By Lauren Peralta
Having a dog is a big responsibility that takes a lot of time.
Dogs need lots of love and attention, just like kids do. Dogs can get sad, they act up, they want to play and they need to be fed.
When you have a dog, you need to be prepared to give them lots of your time.
But sometimes, you may not feel like there are enough hours in the day. Life can easily get too busy if you have a full-time job, a family and other responsibilities.
But you still need to take care of your dog, but there are some tricks you can use to make the most of the time you have.
Use these four tips to save time without compromising the quality of care you give your precious pup:
1. Take your dog with you
Include your dogs in your regular activities or errands. Many businesses and restaurants are dog-friendly. If your employer allows it, bring your dog to work.
Leaving your dog alone for many hours a day can cause her to misbehave out of boredom and develop bad habits such as poop eating, excessive barking, and howling. Others may find something to chew on (like your leather couch!).
But when you take your dog along, you not only keep her occupied, you also give her opportunities to socialize with other people and sometimes other dogs.
Here are some examples of places where you can bring your dogs:
- Bring your pooch along when you pick up your kids or drop them off at school.
- Take your dog along on your daily walk or run.
- Provided your dog behaves, take him along to a meeting.
- Bring them along when you go to any pet-friendly store.
- Take your dog along when you visit a friend’s house — provided of course your dog is welcome there.
- Let your dog spend the night in your room. Whether you let your pup sleep on your bed is up to you, but even if your dog sleeps in his own bed on the floor, just being in the same room is a great way to spend time together.
2. Get a dog sitter
If you can’t take your dog with you, consider hiring a dog sitter or taking your pup to doggy daycare.
Bringing someone into your home to take care of your dog gives the dog an opportunity to get out for regular walks and meet other people and dogs.
Going to doggy daycare also provides that opportunity with the added bonus of a car ride to get there and go home.
Evaluate your dog’s personality to determine which option is better for you. Dogs that are territorial may not respond well to having a “stranger” come into their house and may be unwilling to leave the house.
While another option will cost you some money, it’s still better than having your dog sit at home alone bored and depressed.
3. Regulate your dog’s feeding schedule
Dogs over eight months usually only need to be fed once a day, so that shouldn’t be a big problem.
However, it’s easy to get caught up other things, so there can still be a risk of late feeding, overfeeding or forgetting to feed at all.
Instead, consider adding your dog’s meals to your routine. Feed your dog at the same time each day.
Or consider using an automatic dog feeder to lighten your load. If you do, however, make sure the feeder allows you to control the quantity of food your dog receives.
Finally, be sure to provide fresh water or your dog every day. And if your dog is a thirsty pup, be sure to refill the water bowl often.
4. Get organized
In the beginning, it’s not easy to have a dog — especially if you are a busy person.
But it’s really not a matter of how busy you are, it’s more a matter of how you manage your time and set your priorities. Include your dog in your daily routine and caring for a dog will eventually become easier.
- Make feeding time part of your routine.
- Determine the best time for a daily walk. You might need to adjust your schedule, like wake up earlier so you can take a walk before you head to the office. Or you may need to delay when you eat dinner at night so you’ll have time to take a walk when you get home.
- Schedule vet visits, grooming and play dates.
- If you live with other people, delegate pet-related tasks to them. Set up a schedule for feeding and walking. Share the responsibility.
Whenever possible, take your dog with you.
Remember, it’s important that they get to spend time with you, so they can feel your love.
Before you get a dog, you need to evaluate your ability to care for one.
If you’re too busy, your dog could feel neglected.
One of the challenges busy dog owners have is keeping their dogs healthy both physically and socially.
To be happy and healthy, dogs need proper nutrients, the right amount of exercise and a healthy level of socialization.
Determine the dog food that will meet their needs and feed them regularly. Dogs also need regular exercise such as walking and running.
Finally, dogs need opportunities to socialize with other dogs. They need love and attention to keep them from getting sick or developing unwanted behaviors.
Lauren Peralta is the founder of lovablepawsandclaws.com and has a passion for pets. She has kept many pets over the years and has an intimate knowledge of their emotional and physical needs. Her dogs help keep her active and satisfy her desire to spend lots of time in nature.