Nothing quite completes a home like a family dog, does it?
But as the majority of us aren’t able to stay at home during the day, we’re left wondering whether working full time with a dog is possible. And whether it’s fair on them to be left alone for lengthy periods.
Of course you can. But it’s not all that easy.
This post will provide top tips for caring for your pooch while you’re at work.
- Can You Leave a Dog Alone While at Work All Day?
- How to Raise a Dog When Working Full Time
- Top Tips for Working Full Time With a Dog
Just the thought of leaving your dog at home can be quite worrying. We all know what they can do and we always fear the worst.
Are you going to come home to cushion stuffing all over the place? The sofa ripped to pieces? Or your favourite shoes being used as a chew toy?
The reality is, they’re perfectly fine being left alone – some better than others – as long as it’s only for four hours to start with. Then you can gradually build it up as your new pal becomes more and more accustomed to it.
When dogs are left alone for long periods of time, they can become bored or stressed.
Therefore, as an owner, it’s important to know that you’re going to have to make allowances to make working full time with a doggo work.
Before you decide on buying one, you should ask yourself these questions:
- How long will they be left at home for?
- Could you work from home some days? Or even take them to work?
- What breed are you going to choose? Some cope better with being at home alone and some need to be stimulated more mentally.
- Can you visit during the day? Can you take a longer lunch to do so?
- Can you rely on a friend or neighbour to pop in? If not, can you afford a professional dog walker?
- Do you have a busy social life? If so, then you won’t have much time to spend with your little pal.
Don’t take the decision to become a pet parent lightly, it’s not fair on them if you can’t devote the right amount of time and attention required.
As we’ve mentioned, raising a dog will take up a lot of your spare time – especially when you’re working full time too. To make sure that your pup grows up properly and is house trained as quickly as possible, you can’t half-commit.
If you can’t give the undivided attention that they need, the chances are that it’ll lead to several problems down the road. Some of the main key areas are:
The one that everybody dreads. And it’s easy to see why.
Having worked hard all day, the last thing that you want is to be greeted at home by an unwanted mess, isn’t it?
Well, when you first get your puppy, they’ll need to go for a toilet break every few hours. So, even leaving them for an hour or two could be a risk to start with.
There are two main ways that you can successfully toilet train your dog whilst working full time. These are:
- Ask friends and family or a daycare provider who can help with the potty training process while you’re at work.
- Use a safe, puppy-proofed area on the floor and cover it with puppy pads and newspaper. This is a slower way to toilet train your puppy, but you’ll have to accept that as you can’t be there all day.
We don’t recommend that you leave your new puppy outdoors all day. It’s bad practice, it leaves them vulnerable to different threats and can lead to more problems later down the line.
Sure, they’ll be able to relieve themselves whenever they like and wherever they want, but they’ll then take this mindset back into the house with them. Which is something you definitely don’t want.
Plus, they could be exposed to weather extremities, eating something that they shouldn’t and making them ill, potential theft and them escaping too.
So, keep them safe by keeping them indoors and taking them outside at different intervals to the toilet.
The Help of Friends and Family or a Dog Walker
Dogs are very active animals and need a lot of exercise. The bigger the dog, the more it’s going to need exercising.
For example, a Great Dane is going to take a lot more walking than a Chihuahua would do.
Whilst you’re at work, your doggo is going to need feeding and walking. So, rather than keeping it couped up in the house all day, a dog walker can pop by and give them the exercise that it rightfully needs.
Family and friends would be the preferred choice as walking services can prove to be pretty expensive. However, if you can’t find anybody who can help, then a dog walker is a necessity so that you’re not coming home to the house turned upside down.
Having people pop by and help walk them is certainly a better option than crate training your dog. Keeping your poor pooch in a crate for up to 10 hours a day isn’t healthy and you could find yourself with a mischievous puppy on your hands when you return from work.
When it comes to the toilet, keeping them crated all day encourages them to hold it in for longer. Which is an uncomfortable feeling. We’ve all been there.
The Use of Toys
Dogs are intelligent animals, so they need to have their mind stimulated as often as they can. Otherwise, they’ll get bored and agitated and may start to misbehave.
Toys are a great way of keeping your puppy interested and distracted throughout the day. So, that they don’t start playing with your expensive throw cushions instead.
Try leaving a number of toys, so that they can swap and change when they want and won’t get fed up with just one. It goes without saying, these toys should be suitable for your pup to be playing without supervision.
We wouldn’t like being kept indoors all day with nothing to occupy us, would we? So, it should be no different for your furry buddy.
It’s definitely possible to have a happy and well-trained pooch whilst working full time. To help you achieve this, follow these tips:
- Take longer lunch breaks at work. Young puppies definitely can’t go 8 or 9 hours without being fed or let out to stretch their legs. So, you’ll need to pop home at dinner time or have other arrangements for this.
- Stay patient. Especially with toilet training. As you’re not going to be there, you won’t be able to spot the signs that your puppy needs to go outside. Try your best, act promptly and don’t get discouraged easily.
- Your dog should always be comfortable when left. They need adequate space to play and roam around. Being confined in a small space is cruel and always make sure that there’s water available.
- Spend time with your dog. Just as you rely on your little mate to amuse you, they rely on you to do the same back. They’re a big part of your life, so make the effort to spend as much time with your most loyal pal.
You Work All Week… Now Relax With Your Furry Friend
Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t successfully look after a dog if you work full time. That’s nonsense.
You work hard to pay the bills, so why don’t you deserve to cuddle up to your pooch after a long day’s graft? You most certainly do.
By taking on the responsibility, you’re welcoming a loyal buddy into your life. But to make it work, you’re going to have to be just as loyal back too.
Look at getting a more independent breed. One that doesn’t require attention 24/7 and is quite happy to chill out on their own for lengthy periods.
The younger, the better too. Younger pups tend to be easier to train as they don’t know any different. Or, try looking at older rescue dogs who are used to being on their own.
Most importantly, enjoy being a dog owner – you definitely won’t regret it!