Have you always dreamed of having a dog but are wondering if the dog would want to have you? After all, you have a full-time job and a social life that accompanies it. How can a dog fit into this schedule? Just the fact that you’re asking yourself these questions already makes you a great (potential) dog parent.
Dogs love having company and aren’t known for coping well with solitude and isolation. They quickly get bored, and sometimes that even leads to anxiety and depression. In fact, every dog sitter will tell you that four hours is the maximum amount of time you should leave your dog alone.
How to Take Care of Your Dog When You’re at Work All Day
Most dog owners have a full-time job, which can make it difficult to balance caring for a dog with work responsibilities If you’re determined to get a dog while working full-time, here are some tips to ensure that your canine friend will feel happy despite your busy schedule.
Create a Safe Environment
As a true member of your family, your dog has to feel comfortable and safe at home. In dog terms, comfort is equal to plenty of water, a comfortable bed, lots of space, and interesting toys. Also, think of creating a safe space your dog can relax and play in. A cordoned off area in your lounge might be a great place.
Be aware that your home can be a minefield for dogs. Many objects can be dangerous so make sure you don’t leave anything that can be swallowed or easily broken into tiny pieces. Chocolate or medicine should not be left lying around either, as they can be life-threatening.
A lot of workplaces nowadays recognize the importance of a pet companion. The benefits go far beyond coziness. Having dogs around can reduce stress levels and help employees cope with anxiety. Even the interactions between colleagues improve when pets are involved. All in all, pets are good for your health.
If you’re lucky enough to have a boss who’s aware of that, ask if your dog can join you in the office, even if it’s just for a short trial period. To make sure it’s a smooth transition, introduce your dog to the office slowly—this is especially important if other pets are also present. Make sure your colleagues aren’t allergic and your pup’s vaccinations are all up to date.
Come for a short visit
Working close to home comes with tons of benefits. One of them is that you can pop in during the day to see how your canine friend is doing, even going out for a short walk. It may not be a long visit, but it will be a break from just lying around. Any type of physical stimulation is extremely important for your dog’s wellbeing and will be greatly appreciated.
Find a dog walker
If you can’t spend your lunch breaks at home, the next best thing would be to have a good dog walker. A reliable walker with a good reputation may be hard to find, but it’s worth putting in the extra effort.
Whether it’s a dog-walking company or a friend who volunteers, you should always make sure your dog is well taken care of.
Pet cameras are getting more and more advanced these days. Not only can you see your dog, but you can also remotely interact with him. Some pet cameras even allow you to give your pup treats and play with a laser pointer. Needless to say, the technology is great at keeping your dog mentally stimulated and entertained.
But pet cameras aren’t just a source of fun; they can also keep you informed about your dog’s wellbeing. Dogs often get into trouble, and a pet camera can help you stay on top of what’s going on at home.
Whether it’s a spilled bottle, a broken vase, or a destroyed couch, your naughty friend will no longer be able to blame it on a raccoon. By observing your dog during the day, you will also know if there’s a reason for concern, because some behaviors signal stress, anxiety, or fatigue.
There’s no such thing as a perfect dog owner, just like there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. Everyone has their flaws and the only thing that matters is that you do your best.
Having a dog at home takes a lot of energy and will require a few sacrifices. Balancing that with a full-time job often means a complete change in your routines and lifestyle. It’s far from impossible, but it’s important to consider all factors before you make the decision.