Dabl at Home
What Happens To Your Dog While You’re At Work?
Hiring a dog walker or investing in doggy daycare will likely be your best option for keeping your dog safe, healthy and happy when you return to the office.
As people all over the country are returning to the office for in-person work days, it’s time to figure out what to do with our pandemic pups. So many pets were adopted during the pandemic that some shelters even ran out of adoptable dogs! But now that the pandemic hype seems to be tapering off and professionals are returning to the office, people are returning their pets to shelters because they’ve realized too late that pet parenthood isn’t conducive with their lifestyle. Investing in a trusted dog walker or taking your dog to a daycare facility are likely the best ways for you to keep the pup you’ve fallen in love with and give him the quality of life he deserves.
Instead of giving up your dog because it’s time to return to the office and your other pre-pandemic commitments, we suggest coming up with ways to fit your beloved pet into your lifestyle in ways that will keep you both happy and healthy. Some people consider installing doggy doors so that their pets can go outside and do their business anytime nature calls. Other people will still be working from home part of the time, so they only need to find solutions to keep their dog properly cared for a few days of the week. Other people may live close to the office with the ability to swing home on their lunch breaks to provide their pet with some attention, treats, and bathroom breaks.
But when work is too far or too busy to allow you to give your pup the attention he needs, you need someone else to fill in as caretaker for you. One great solution for this is to hire a dog walker. You can hire a dog walker from a local service to come to your house once or even several times a day to give your dog an outing and a chance to relieve himself. You can also sign up for smartphone apps, such as Wag, where you can schedule walks with your favorite dog walkers or request someone immediate dog walks anytime. In addition to giving your dog a bathroom break, dog walkers will also provide your dog with mental stimulation and exercise through walks and individualized attention. Exercise and outings will also help your dog expel excess energy, which can lead to annoying hyper behavior or home destruction if left unchecked. Try to hire a dog walker or use an app or service where the walkers send you pictures and updates. Knowing how your dog did on his walk, if he’s behaving normally, and receiving confirmation that your dog is still as healthy and happy as you left him should provide you with peace of mind.
The downside of hiring a dog walker is you can’t be entirely sure of who is coming to your house to walk your dog. While services strive to only send safe and qualified walkers, this person is still a stranger and there is always a possibility that you get sent a person with malicious intentions who has slipped under the radar. One way to combat this is to install security cameras to keep tabs on activity in and around your home and only use dog walkers who have passed background checks. Similarly, it may just be uncomfortable to have a virtual stranger in your house when you’re not there. You will also need to find a safe place to hide your house key where only the intended individuals can gain entry into your home. Some people utilize lockboxes that can only be opened when a code is entered correctly for this purpose.
The other caveat to think about when deciding if hiring a dog walker is right for you is your dog’s temperament. Some dogs are friendly to all other people and animals and are very easy to walk. However, other dogs are extremely protective of the home and may view a dog walker as an intruder. In this scenario, the dog could attack the intruder because he thinks he’s protecting his home. Similarly, some dogs have weird behavioral quirks during walks or are leash aggressive. If the dog walker or someone the dog walker encounters is injured or bitten while walking your dog, you may be liable for medical and legal costs and repercussions.
This is why finding a doggy daycare on your usual route or close to your home or office may be the best option for keeping your dog happy and cared for while you are at work. Doggy daycares give your dog the chance to run and play with other dogs, burning excess energy and learning proper socialization skills. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, doggy daycares will teach your dog confidence and independence. Since your dog won’t be home alone, he also won’t be able to bother your neighbors with barking or whining while you are away. In addition, many doggy daycares offer additional services like grooming, training, transportation, overnight boarding, and other activities to provide your dog with mental stimulation.
In general, you know you’ve found a reputable and reliable doggy daycare if they have good reviews that are easy to find online and the staff provides decent customer service. We also recommend choosing a facility with cameras, as this allows you to check in on your pet anytime for peace of mind and holds the daycare accountable for only providing pets with the highest quality of care. For safety, most facilities will also require proof of certain vaccinations and will have your dog undergo an interview to make sure his temperament is appropriate for that specific daycare. These policies are usually easy to meet and are in place to protect your dog, other pups at daycare, and the staff who is caring for your dog.
Of course, doggy daycare has some cons of its own. Until you’ve tried a facility a few times, you might not be able to be entirely sure that it’s right for both you and your dog. While your dog probably won’t suffer at daycare, you still want to ensure he’s happy and having a good time. In addition, allowing your dog to interact with so many other dogs can post health and safety risks. Your dog could become injured during play or an unexpected fight, although qualified staff should be on standby at all times to supervise the dogs and intervene in an emergency. While keeping your dog current on all his vaccinations helps keep him healthy, he may also be more likely to catch colds or viruses from other dogs who attend daycare. Double check with your dog’s veterinarian, but typically this risk isn’t high enough or dangerous enough to prevent your dog from attending daycare if he is vaccinated and generally healthy. Many daycares will also not allow puppies to attend for their own safety until they reach a certain age and have had all required vaccinations.
Whether you’ve been a pet parent for many years or only recently adopted your dog during the pandemic, you made a lifelong commitment to your pup to keep him well cared for, happy, and healthy. As our routines change and we return to offices and pre-pandemic activities, we have to help our dogs through this transition. They’ve gotten used to having us home, and will go through an adjustment period as we all adapt to our new (and probably improved) schedules and social calendars. When you utilize resources available to you, like dog walkers and doggy daycares, you are helping your dog be happy and content in his new routine. You also won’t have to give up your dog or feel guilty about them being home alone for too long because of your work schedule. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on being the best employee or professional because you’ll know that you’ve improved your dog’s already great life by investing in dog walking or doggy daycare.