A Professional’s Guide to Dog Ownership
By Jessica Brody // May 29, 2018
Work, love it or hate it, is one of life’s few constants. Whether entrenched in a promising career or on the prowl for a better professional opportunity, humans must schedule their lives around their work. This means that relationships, including one with a new pet, must be made to function within the confines of our professional schedules.
However, not every work schedule is the same, and professionals who work extraordinarily long or unconventional hours can find pet ownership to be an arduous yet gratifying task. The irony is that, as much as dogs ease the stress of a heavy workload, the relationship between pooch and owner can be strained by that workload.
That does not mean that it has to be, however. If you’re a busy professional who recently decided to adopt a canine companion, let this be your guide to creating a strong, balanced relationship without sacrificing your career.
Dogs as Life Coaches
Some very hard-working professions are associated with dog ownership. For young professionals, dog ownership can help to foster positive habits such as planning, work-life balance, selflessness, and cooperation. But in order to realize these positive character traits, a professional must make decisions and sacrifices that are inherent to dog ownership.
The first decision is which dog breed to buy. Dogs and hard-working professionals are not mutually exclusive, but only if choices are made within reality’s parameters. While all dogs crave human companionship, some dogs are more dependent upon human interaction than others. Strongly consider a low-energy breed if you are concerned about the consistency of hours spent apart from each other.
Choosing the right breed is the first step toward enjoying the many benefits of dog ownership. You are now ready to begin employing some more specific measures to maximize your dog’s, and in turn your own, happiness.
Easing the Strain of Work on a Dog’s Happiness
One benefit of working hard professionally is often a comfortable salary. This means that many professionals, young and older, can afford a dog sitting or dog walking service that will ease the sense of isolation a dog may feel while you are at work. Your pup will be grateful to see a friendly face equipped with a leash and doggy bag, and your conscience will thank you as well as you grind away at the office.
If you are not in a financial position to hire outside help, consider a doggy door. If that is not feasible, establishing an indoor bathroom – particularly for city dwellers – is one of the first steps to responsible ownership. It is recommended that you dog-proof a small room in the home. The bathroom is a common choice, but before leaving the dog alone for the day, consider these factors such as preserving rugs, any wooden siding, and preventing toilet-water consumption.
It cannot be emphasized enough that an outdoor option for the dog – whether in the form of hired help or an exit and entry door – is preferred. However, it is not an option for everybody. You will want to housebreak your pup as quickly as possible, but in the meantime the small, dog-proofed room may be your only viable option.
Business Trips: Make a Plan
Hard-working professionals may be tasked with heading out of town for business obligations. For many, this is more common than they would like.
If this is the case, make arrangements with a regular dog-sitter, whether that means that person house-sitting as well or taking the dog to their home while you are gone. Full-time boarding or dog daycares may also be an option, with the latter needing supplementation with a night-time caretaker.
If travel is part of your job, don’t stress, as it likely cannot be avoided. Still, make arrangements so that your dog’s routine changes as little as possible during these periods of prolonged separation.
Work is an enriching aspect of life for many. However, the responsibilities that come with full-time employment, especially in demanding fields, can be a detriment to one’s relationship with their dog. Still, many of the strains put on a dog and its owner by work can be minimized to a great extent with a bit of planning, preparation, and consistency.