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Getting a puppy is a big commitment, and if you’re part of a busy family and going to be a busy puppy owner, you might think it’s not a possibility. However, with some careful planning, you can make the dream of having your own dog a reality!
In this post, I’ll explain how it’s done!
#1 Make Space in Your Schedule
Before you commit to welcoming a puppy into your home, it’s important to double-check that you actually have enough time to take care of it. When a puppy first arrives, it needs a lot of attention, supervision, and training. Consider whether adding that kind of responsibility really does fit in with your current lifestyle.
A useful exercise is to take your current schedule and decide which commitments are fixed, which are flexible, and which can be erased completely. A busy puppy owner can encounter problems from the start with training, so try and re-jig everything until your calendar can accommodate the time and energy you need to look after a new puppy.
As your puppy grows older – especially once their toilet training is complete – you’ll be able to leave them for incrementally longer periods of time. But during the initial phase, it’s essential that you’re available and engaged in the full-time job of being a puppy parent!
#2 Research Breeds for A Busy Puppy Owner
Once you’ve reworked your schedule and confirmed there’s space for a new puppy, the fun part really begins! Spend some time thoroughly researching breeds, taking into account the amount of time you have, the size of your home, your family dynamic, and the amount of exercise you’ll be able to accommodate.
Smaller breeds are a good bet for busy people. They tend to require less exercise than larger dogs, and can fit into a wider range of homes.
Don’t completely discount larger dogs, however. Providing that you can arrange suitable interaction and exercise for your puppy when you’re not around, it’s still possible to choose these breeds.
Ask friends and family members in similar circumstances which breeds they would recommend. Of course, they might be biased! But it’s still valuable information that can help you to make a sound decision. Plus, you could ask if they would be willing to pup-sit from time to time to make it easier!
#3 Take Some Time Off
You’ve chosen a breed, found the right puppy, bought all your essential items, and now you’re counting down the days until you bring your new best friend home.
We’d recommend taking a little time off work to help your puppy settle in. While you can do a lot in a weekend, leaving your dog alone after just two days can prompt separation anxiety and destructive behaviour.
Consider blocking out the first week or two after collecting your puppy. This gives you a chance to supervise them properly, begin house training, and gradually acclimatise them to being alone when you’re out.
#4 Create a Routine
There will be a period of adjustment when your new puppy comes home. Really, it’s not too dissimilar to having a baby! You’ll need to keep a constant eye on them, stick to feeding times, provide entertainment, and – most importantly – teach them good toilet habits!
For a busy puppy owner in particular, getting into a routine from the start helps to bring structure and avoid scheduling problems. If your pup is showing signs of boredom when home alone, there are some fantastic puzzle toys built just for dogs – click here to learn more about them.
As well as essential tasks like feeding and walking, make sure to include time for bonding, training, and play. Your puppy will be grateful for it!
#5 Bring in the Professionals!
Remember, you don’t have to do it all on your own. There are lots of services you can access to help take care of your new puppy.
Bath time can be a lot of fun for puppies and owners alike, but there might not always be enough time to set aside for washing and drying your dog. A professional groomer will be able to take on this responsibility, which frees up a space in your diary, while allowing your puppy to hang out with some different humans and return looking dapper.
If you’re out for long periods of time, consider employing a dog walker to take your puppy out and stretch their little legs. This can help to avoid boredom and prevent destructive behaviour. It also gives them the opportunity to socialise with other pups, which can eliminate the overreaction some dogs experience when confronted with another canine.
Doggy daycare might also be a good option for your puppy. This allows them to make friends with other dogs, get plenty of activity, and receive proper supervision. If you’re considering about separation anxiety in your puppy, daycare in combination with gradual exposure to spending time alone can substantially improve their behaviour.
I hope this post has helped you to make a decision about the possibility of welcoming a puppy into your family, even if you’re a busy puppy owner!