I don’t want to risk not being able to put it back on.

The only toy she has is a big rawhide bone. Which looks like it’s been chewed on, so at least I know she’s using it.

I wouldn’t want to transport the dog in my car to a park or wherever, I’m not sure how used to travel she is, and I don’t want to have to deal with the smell of dog pee or poo in my car for days/weeks either (she tends to squirt when she gets overexcited). I also can’t spend the night there even if I wanted to, because she doesn’t have a proper bed. Just a floor-level half-futon which I actually tried sleeping on for about a half an hour before I had to get up.

Not to be a negative nancy or anything like that. I definitely appreciate the advice! I just don’t have enough time to devote to this dog–though neither does my friend. I wish it was a chillax pug, or something like that.

Your friend has unreasonable expectations of any dog, but especially of a JRT. That dog is going to be completely ruined, if it isn’t already. JRTs need to have a lot of exercise, and a lot of mental stimulation as well, that dog is probably crazy as a bedbug now.

The dog NEEDS at least an hour of hard exercise a day. Preferably more. It’s no wonder that the dog is acting up if the owner routinely crates it without making an attempt to play with it.

Yeah I definitely agree. I went over there the other night and was annoyed when the pup kept trying to jump up and see what I was doing (eating my dinner), but I would never take it out on her. She just seemed interested and bored. I realize she’s understimulated. I try to be really verbally encouraging, though I have no idea how to train an animal. I try to use a soothing tone of voice even when it does something wrong, which is probably all wrong. I don’t think I could ever use that angry alpha-pack-leader voice that I have seen other dog owners use.

Anyway work’s over now, it’s time to go check on her! I will try to spend some extra time there, hopefully taking a bath will be like a fun adventure and not too torturous for her :smiley:

There’s not much you can do in this situation. Just about the only thing you can do is bring the dog to your house for better care. If you have a yard, that’s best. Leave the dog in the yard during the day, crate it at night.

Regarding bathroom, the rule of thumb for my dog is a walk about once every 4 hours, and she poops about once every 8 hours. She’s good for the 8 hours we’re asleep and the 8 hours we’re at work. But, she eats twice a day, which is unusual for dogs actually. But, we’ve found this prevents the gulping behavior you see, but probably increases the frequency she needs to poop.

Good luck!

I am ‘horse sitting’ for 2 weeks.

I have prudently lowered my goals so as to stave off disappointment. I will feed the horse. I will water the horse. I will give the horse brief verbal positive reinforcement in regards to my being pleased it has not escaped or died.

Other than that, I don’t care what happens to the horse. It can be set upon and devoured by rabid wolverines, and I do not care.

It can be ‘horse napped’ and I do not care’

It can fall in the well and drown, and I do not care.

The horse can get ‘knocked up’ by the neighbors stallion, and I do not care.
I have accomplished the minimum amount of horse care so as to forestall prosecution under the local animal cruelty statutes.

I have done my job.

There are LOTS of dog-walking services. There’s no way I would take care of this puppy without making sure she’s walked between times I can get there. I didn’t notice an answer to the question upthread about whether you can stay at the friends house at all?

I have catsitters who stay at my place if I’m gone for more than a couple days. I wouldn’t dream of not doing that with a dog, but you don’t need me to tell you your “friend” is an ass. I’m not sure I would feel good about things if I didn’t have at least one other person walking the puppy at this point, even if I had to shell out the cash with no chance of reimbursement from the “friend.” There’s no way in hell a puppy can be expected to hold it for more than 6 hours, much less 8-12. Can you talk to this irresponsible friend on behalf of the dog? If she can afford so much cash for a puppy, surely she can afford a dog walking service? Or doggie day-care? Though if she’s 2nd shift like you I guess that’s out.

JRT’s don’t “point,” they dig, and dig, and dig. They were bred as ratters - to chase down and kill rats in their own tunnel systems on farms. They’re crazy little buggers with the stamina and energy to kill another animal that’s about half their size - that’s huge.

As far as feeding, just follow the package directions, if she’s breed standard she’s probably about 10-12 pounds at 11 months. You won’t do much damage in a week, so I wouldn’t worry about that too much.

I guess I’m just surprised that, as a smart person, you let your “friend” dump her dog on you with no instructions at all. I can’t imagine not writing down specific feeding and care instructions for my cats, on top of going over everything while the sitter visits before I leave. The last time I went out of town, the sitter an I texted at least once a day, and she called or texted if she had any questions. Unless this person is in some strange place without a phone?

I think you’re doing the best you can. If the puppy soiled herself, she needs to be cleaned asap, though. Feces and urine can cause skin infections and urine burns if not cleaned off right away. Just bathe in lukewarm water, towel her off, and as long as it’s warm inside she can air-dry just fine. Are there extra bed linens for her? Make sure they hit the washer daily, too, if she’s soiling. If you’re at least engaging her for a couple hours a day, that’s better than nothing. If you can find a long lead (10-15 feet - don’t actually walk her on it), you can attach it at a park while you cool your heels and let her run her brains out around you.

I’m sure she’ll be fine, and maybe even better off than when her “owner” is around!

She probably needs about a cup and a half of food. Maybe a little more. That’s a rough estimate. But she’s probably about 15-20 pounds, yes? The bag estimates always over feed the dogs. (They’re trying to sell more food.)

Honestly, the best thing you could do for the dog (and your friend) is to board the dog some place for a week and then offer to split the bill. If your friend’s got $1700 to spend on the dog, she can afford to take care of it properly. That means boarding it if she has to go out of town or hiring someone to stay with her full time.

I don’t mean that as an indictment of you. I get that you’re trying your best. But twice a day isn’t enough for a JRT puppy.

My advice would be to tell your friend the dog ran away and give the dog to a JRT rescue. I so wish I could give you that advice with a clear conscience, but according to the law, animals are property and you could get in a lot of trouble if you did that.

She is ruining that dog by crating it for so long. I took a border collie from a similar situation a couple of years ago and it took quite a bit of training and time to get that dog suitable for adoption.

Yeah, that’s borderline abuse – and your friend is on the other side of the border in question.

The situation sucks for the poor dog. Crated all day and all night? Ugh.

If she bought the dog at a pet store, it’s almost certainly milled.

THIS was the biggest red flag of all to me. A dog isn’t an object, a dog is a relationship you have, and cultivate. If you’re not interested in having the relationship you shouldn’t have the dog. Training a dog is intrinsic to living with one – even if someone else nominally “owns” the dog in question, everyone who interacts with the dog should be on the same page as far as training and expectations go.