Should You Get a Dog if You Work Full Time?

If you visit dog forums occasionally for some advice, you’ll undoubtedly have seen this asked a lot of times.  Responses will vary, but typically the questioner will be met with a swift and emphatic rebuttal: Dogs require constant human supervision, and leaving one alone for more than two hours is considered inhumane.

Are we saying that only non-working adults are those worthy of dog ownership? Because in my opinion, the vast majority of dog owners work a full-time job. It’s not only the retired or homeworkers that have dogs.

Whether dog owners work or stay at home all day with their dog is not an indicator of how well they have trained or socialized their dog; neither is it a reason for the dog’s state of mind.

Getting A Dog When You Work Full Time

I was fortunate when I brought Luna home because I work full time from home, so it was relatively easy to take care of her when she was a puppy. I’m not sure I would have felt the same way if I had to go out to work. My personal opinion is that dogs are better when someone is at home for most of the day with them; however, I still believe what I said previously, that many dogs are just as well behaved and socialized when their humans work all day.

How To Have A Dog And Work Full Time: A Guide

If I had to work all day and leave Luna by herself, here are some of the things I would do to lessen her anxiety and make it easier for her to adapt to being alone.

Establish The Best Place In The House

Some dogs will not be happy or safe if they roam the house unattended. Before you leave your dog alone in the home, you need to find the safest spot for them. You could use any of the following options: Crates, restricted areas, one room only, or free-roaming. Whatever is best to keep your dog happy.

Establish The Maximum Time Your Dog Can Be Left Alone

How long your puppy can be left alone is an important consideration. Is there a time limit on how long your dog may be away from you without getting anxious? Is there a problem with your dog’s bladder control? Determine what works best for your dog and stick with it.

Give Your Dog Plenty Of Time Before You Leave For Work

Dogs don’t share your sense of urgency when it comes to getting out of the house in the morning. When a dog is outside, not all of them go to the toilet right away. Be sure to allow enough time for your dog to relieve themselves before you depart for the entire day.

Does Your Dog Enjoy The TV?

If your dog is a TV watcher, not every dog is, of course, but your dog might have a favourite sports channel or something. So, if your dog enjoys TV, choose a station that you are confident they will appreciate. Theres a channel on Youtube I put on sometimes that’s called “Pets TV” that has chilled music that I think Luna likes.

Give Your Dog Acess To An Outside View

Your dog will love being able to see the outside world when you are away, even though you might prefer your privacy when you’re in your home. Before you leave, open a few curtains or blinds so your dog can see the outside world through the window.

You might need to be careful doing this if your dog loves to bark at the postman or other people walking past your home. You don’t want to come home to a load of complaints from upset neighbours.

Don’t Leave Your Dog Alone Without An Interactive Toy

One of the best approaches to keeping your dog from feeling lonely while you’re away is to keep them occupied with something.  I encourage you to leave them with an interactive toy, such as a puzzle toy or a treat toy, so that they can spend some time figuring it out.

If you’re stuck on what kind of toy to keep your pup occupied, I have an excellent article on the site that will provide you with some brilliant pet Tech ideas.

Provide Your Dog With A warm And Cozy Area

Everyone wants their dog to feel safe and secure, so create a safe haven for them by providing a comfy bed with their favourite blankets and placing some other objects in there that smell of you.

When You’re At Home Give Your Dog Loads Of Exercise

It’s crucial to keep your dog from destroying your home while you’re at work to give them the exercise they need and stop them from being bored and storing up energy they can’t release. When you aren’t working and have the time ensure you give your dog the time to exercise and get rid of all that pent-up energy.  

Pop In To Visit Your Dog During The Day

For the sake of your dog, I recommend popping in for a visit at some point throughout the workday. Even if it’s only for 10 minutes, your dog will be grateful for the time spent fussing and playing with them.

Hire a dog walker

A dog walker is a great option if you do not have anyone that lives close by to check in on your dog. These can be cheaper than using a doggy daycare as you will only be paying for the hour you use them. A typical cost for a dog walker is likely to be about £10 to £15 for the hour walk depending on where you live etc.

Take Your Dog To Work With You

This one isn’t about making your dog feel more comfortable alone at home, but it’s excellent for both you and your dog if you can make the arrangements.

Talk to your supervisor about making your workplace more dog-friendly if your company doesn’t already. Having dogs in the office has improved employee morale and productivity. Doing so could benefit you and your pet in the long run!

Have a family member pop round?

The odd time we have had to go out all day at the last minute without having a plan in place for the dog we have asked my mum to pop round. This is great as my mum doesn’t want to get a dog, but she does love dogs and she’s happy to have a walk around just to check that everything is ok.

Doggy Day Care

This is something we do but have cut back on recently but she has been doing on a regular basis since she was only a few months old. There were going to be some days when we were both out for long periods. This was partly for selfish reasons and also we didn’t want to feel guilty leaving her for four hours or more. It’s a great solution as Luna loves it, she gets mental stimulation all day from playing with other dogs and gives us free time to go out somewhere all day where we might not be able to take her.

Is It Better To Have Two Dogs If You Work?

The answer is both yes and no to this question. Dogs can be very social animals, although plenty of breeds will not welcome another dog into their home. However,  a second dog might not be a substitute for an owner that’s out at work all day.

It’s down to you to decide whether or not getting a second dog is a good choice for you, your current dog, and your family in the end, but to aid in your decision-making, here are some ideas to consider.

Two common reasons why dog owners consider opting for a second dog are:

  1. When I’m not home, my dog’s barking and destructive behavior are getting out of hand; therefore, I’m looking for a friend for her.
  2. My dog misses me a lot because of the long working hours. Getting a second dog will alleviate that problem.

Another dog might help with these two issues; however, a second dog could also exacerbate the problems, and I’ll explain why.

Your second dog barks just as much as the first and joins in the destructive fun and games.

Having a second dog means you have to spend less time with the first one because you now need to give attention to two dogs. 

What happens if your new addition dominates your current dog, increasing their level of anxiety or aggression.

A second dog might work for you if you can comfortably afford a second dog, and when you’re not at work, you have time and energy to exercise both dogs fully. A second reason to get a second dog would be because your current dog is delighted to enjoy the company of other dogs. You know, bringing another dog into the home will compensate for you and your family not being there all the time.

Dog Schedule For Working Owners

Dogs are creatures of habit, and they love a good routine. So, if you have a dog and you must go to work and leave them alone, it’s better to devise a solid routine your dog can get behind.

  1. Get up and get ready for the day as usual. Try to hold off letting your dog go outside just yet. Potty time for your dog now needs to be part of your routine for work, and potty time isn’t straight after you get out of bed.
  2. Once you’ve finished getting ready for work (getting dressed, packing your lunch, etc.), you’re ready to go. Now is the time to take your dog outside.
  3. Don’t just let your dog out to relieve themself. Even if it’s just 5–10 minutes, take a little walk. Spend at least another 10 minutes playing with your dog each day before work. Play fetch with your dog to burn off some of his pent-up energy. Make it clear how much your dog means to you.
  4. After spending some quality time with your dog in the morning, the last thing you do is feed your dog.
  5. Don’t hang around waiting for your dog to finish their food. Leave home while they are still eating. Their attention will be on the food and hopefully not notice you leaving.

How Long Can A Cockapoo Be Left Alone?

Every Cockapoo is unique; however,  it’s important to remember that typically your dog shouldn’t be left alone for more than 4 to 5 hours per day. 

Puppies under a year old will require a lot of human engagement and assistance with their potty time; their tiny bladders and bowels will not be able to hold it for that length of time.  Of course, if they have to go, they will. However, that’s not going to help you with potty training, and what should have taken a few weeks will end up taking months. 

Most people have to be at work for more than a few hours a day, making this a concern for dog owners.

Cockapoos are people-oriented dogs and, as a general rule, hate being left alone, even for a few hours or short periods. Because I’m a Cockapoo owner, I don’t suggest getting this breed of dog if you’re out at work all day. Cockapoos are one breed that suffers significantly from separation anxiety.

You could get a member of the family or neighbour to come round each day for a few minutes to let your dog outside to get some air and do their business. But frankly, I don’t think it’s fair on the dog, and dogs are a lot of work; do you really want to put that responsibility on someone else? 

A Professional dog sitter will come to your home and take care of your dog all day. But that solution has definite drawbacks for me. 

I wouldn’t be thrilled inviting a stranger into my home all day. Also, my dog will eventually become more attached to the pet sitter than to my wife and me, at least I would worry if that could happen. Somehow, it just seems pointless when I cannot spend enough time with my dog.

Cockapoos want to be with their owners, and you know if you have to go to work or not. If you do and definitely want a dog, I would research other breeds and avoid buying a Cockapoo. They are probably not the best for a working dog owner.

Luna is 6 at the time of me writing this. I am not sure if shes classed as an older dog at this stage, but shes definitely more relaxed and doesn’t require as much mental stimulation now shes older. I feel if I could talk to her she would happily say “yeah leave me here on the sofa I’m quite happy to just chill here”. I still feel guilty every time I leave the house though.

Conclusion

If you think back to the time before office working became the norm then its most likely that the wife stayed at home all day looking after the house and children while the husband went off to work. Of course, this has all changed now as both adults go off to work and dogs are left at home for longer periods than they were back then.

If you’re a full-time worker and determined to get a dog, go ahead and get one, but be cautious. It would be better to choose a more independent breed, the younger, the better, or a rescue dog that’s been used to being alone, which is ideal for this situation. Make a plan for how you’ll spend quality time with your dog and be ready to justify yourself to anyone who doesn’t have to work and is eager to criticise. 

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