Owning a dog is a major responsibility. And a lot of us struggle with juggling of every day commitments that are part of our busy schedules. But, being busy doesn’t mean you cannot be a dog owner. Yet, owning a dog requires devotion and careful planning. And if you have a busy lifestyle, here are all the things that you need to think about if you want to be a dog owner. So, busy dog owners, here’s how it can be done!
Choose a dog breed that is fine with being home alone
Yes, there is such a thing. Unlike breeds that do not tolerate being left alone, there are some dogs who are shown to cope well. All they need is plenty of exercise and a nice chew toy to play with. On the other hand, although adorable, Maltese and Bichon frise crave human attention so they wouldn’t be the best choice for a busy dog owner. But whichever breed you opt for, make sure that your pooch is not alone more for than 8 hours per day. Ideally, your furry friend shouldn’t be unattended more than 4 hours a day.
Bring Your Dog to Work, if You Can
Some people like Google’s employees are lucky to even have a dog-sitting centre in their office. But there are even companies in London who are pet friendly. This trend is surely increasing all over the world as research shows that dogs increase productivity. Allowing dogs in offices increases productivity, job satisfactions and lowers stress levels.
Code of conduct – there’s one for your dog too!
But for being able to bring your best friend to work, your dog must be well-behaved and trained. Needless to say, it would also be nice for your dog to be well-groomed so your colleagues don’t have to deal with pet hair and unpleasant smell that any of us would have if we didn’t groom ourselves! Also, you will always need to have an ‘extra eye out’ so your dog doesn’t eat anything that is bad for him or her. A lot of people feel like giving treats with the best intention at heart, yet some of the foods we eat are highly toxic to dogs. So keep your eyes open at all times and make sure your colleagues know the rules.
Hire a Pet Sitter or a Dog Walker/ Doggy Day Care Is Also an Option
If bringing your dog to work is not a possibility, you have a number of pet-sitting/dog-walking agencies everywhere around the world. You can leave your dog for a day of pet-sitting or you can pay someone to come to your home once or twice a day to walk and play with your dog. These walks usually take around 30 min. Prices vary, but they are usually around 10-15 euros per walk in European cities, whereas daily pet-sitting is only a bit more expensive since you are going to the sitter. The good think about the internet is that you can see all the previous reviews of any sitter before you make up your mind.
Get a Playmate for Your Dog
Just like with kids, getting a playmate is also great for your dog’s health as playtime will be another source of exercise… and happiness.
Don’t Forget About the Importance of TRAINING
There simply can never be enough of training. A trained dog is a happy dog. There are so many things that you can teach your dog. The sky is the limit. But training is also a precious opportunity for deepening the bond between the owner and its beloved pet.
Make the time for BONDING
Do your best not to fall in a trap that you don’t have the time to cuddle with your dog. It is just as important as making the time for daily walks. If your dog hugs you, stay in the hug for as long as your dog needs it. They know so much more than we do, we can really learn from them. They forget the bad stuff quickly, stay loyal at all costs, they show you how they feel and show unbelievable amount of happiness to see you again, even if you were gone for 5 minutes. So make sure you make the time to learn from your dog as well. It will also do wonders for your health.
If you got a puppy whose adult size will be less than 7kgs, good news – it can travel with you even by airplane (in the cabin, of course). It will cost you, but it’s a trauma-free possibility. There is paperwork, but once you get the hang of it, it can really become a routine. However, if you own a larger dog, airplane’s cargo is definitely not something anyone would recommend (and no dog owner would do it if they had a choice!) so getting someone to take care of your dog is the best alternative.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help!
If you are lucky and your family members or friends are willing to help out, great! However, if this is not the case, you also have a number of pet sitters and ‘dog hotels’ that can take care of your dog for you. But, sometimes budget is the problem, and there is also a solution for this scenario thanks a new trend of pet sitters that do it for free, sometimes as long as they can stay at your house for free while you are gone.
There are so many dog cameras that can help alleviate separation anxiety. Busy dog owners are raving about Furbo, which can even toss a treat to your dog on your command. The app will also alert you if your dog is barking so you can check up on her. It has a two-way audio so you can communicate with your dog throughout the day.
Dealing With the Guilt…
Perhaps the trickiest of all, the guilt you feel when you see those adorable yet sad puppy eyes when you’re about to leave your dog. But don’t despair, there are many ways to ease separation anxiety.
Altered feeding schedule
It is a good idea to feed your dog twice a day so its sugar levels don’t spike and add to the stress. Also, make sure the biggest part of the meal is given before you leave. Your dog is more likely to feel sleepy after a nice (tiring walk) and a big meal.
Change your routine
Then, if you see your dog acting up as you start getting ready, change your routine. If your dog starts barking the moment you grab your keys, go sit and play or cuddle for a few minutes to ease the stress.
Use herbal remedies
Herbal remedies are also of great help in soothing the nervous system. Some useful ones are Valerian and Passiflora that are tinctures which can be dissolved in your dog’s water bowl. Also, make sure to leave one of your belongings that smells like you for comfort. And once you see your beloved pup sleeping through most of the time you are away, you will surely feel at more ease.
Should I be getting a dog in the first place?! Don’t be discouraged!
You surely heard the saying: “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” And there is truth in that saying as busy people are more likely to achieve something than laid-back ones. There is surely a way to find the time to take care of your dog, so just do your best to find the time. After all, having a busy lifestyle is stressful and pets are known to help reduce stress. Yes, your dog will be happiest if he or she is with you at all times, but this does not mean that it will be unhappy if this is not the case. All you have to do is organise well to make sure that your dog is taken care of, despite your busy life. There’s no reason to deprive yourself of the joy and love that come with being a busy dog owner.