One of the biggest concerns to address before bringing home a new puppy or an older dog is the effect your work hours will have on him/her. If you work full-time, this means that your dog will be left alone for close to eight hours every day.
Will this have a negative impact on the well-being and healthy growth of your puppy?
Many rescue organizations and shelters refuse to give dogs to people who work full-time and cannot make a commitment to be by their dog throughout the day.
But, take heart from the fact that this reservation is not backed by scientific proof or evidence. Several dog parents have worked out successful arrangements to keep their dogs happy and safe, while they are away at work for most of the day.
Here are a few reasons why full-time jobs do not pose a hurdle to getting a dog home:
1. Why Do We Have to Leave Them Alone?
The majority of us have to work full time in order to meet our living expenses, including the cost of providing a safe home to our dogs. The cost of living is especially high in big cities like NY and San Francisco. Dual-income households and single working professionals make up different types of households with virtually everyone away at work or school during the day. But, does this mean that there are no dog parents in these cities? The answer is a big no, with San Francisco even having more dogs than children!
Just browse online and you will come across several communities that support dog parents in Brandon and surrounding areas. You can attend meetups and get to know how others like you are managing their dog’s wellbeing.
With determination and perseverance you can provide a happy life to your dog.
Also keep in mind that quality wins over quantity as far dog parenting is concerned. All that you need to do is ensure that you spend your spare time with your dog and give him the care and exercise he needs.
If a person can sit at home and be with his dogs, it is just because he can do it due to the specific circumstances he is in. That does not make him a better dog parent, or you a lesser one.
2. Enlist the Help of Others
If you have brought home a few weeks or a couple of months old puppy, it will be unfair to leave him alone for several hours every day. Very young puppies need human company and attention, and can develop behavioral issues if left alone for a long time. Also, puppies will need to relieve more often and cannot control their bladder for long.
You are aware that it takes a village to raise a child; the same can also be applied to a pup. Neighbors, in-laws, grandparents, friends or co-workers can be enlisted in your support group. They can just pop in for a few minutes to ensure that your dog pees/poops and has a short walk, or to see that he has eaten and is not too lonely.
You can also consider a local doggie daycare center. For example, if you’re a resident of Brandon, a doggie daycare in Brandon can work out great. Daycare is an expensive alternative, but a couple of times in a month will help break the routine and provide a welcome change to Fido.
3. Take Special Care of Your Puppy
If the puppy is about 8-10 weeks old or younger, you will have to consider alternatives to spending the whole day away from him. Smaller puppies tend to get agitated and stressed out when left alone. You can opt to work from home until he is a few weeks older or ask a friend to be with him during the day.
At about 8-10 weeks, your puppy will be learning bladder control, but he will need to wee every few hours or so. If you are planning to work full-time, do make arrangements for someone to take care of your little one. Ask a neighbor to pop in by noon to take the puppy out for a walk and to the toilet so that he is comfortable again. Remember that your puppy will find it difficult to go without a wee for more than three hours.
A 3-6 month old puppy has fairly good bladder capacity and you can come by during lunch break to take him out. He will also be happy to doze off during the hours you are away, provided he’s been exercised before you leave for work.
A bored puppy can be quite destructive, so ensure that you get him accustomed to a puppy pen to avoid problems. Puppyproofing a room and allowing him free run is another option.
Also, remember that your puppy is still very young, so it is necessary you have someone to drop by and give him a walk at least couple of times a day. You can also consider working with a pet sitter or a volunteer puppy walker.
4. Exercise Is Extremely Important
A well-exercised dog will be happy to just sleep through the day until you walk in the door in evening. But for a dog to get adequate sleep, he also needs prior exercise.
There should be exercise, play and entertainment on either side of the 8-hour period your dog will spend alone. This will keep your dog happy and content, and he will be naturally exhausted. As a result, your dog will sleep almost all through the day. Nature has devised this as a method to keep pack animals energetic and ready to hunt for food by the time their prey comes out in the dark.
Dogs love and absolutely enjoy your company. But if you are able to provide it only for a few hours in a day, that makes no reason to avoid getting a dog home. The rest of the time spent in your company is all that your pooch needs to stay healthy, happy and safe.
Your decision to bring a dog home should be carefully considered and evaluated. If you have the desire and are sure you will be able to commit your time to building an everlasting bond with your pooch, then go ahead and embark on your journey as a pet parent. This will be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences of your life.
About the Author: George Conda is the owner of “Tampa Puppy Palace” – an all-inclusive dog boarding resort in Tampa, FL.