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Like any pet-parent, you want to ensure your dog gets the absolute best. Still, it can be difficult to give your dog all of the love and attention it needs (and deserves) if you have a demanding job. With all the pressure to be at work, it can sometimes feel impossible to give your dog the best home and create a loving bond simply because there aren’t enough hours in the day.
This doesn’t mean you can’t still be a great dog-parent and fulltime employee at the same time, though. However, in order to do it all, you’ll need to make sure you prioritize your pup’s needs in a way that also works with your schedule. Here are a few tips to keeping your dog safe, happy, and healthy while still having a fulfilling professional career.
1. Show Your Dog Lots Of Love
Whenever you are home, make sure you’re giving your dog a lot of attention and affection. Think of this as prioritizing quality time. You can do this by allowing the dog to sleep with you in bed and snuggling up on it. You can also cuddle on the couch at night, let it sit with you on the porch after dinner, or simply just engage in “conversation” with it (showing excitement when you get home, talking to it as you go about your day, etc). Just like humans, dogs want to know they are important to you - no matter how much time you’re able to spend one-on-one with them.
2. Keep Your Home In Good Shape
If you’re leaving the dog at home for a good chunk of time during the day, it’s important to ensure everything is safe and taken care of. Without a pet, leaving a broken AC unit for a day doesn’t really hurt anyone, but with a dog in the house, a broken AC could mean overheating. To prepare for these kinds of moments, it’s a good idea to get home repair insurance so you can rest assured that whenever something arises, you are covered to get it repaired quickly - regardless of how much money you have in your savings. This will make it much easier for you to keep your home in dog-friendly (and safe) condition.
3. Take Them Out To Play and Exercise Every Day
If you’re a dog owner, it’s no secret that you have to make sure your pup gets a lot of time to run around and play. This can be difficult for a working dog-parent because so much of your day is spent at the office. To combat this, wake up a little earlier every day to make sure you get your dog outside and moving, then carve out some time in the evening to do the same. Be sure to work with your vet to determine just how much play/exercise time your dog needs every day, and consider hiring a dog-walker to come in the middle of the day to play with your pup while you’re at work.
4. Consider Doggy Day Care
If you regularly work long hours or think your dog could use a little more socialization, consider setting up a doggy daycare schedule. Whether it's one day a week or five, this will give your dog the opportunity to run around and play with other pups, get lots of exercise, and get a little extra attention during the long workday.
5. Invest in a Home Camera
If you leave your dog home alone every day, it may be beneficial to invest in a home security camera so that you can check in on it every day. Most of the cameras on the market today allow you to check footage directly from your phone or computer. As an added bonus, a lot of them also offer two-way talking, so you can talk to your dog throughout the day to remind him that you love him (or tell him “no” if he’s trying to get some food off the kitchen counter). This is a great way to ensure everything at home is safe and that your dog is doing okay while you’re away.
It’s tough to be a fulltime worker and leave a piece of your heart at home every day. Still, having a fulltime job doesn’t mean that you can’t be the kind of dog-parent you want to be. Taking small steps to ensure your pup gets all the attention, exercise, and love that it needs is what makes the difference.
Amanda Turner is a freelance writer and recent graduate who is exploring her passions through writing. If you'd like to read more about Amanda or are interested in her writings, please visit her online portfolio at Amanda Turner.