How Much Time Do I Need for a DogDifferent dog breeds require different care. Read on to learn about how much time you should dedicate to your dog. It is usually recommended that you should provide your pup with a minimum of 1 – 2 hours of dedicated attention and care every day. These couple of hours can be in the form of a walk, playtime activities, training, or just regular cuddling time. However, every breed and age of dog requires a different amount of time. A puppy would require more attention than an adult dog. High energy breeds such as Border Collies would require more care time than low ones such as Maltese.

How Much Time Do Dogs Need According to Their Life Cycle?

Adopting a pet is always exciting, but it also brings with it responsibilities. When you decide to bring a puppy home, the workload and the effort given towards them are similar to a human baby. They need constant supervision. They require a fair amount of time from you, especially during the first year of their life when the socialization process begins, and puppies learn and explore their environment. 

Besides, in general, dogs are pack animals and enjoy the attention given to them. However, puppies require the love and care of a baby in their formative growing phase. You could hire a pet sitter or take some time off from work to look after your puppy and play, train, work on various activities and groom them to keep them motivated and healthy.

As for adult dogs, they require less attention than the young ones. Most of our canine companions are quite happy to sleep and rest for the majority of the day. The level of devotion a dog will require depends mostly on their breed. Some are happy the way they are, while others are major attention-seekers. Some may not mind the grooming and nail clipping, while others will be fussy about it. 

Nail clippers are the most commonly used tool used to clip their nails. However, nail grinders for dogs are the next best thing as they cannot accidentally hurt the dog.

Different Breeds and Characters 

How Much Time Do I Need for a DogEvery individual dog is different, and the characteristics of breeds can vary in a considerable amount. Breeds such as Labradors are family-friendly playful attention seekers. Kelpies or Border Collies need more time in training and stimulation. 

Busy families with small kids prefer adopting family-friendly dogs who are easy to train and are low maintenance. You can also sign up for personalized training programs that can be tailored to your dog’s needs. However, if you live on your own and you are looking for a dog that will become your best friend, pick the breed that loves training, playing together. It will lead to building up a unique, life-lasting bond between you two.

Do Your Homework 

Before adopting a dog, do your research carefully regarding the type and breed of dog that matches your personality. You can also get a mixed breed from a pet rescue shelter. Rescue dogs are believed to be more affectionate and far more loyal to you as you have rescued them from a traumatic place and event. Plus, with most shelters overflowing, rescuing a shelter dog could literally save their life.

How Long Can You Leave A Dog Alone?

If you work full-time but still really would like a dog in your life, be sure to train them properly on how to avoid getting separation anxiety and stay calm while you are away. This requires months of training, starting with just 5 minutes of absence at a time. We recommend you take some time off to train your puppy correctly. It is critical to train your dog not to have separation anxiety while you are gone – both for the dog’s health and to avoid expensive, destructive behavior. Take your time with this training. Eventually, your dog will be able to understand your morning rituals and learn to accept the pattern of behavior of you leaving in the morning and coming back in the afternoon. Everything is about routine, and once they get the hang of it, you and your dog are set for a very happy life together. 

However, no matter the breed, dogs love attention and crave care from their parents. They are super attached to their humans and require human contact. Even after successfully training them to stay home alone, they will crave attention when you come home. If they don’t receive that, it would eventually lead them to feel miserable, lonely, and depressed.

Full-time Job and a Dog?

Yes, it is possible to work full time and still enjoy having a dog in your life! While COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have been a bit of a bonus for those of us pet parents who got to work from home. Even if you have to leave for work, there are a few options you can consider if you don’t want your dog to be home alone all day:

  • Take the dog with you: if you work at a pet-friendly office where your employer and colleagues do not mind having pets at work, you can bring your dog along. Pets at work boost productivity and reduces stress for everyone. However, not all workplaces allow pets, and some people may suffer from allergies or have a genuine fear of dogs. In that case, you can try the next option.
  • Pet Day Care: If your office doesn’t allow you to bring your dog, you can always opt for a doggy daycare where they’ll keep your dog busy with various activities and training. However, keep in mind that not all dogs like being around other people and dogs. So make sure you fully understand the characteristics of your dog before putting them in doggy daycare.
  • Hire Pet Sitter: you can also hire a dog sitter to take care of your dog. However, before doing this, you need to train the dog to get used to the new sitter; otherwise, they may not be comfortable being left with a total stranger all of a sudden. In addition to that, you can hire sitters with vet care experience or dog trainers who will know how to handle your dog while you are away.

Have Back-up Plan

How Much Time Do I Need for a DogPet parenthood shares similarities with human parenthood – it requires constant care and affection. However, our modern lifestyle means it is not always possible to be around to take care of pets. We may have to leave home for a few days for various out-of-town events or medical emergencies. This is why it is important to have a back-up plan for emergencies. Consider an arrangement with a friend, neighbor, or family member who will take your dog in for a few days while you are away. Alternatively, you can arrange for pet sitters to come to your home and care for your dog. 

Once you have established the back-up plan, be sure to socialize your dog with the pet sitter so the dog can learn to trust the new human while you are away. Your absence will be stressful for your dog, so you need to make sure he is well adjusted to the new pet sitter.

Exercise

How Much Time Do I Need for a DogApart from providing them attention and time, another question usually comes up: how much exercise and food do you give your dog? The answer depends on the breed, age, and health of your dog. 

Puppies can be fussy eaters. So, if you have a puppy, you can adopt the grazing method. This method involves making dry food available to your dog at all times. Just pour some kibble in their food bowl and keep it accessible to your puppy. They will graze and come back to it now and then when they feel hungry. As for exercise, puppies consider adopting “zoomies.” These are short bursts of exercise that they do running around the house and collapsing in a pile or your lap. 

Puppies tend to be more energetic than adults; therefore, short sessions of walks or playtime are best to keep them healthy and improve bonding with you.

On the other hand, adult dogs require long walks, but this also depends on the dog’s breed and age. Some breeds are active and energetic, while others play or exercise for a short while and love lounging around. So choose your breed carefully when you go for adoption. If you lead an active lifestyle, choose a breed of dog that’s energetic and vice versa.

Feeding 

As for eating habits, you can ask your vet how much your dog really needs to eat and what should be their ideal weight. You can adopt the dry food grazing method to feed your dog or portion control their food in dry or wet form. You can also do a combination of both. If either of the methods doesn’t work for you, you can time your feeding strategy. You can wait 30 minutes for them to finish their meal and then throw out the rest of it when your dog has finished. You can offer food again 8-12 hours later when they’ll be hungry to eat again.

Are You Ready?

Getting a dog is a huge commitment that requires a lot of effort and patience. You should only get a dog if you are confident you can dedicate your time and energy to giving the dog a happy, well-adjusted life. From playing activities, training, and exercise to feeding, all require you to provide them with a certain amount of time and care, which creates an everlasting bond between you and your dog. Dogs are the most loving creatures on earth, and when given enough attention, love, and care, they become your best buddies for life.

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