You know that it’s important to train a puppy properly in her early days, don’t you? You also know you have to work to pay the monthly bills, right? Are there ways to combine the two so that neither one misses out? Yes! You need to discover how to take care of a puppy when you work!
A puppy, like any baby, will get lonely, if left alone for too long. If nothing is done about it, it can lead to all kinds of serious psychological problems. This is not how to house train puppy when working full time. So, what can you do about the situation?
This article will answer the question: “What should I do with my puppy when I go to work?” There is no, one-answer-fits-all, for this situation. You have to find the way that works best for you. The good news is that there are a number of options, and one will be just right for you!
1 – Know how long your puppy can be left alone without peeing
That’s really the limiting factor. Puppies, like most young animals, are not very good at holding it in. Luckily, there a simple equation that will give you a rough guide: add one to the puppy’s age in months, and that’s the number of hours a puppy can go without peeing.
For example, if your puppy is three months old, she will be able to hold it in for four hours, more or less. If she is six months old, she will last for seven hours. This is not an exact science, of course, and there are many factors that can affect the times.
Be aware also that eight hours is about the maximum time any dog of any age can go without needing to pee. The simple and only real answer here is that you will need help. Remember, you want your puppy properly potty trained. You will confuse the dog is she has the right training when you’re home, but no training when you’re away at work.
This phase will not last forever, so it’s really temporary help you will be seeking. You will need someone to be able to drop along to your home several times a day to provide your dog with ‘comfort breaks’. If you can do this yourself during your lunch break, all the better!
A friendly neighbor, a friend, or a relative will do. If you really have no one to turn to for help, consider employing the services of a dog walker or puppy sitter. A slightly more expensive option is a good dog daycare center
2 – Explore flexible options regarding your work
With some jobs, there’s no easy answer of how to take care of a puppy when you work. A taxi driver, for example, needs to be on the road. A nurse needs to be in a medical facility, and a teacher needs to be in a school.
However, telecommuting is possible with some jobs. This is where you work from home, communicating with your superiors through the internet, for example. You may not be able to work from home every day, but if you could for one or two days a week, it would greatly reduce your problems with your puppy.
Try asking your company if it would be possible for you to telecommute. The worst they can do is say “no”. Explain your situation, and why you wish to work from home, rather than coming into the company premises to work. A sympathetic boss may be willing to help.
Alternatively, it may be possible for you to take your puppy into work. Your workplace may even have dog daycare options. Ask. Don’t make it sound like a full-time thing. Explain that it is only until your puppy is old enough to be left alone for a longer time. It’s worth a try!
3 – Keep your puppy happy
Make it a rule that you will make a fuss over your puppy when you not working. If you cannot telecommute, or bring your puppy into work, you will still have mornings, evenings, and weekends together. Make the most of this time.
You may have to get up earlier than usual, but always take your puppy out for a decent walk every morning before you head off to work. This will likely be harder in winter when the morning will be dark, but your puppy needs this time to be together with you.
Take her out again when you get home from work. I know… You will be tired after a long day at work, but this is not forever. You are setting a scene here for your puppy to expect every day. Your hard work will pay off, and sooner than you expect too.
Try to set aside at least an hour during the evening to play with your puppy. Switch off the TV and devote all your time to your little dog. This is time well spent, and there’s usually nothing on TV worth watching anyway!
A short final walk just before bedtime is always a good idea too. It will allow her a final chance to have a comfort break, and it will be even more bonding time between you both.
Weekends are the time when you can really have fun. Make the most of your time together. Take her out in the yard if the weather is good. Or take her to a park. You could use your weekends to take her to puppy training classes where she will be able to mix with other puppies.
4 – Make sure her personal space is comfortable and cozy
She needs to be warm and dry, of course, so make sure she has a space that is comfortable and welcoming. Make sure she has plenty of water available at all times, and food too, if appropriate.
Don’t let her get bored. Provide her with lots of toys. Try to have a varied bunch of dog toys – some that squeak, some that rattle, some that do unexpected things. Variety is the aim here. A bored puppy is not a happy puppy.
If it is possible, try to have a window somewhere that she can look out of. A puppy will be entertained for part of the time at least by simply sitting watching life go by outside. Most puppies are too small to reach up to a window, but there may be a way. Be inventive where possible!
5 – Puppy-proof your home!
If it can be investigated, it will be investigated. Go around your home, or at least the areas that your puppy is allowed in, and carefully evaluate how safe it is for her. A potted plant on a window sill, for example, could easily be knocked over. She may also try to eat the plant, and some plants will be toxic for her.
Remember that electric cords lying on the floor can be chewed. A puppy could be seriously harmed if it chewed through a live cable. Don’t leave it to chance! Eliminate all potential hazards, and if you’re not sure if it’s a hazard or not, eliminate it anyway. Be safe, not sorry!
There’s an old proverb that says: “The devil finds work for idle hands.” I’m sure that applies to idle paws too, so don’t leave any temptations in the way of your puppy. In fact, do the opposite. Make sure she has plenty of safe, interesting toys to play with. She will (hopefully) prefer them to a boring old electric cable.
Raising a puppy is not easy, but it is always worth it. You are making a friend. You are creating a bond between you both that will endure for years.
Learning how to take care of a puppy when you work will be hard at first, but the day will come, and sooner than you expect when all the hard work is over. Keep that day in mind always whenever something goes wrong. It IS worth it!