Our dogs demand a lot of care and attention, so much so that it can be difficult to leave them at home to go to work. Some owners struggle with the issue of how to care for a dog while working full time. Many have to deal with separation anxiety, destructive behaviour and issues scheduling food and exercise.
Thankfully there are some great dog care tips for busy people that can help. If you can follow these guidelines, you should have a happier, calmer dog.
Creating a comfortable space for them to enjoy while they are home alone.
This space can vary depending on the breed and nature of the dog. There are some animals that may be comfortable, and trustworthy enough to have the run of the home. This only really works when you know that the dog isn't going to start chewing things and make a nuisance of itself. The alternatives here are to gate off a room, or area of a room, that is just for the dog. This is where they can eat, sleep and play without any worries. Some may do better if they have a crate. This acts more like a den, with an added sense of security.
It may take a little time for dogs to get used to these crates or designated areas. Some may be upset that they are being confined on their own. They may bark, whine or find other ways to act out. This is where it helps to try some crate training tips to help them get used to the arrangement. Start out with small periods, before they have to deal with a day alone as you go to work.
It can also help to make the area as appealing as possible with their favourite blankets, toys and some comfort items that remind them of you. Also make sure to put the pen or crate in an area they use a lot. If they favour a corner of a living room, make it theirs.
Some owners will have to deal with separation anxiety issues, depending on the dog.
Some breeds really don't like to be left alone for long periods. They are too attached to owners and crave their love and attention. This means that they get stressed when owners are away at work. Ideally, owners of these breeds won't have to put them in this situation. If it is unavoidable, however, it is important to train them out of this anxiety.
A comfortable, comforting den area can help if they feel safe and have plenty to amuse them. Chew toys and blankets are a good start. Some people will also turn to compression vests and similar garments. These tools are great in situations of anxiety, like thunderstorms and fireworks displays. This means that they have great potential with separation anxiety.
Feeding, sleeping and playing.
As we mentioned above, as long as the dog has the chance to do these three things, they should be pretty happy. They need a comfortable bed or cushion where they can doze for a while, toys to keep them entertained and a supply of food and water.
Many pet owners with full time jobs swear by automatic dog feeders. These machines release a portion of food at a designated time. This helps with a dogs diet, so they can't overeat when left alone. Some even call the dog to the machine with voice recordings.
Try and break up the day where possible with visits.
It can be much less stressful for our pets to handle two shorter periods of separation than one long one. There are two ways of doing this. The first is to try and come back home during a lunch break. This gives you some time to make a fuss over your dog, top up their food and water and make sure that everything is OK. It also provides a chance to let them go outside to the toilet. No dog should have to hold it for 10 hours, so a toilet break is a great idea for their health and welfare.
If you can't come into the home on a lunch break, try and get someone else to come in in your place. This could be a friend or neighbour that the dog is familiar with. They can come in at a designated time that suits both schedules, and carry out the same tasks. It isn't quite the same for the dog as your company, but it will break up the day and provide some companionship.
Paying out for doggy day care, sitters or dog walkers.
A different option here is to provide a form of doggy day care. We pass over small children to creches and day care centers, where they receive the care and attention they need. There is no reason why dog owners can't do the same for their pets - that is if they have the money and local resources. These day care options are great for social dogs that want a fun place to sleep, play and eat with other animals. If this is too expensive, or unavailable, you might want to try a dog sitter or dog walker. These professionals can spend time with the dog for an hour or so. Dog walking also means that the animal doesn't lose out on social time with other dogs, toilet breaks and exercise.
Whatever option you choose, make the most of your time together.
It can be tough figuring out how to care for a dog while working full time, but there are options. These dog care tips for busy people offer different solutions to different aspects of the issue. You can keep a dog fed, content and entertained while at work. A comfortable penned off area should help a lot, but visits and dog walkers have their benefits too. Go with the options that work best for your pet and their breed type, and don't be afraid to try different things. Also, don't forget to make the most of your time with your pet after the working day is over. Treat them for their good behaviour and cherish the evening walks and playtime.