Getting a puppy is a big commitment in general.
They don’t stay a puppy forever – they grow up and become a FUR-ever friend.
On average, a puppy turns into a 10-15 year commitment when you consider how long some dogs live.
There’s not only time and effort that goes into owning a dog (read this guide for a reasonable list of problems and challenges dog owners might face over the course of their life), but also all the costs like vet bills, food, registration, treatments and vaccinations, beds and toys, purchasing cost and more.
If you’re getting a puppy when you work full time, you want to make sure your lifestyle caters for a dog.
Regular walks, bonding time and getting up to let them outside to do their business are all things that are required to keep a healthy relationship with a dog – so, make sure you have the time, energy (and money for it)
Let’s take a look at the full range of things you might consider …
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
4 Things To Know About Getting A Puppy When You Work Full Time
1) Consider if a dog fits your overall lifestyle
Dogs are not for everyone.
You have to have the time, money and heart to care for them and love them the way they deserve to be treated.
As we wrote in our ‘Should I Get A German Shepherd‘ guide, consider the needs of dogs overall and the breed too.
We are talking things like:
Daily exercise and stimulation
Time investment in socialisation, training and obedience
Time spent bonding
Cleaning up dog hairs, and grooming
Spending time find a good breeder or good rescue/shelter
2) Know how to prepare your house and your puppy for staying home for longer periods while you’re at work
If you’re at work, there’s a good chance you will be there for a full day.
That’s ok. But, you need to plan for that – especially when your dog is a puppy.
We wrote a guide about this specifically – i.e. tips for leaving your puppy at home.
When your dog is a puppy, you’ll need to protect both your house and your puppy while you’re not there supervising.
If you’re leaving your puppy home for the first time, and you need a checklist of things to be aware of, a good start might be:
Test run leaving your puppy with friends, or for a couple of hours the first time
Make sure dog food and water is available
Make sure they have dog toys, bones or other stimulation available
Make sure their dog bed is accessible
Consider a dog crate or dog house/kennel
Make sure you’ve taken them outside to pee or poop before you leave the house
Isolate them to one part or room of the house
Place down puppy pads on house surfaces for waterproofing and catching pee/poop
Make sure your puppy is warm/cool enough
Have some pet stain remover, and pet deodoriser ready
Make sure your puppy’s poops are solid and not diarrhea
Follow any vet advice they’ve given to you
Leaving your puppy outside exposes them to risks such as weather and nasties, and if they yelp, it will annoy your neighbours pretty quickly
See how your puppy reacts when you get home
Spend time with your dog when you get home, and walk them daily once they are ready to be outside and interact with other puppies
Consider a pet sitter or doggy day care if necessary
3) Get ready to sacrifice some of your mornings/weeknights and weekends
There’s really no way around it, and it kind of goes back to point 1.
If you are getting a puppy, you’re going to have to sacrifice some of your weeknights and weekends.
Dogs need to be walked daily. So, you’re either going to have to start getting up earlier and walking your dog in the morning, or you’re going to have to give gym/yoga a miss and take your dog for a walk on weeknights.
There’s also weekends where a trip to the dog park, walk to the beach and of course bonding time are all good things to do with your dog.
It’s a time to get some of the not so fun taks done too like picking up dog hair if your dog sheds, taking them for vet check ups, picking up dog poop etc.
4) The sacrifices are worth it if you’re willing to accept more love in your life
Despite all the above time, money and effort investments, and small sacrifices, puppies and dogs are 100% worth it if you are ready for a loving and loyal friend in your life.
I was walking in my neighbourhood the other week and an older man with two Jack Russells said hello to me.
I stopped to talk to him for a while and he shared with me that his wife had passed away a few years ago. He was pretty down for a good year or so until a friend mentioned to him that a dog might cheer him up.
He said that although nothing can replace his wife, his dogs bring him so much joy – they are always there for him with unconditional love, and he gets a lot of happiness from caring for them.
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