How to Minimize Your Dog’s Time Alone
Following are a few ways you can avoid leaving your dog alone for too long. It can be hard to make this work, but if you dig deep and get creative, you’ll find there are actually more solutions available than you might have thought:
Even if your dog is enrolled for just one day a week, that leaves you with only four more to go to cover an average work week! Of course, not every dog is a good fit for daycare, but for dogs who enjoy other dogs’ company, even just one day a week is a good step toward meeting his social and physical needs.
Keep in mind that not all doggie daycare operations are alike. Look for clean, well-designed locations with qualified staff who will manage interactions between the dogs and provide necessary rest periods. Also note that doggie daycare is not the right environment for young puppies.
Come Home for Lunch
If not every day, then as often as you can during the work week. If there are several family members in the household, consider taking turns coming home in the middle of the day to let the dog out to relieve himself and enjoy a short visit.
Hire A Dog-Walking Service
Dog walkers have been around for ages, but in the last decade this industry has seen a surge in numbers, possibly because more people who work outside the home are recognizing the importance of addressing their dog’s needs.
The types of services offered by professional dog-walkers can range from a quick home visit to a neighborhood walk, or even day training (when a trainer trains the dog in your home while you’re at work). Again, a caveat is needed here; there are some horrible dog-walking services out there.
Work From Home On Occasion
Telecommuting is more popular than ever as technology makes it easy for folks to perform their professional tasks from a home office.
Bring Your Dog to Work with You
Obviously, not everyone is in a position to do this. I frequently work with clients to treat their dog’s separation anxiety, and this suggestion is almost always met with an immediate negative response, “No way, I can’t do that.” However, it turns out that sometimes, it is possible.
Unless you’ve actually looked into it by communicating directly with the person who’s in the position to say yes or no, hold off before crossing the idea off your list of possible solutions. It may seem unlikely, but you may be very pleasantly surprised!
Arrange for Someone to Visit Your House and Let Your Dog Out
Ask a neighbor, or your co-worker’s teenage niece who loves dogs, or that kid down the street who does odd jobs. Not everyone is comfortable with the possible liabilities a scenario like this can present, but you may already have someone you trust to handle this type of task.
Naturally, your dog needs to be comfortable with someone walking into his home while you’re out, and in the best of cases, he’ll be thrilled to receive a midday visit!