What can you do to keep your dog happy when you can't be there for them 24/7?
We’re sure you'll agree that getting a dog was one of the best decisions you have ever made. But there’s no doubt about it, owning a dog is not a small commitment! Since on average a dog will live 10-13 years, getting a dog isn’t just a financial decision, it’s also a commitment that will impact many years of your life.
Once you’ve found your perfect pooch it’s natural to want to always have your dog by your side, but having your dog with you all the time isn’t always possible. After all, life can get busy, and sometimes you need some you time to unwind from the busy-ness of work. No matter how much you love your dog, it’s not always possible to be around to give them the love and attention they need to stay happy and healthy.
When you need to get away for a holiday, when work is full-on, or social events pop up in your diary, what options do you have to ensure your dog is well cared for? We’ve taken a look at the various options you have when considering dog care.
Leaving your dog at home
This seems like the most convenient option—your dog knows your home better than anywhere else.
Do you often feel a bit guilty as you leave? You’re not alone! 69 percent of dog owners surveyed by DogBuddy said they felt guilty leaving their dog.
What’s more, the RSPCA recommends the absolute maximum length of time to leave your dog is four hours, more than this and your dog can become distressed and cause issues such as separation anxiety. Tell-tale signs of separation anxiety can include defecation or urination, excessive barking or whining, and destructive behaviour like chewing or digging.
Dogs are naturally sociable animals and as dog owners, it’s important to give our dogs opportunities to interact positively with people, other dogs and new places. That’s why dog behavioural experts recommend giving a puppy as many positive experiences as possible. Once the ‘socialisation window’ is over these experiences need to continue throughout the dog’s whole life, so leaving your dog alone may not be the best option.
Asking friends & family
If you’re lucky to have family or friends living nearby, this might seem like a great alternative. Your dog might be familiar with them and even love them to bits. However, this isn’t the reality for everyone, particularly when you are planning a two-week trip of a lifetime, or if a last-minute work engagement pops up. Ask them to look after your dog too many times and you run the risk of annoying them, plus there’s always the chance that they’ll be unavailable.
Dog kennels have been around for years, and may seem like the only option once you have exhausted friends and family. The downside is that many dogs don’t take well to a kennel environment, which are often loud and stressful. Your dog can become over-stimulated and anxious, potentially worsening issues such as separation anxiety.
Finding a dog-sitter
Have you thought of using a dog-sitter? There are thousands of sitters who not only want to look after your dog, but will also love and care for them just as you would at home. Many of them are dog owners themselves, or have been in the past, which means you can find a furry playmate for your pooch if you want one. Plus, they know what they’re doing when it comes to dog care.
Often, dog-sitters will care for dogs one-on-one, which means your pooch will be properly pampered, given plenty of exercise and there will always be someone close by with a watchful eye.
There are numerous options out there when it comes to finding dog care. But with a reliable dog-sitter, there’s no need to give up the things you enjoy doing like seeing a movie, travelling or enjoying a delicious meal out. Nor do you have to feel guilty about leaving your dog, knowing they’re being looked after by someone who will give them exactly the care they need and deserve.
DogBuddy was founded in 2013 and has grown to be Europe’s leading online dog-sitting community, with more than 500,000 dog lovers registered. With over 30,000 approved dog-sitters using the service, DogBuddy connects dog owners with local and reliable dog-sitters to provide Doggy Day Care, Home Dog Boarding, and Dog Walking across the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden and Norway.