How to Get a Dog When You Work All The Time

How to Get a Dog When You Work All The Time | CorporetteHave you thought about getting a dog but are worried about how a pet would be affected by the long hours you’re at the office? Today we’re talking about how to get a dog when you work all the time —  you can definitely make it work as long as you stay realistic and plan ahead! (By the way, as a former shelter employee, I highly recommend adoption — either from a rescue group or a shelter — but if you’re not willing to consider it, here’s important advice on finding a reputable breeder. Don’t forget that many breeds are especially prone to certain health issues — and never buy a dog from a pet store.) If you’ve got a dog at home and have a busy schedule with long hours, how have you made it work? Have you made any mistakes or learned any lessons to pass on to readers who are considering getting a dog themselves?  

Here are a few tips for how to get a dog when you work all the time, including some expert advice from certified dog trainer Melissa Cocola of Positive K-9 (at Creekside Resort) in Walworth, New York.

Choose the right breed (or breed mix). Certain breeds are not ideal if you work long hours and don’t have tons of time to exercise a dog. Melissa says that dogs who need more activity include many terrier breeds as well as herding breeds, Nordic breeds, and hounds. “However, all dogs can be better managed with adequate exercise,” she says. Basically, do your research! If you adopt an adult dog from a foster home (either from a shelter or rescue group, and either a purebred or a mix), you can ask the foster caregiver specific questions about the dog’s temperament and energy levels. Here are some lower-energy dog breeds to consider.

No matter what the breed, a puppy may not be right for you and your schedule. Puppies can be adorable and fun, but taking care of them can also be pretty frustrating, and at times, maddening. Educate yourself ahead of time on what housetraining a puppy entails (not to mention basic training in general), and consider that it’s harder to maintain consistency with a puppy’s routines if you’re not home that much. Definitely familiarize yourself with crate training if you’re planning to get a puppy. Melissa says that adult dogs can usually be left alone for a typical eight-hour workday, but puppies and senior dogs need more frequent bathroom breaks — about every four hours.

Make a plan about caring for your dog during the day. If you work more than eight hours a day, or if you’d just like your dog to go outside when you’re gone, you have a couple of options: taking your dog to doggy daycare, or asking a neighbor or a petsitter/dogwalker (or even a personal assistant) to let your dog out and/or take him for a walk. Some good sources to find people are Rover, Sittercity, and Care.com — and you can ask your vet for suggestions, too (You might ask if staff members do petsitting on the side, as well.) You can even set up a camera in your home to see what your dog gets up to when you’re gone. Here are Melissa’s thoughts on making a good choice:

As much as we would like to believe that all dogs enjoy the company of other dogs … some simply may not. If your dog has a history of being social then [doggy daycare] may be a great outlet to exercise and enjoy the day. … It is important to find a reputable daycare that will be a good fit for you and your dog. You want to look for a facility that allows small groups of dogs to interact while closely supervised, as many dogs are uncomfortable in a confined area surrounded by a large group. It is important that your dog gets downtime during the day while at daycare vs. an environment where they have no option to leave the group.

Make sure your dog has something to do when you’re gone — not just outdoor walks. Melissa says, “What matters most is a combination of both physical exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis. A walk twice a day is ideal. Also, games, puzzles and interactive toys are great for mental stimulation.” Here are some puzzle toys at Amazon to check out, for example. Some people leave the TV on to give their dogs some background noise, and there are videos made for dogs, including many, many on YouTube. (I’m not sure how dogs typically react to these, but my cats are definitely entertained by videos for “feline audiences.” It’s hilarious.)

For readers with dogs: What’s your advice on how to get a dog if you work all the time? If you work long hours, what do you do to make sure your dog stays happy, healthy, and out of trouble? Did you adopt or buy from a breeder? If you have a purebred, how did you choose what kind of breed to get? Would you do anything differently if you could? 

Picture via Stencil.
how to get a dog when you work ALL the time -- if you WANT to get a pet but aren't sure if you can HAVE a pet given your busy work schedule, this is the post for you -- we share all the best tips and tricks for having a pet if you work too much

Comments

  1. I adopted an older dog when I was living alone and it was a really great fit for me. She was able to easily spend a day away from me (eventually uncrated – crated at first) – she could hold going outside and also didn’t need a walk in the middle of the day. I was looking for a dog 5+ years old and ended up adopting an 8 year old pitbull. She was a wonderful dog – the very best! – and I had her for almost 8 years. Just lost her this year. I highly recommend adopting an older dog!

    • Older dog, telework, walkers :

      Lawyer here who got adopted a 7 year old shiba I I rescue during 3L. We did really well with morning walk, evening potty break, late evening long walk.

      Budget for a walking service, not only for potty breaks but also for social time. I used to say that I was paying people to be nice to my first dog. Especially when he was elderly and limited mobility, but my job #3 had punishing hours, it was better for his health to have his regular lunchtime walker and regular evening walkers. I spent

      I started hiring a lunch time walker once I was working. Job #2 allowed for a lot of telework with very long hours. So the dog slept next to me. I still kept the daily walker and regular evening and weekend walkers.

      • Older dog, telework, walkers :

        Anyhoo, I spent $400-$600/month on dog walking. If you also work long hours or you have periods without schedule control (or this is your all the time work life), budget for dog care. It also extends the life of your dog and makes everyone happier.

        Teleworking helps, but so does having a solid relationship with a great vet practice that provides boarding services.

        I greatly enjoyed taking my first dog on nature excursions. Same for my current dog. They get bored with their environments and routines. It is good for you to get out into nature, too.

        But telework is crucial. A friend got a puppy after she completed her 5th year at a top 20 law firm, but her partner also did not notice that she had been teleworking for 3 weeks.

  2. What the hell? :

    Easy: don’t. Dogs are living, feeling creatures that need time and attention, not accessories or dolls. A dog walker or doggie day care is not a substitute for your attention. If you work ALL THE TIME, don’t get one!

    • +1

      • housecounsel :

        Yes, please don’t, and please don’t say to get a cat instead. I wanted pets desperately, but didn’t get them until I was ready to lean out for other reasons, and was around enough to give them the attention they deserve.

        • Anonymous :

          Actually, there are very dog-like cats. I had one for a friend in the military for about 8 months and it greeted me when I got home and followed me around the house talking to me. I am really allergic to cats but I would have kept this cat if the owner had needed me to. I don’t think of myself as a cat person even, but was pleasantly surprised at the variety within the cat family. It was an older cat though.

          I know two people with new puppies and it is like having a newborn — they have not slept in weeks.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          I’d mostly agree, unless you get an older cat that you know if going to be ok with it. My cats need lots of attention (one basically has the personality of an overly-friendly golden retriever), but I’ve known cats that would have been perfectly ok to be left alone all day napping in the sun, and there are lots of older cats at shelters that need people.

    • +100000000000000

      If you do not have time for a dog, do not get a dog. Get a plant.

    • Anonymous :

      Agreed. I volunteer with a rescue and have also volunteered at a shelter. This is how dogs end up in the shelter or in a rescue. Not all people should have pets.

      This thread should get interesting!

    • Anonymous :

      I am a dog lover and I disagree with this. There is certainly a point at which you’re working so much you can’t properly give the dog the attention it needs, and there are people who don’t want to play with a dog in the evenings when they’ve spent all day at a demanding job. Those people shouldn’t get dogs. But many people who work 50-60 hours/week (or even less) take advantage of dog walkers and doggie daycare during the workweek and still manage to shower the dog with lots of love and attention when they’re at home. Look for an adult dog (much more independent and self-reliant than puppies) and make sure the dog is not one that has a history of separation anxiety or needing to be around people all the time (shelters can generally describe a dog’s personality).

      I have great friends that would be terrific pet parents and they’ve missed out on a lot of dogs they wanted to adopt because shelters have a strict “must not work outside the home more than 40 hours/week” policy and my friends work 50-ish hours per week. I think those policies really stink, and frankly they lead to good, loving people who’d be perfectly satisfactory or even great dog parents going to pet stores and buying puppies because they can’t find a shelter willing to give them a dog.

    • + a million gazillion Thi is a HORRIBLE title and theme for a post. I’m really disgusted. It’s like saying how to tackle another full-time job or probably closer– a child–when you really don’t have the ability or time for the commitment. You do not do it until you are able. Even worse is your implication like you are speaking on behalf of a shelter like it’s a good idea. This is exactly the mindset that lands so many dogs there to begin with! I’m shocked. Just shocked.

    • what do we call this school of thought? Canine orthorexy? This You Must Not Have A Dog unless you are independently wealthy and an agoraphobe and can stay home with the dog every minute of every day and feed it top shelf shade grown organically farm pastured dog biscuits and have a doggy masseuse and therapist on speed dial.

      People don’t demand this level of sacrifice for human children!

      I don’t have a dog. I used to and he was my One and Only dog becuase he was perfect. I work full time. He was at home with a pet door having squirrel emergencies all day long and getting spoiled as hell all evening and weekend long. Would his life have been better at a shelter? No. He had a great life with me.

      All you judgy beyotches can go straight to hel.

      • Rebecca in Dallas :

        Hahaha “squirrel emergencies”! My dog has those. :)

        And yes, I agree. Our dog is way happier chilling out on our sofa during the day and getting tons of attention on the weekends than she was sleeping on a concrete floor at the shelter. Not all dogs would love that set-up, but ours does. She’s a 3-year-old half German Shepherd half Staffordshire Terrier.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Ditto.

    • I disagree; even if someone is out of the house for 9 or 10 hours, an older dog is going to spend that time sleeping anyway, and is MUCH better off in a loving home for the hours of attention than in a shelter. A lazy, large breed (large bladder) is A-ok with that arrangement and much better for it.

      • Older dogs do not sleep all the time! Cats and dogs who sleep all the time are very ill or depressed. Source: owner of a 12 y.o. dog (5 of our dogs have passed away at ages 12-14) and a 7 y. o. cat (2 cats have passed away between ages 15-18). Dogs and cats need plenty of company and a lot of time outdoors. Having pets is a huge commitment. We’re lucky to have my retired dad to keep them company and when I was younger there was almost always someone home, because school days are short in Finland and flex time (not sure if a local term?) is a thing.

      • I’m sorry. My post came out judgy. I’m in a really lucky position to have help available and reasonable work days. Also, as a child I referred to my cat as my sister…

        • Gray, some breeds absolutely do sleep all day because that’s a breed characteristic. Adult greyhounds for example. My retired racers sleep all day whether or not I’m around and are great housepets for working people. If you don’t believe me, read more about them.

          • I work anywhere from 8 – 9 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. Sometimes, it is more. I have a retired racing greyhound. She sleeps for most of they day whether I’m there or not. Once a week, I have a walker take her out for a pack excursion. On weekends, I do my best to ensure she has plenty of socialization. And on weeknights, she gets adequate walks. She’s older dog which works for me because she has an even lower energy level. Of course, I would prefer to stay at home with her everyday but that isn’t realistic. I specifically chose an older retired racer knowing they have low energy levels.

    • Completely agree. Horrible post.

    • Ann Marie :

      Yes, I totally agree. If you work long hours, no animals! Volunteer at a shelter in your free time if you want to be around animals. There are plenty of shelters who would love volunteers to come and walk and play with the dogs.

      I adopted a cat because I was worried about leaving a dog home a lot – I only work 9-5 but what if I had to travel for the day or got stuck working late? After having a cat for a bit, I was convinced I could handle a dog so I adopted a seven year old dog from a rescue group and wow was it hard and stressful. Honestly, I felt like a single parent of a newborn. I would have pushed through and kept her nonetheless because she was a good dog but I couldn’t because she was way too interested in my cat (the rescue group told me she was fine with cats but she wasn’t) and my cat’s health and safety was a priority. Ultimately I had to bring her back to the rescue group but there was a waiting list of people who had wanted to adopt her and I know she found another home very quickly.

      Some things I learned from the dog – it is exhausting bringing a dog up and down a high rise building to go outside, especially when the dog is terrified of elevators and doesn’t know how to go up and down stairs. Having a dog that will use a wee wee pad makes life a bit easier. A seven year old dog can still have a LOT of energy and need a lot of exercise. When you get home from work you are going to want to collapse on the couch, not want to take your dog out for a long walk and play with it.

      I still want a dog badly but I know it is not right for my lifestyle at this point in my life. A cat is a better fit for me. But a word of advice on cats: if you work long hours, don’t get one either. People have this idea that cats can be left alone for long periods of time and they can’t. They start acting out. When I have left my cat alone for too long (in her opinion), she has peed on my bed. If I come home from work a little later than usual, or if I come home but then go out again for a meeting or event, she meows really loudly when I come home and becomes very clingy and needy. She tells me she is NOT happy I left her so long. And if you can adopt two cats, do that. My cat was three when I adopted her from the ASPCA and I was told she had to be in a single cat household so she can’t have a companion. But I think she really would have benefited from having a cat companion and I feel bad she can’t have that.

      • Squiggles :

        Re: Cats

        A lot of what you said about your cat is about your cat and it’s personality. And sounds like it has behavioural issues. A cat never pees outside the box without a reason. You being late is not the reason. I would have taken it to the vet as it sounds like a medical issue.

        My cat is fine for the long days I am away in the office (about 12 hours). He is clingy when I first get home, but we have snuggles and he is good for the rest of the evening. On days I work from home or on weekends, he is off by himself. But that is his personality.

        I have fostered and currently volunteer at my local rescue and can name the cats that will be ok on their own for long periods of time, in fact they would prefer it. If you are considering a cat, then start there and talk with the volunteers and employees. They are a wealth of knowledge.

        If you are getting a young cat/kitten, then yes, get two. Not much more work than 1, but they can play and keep each other company. If you have an older cat, see about introducing another cat slowly to him/her. But do not under any circumstances introduce a kitten to your senior cat. That is never a good idea and the senior cat can develop behavioural issues. My rule of thumb is half the age. If you have a 10yo cat, consider getting another cat about 5. Kittens are so high energy that they can easily annoy the senior.

    • I agree. I had a dog growing up, but it would NOT be fair for me to have a dog in NYC, b/c I work all the time, and onley on weekends am I home. If I left a dog alone, he would start ripping up stuff, and make poopie all over my white rugs. I do NOT think that is good for anyone, and even tho my cleaneing lady would clean up and be around, the dog would NOT be happy. So I will NOT have a dog until I get MARRIED and stop workeing all day. YAY!!!

  3. If you have a house with a fenced yard, I highly recommend installing a doggy door.

    • Anonymous :

      I disagree. Giving your dog access to a yard when you aren’t there presents so many problems. What if they dig out while you aren’t there? The fence breaks? Someone steals them? They get attacked by wildlife?

      Yea, nope. No electric fences either.

      • We cover the dog door during the day. I wouldn’t give ours unsupervised access outdoors – she’s super smart and would find (or dig) her way out. However, when we are home, having the dog door is AMAZING. I would highly recommend people get one and use it when they are home. We find our active, 3 y/o lab-boxer outside all the time just running in circles and laying in the sun when it’s warm.

        • * during the work day when we are not home

        • Anonymous :

          That’s fair! It wasn’t clear what Linda was advocating. Since this is a post about people who work all the time, I assumed she meant so that the dog could come and go while people were gone. I could have been wrong!

        • AnonMidwest :

          Agreed. I Cover mine during the day but it’s so helpful for the squirrel emergencies that arise in my boxer’s world.

          • hahahha this made me laugh because I know exactly what a ‘squirrel emergency’ is. Gah, I love my pup :)

          • AnonMidwest :

            It’s funny because it’s true. She’ll stop in the middle of something, sniff the window and take off running out the back door.

            Her buddy (also a boxer) knew he couldn’t bark indoors, so he’d run outside and get his barking out.

            Love dogs.

      • S in Chicago :

        All good until you get a Coyote. Or if smaller, a hawk. That rules out a ton of places aside from the issues raised above. And urban doesn’t rule that out. I’ve even had them in the neighborhood.

  4. Anonymous :

    I’m finding myself with hurt feelings in friend situations lately and I’m wondering how much is normal and how much is me.

    I like to have a few close friends. My BFF passed away a few years ago. After that I went into business with a friend. We had different expectations regarding workload and the friendship ended. My other close friend at that time said I was being judgy and sided with the other woman so that relationship also ended. (My expectation was if you own a business you work on it at least full time, not hire and walk away)

    Since then I’ve been friendly with coworkers and other moms but haven’t had a close friend. Recently 2 moms and I have been developing a friendship but I’m finding myself feeling left out (my son wasn’t invited to one of their sons bday party this week is just an example, I invited them over a few weeks ago, 4 families were invited only 1 came no one rsvped anything) I feel like ghosting because my feelings are hurt but I would like to have women to do things with.

    As I’m writing this I’m thinking therapy might be the answer. I went after BFF died but mostly for grief.

    • Can you reach out to your old friends? If enough time has passed and feelings have cooled down maybe you can start over?

      Forming new friendships is tricky for me too. It’s difficult to find the time to cultivate new friendships when you have a young family and a job. That’s why I seem to fall back on those old friendships even if they have been tumultuous at times.

  5. Esperanza :

    I desperately want to adopt a standard poodle, the breed both I and DH grew up with, but haven’t done so because of intense work hours. I feel it’s cruel to leave a dog alone for more than 4 or 5 hours, and would never feel comfortable leaving one alone for the 10+ our schedules demand. Dogs are such sensitive, social animals. The pack is their whole world. On the other hand, our cat doesn’t seem to care much if we disappear for a weekend now and then. She would probably eat my face within hours if I died, but at least I don’t have to feel guilty for going to brunch.

    • 4-5 hours? That seems a bit extreme to me – you can basically never do anything. Like even a good weekend brunch or a sporting eve and travel time t is hitting up against that…

      • A weekend brunch or sporting event is nowhere near the same thing as every single day, though.

      • Esperanza :

        I definitely don’t think an occasional 4-5 hour absence now and then would be problematic, but multiple veterinarians have told me that there is wide consensus that dogs should not regularly be left alone for more than that long on a daily basis. There are bound to be exceptions, older or introvert-dogs who don’t mind a little down time though.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s not cruel to leave an adult dog alone for 5 or even 8 or 10 hours at a time (assuming they can easily hold their bladder for that time – 10 hours might be a stretch for many small breeds). Our dog is left alone every day for 8-9 hours every weekday. She actually has a lot of mental health issues and is terrified of strangers, but we’ve never seen any indication that she’s unhappy being left alone. We have a nanny cam and she sleeps almost the whole day (she sleeps a ton on weekends when we’re home too – it seems she just loves to sleep!). She’s delighted to see us when we get home from work, but she doesn’t seem at all unhappy when we leave or while we’re gone.

      • Anonymous :

        I have a dog nanny. She is actually the kids nanny but the kids aged out of needing her and I hated to lose her. I leave the house at 7am. Nanny comes from 12 to 4. DH is home by 6. Dog is fine from 7 to 12. I leave the TV on for company and we have a large house for her to run around in. Nanny cooks and does housekeeping as well but she loves our dog. We pay $360/week. Found her on Care dot Com 7 years ago.

      • It is cruel. Just because a dog can hold it for 8-10 hours doesn’t mean they should have to. It also makes them vulnerable to UTIs.

    • demi_boxer_owner :

      DH works from home and our pup basically sleeps all day after her morning walk/snuggle/feeding. She doesn’t even care about being in the same room as DH. Although she can get very playful in the evenings I’d have no problem leaving her alone during a normal workday.

      • Rebecca in Dallas :

        Yes, our dog sleeps most of the day, too. (We have a nanny cam that I check occasionally.) One of us works from home occasionally and she does the same thing when we’re home. She definitely gets a burst of energy in the evening! We don’t always take her out for a walk (she is other-dog reactive, so when we do it has to be late enough that we won’t run into any neighbor dogs), but we will run and play in the back yard.

    • Anon Dog Lover :

      I am going Anon for this since I will flamed by the people who say don’t leave your dog home more than 5 hours/day and don’t let them into the yard unsupervised:

      I have a standard poodle that I acquired while working full time as a litigator. I have worked his whole life. At his current (advanced) age, he is fine home alone all day (he sleeps A LOT). When he was younger, I walked him in the morning and evening and had a high school kid walk him mid-day. When I needed to travel, I could drop him off at his breeder for a reasonable fee. He has lived to be old and is happy, healthy and well adjusted. He has never escaped from my yard and his having access to the back yard has never been an issue except for barking at my neighbor’s gardener once every other week. My dog is awesome and has made my world brighter.

      Which is my long winded way, if you want a dog there, get a dog and work it out. I do suggest an adult dog unless you can arrange to work from home in the beginning, since I will admit the puppy phase was challenging.

  6. Anonymous :

    The BigLaw lawyers I know with dogs had them in rural / small-town settings in law school first (generally in the South) so the dogs are all adult dogs by the time the owners are gone all the time. And then there is still help (BF/GF works from home / dog walker / day care) plus boarding during travel (a huge deal — esp. if you are a litigator, they always seem to have to take emergency depos somewhere that warrants boarding the dog for a while).

  7. frugal doc :

    2nd hand clothes score…

    J crew 100% silk v-neck cardigan, lilac colored. Perfect condition. $8

    Good spring topper for my color palate. Will work with my core navy/grey/white/black business casual wardrobe.

    Chicagoland

  8. Maybe a compromise is becoming one of those sitter / walkers you’ve discussed hiring? I have a Rover profile and maybe once a month on a weekend I have not much going, I’ll take a dog to stay for a few days. It’s great to pamper and hike and go to the dog park, but come Monday, home they go. It’s been a few years like this and I have some “regulars” including a Tuesday evening walk that is a great hour of my week after work.

  9. Slow down with the judgemental comments folks.
    Would you rather see our shelters overflowing? Millions of loving dogs die in a shelter each year.
    Most of America has to go to work .
    This article gives some good options .
    Well done .

    • I agree. I never understand kill shelters that have a policy against adopting to people who work more than 40 to 50 hours. So the shelter would rather the dog get put down?

      I really think if you have the interest, time, and resources you should absolutely get a dog despite a busy work schedule. I live in DC and work at an AM Law 100 firm. I typically do between 50-60 hours of work per week. My 3 year old Shiba Inu is thriving. I do spend the money on a dog walker – it’s $16/day so it comes out to about $350/month. Shiba Inus are very cat-like, and they love alone time. She gets three walks a day counting the walk from the dog walker.

      I highly recommend the Shiba Inu for the busy working women. They are very chill, clean, and rarely bark. Not to mention they are super adorable! The only downside is that she’s not great with other dogs so doggy daycare is not an option.

  10. Anonymous :

    I am a little late in commenting and am posting for future readers researching this specific topic. As someone who (1) has worked almost 20 years in large law firms in a major US city in a white collar/litigation practice and (2) has had two dogs, one who lived to be 15 and another going on 13, I have a few tips:

    – If you are routinely going to work more than five hours outside the home, adopt an adult dog and not a puppy. An adult dog is likely coming from a shelter or rescue and will love any attention he gets. A puppy, however, is likely coming from a breeder where he had constant adult attention and 100% attention from a mom and litter mates. That weaning phase is hard enough but you will compound the anxiety (the dog’s and yours) by not being there in those early months or perhaps, for some breeds, years. Both of mine were a year old when I adopted them. Admittedly, my first one was while I was in law school and I already had a dog when I got the second. I mention this because, if I were getting a dog now while working full-time, even a one year old would be a bit tough.

    – Research breeds. Some need more attention and interaction than others. Enough said.

    – Remember, a dog is a pack animal. If you provide a routine to his days and lots of attention to bond when you’re home, your dog will be mentally healthy and happy.

    – If you can, put his dog bed in your bedroom. It goes back to the pack animal and den environment they are born with.

    – Hire a dog walker…Regardless of bladder size. A dog needs some socialization during the day. He will sleep most of the day but some socialization breaks the day up. I won’t lie. It’s not cheap. But neither is having a dog anyway with shots, vet appointments (no such thing as $20 copay), food, treats, toys, a dedicated bed. But, on this point I agree with others. If you work full time outside the home and you cannot afford a dog walker, the dog would be alone for the entire day and you should probably wait until you have a more flexible schedule or can find a cheaper walker, perhaps a teen neighbor looking for fun money.

    – Keep your dog walker even on days you work from home. Routine!

    – Try to avoid walking services that rotate different walkers. A small plug for small business owners yes but I have greatly benefited from the loyalty of my walker over the years. He knows my dogs’/dog’s temperament and whether (they were) he is getting sick or is limping. I joke that I trust my dog walker with my dog more than me. He’s up on dog contagious illnesses and knows pet CPR! He is also available for last minute emergencies and my dog simply loves him.

    – Develop an early boarding plan for travel and emergencies. You don’t want to pick just any facility last minute. Some have private rooms, some have crates they stack three high, and others are in between. Go check them out during a busy time of time to get a sense of the commotion and vibe of the place. My dog couldn’t handle the constant barking of a kennel (even upscale kennels) so in-home pet sitting is my plan. Ask your dog walker. Mine will stay in my home or take my dog to his home.

    – Find another dog your dog can play with. They need dog socialization from an early age.

    – Leave the tv on at a low’ish volume during the day. This helps minimize sudden startling from inconsistent outside noises during the day – lawn care, deliveries, neighbors in high rise buildings, etc. Don’t put the channel on the animal planet… my parent’s dog barks at the animals. Something boring and conversational – cable news is a good option. My dog is more up to date on politics than me :)

    – To avoid separation anxiety when I leave for work, I started from the beginning with the following method – I put a treat in an easy activity ball and say “going to work.” My dog is focused on that ball as I gather keys and walk out. He hears “going to work” and knows when he’s finished I won’t be there but he’s also thinking “dang that treat is in this ball and I have to, have to, HAVE TO get it. Got it. Yummy. Finished, no mom so go sleep.”

    – A tired dog is a happy dog. You must walk your dog. Mine gets a quick morning walk, a midday 20-30 min walk with his dog walker, a decent walk when I get home from work, and a quick “last pee call” before bed. I like the long walk when I get home because it pulls my mind off work and puts the focus on my dog. He loves that time together.

    – Let coworkers and your boss know when you become a dog-mom. You’re going to encounter another dog walker and you’ll find support.

    – Routine, stability and love. That’s all they need especially those coming out of the horrible conditions of some shelters. Routine, stability and love. You’ll also be a happier, more mellow person as well. Best thing I ever did with my life!

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