In this day and age, it’s impossible not to be busy. It’s all about the hustle to make sure your furry friend lives a good life. But just because you’re a busy person doesn’t mean that you’re not a good dog owner. It will take a little bit of extra effort on your part to make sure your dog is well cared for and loved so we’ve compiled a few tips for the busy fur parent:
All productive people know the importance of having a daily routine-just be sure to work your dog into said routine. Dogs too can be programmed into following a schedule. Make plans to feed, exercise, and bond with your dog the same time every day. And don’t forget weekly socialization opportunities. You’ll notice that your dog will start feeling more secure and confident when they have a routine to follow because they don’t have to think about the next step, they just do it.
Doggy daycare - some dogs hate it, other dogs love it. If your pup so happens to be the social butterfly it is, it’s worth shelling a few extra dollars out for doggy daycare. It’s much cheaper than getting a sitter in the long run and your dog gets to expend its energy doing what it loves to do most, play! Find an esteemed doggy daycare center to drop your dog off at and thank us later. The staff at a reputable center ensure that the dogs play safely and are fed and watered when necessary. On your way back from the office pick your dog up and head home because you’re both ready to crash. You and your furry friend will be tuckered out from the day and ready for a well-needed cuddle session.
You have two options here, either you adopt another dog (which is great by the way) or you find a friend for your dog to play with. Preferably another dog within the area so it’s easy to monitor how they’re doing. Dogs love company and they’d much rather spend their time with other dogs or humans than chilling alone by themselves. Talk to fellow busy fur parents about play date arrangements so your dogs will never be lonely again. Take turns keeping your dogs in each other’s backyards for a chance to socialize and play the whole day while their beloved owners are at work. But if you already have more than one dog at home, it should be easy to keep the both (or more) of them entertained while you’re away.
Many businesses acknowledge the positive impact dogs have on their employee’s productivity. Check with your company if it’s alright to bring your dogs to the workplace. If they say yes, then pack your dog along with your briefcase. If you do decide to bring your dog to the workplace keep it balanced. Don’t get distracted by how cute they are, otherwise, you won’t be able to bring them to your office again. And don’t forget to take them out every few hours for a potty break or a little walk to decompress. It will take a few weeks for your dog to get used to the office setting, but with the right training they’ll be snoozing at your feet in no time.
You can’t get by without the basics. This includes things such as:
Training — basic obedience, walking manners, and occasionally learning a new trick
Grooming — dog shampoo, hairbrush, nail clippers, toothbrush, toothpaste
Healthcare — scheduled veterinary checkups every six to twelve months, vaccinations, heartworm prevention, tick and flea medication, vitamins, supplements
Sustenance — good quality dog food, clean water, a bed or “safe space” they can sleep in
Exercise — a walk every day around the park and a few games of fetch will do your dog wonders
Attention — aside from providing your dog with its material needs they also need bonding time to keep them happy and healthy
The thought of training your dog can be overwhelming at times especially with your busy schedule. However, training your dog will make life much easier for you and your dog. Set aside ten to fifteen minutes two to three times a week for a training session. Surely this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Hiring a dog trainer could also be a good option for the busy fur parent. Either they come to your house and train your dog, or you drop them off at the training facility. Either way, your dog should remember their manners through consistent reinforcement through training.
How often you need to groom your dog depends on what breed they are and their overall appearance, but a safe estimate would be to groom your dogs once a week, preferably on a Sunday. Why? Because most people aren’t busy on a Sunday and it’s nice to start the week off with a clean doggo. Short haired breeds such as Labradors and Dalmatians can be groomed at home because they’re relatively easy to handle. But long-haired breeds such as Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds are best left at the hands of capable groomers. They’ll get to those hard to reach places and untangle all the matted hair.
People work a nine-to-five job can feed their dog before they go and as soon as they get home. But if you work extended hours then you may want to consider an automatic pet feeder. They’re easy to find, you can order them from e-commerce websites such as Amazon. You can program the feeder to release food at specific times of the day and even how much food you want it to release. Another cool thing that a smart feeder can do is that it links to your phone and you can send your dog a voice message. It's easier to coax a dog to eat when it can hear your voice so call Fido over to his bowl because it's chow time! But if there are people in your house 24/7, you can always call them to feed your dog when it's time to eat.
P.S. it will save you plenty of time and money to buy dog food in bulk. Or if your dog is the type that likes to switch it up try a dog food subscription. That way you know dog food will be delivered to your house on time and you’ve got different varieties for your dog to try out.
If you’re a busy person then you most likely have a planner of some sort. Whether you’re into the digital or manual type, always pencil in your dog’s veterinary visits. That way it’s easy for you to incorporate it into your schedule. Deworming and vaccination schedules aren’t something that can be put off because most scheduled maintenance medicine is time sensitive. If you don’t have time to bring your pal to the vet when they’re due, ask a family member, friend or even your pet-sitter to do it.
There are no negative side-effects to exercise. Getting physical and moving around is something that will benefit both you and your dog. Why not combine your exercise time with your dog? Aside from keeping your internals running smoothly, there's the added benefit of bonding with your furry friend. Start small by walking around the block every morning. Then you can eventually work your way up to hiking up and down a trail or cycling long distances. The perfect time to begin your little exercise routine is first thing in the morning (but you'll need to wake up a little early). Working out in the morning wakes your body up and resets it for the day ahead. But if you have more time and energy in the evening, then by all means do so! As long as your dog is getting the exercise that it needs. Trust us when we say this is the most exciting part of your dog's day.
Both dogs and humans are social beings, they thrive off attention and enjoy the presence of company. Your dog needs attention and love to function, it reduces stress and puts them in a good mood. Busy people don’t have the luxury of prolonged bonding time with their dogs so think quality over quantity. Do something fun with your dog even if it’s just ten minutes a day. They will enjoy the short undivided attention you provide them and appreciate you as an owner even more. Most dogs are naturally dependent on their owners and would rather spend their entire day with them, find the right balance of attention to meet your dog’s needs.
Now that we’ve covered what it takes to care for a dog with a busy schedule now you need to ask yourself, should I get a dog?
How much do you really want a dog? And will it fit into your busy schedule? Think about if it’s fair for your dog and if there are ways you can compromise to fit your dog into your schedule. If you’re very sure about getting a furry friend, find a dog that suits your lifestyle. You can't have a high-energy, high-maintenance dog, otherwise, it will develop health and behavioral problems if you're not around to supervise it. Find a dog that enjoys lazing around and doesn't mind spending time alone for prolonged periods. Consider adopting an adult dog with a laid back personality, one that's confident in itself that it doesn't need constant reassurance from its owners. We wouldn't suggest a puppy for busy people because you need to devote plenty of time to its raining and personality development.
As long as you can find a way to make it work then by all means adopt a dog. Having a dog at home is one of life’s greatest pleasures and if you can find time to put in the work you’ll have many years of friendship with your fur babies.