Making a success of your small business while being a responsible dog owner may not sound like the easiest of balances to strike.
That’s unless you’re lucky enough to work from home, or have the option of taking your dog to work with you. But even if your line of work does require you to leave your pet home alone for big chunks of the day, there are ways to make it work for you and your four-legged friend.
We’ve pulled together some recommendations to help you get started.
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Best dogs for people who work
If you haven’t yet welcomed your new furry family member into your home, it’s worth thinking carefully about the breed of dog that’ll work best for your setup. Consider how much space you have versus how active a dog you’ll choose.
PetHelpful suggests seven breeds for people who are out of the house all day. These dogs are some of the most comfortable with being left alone to lounge around at home – without destroying the place.
- Basset Hound – low-energy, easy-going, and friendly
- Chihuahua – small, confident, and alert
- French Bulldog – laidback, playful, and intelligent
- Greyhound – affectionate, sensitive, and sleepy
- Maltese – playful, affectionate, and hypoallergenic
- Shar Pei – low-energy, affectionate, and strong-willed
- Whippet – friendly, gentle, and playful
Our top five tips for caring for your dog while working
When you know which kind of dog to choose, you need to make sure you care for your pooch and keep them entertained.
1. Find flexibility in your working day
There’s a reason they say dogs are man’s (or woman’s) best friend. Even if your dog’s fine with being left alone, she’ll still have missed you and will be excited to see you when you get home.
Think about whether you could split up your working day so you can work from home for a while, or to take your dog with you for some (or all of) the day. Could there be flexibility on certain days of the week or for certain parts of the day?
Even working out a way to pop back for a lunchtime visit could make all the difference to your dog.
2. Leave her in a safe and comfy space
For those times when there’s no way of getting around leaving your pet at home, there are a few things you can do to make it as comfortable for her as possible.
Choose a corner of your house or flat where she feels secure, and set up a comfy bed with blankets or old shirts. This could be in your kitchen, your spare room, or maybe your utility room.
Be sure to leave her with plenty of toys and fun things to chew to keep her engaged. This should also help stave off any cravings she may have to chew your furniture or door frames.
3. Tire her out with a morning walk before work
Sleeping is a great way for your dog to pass the time while you’re out of the house working all day. Take her for a long walk before work to tire her out and encourage her to sleep for longer while you’re not there.
Depending on the breed of dog you choose, she may be able to tag along on your morning run. However, this isn’t recommended for elderly dogs or puppies.
4. Hire a dog walker or a dog sitter
It depends on your dog’s individual needs, but it may be worth considering hiring a dog walker to take her out for a run around – and a toilet break – during the day. If you decide not to choose this option, make sure you think about where your dog can go to the toilet as and when she needs to. Just like humans, it’s bad for dogs not to go when nature calls.
If your dog is really needy and suffers anxiety from being left alone, a dog sitter may be a better option. That way you can rest easy knowing that she has company while you’re not around.
5. Install pet CCTV
If you just can’t bear to be parted with your pooch all day, you could invest in a pet camera. It’s a good way of making sure she’s behaving herself and that she’s safe and secure, while you’re busy earning a living.
Furbo, Petcube Bites, CleverDog, and Hive View are just some of the many brands on the market.
With a bit of careful planning, running your own business while being a dog owner can work. If you’re worried about leaving your pet at home, talk to your vet for advice on how best to handle your dog’s individual needs.