Puppy Parenting When Working Full Time

For those who work full time, it can be tricky to balance work with caring for our pets, and while in an ideal world we would devote all our time and energy to them, the reality is that most of us must work full time to be able to survive. Should we forsake our pets for this reason though? No, most definitely not.

There are so many needy animals in this world, that if we start suggesting that only those who stay at home all day should be able to own a pet, then many millions of animals would linger in shelters or die on the streets. So, we must look at solutions to ensure that our pets are cared for appropriately while we’re out, and then as soon as we return, we can of course shower them with love and affection.

Here are a few tips for handling common problems that arise when puppies are left at home for prolonged periods of time:

  • Bed wetting

While using a crate for your puppy can be a good idea, keeping them confined while you’re away from home for more than hour, will become an issue. Many young pups are unable to contain their urine or very long, and will soak their crate in your absence.

Wetting their bedding a couple of times is nothing to be particularly concerned about, but bear in mind that if a puppy does this several times and is not deterred from doing it – or has been given no alternative – then it could become a habit, and a bad one at that.

Crate confinement is not the solution, so what is?

  • Puppy proof rooms and playpens 

Not everyone has the space to dedicate a safe and chew/pee proof room for their puppy to play in while they’re out, so a puppy play pen may be the best alternative. They are usually sturdy (providing you purchase a good one) and can easily be assembled at home. Playpens give your puppy enough room for them to stretch their legs, while also enabling them to pee at a good distance away from their bedding, which is what most puppies will instinctively want to do.

  • Yowling, howling, yapping and barking 

Puppies who are not yet familiar with their surroundings, or who simply crave company (whether it be four legged or two), will often vocalise their distress in the forms of howls, whines and barks. This can be a real problem if your neighbours aren’t very tolerant, and it could be a fast way of making enemies of them, which is never good.

One way of trying to minimise your puppy’s distres at being left alone, is to gradually introduce periods of solitude until the little one is more comfortable with it, and gradually begins to accept it. The length of time that this may take is very much dependant on each puppy, but persevere and be patient, and you should have a positive result.

Providing your puppy with plenty of chewable (but safe) toys, is a good way of keeping them distracted in your absence, and will also (or should I say, may also!) deter them from chewing what they’re not supposed to!

  • Seeking professional help 

If you’re finding that the demands of your puppy are not being met while you’re at work, and you think that your animal is suffering as a result, then it may be time to call in the pro’s. Anxious puppies, puppies left with soiled bedding for hours and puppies who have begun to destroy your home in your absence, may need some supervision and human interaction to help keep them healthy and happy until you return from work.

There are many quality companies who provide a whole range of care packages for pets whose owners work full time, and most can be adapted to suit specific needs and budgets. These can include walking once or twice a day, sitting with your puppy to keep them company, cleaning their bedding and any other activities that are required to keep the little one content.

Having a full-time job and finding that you can’t cope with caring for your puppy, is nothing to be ashamed of, but you must seek help wherever possible to prevent your puppy from growing into an adult dog with issues!

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