Balancing being a busy dog parent with a career can be challenging, but the truth is, there are so many ways you can get organised and meet your own goals, while also serving as an amazing dog mama or papa to your fur baby. Remember, finding the right balance will take time and experimentation, but with a little effort, you can have a successful career, experience optimum health and care for a happy dog.
Despite the challenges, owning a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences we get to undertake in life. Caring for a dog provides us with a sense of purpose, love and companionship, and being able to watch your dog grow brings us joy and fulfilment like never before.
Looking after yourself and your pooch will require a significant amount of time, attention, and compromise, and it can be difficult to ensure that you both get the care and attention you need and deserve. Fortunately, with patience, consistency, and dedication, you will be able to achieve your own personal goals, find a workable routine, and lead a balanced life for both you and your pooch.
Finding balance and routine with your dog
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your daily routine and responsibilities, it could be time to re-evaluate your schedule and seek new ways to get organised. This is particularly important if you’re the sole carer of your dog, and do not have anyone else around to share the responsibility.
A balanced lifestyle can reduce stress and increase happiness for both you and your dog, while routine helps to establish clear boundaries and expectations. A routine also helps to ensure that your dog receives the exercise, mental stimulation and attention they need to be happy and healthy. In addition, routine and balance can improve training, behaviour and the overall bond between you both.
5 top tips for finding balance and routine as a busy dog parent:
1. Schedule regular exercise and playtime
Exercise is essential for both your physical and mental health, as well as the overall health of your dog. Make sure to schedule daily walks and playtime to help you both stay active. Remember to set a specific time each day for exercise and play, and adhere to this schedule on a consistent basis. A schedule will help establish a routine for both you and your dog, which makes life that little easier as the days go by.
Choosing a playtime activity:
It is important that you choose an interactive activity that your dog enjoys. You can choose activities such as playing fetch, tug or even allowing them to sniff to their hearts content in a snuffle mat full of treats. Selecting an activity that your dog enjoys will keep them motivated, engaged and best of all, happy. If your dog is one of the energetic breeds – such as the Border Collie – who requires a little extra mental and physical stimulation, it could be time to consider investing in an experienced dog walker. An experienced dog walker will help you balance and better manage your schedule.
2. Create a feeding routine
Having a feeding routine for your dog will help them feel more secure and provide structure to your day. For those of you who spend the majority of time working from home, you may benefit from scheduling meals together. For example, our founder, Carrie, schedules her meal times with that of her Miniature Dachshund, Reggie. They both eat at similar times, which means she saves valuable time by only preparing food once/twice a day – and they get to eat together. A win-win!
3. Get organised:
Whether it’s organising your home or creating a schedule, taking the time to get organised can really help to reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing. For instance, packing your dog's travel bag the night before a trip can eliminate any last-minute stress. This will help to ensure you experience a smooth and relaxed journey the following day. Similarly, storing essential items, such as toys, towels, and treats in a designated location will save you valuable time in the future. By doing so, you’ll have extra time to focus on other important tasks, without wasting time looking for the toys!
4. Prioritise self-care:
Investing in your own wellbeing is crucial, and taking time for self-care can help you feel revitalized and recharged. For example, it is important to ensure that you maintain a consistent sleep schedule for both you and your dog. This will create structure, and your dog will start to recognise that the evening time means it is a time for ‘winding down’. We like to set aside a few moments each day to relax with our Miniature Dachshund, Reggie, whether that be as simple as a few cuddles on the sofa to reading a book with Reggie by our side. These simple, yet quiet moments, mean we both get to enjoy each other’s company, while also appreciating a little bit of peace and quiet.
If your dog has trouble settling down in the evening, we would consider investing in a few mentally stimulating items, such as toys, puzzles, or snuffle mats, to keep them occupied, while you take a few moments to yourself.
5. Establish boundaries:
Creating clear and consistent boundaries is crucial for establishing structure and predictability for your dog. By setting clear boundaries and adhering to them on a consistent basis, you will make life much simpler and more enjoyable for both of you. Take some time to clearly define your boundaries and make an effort to stick with them on a daily basis. For example, setting a clear rule that your dog is not allowed on the sofa helps them better understand what is expected of them. By following these steps, you’ll be able to build a stronger and more harmonious relationship with your dog.
By following these tips and establishing a routine that works for you and your dog, you will be able to experience more happiness and balance in your daily life. Remember, your dog is there to bring joy into your life, and you’re there to do the same for them too. So, make sure to take the time to enjoy each other’s company and create meaningful memories – while also being able to effectively meet your own goals and lead a fulfilling life.