Most people know that being a dog owner takes a lot of time and effort and that dogs need a lot of attention, so they wait to adopt their four-legged friends until they are able to be there for them.
However, life never quite works out how you think and a lot of dog owners end up getting a whole lot busier while still needing to take good care of their pet pooches. What’s to do?
Being busy and leading a hectic life when you own a dog isn’t ideal, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t give your dog everything he or she needs – you just need to get organized, and here are few things that will help you with that:
Create (and stick to) a routine
Having a daily routine in place will make it far easier for you to do everything you need to do and keep your dog happy,
Dogs are creatures of habit and if they know that they’ll be fed, walked and played with at set times of day, they’ll feel less anxious when you do have to go off and do something else for a while.
You should still aim not to leave your dog for long periods, but chances are he’ll be more secure when you do need to step out.
Schedule in essentials
In a similar vein, it’s a really good idea to schedule in those essential basics of dog care as far in advance as you can. That way you can work the rest of your schedule around them and ensure that your pet isn’t missing out on any important care.
Things like grooming appointments, vet check-ups, flea treatments and training sessions can typically all be booked months in advance, so there really is no excuse not to get organized and ensure you do what needs to be done.
Exercise with your dog
If your schedule is tight, it makes sense to kill two birds with one stone. A really good way of doing this is by combining your exercise sessions with your dog’s.
Sure, you can’t exactly take your dog to the gym, but you can probably run around the block with her or get a quick work out playing tug of war instead. It’ll give you some more quality bonding time too.
Doggie daycare is always an option
During those times when you really are run off your feet and you have so little time to spare, you might want to consider enrolling your pup in doggie daycare.
It isn’t suitable for all dogs – dogs who are very nervous or who don’t play well with others – but if it does suit, it’s a great way to ensure that your pooch is well looked after by trained staff who understand dog behavior and who will ensure that he or she is stimulated, happy and healthy while you’re at work.
In fact, your dog may well have even more fun at doggie daycare with all of his furry little friends than he does at home with you!
Set up some puppy playdates
Have friends or family members who are also really busy and who also own dogs? It might be worth getting together and preparing your schedules to see if you could potentially take care of each other’s pets when the other is busy.
Your dog will enjoy having fun time with a furry friend and you’ll both have the peace of mind that comes with knowing someone you trust is taking care of your dog when you are otherwise engaged.
Hire a dog walker
A third option would be to hire a dog walker who can come in and give your pet some much-needed attention and exercise on those occasions when no one is going to be home for more than a couple of ideas.
It’s not ideal to leave your dog for long stretched, but on those occasions when it’s unavoidable, a dog walker can be a real godsend.
Just make sure that you thoroughly vet any potential dog walkers, check their references, and talk to other clients. Your dog is precious and you want to endure that anyone who is taking care of her is a kind, capable, responsible person.
Bring your dog to work
This isn’t always possible, but more and more workplaces are getting with the times and allowing dog owners to bring their much-loved pets into work for the day.
Right now, it’s mostly hip office environments that are doing this, so you might be out of luck if you don’t work for one, but if you do, ask because you might be surprised by the answer.
Obviously, this is only really an option if your dog is well behaved and happy to be in a busy environment, and it might not work as an everyday thing but it’s certainly worth exploring.
Hire help with dog-related chores
Did you know that you can pay for a pooper scooper service? Someone will actually come to your home and clean up all the poop in your garden for you.
Then there are dog walkers as we mentioned earlier, pet sitters, people who’ll clip your dog’s nails for you and…well people who will do pretty much any dog-related task you can think of.
If you’re really strapped for time, paying something to do all of the little things that come with owning a dog on your behalf is a great way to claw some time back that you can spend playing and bonding with your dog.
Invest in challenging dog toys
Dogs need a lot of stimulation to prevent boredom and ensure they’re as happy as they can be.
If you know that you may not be able to devote quite as much time as you would like to them for a stretch of time, the least you can do is invest in some of the great dog puzzle toys out there.
Most of these toys force your dog to work for his treats by solving what are quite complex (for dogs anyway) puzzles, and although they aren’t a substitute for time spent with you, they are definitely good at keeping your dogs occupied for a spell.
Just make sure that, if the dog is going to be left alone for any length of time, there is nothing in their toys that could potentially be a choking hazard
Get a dog cam
Dog cams are a bit like nanny cams in that they let you check-in on your pets to see how they are doing.
Some even have two-way microphones so you can hear what your dog is up to and speak to him as a means of reassurance. Some will even let you remotely dispense treats, which I’m sure your dog will love!
Consider borrowing a dog instead
If you don’t already own a dog, but you’re wondering whether you should get one despite your busy life, the answer is probably no, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t spend some quality time with beautiful dogs after all.
There are so many ways that you can access dogs from offering to pet sit for a friend to fostering rescue dogs short term when you have a bit more free time on your hands.
You could even walk dogs for the sick or elderly people in your neighborhood who may no longer be able to manage it for themselves. Doing so could help them keep their precious dogs when they would otherwise have to give them up, so it’s a really great thing to so.