Having a dog at home is one of the best experiences ever, especially if you’re naturally a dog lover. Dogs are very loyal friends. And, especially when you live alone, a pet pooch can also be a good companion. So perhaps that’s why you may have been thinking a lot lately about getting a new dog? But there’s one thing that’s stopping you: your full schedule.
Taking care of a dog while having a full-time job and other obligations in life may not seem like a very good mix. But it’s actually not an impossible reality. You can liken that situation to full-time working parents who also have young children to care for. It’s a lot of work, yes, but with help from others, a good routine, and other hacks, it’s actually doable. You can still enjoy the experience of being a dog parent despite running on an in-demand, full schedule. Here’s how…
1. Hire a Dog Walker
A babysitter is to a baby, while a dog walker is to your dog. So if you work at least eight hours straight without going home in between, you’ll definitely need to hire a dog walker. This is especially true if your address in North Vancouver, BC, is in the central district and you live in an apartment.
Dogs need fresh air, too. They need to feel the ground, stretch their legs, and see the world.
If you can’t commit to walking your dog at least half an hour daily, hire a dog walker to do so. Do a quick search on social media sites or other online platforms, and you’re sure to find quite a lot of dog walkers offering their services. Just be sure to read reviews and feedback first so you’ll have the assurance that your dog will be in good hands.
2. Find a Doggy Day Care
When you’re really busy and you have to work overtime, it also might be a good idea to enroll your dog in doggy day care. Generally, it’s not recommended to leave dogs at home beyond eight to ten hours. So, if you have a long day coming, make the necessary arrangements to leave your pet canine in a doggy day care. This applies, too, if you’re off to a weekend work trip and bringing your dog with you isn’t an option.
Sending your dog to day care gives you peace of mind that in your extended absence, your dog will be doing just fine. You can also leave instructions for any special care or need your dog may have, like if they’re taking medications or have special dietary restrictions.
3. Puppy-Proof Your Home
Because you’ll be leaving your dog at home for the majority of the time while you’re working, this also necessarily entails puppy-proofing your home. When dogs get bored they tend to chew on anything they can or run around and cause damage. Part of taking care of your dog, therefore, means keeping your dog (and home) safe while you’re at work.
Here’s a bonus tip for you: a good practice is to actually set the limits of where your dog can roam around at home by setting up a dog fence or gate. Imagine how a baby safety fence looks like. Dog fences are pretty much the same. It offers so much more freedom than a cage so your dog can still move around, but with limits.
This strategy also makes the cleanup easier for you when you get home. After a long, tiring day at work, the last thing you’ll want is to come home to a trashed house or one with poop spread out all over the place.
4. Write Down All Veterinary Appointments
Busy as you are, it’s expected you may have a planner or a list for almost everything. Don’t forget to also jot down on your planner your dog’s veterinary appointments. This can help you stay on top of their regular checkups. Writing down such schedules in one planner ensures you don’t miss out on anything important, no matter how busy you may be.
5. Walk Your Dog During Your Lunch Break
This fifth tip only applies if you are within a walking distance from your workplace. If you can walk home for lunch, take that time to check on your dog. You don’t really need to spend an hour to finish your meal, don’t you? Spend a little time for eating, and then use the remaining time to give your dog a walk around the block after lunch.
This strategy is like hitting two birds with one stone. It gives you that much-needed break, while also giving your dog the exercise they need.
Even when you have to work, your dog can still be very much loved and well-taken care of. Having a full-time job doesn’t have to stop you from actually having a dog at home. Once you’ve finally eased into the routine of having one, you’ll realize that taking care of your dog, on top of all your other obligations doesn’t also have to feel like a chore. You can still be happy as you get on with your usual day-to-day life, while your dog also stays happy with the love and attention you’re giving them.