Having a puppy or dog can be a lot like having a small child. In addition, we also have to work to pay the bills and put food on the table. This leaves the question of what to do with your dog while at work. With a small child you obviously can’t leave them home alone, however, this is a viable option with a dog.
Here are some options for what to do with your dog while at work
- Leave your dog home alone.
- Take your dog to doggie daycare.
- Leave your dog with friends or family.
- Take your dog to work.
- Hire a pet sitter to stay with your dog at their place or yours.
- A mixture of some of these options.
We will take a look at each of these options to help you decide what is the most appropriate and practical option for your dog and you
Leave your dog home alone
Depending on the individual dog being left home alone is a viable option. Most dogs should be able to spend some time alone. However, there are some things that you need to take into consideration and provide for your dog.
Where will you keep your dog while they are home alone? Will they have the run of the house or will they need to be confined to a smaller area or room? Or perhaps they will be spending the day outside. For tips on keeping a dog outside while at work see here.
You may also need to train your dog to get them conditioned to being home alone. This is best done by gradually increasing the amount of time you are out of the home. You will also need to ensure that you have provided them with everything they may need such as meals, water, and shelter if they are outside. It is also crucial to find ways to occupy your dog while you are at work. A bored and lonely dog can look for ways to occupy themselves. Often this is not in a constructive way. This may be nuisance barking, destructive behavior, and even escaping. For ideas of how to entertain a dog home alone see here.
For a Complete guide to leaving a dog home alone see here
Take your dog to doggie daycare
Doggie daycare has become very popular with many dog owners and their dogs. Fifteen to twenty years ago, if you told someone you were taking your dog to daycare they would have laughed. Now it is a common and good option for many dogs and owners. Doggie daycare is not necessarily a good fit for all dogs and not all dogs are suitable for doggie daycare.
Doggie daycares vary in size and what they offer. many doggie daycares are overnight dog boarding facilities that also offer daycare. The number of dogs in the daycare varies greatly depending on the facility. This can vary from 50 dogs in total up to 200 even. Some facilities are purely an indoor-only set up while others may have outdoor areas also.
Another type of doggie daycare is the smaller at home service. This is where a dog lover may cater to a small number of dogs in their own home. This type of set up can be more relaxing for an anxious dog that would be too overwhelmed in a setting with a large group of dogs.
Taking your dog to doggie daycare may be a good option if your dog is creating problems being left home alone such as barking all day or destroying everything. They may also suit dogs that suffer from some form of separation stress or anxiety. To learn more about the different levels of separation and isolation issues see here.
Ultimately, doggie daycares are a business and as in any industry, there are good operators and bad operators. If you are considering doggie daycare for your dog it is important to do your research. Most doggie daycares will have a trial day or half-day to assess your dog to make sure that they and your dog are a good fit for each other. To learn more about doggie daycare as an option for your dog see here.
Leave your dog with friends or family
If you have any friends or family you can leave your dog or puppy with while you are at work it would be ideal. This could be at either their place or yours. Dogs are a social animal by nature and to have the company of people they know and trust would be good. Some dogs can become lonely and bored when left home alone. For more on this see Lonely dog symptoms and solutions.
Also, in doggie daycare, they are surrounded by a large number of other dogs. Many dogs enjoy this but for others, it can all be a bit overwhelming.
Hire a pet minder
There are many good pet sitting services that can either visit or stay with your dog. Alternatively, some pet sitters will take your dog into their own homes. This way they can have human company. Most dogs should be able to spend some time on their own but if you work long hours this can be a good way of giving them company and to have someone keeping an eye on them.
If this isn’t an option the next best thing may be to use an interactive pet camera. These vary in the amount of interaction they provide. Most have to way communication so you can talk to your dog. Very handy if they are up to something they shouldn’t be. They also can hear your dog and will send a notification to your phone if your dog is barking.
Other pet cameras are fully interactive and even allow you to give your dog a treat or play a game with the built-in laser pointer. It is about as close to actually being there with your dog as possible without actually being there. To learn more about pet cameras for dogs see here.
Take your dog to work
More and more workplaces and offices are becoming pet-friendly and will allow you to take your dog to work. Many employers are adopting this policy due to the many benefits having pets at work have shown to have. Research has shown the presence of friendly animals can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol and regularly interacting with animals can reduce anxiety and promote calmness. Pets in the workplace can even enhance socialization among workers by increasing the frequency of social interactions.
If you are lucky enough to work in a company that has a pet-friendly policy it would be a good option.
Mix of options
Perhaps a mixture of several options would be best for your dog and you. You may choose to take your dog to doggie daycare a couple of days a week and leave them at home on the other days. Doggie daycare is fun for your dog but if some dogs going every day may become overwhelming.
Or you could leave your dog home alone and arrange for a pet minder or someone you know to pop in your a visit and spend time with them. If you work for a company with a pet-friendly policy doesn’t mean you have to take your dog every day. Maybe you can take your dog for some days and take them to doggie daycare or leave them at home on other days.
You can choose any combination of options that are best suited for your dog and yourself.
If you are considering what to do with your dog while at work I hope these suggestions have helped provide some clarity. Or at least eliminate any options that are not suitable for your dog and you.