Owning a pet & working full time: 9 things to consider

Everything you need to know about becoming a paw parent if you have a full-time job

Our parents were right – owning a pet really is a full-time job! Our precious pets are in need of constant care, love and attention and being a paw parent means you have to give up a lot of your time and adjust your busy schedule.

Of course, it will all be worth it as all your love and attention if equally reciprocated. But, if you are thinking about getting a pet, then you need to know the details of what you are getting into, especially if you have a full-time career and are out of your house for long hours on a regular basis.

First things first and in answer to your question

It is still absolutely possible to own a pet (or pets) even if you have a busy job, but it will just make things a bit tricky. Most people can make it work, but it just requires a little more effort. Here are some things to know about having a pet while working full-time:

1.     Pick a pet and breed based on your working hours

If you are still looking for a pet, then you should choose one based on your hours of work. If you are someone who works a lot (more than 40 hours a week) and you have an unpredictable schedule, then maybe a dog is not the best pet option.

Discover: The Beagle Dog Breed: What to know before adopting one

Cats are always a good pet option for owners who are out most of the day as they are quite happy in their own space when you are gone. If you are more of a dog person, then try to choose a low maintenance breed that does not require constant exercise and attention.

2.     Build your schedule around your pet

You need to plan all of your non-working hours around your precious pet. If you want to grab drinks and dinner with friends after work, then make sure you stop at home first to show some attention to your pet and make sure he or she has enough food and water.

Keep in mind that if you live alone, impromptu sleepovers are not a good idea.

3.     Hire a dog walker

If you have a dog who requires regular exercise, then you should think about hiring a dog walker. Especially if you have a puppy as puppies need to be let out to use the loo and struggle to hold in their bladder.

4.     Make sure you have an emergency contact number

If you ever have to stay late at work and need someone to feed your pet, then you need to think about someone who could do this for you. Have someone in mind who you know will be able to help you out in tricky situations like this.

5.     You might not notice if your pet is not feeling well

Because your time with your pet is limited, it can be difficult to pick up on symptoms that might indicate a visit to the vet is in order. You need to make sure you are acutely aware of any changes in their behaviour, personality or body language.

Read this for tips on how to pick up on the signs: 5 major signs your cat is sick (& how to afford vet visits)

6.     Your precious furry family member is going to get a bit lonely

Keep in mind, that no matter how much love and attention you shower your pet with when you get home, he or she is still going to get lonely when you are gone during the day. This is why it might be a good idea to have 2 pets so that they can keep each other company.

Make sure you also don’t leave anything out that could be chewed on – as bored dogs love to chew! It’s also clever to leave a peanut-butter-filled Kong toy for your dog or something nice for them to chew on to keep them occupied.

7.     You are going to feel guilty

You need to accept the guilt right now that every morning when you leave your furry friend, you are going to feel this sinking feeling in your stomach of guilt. There are millions of people around the world who leave their pets at home while they are at work all day.

But as long as you spend the time you have with your pet wisely, then you have nothing to feel guilty about.

8.     Create a set routine

Creating a strict routine and sticking to it and better for both you and your pet! This way you can keep everything organised and structured and it will give you peace of mind.

Make sure you are feeding your pet at the same time every morning and evening – these little rituals will bring you and your pet comfort.

9.     You need to make sure you are covered for the unexpected

You can’t predict when things are going to go wrong, but you can be covered for when they do. This is why it helps to have pet insurance.

It will help ease the stress of worrying about your pet’s health and has you covered for emergency costs. We recommend taking a look at Oneplan Pet Insurance, as they have a unique claiming system where they pay you for vet visits on your Onecard before you see the vet – and they let you see any vet of your choice.

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