Grandpups - Healthy Alternative For Baby Boomers and Home Alone Puppies and Dogs

By Karen A. Soukiasian

While growing up nearly all Baby Boomers had some sort of pet. Now, as they look forward to retiring, many don't want to be "tied down" especially to a dog. Nonetheless, they miss and would still like to have the social interactions and affection puppies and dogs offer.

Growing up with pets as children and young adults, and then later having pets for their children, most Baby Boomers are emotionally programmed to have a pet in the house. It's in their genes!

Now as they look forward to retiring and possibly spending more time traveling, they don't want to be "tied down" but still would enjoy having one visit for a while, then go home! It's kind of like when the grandkids visit.

Grandpuppies sometimes serve another vital purpose. They offer what many dog owners need in their time of grief and mourning, to help recover from the loss of their own beloved dog.

On the flip side, most dog owners abhor the thought of their puppy or dog being left home alone for hours a day, while they are out earning their kibble. Or, they may be heading off on a business trip or vacation. No dogs allowed! The worried owner's only options are to either have someone come in their home to feed and walk them twice a day, then crate them again. Or, to board their puppy or dog in an unfamiliar, noisy, unfeeling concrete and steel kennel facility.

The best solution for this would be to either offer or find someone to be a Doggie Grandparent. OK, if the word grandparent is hard for your self-image to swallow, how about aunt or uncle?

As astute business owners know, word-of-mouth complementary testimonials are the greatest form of advertising. The best way to find either a grandparent or grandpup is to let the word out that you are looking.

Mention you are interested to everyone you meet. Friends, neighbors, relatives and even people you do business with. Everyone knows someone with a puppy or dog that is alone all day. Or they know someone who would love to share their day with a puppy or dog.

Check each other out. Are you comfortable with the dog owner and are they comfortable with you?

Are you volunteering or is there a fee?

Meet the puppy or dog to see if you both respond well with each other. If everything is copasetic, then iron out the details.

Set the terms. Would it be a couple of days a week? Would it be a weekly event, Monday through Friday only? Would it be daycare only? Or would there be over-nights, weekends and possibly even a week or two now and then?

How much notice would you generally require? Are you available with little or no notice for emergencies?

Get feeding and medication details. Don't cheat...follow the owner's instructions!

Would there be any restrictions on activities from the owner? For example, would you be permitted to take them to a dog park to exercise and socialize? Would you be permitted to take them visiting your friends and partake in your activities?

Check your homeowner's insurance. Would you be covered for a "visiting" dog?

Make sure you have emergency phone numbers.

Make sure the dog owner informs their veterinarian that you are on their emergency list.

Bottom line: This could be the best thing since doggie biscuits for everyone! You have the pleasure and companionship of a puppy or dog to love and nurture without being tied down. That keeps you motivated and busy. The owner has the peace of mind their pet is in loving hands. The pup or dog isn't home alone or crated/kenneled all day. They are being socialized, exercised and most importantly loved! What more can anyone ask for?

Karen A. Soukiasian
Article by Karen A. Soukiasian
Karen A. Soukiasian, GOOD DOG! - DOG TRAINING and BED-n-BISCUITS dog boarding and training - Owner/Trainer, St. Augustine, Florida - AKC CANINE GOOD CITIZEN and S.T.A.R. PUPPY Evaluator. Visit my website at: and