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How Busy Dog Owners Can Make Time for Their Pets
DogsBehavior

How Busy Dog Owners Can Make Time for Their Pets

Critter Culture Staff
Updated Aug 15, 2022

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In today's rapid-paced, technologically-driven world, it feels like our workload is endless. We've got places to go and people to meet, so for busy dog owners, taking time for a pooch can seem difficult. While having a lot on your schedule can be stressful, spending time with your four-legged friend can help take the edge off and encourage a lifelong bond. Discover how you can carve out space in the calendar for man's best friend.

1

Schedule them in

Beagle dog female owner caress stroking her pet lying on the back on natural stroking dog on the floor and enjoying the warm home atmosphere. Solovyova / Getty Images

Since bonding and busy schedules don't always mix, the simplest way to make space for your dog is to carve out time on your calendar every day. Whether you're spending time together for 10 minutes or two hours, it's all about quality over quantity. Choose an activity you love, even if it's just curling up on the couch. Use that time to provide your pooch with undivided attention and love. Your dog would much rather be with you than alone, so create time for routine tasks such as cleaning the house, yard work, or relaxing after a long day.

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2

Prioritize training

Young woman training dog in field in sunny day. Nico De Pasquale Photography / Getty Images

For many on-the-move pet parents, training can appear overwhelming. Thankfully, your pooch only requires two to three weekly training sessions to get the message across. Not only will they learn valuable new skills, but they'll also have something meaningful to work toward; dogs will do anything to see you smile, and training encourages them to do that! Each training session should run about 15 minutes, and you should focus on just one or two basic skills during each to encourage learning retention.

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3

Try a lunch visit

Everyday life at home with dogs Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

Carve out time in your schedule to make space for Fido, even if you're on the clock. While this might take some creativity, it's easier than most people think. If you're close to home, head back for a lunch visit with your four-legged friend or schedule afternoons together every weekend; if you can work from home (even for a few hours each week), even better! You can also bring your dog along on the occasional food run, coffee trip, or shopping excursion; work them into your everyday life wherever they're welcome.

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4

Find pup a playdate

Two dogs are bonding - Friendship - love emotion Kesinee Khaikaew / Getty Images

If you own only one pet, they're likely to get lonely after a while, so a little company goes a long way. Schedule playdates for your dog with other owners, and use that time to form bonds between them. If a friend or family member is also a dog owner, get them together once or twice a week. If this person's schedule is less squeezed in than yours, see if your dog can stay over for extended play time!

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5

Work out together

Happy black athletic woman and her dog enjoying in a day in nature. Drazen Zigic / Getty Images

Both of you need exercise, so why not enjoy it together? Exercise is probably the easiest and least time-consuming way to spend time with your dog, so get them up and moving whenever you can. Whether you take a walk down the block or engage in quick play sessions, your dog will burn off energy while having a blast. Alternatively, bring your pup along for the ride if you're into morning runs, half-hour hikes, or bike trips.

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6

Hire a dog walker or sitter

Pet sitter caring about dogs. They are all ready on leash to go for walk svetikd / Getty Images

While you can hire someone to take your dog for a stroll or play with them while you're away, these professionals should never be a substitute for yourself. Instead, they should incorporate more socialization and fun into your pet's day when you're unavailable. This is ideal for working dog owners who spend more than 10 to 12 hours apart from your pooch; like humans, they require social interaction to stay fulfilled. Without it, they'll feel lonely, bored, and grow to resent you.

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7

Keep needs in check

Close up of a vet having a check up on a dog Marko Geber / Getty Images

Your puppy requires more than just playdates; they need proper health care and nutrition to encourage well-being. However, scheduling a veterinary check-up or grooming session can get tricky if you wait until the last minute. Put your pet's needs on your calendar and schedule them at least a week or two in advance. Purchase supplies, such as dog toys and food at the same time you run your own errands, or use a delivery service and send new goodies directly to your door.

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8

Seek out dog-friendly establishments

Young woman with long hair in yellow t shirt and a small fluffy cute pug having fun and smiling, dog eats a big piece of a very tasty pizza! Anastasiia Shavshyna / Getty Images

From parks and beaches to dog-friendly restaurants and bars, there's a spot for everyone. Whether you go alone or meet up with the crew, research dog-friendly locations in your area and visit as many as possible, this isn't just a great activity; it makes it easier to connect with fellow dog owners and make new friends for both yourself and your pooch. Imagine the excitement when you bring Fido into the local library, coffee shop, or out for tapas; it's truly a win-win.

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9

Try automated toys

Jack Russell Terrier dog catching and fetching balls alexei_tm / Getty Images

Dogs are easy to please, and automated toys can keep them occupied for hours on end. Some balls, for instance, come with a throwing machine that does all the work for you, making them a great fit while you're away. Robot toys give them the thrill of the chase both indoors and out, and you'll find a variety in many sizes, shapes, and styles.

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10

Get them a pal

While some dog breeds are lone wolves, others are more satisfied with animal company. While you're out and about, they have ample time to play, dash around, or curl up together for a nap, and it provides peace of mind while you're away. Make sure, of course, that the pets you have get along and aren't prone to aggressiveness.

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