Work is perhaps the biggest deterrent for prospective dog owners. So many of us would like to adopt a little bundle of love, but we feel we simply just don't have the time. It's a valid consideration, and we'd suggest that anyone assesses their situation thoroughly before going ahead with the dog hunt.
There are almost 9 million dogs in the UK, yet only about 1.5 million Brits work from home. It's a dramatic difference, meaning that 5/6 of dogs stay home alone while their human parents are busy bringing home the bacon. That's a lot of lonely pups!
It's a big cause of worry - Will my dog be ok home alone? Is it the right thing to do? - but, does having a full time job mean you definitely shouldn't get a dog?
Here's all you need to know:
What's The Situation?
The first thing to consider is your individual situation. Just because you work full time doesn't mean that you definitely shouldn't get a dog. It's all down to practicalities.
Here are the first few things to consider:
- What are your working hours?
- How far away do you work?
- What is your job's flexibility like?
- Are office dogs allowed?
Working full time doesn't always mean that you're gone all day. Firstly, you'll definitely have a lunch break, so if you're working close to home you'll be able to pop back and check in on your dog. Similarly, if office dogs are allowed, you're sorted!
We'd suggest listing the pros and cons while you assess what's best for your future dog.
How Long Should You Leave Your Dog Alone For?
The majority of dogs are sociable creatures, and many people work 8 hour days, with at least 30 minutes commute each way. This kind of situation is not particularly ideal for a new puppy.
As a general rule, dogs should only be left alone for up to 5 hours at a time, although it should be stressed that each individual case is different. Puppies, in particular, will require a lot more attention to start with, so it's a good idea to introduce them when you have a few days off work.
So, in short, it's important that your dog isn't left alone all day. However, if you (or, ideally someone else too) can check in on them and break up the day, the situation could work.
How The Age Of Your Dog Matters
Another key factor to consider is the age of your dog. No, really, it does make a difference...
Here at Tailster, we strongly support the 'adopt don't shop' mantra, and if you're a full time worker it could benefit you too. We all know how demanding puppies can be, and we're in no way suggesting that adopting an older dog isn't a challenge either.
Older dogs, once settled into the home, are far more likely to be happier sleeping all day, meaning that they won't be as demanding of your attention.
In this situation, it's important that you know the history of the dog before you make any decisions. If the dog has been neglected or suffers from anxiety, it's probably not the one for you. However, if they're just an older dog whose owner couldn't manage them any more, they're likely to be more relaxed and less demanding once settled into the home.
What You Can Do To Help Your Dog
As we've said, we recommend that, if you do decide to get a dog while you're working full time, you check in as regularly as possible throughout the day. However, there are also a variety of alternative options to help your dog settle into their new life:
- Arrange for them to see a family member or friend occasionally throughout the week. This will not only break up the day for your dog, but will also help to socialise them and stop them from getting bored!
- There are a variety of surveillance systems on the market that can be used to monitor your dog. Once linked up to your phone, you'll be able to view a live feed, receive updates on their movements, and even speak to them. Some specialist pet kits also dispense treats at your request, so you can teach your dog to come to the camera when you call them.
- Here at Tailster, we have over 20,000 vetted carers across the UK, who are available at your request to walk or care for your dog. Bookings with Tailster carers can be as frequent as you like, or simply a one off. For more information on our service, click here.