Want to know how to feed your dog when you aren’t home, you’re at work, or when away like on a vacation, or for any other particular reason?
The good news is you’ve got a few options from automatic dog dispensers and feeders, to friends, to paid doggy carers.
We will run through each option below so you can easily figure out which one best suits your needs.
Let’s have a look…
(NOTE: this is a general informational and educational guide only. It is not professional advice).
How To Feed Your Dog When Not Home, When Away, When On Vacation Or When At Work
First, Ask Yourself, How Long, and How Often You Are Away?
This is an important question to ask yourself in the first instance.
Is it just that you work slightly longer or irregular hours (maybe shift work for example) than what other people/owners are?
This is generally ok, as long as your dog is getting enough food, and has a consistent/regular feeding routine – usually once in the morning and once at night for healthy adult dogs.
If you find yourself on a consistent basis not being able to feed your dog regularly, not being able to spend at least an hour or two with them each day, and not being able to walk them for 20-30 minutes a day, it might be time to consider whether your lifestyle is really the best fit for you and your dog.
Irregular feeding or not feeding your dog enough food can lead to your dog developing health or behavioral problems in the future.
There are also non food related issues that might arise as a result of you not being home enough like:
- your dog suffering from separation anxiety
- your dog becoming destructive (to itself or the surrounding environment) due to a number of reasons such as lack of stimulation
Not home to feed your dog? Get a DIY automatic dog feeder with timer or programmable dispenser…
This is probably the easiest and best way to ensure your dog gets fed if you are not home consistently at the same times.
A DIY automatic dog feeder or dispenser allows you to control when, and how much your dog get’s fed – all without you actually being there to serve the dog food.
The way they work is:
- they have a hopper/container you pour dry kibble into
- different dog food dispensers have different sized/capacity hoppers – they can last usually between 1 to 2 weeks until needing to refill again
- you then program the feeder to feed at certain times of the day
- you also set the amount of food that the feeder dispenses each time it releases food
- they have different modes such as slow feeding mode, or immediate feeding mode
- sometimes the kibble can get stuck in the dispenser or chute – so it’s important to check the feeder in the first few days or weeks you have it to make sure this isn’t happening. You can also keep an eye on the level of the hopper to see whether the level of the dog food is going down
Two of the more popular automatic dog feeders and dispensers are:
- the regular capacity Petsafe Automatic Dog Food Feeder (on Amazon)
- the large capacity Petfly Automatic Dog Food Feeder (on Amazon)
Ask a friend to feed your dog, or check up on them
If you are going to be gone for a few days, you might ask a friend who lives in the same area to come by and check in on your dog each night.
They can either make sure your dog’s automatic feeder is working and not jammed, or they can feed your dog if you’ve left them specific instructions.
Obviously, you’ll want to make sure your dog has all the other essentials they need to stay safe and in good health such as access to go potty, access to clean drinking water, cover from the weather, cover from the heat and cold, a soft bed, enough room to move around and exercise, dog toys for stimulation etc.
Work out an arrangement with a pet sitter
Pet sitters generally take care of your dog when you are away.
You may choose to explore this option, but you may also work out a cheaper custom arrangement where the pet sitter comes only for say half an hour to an hour to make sure your dog is ok, and to make sure they are getting fed and drinking water.
It may be worth ringing a pet sitter in your area and seeing what they can offer.
Leave them at a dog boarding kennel
If you’re going to be gone for 2 to 3 days, or a week, it may be worth booking your dog in at a boarding kennel.
A competent dog boarding kennel will be able to feed your dog and care for them until you return.
Check out this guide on finding a reliable and trustworthy dog boarding kennel in your area.
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