Do I have enough time for a dog? Tips and Tricks

How Can I Make My Dog Feel Welcome?

As a pet parent, its important to remember that your first few weeks with your new pet will look different until youve established a routine. When bringing a pet home, youre entering into a transitional period as you learn about each other.

During the first week of being a pet parent, youll focus on gathering all the supplies needed, making space in your home for a kennel or dog bed, showing your pet around the home, exploring the yard on a leash, meeting human family members, possibly switching to new dog food, working on training skills, bonding with your pet and meeting a veterinarian for an initial exam and checkup.

After experiencing all these firsts together, youll fall into the rhythm of daily life that works for everyone in the household, including your new dog. With that said, there are occasional commitments to think about, such as follow-up veterinary visits, time to shop for pet supplies and scheduling appointments with the groomer.

Alone Time for Dogs: The Basics

It may seem like it’s a natural skill, but puppies need to learn how to be alone, and it’s a gradual process. Generally, puppies work their way up from being under constant care and supervision to being trusted and comfortable being on their own over the course of an eight-hour workday over time. The basics include:

Do I have enough time for a dog?

Do I have enough time for a dog?

  • Creating a safe area for alone time, such as an exercise pen or crate
  • Ensuring your puppy has positive associations with being left alone, such as leaving toys with treats
  • Increasing the alone time incrementally over a few days
  • Checking in on your pup over time to reward and praise them for successfully being alone
  • Eventually transitioning to full and free access of the house, once your dog is potty trained and sure of being home alone
  • You might also like these posts

    For pet parents, the Christmas season is a great time to show their furry friends some extra love and appreciation.

    How To Manage Having A Dog With A Busy Schedule

    As I sat down to write, Dakota, my almost 8-year-old Siberian Husky, is doing anything she can to distract me from the computer. She brings me her new favorite toy, a Christmas gift from my (umm . . . her) boyfriend, to toss around a bit. Then her Kong as she stamps her foot and demands peanut butter in it. Finally, when she realizes that there is no way to pull me away from writing, she attempts to close the laptop with her paw.

    Ive been home days, as were currently social distancing in New York, and Ive literally not left her side since the first night when I got home. Weve had snuggles, walks, car rides, special treats — even a dance party. Could she really need more attention? The guilt has set in.

    And I know Im not alone. As any dog parent knows, guilt happens. Getting home late from work, going out on weekends — thats all time you can be spending with your furry friend. But your life cant stop, either, or revolve around a pup. I know I struggle with this — I ask Dakota if shes a happy girl at least once a day. I, as do other dog moms and dad, worry if she is getting enough bonding time, play time, and interaction.

    But, it turns out if you are spending quality time with your dog, you wont have to worry much about their quality of life and their happiness. We asked the experts to weigh in. Related: