The Ultimate Dog Care Guide for Working Pet Owners
Your dog knows the routine; in fact, he has come to expect it. He watches as you perform your daily rituals of showering, dressing, making coffee, and getting your supplies together. His tail wags hopefully as you tell him to “Be a good boy! See you tonight!” Although you can’t see him, he’s surely listening as your car drives away and he settles in to await your return in the evening.
Thanks to our society’s prevailing view of pets as family members, working pet owners often worry about their pets’ emotions as well as their own. According to a study by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) in 2000, 75 percent of working pet owners feel guilty about leaving their pets home alone while they are at work.
Dogs are pack animals and there’s no doubt they need exercise, mental stimulation, and companionship each and every day. With a little bit of planning, it’s entirely possible for working pet owners to meet the needs of their dog and enjoy the many benefits of pet ownership.
Tips for Working Pet Owners
Dogs can adapt to a wide variety of schedules and situations. Setting your dog up for success while you’re at work doesn’t have to be complicated, but will require care and attention on your part.
- Exercise – Daily exercise is critical for all pets. Not only is it good for their bodies and minds, tired pets are generally better behaved. Commit to a walk/playtime before and after work to make sure your dog has a release for excess energy.
- Attention – Chances are your dog relies on you and other family members for the attention and affection he needs. Taking time each day to snuggle, pet, play with, and train your dog signals that he is an important member of the pack.
- Stimulation – Like people, dogs can get bored. Provide your pooch with interesting and safe toys, chews, or food puzzles to keep them busy while you’re away.
If you find yourself struggling with providing enough exercise and attention for your dog, it may be time to enlist the help of others. Consider hiring a dog walker to give your pal a walk in the middle of the day, or ask a neighbor or friend to pop in for some snuggles and a game of fetch. Doggy daycare is also a wonderful way to bring fun and activity into the life of a socialized dog.
Choosing a Dog
It’s important to take your lifestyle into consideration before bringing a dog into your life. If your daily schedule consists of long work days and evenings on the couch, an energetic breed probably isn’t appropriate for you. Always do your research before selecting a pet.
Your partners in pet care at Wellesley-Natick Veterinary Hospital are committed to helping you live the best life possible with your four-legged companion. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.