Combining a dog with a job: how is it done?
As a dog owner, you want what is best for your pet, such as a healthy diet and lots of attention. But how to give your dog lots of attention when you’ve got a job? Here are some tips on combining a dog with a job.
For how long can you leave your dog at home unattended?
People who work (full-time) and want a dog, wonder for how long a dog can be left at home unattended. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single answer to this question because each dog is different. Plus, there is a difference between how long a dog can be left alone, and how long a dog wants to be left alone. Dogs are social animals which means they prefer not to be on their own. If you have to leave your dog at home unattended, make sure you build it up gradually. Read all about how to this in the article: Leaving your dog unattended: for how long and what to keep in mind. In addition, your dog needs exercise. Keeping your dog indoors all day, elevates the risk of insufficient exercise.
Combining a dog and a job: several options
When you have to work but still want to be there for your dog, there are several options to consider. You can try to create an optimal situation for your dog, but always keep your pet’s interests in mind. When unable to give your dog enough attention, it is wise to consider alternative options.
Working from home (part-time)
One obvious option is to work less or work from home part of the time. This will allow you to give your dog enough attention including a short walk. Of course, not every profession offers this possibility but it can’t hurt to discuss your options with your manager. Are you working close to home? Consider coming home for lunch and spending this time with your dog, for example by taking it on a long walk. Another option: bringing your dog to work. Do make sure to discuss this with your manager and colleagues, but an office dog can be a great source of joy. Take it on a walk during your break or perhaps you work outdoors and your dog may enjoy the freedom and your presence while you work.
Dog sitter/ dog walking service
It isn’t cheap, but you could bring your dog to a kennel or a dog sitter for one or several days week. This will ensure that your pet gets enough exercise and attention. Another option is to hire a dog walking service several times a week.
Approach some neighbours in your immediate vicinity. Lots of people love dogs but don’t want to be committed 24/7. Perhaps your neighbours or relatives would enjoy taking care of your dog on days that your job is particularly demanding. You might be able to divide the responsibility within your own household. For example, assign each family member a fixed day for walking the dog or spending time with it.
If your dog can’t handle it, it should not be left unattended. Not even for a morning or afternoon. Dogs may suffer from fear of abandonment which may cause undesirable behaviour. Puppies cannot be left to their own devices for an extended period of time. They need attention full-time during the first stage of their life and they need to be walked much more frequently. It is best to go for an older rescue dog that can handle some alone time. Do make sure your dog is safe on its own by making your home dog-friendly and always leave it enough food and fresh water while you’re away.