Anybody that has met my wife will know that she would much rather be going for coffee, having her nails done or sat at home watching The Chase than go to work full time.
Unfortunately for her, with the combined added expense of having a rambunctious adolescent dog bounding around the house breaking everything in sight and a nine year old boy with an escalating Fortnight addiction, it meant taking the plunge and moving up from part time to full time work. Replacing the toilet rolls alone that Tommy has chewed is a staggering amount. He makes the Andrex puppy look like clumsy novice.
This put us in the difficult situation that most dog owning families must deal with in todays increasingly challenging financial climate, we would both have to work full time. In an ideal world we would not have to work and we would spend every minute of the day with our beloved canines. Going for long walks, playing games all day and maybe even fitting in a bit of The Chase together too. Hey, it’s a great show.
But it is not an ideal world and working full time means leaving your poor pup on its own for up to 10 hours a day. How could we? Are we bad owners? Are we selfish? What is going through the dogs mind every morning when we leave him? This all adds up to a whole lot of guilt. But don’t worry, read below and hopefully I can give you some tips to help that long working day go better for pet and pet parent.
Top 5 Ways to Ease The Guilt Of Leaving Your Dog At Home If You Work Full Time
We live in an amazing, technically advanced exciting world. So much so that due to recent smart home advances you never have to feel like you are too far from home, having complete control over most devices from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Some people fear it, others like myself embrace it. Whereas a smart device will never replace the affection given by a person a small amount of tech can go some way to comforting a lonesome pet.
1. Amazon Alexa and smart lights. We have had these for a while now. Apart from a few disagreements with Alexa she is a godsend. Heaven forbid I should have to get up and turn a light on at the switch. I normally set timers on Amazon Alexa so that she will play relaxing music for Tommy when we are not home and later on in the day she can also turn the lights on when I am on my way home. Over time Tommy has learnt that this means I will be home soon and comes to wait at the door patiently. How do I know this…?
2. Smart Home Security Camera. Indoor and outdoor security cameras have moved on considerably in the last few years. They are now reasonably affordable, easy to set up and depending on how many cameras you have deliver HD images of any room in your house to your smartphone so that you can check on your dog at anytime of the day. They even have two way audio so I can even speak to Tommy! I tend not to do this as it seems to get him riled up. The downside to the camera is that you can easily get absorbed in watching your dog sleep for hours on end and get no work done. It is also not great when all you can do is watch helplessly as he rips up every book on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. Or sit hands in head after having witnessed him joyfully shred the mail to bits. We have the EZVIZ C6T 1080p camera and we couldn’t be without it. And yes, Alexa can control this too!
3. Training Treat Dispenser. Of course, you can get Smart treat dispensers but I prefer the good old fashioned manual ones that make the dog work for the treat. This bit of kit not so much comforts the dog whilst you are at work but goes some way to keep him stimulated, something all dogs need. We have the Trixie Dog Activity Memory Trainer Strategy Game which relies on Tommy having to press a remote control to get the treat. I must say I have only ever seen Tommy get the treat out a few times by pressing the button unless you count him throwing it around until the treat submits and trickles out. Tommy is not the most delicate at his age.
4. Enlist the help of a professional dog walker (Or a down on their luck relative). Maybe not the down on their luck relative, on the other hand walking your dog would give them valuable time for reflection on their bad life choices. Seriously though we would not be without Mark from S.W.T Wirral Dog Walking, a dog loving, dog walking machine who calls round on the days we are at work to take Tommy out for a good walk and make a fuss of him. There is more information about the service he provides here but personally, on the days I know he is coming round to take Tommy out I do not worry about Tommy in the slightest. Depending on your area you will always find adverts for dog walkers on shop notice boards, in vets and of course online. The prices are normally very reasonable and in my opinion money well spent for peace of mind.
5. Don’t worry about it, dogs don’t know what time it is anyway! This may be a bit of a sweeping statement and I have absolutely no scientific evidence to back it up. What I mean is that dogs do not have the same concept of time as humans do. I would be very surprised if I said to Tommy “It’s 5 O’clock, you know what that means.” and he proceeded to jump up on the sofa and settle down to watch The Chase. My point is that ten hours of being left alone will feel exactly the same as being apart for two hours. Lucky for us, our dogs worship the ground we walk on and even being separated from us whilst we put the bins out will feel like a lifetime to them. It may seem like they know what time it is when they put themselves to bed for example but it is more likely sensory triggers like the light fading and rising that tell them that it is bedtime. I could be totally wrong but I won’t be buying Tommy a watch anytime soon.
And Finally… Remember, no matter how long you are away from your dog or how much he has pined for you during the day your dog loves you more than anything in the world and the moment you walk through the door any thoughts of abandonment or despair are quickly replaced with such excitement that it might cause a bit of wee to come out(I’m talking about the dog I hope). Every day you arrive home is the best day of his life!
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