Taking care of a dog when you have a full-time job can be challenging – but it’s not impossible! Here’s a few tips to help you juggle a career and a canine.
Pet ownership can be difficult, especially for full-time workers. Companion animals require an immense amount of care, and whether you’ve just adopted a dog or have had him for years, it’s important to adjust your lifestyle to accommodate his needs. If you’re a #dogpreneur, take a look at these helpful tips.
Help him get acclimated
If you just adopted a dog or puppy, it may take him a few weeks – or even months – to get used to his new space. This period is the most important for ensuring a smooth transition for you and your pet. If you can afford to, take time off work for the first little while to help him adjust.
Establish a routine
Pets thrive on consistency. Putting your pet on a regular feeding and exercise schedule is essential for helping him cope with your busy days. For younger dogs in particular, feeding time should be immediately followed by a walk or some time spent outside so they can relieve themselves. With repetition, patience, and consistency, he’ll soon learn not to “go” indoors, even if he’s alone for a few hours at a time.
Provide lots of exercise
A tired pet is a happy pet, and lots of exercise can bring out an animal’s best behavior. Take plenty of time before you leave for work to walk, run, and play with your pup so he’s all tuckered out when it’s time for you to leave.
Create a pet-friendly space
Your dog may get restless in your absence, and the last thing you want is to come home to a shredded couch. Keep your pet enclosed in a space where his natural curiosity (or destructive habits) won’t put him in danger. A moveable gate or an enclosed room can be a great way to give him space to move around without putting your décor at risk. If you can’t trust him in such an open space by himself, invest in a large crate.
Hire some backup
If you’re unable to pop home to relieve your furry friend every few hours, a dog sitter or dog walker can ensure he receives the care he needs. Hiring someone to check on him in the middle of the day provides a balance between your busy schedule and his needs – and helps ensure he’s getting the socialization he requires to thrive. Other tools like a smart security system with a two-way talk camera can help you keep tabs on and comfort your pet while you’re at work.
Ask to work from home
Can your job be done out of office? Even if it’s just one day a week, working remotely from the comfort of your own home allows you to be there for your canine companion while still fulfilling your professional duties. You might not be able to take him on long walks, but he’ll appreciate the regular potty breaks (and kisses).
Don’t neglect your pet!
No matter how you look at it, owning a dog is a lot of work. His temperament, age, and history will all affect his ability to be left alone for long periods of time, and you’ll need to be prepared for the extra work (and cost) that this might entail. If you feel that his happiness or health is at stake, take advantage of the many services available to busy pet parents, or take some much-needed time off! Your job is important, but so is your fur baby.