Just like you wouldn't bring home a puppy if you couldn't afford vet visits, you shouldn't bring home a puppy if you don't have time to dedicate to him. A hard look at your schedule should show some ways to free up some time for the new addition.
Divide up responsibilities. If you get up early for work, wake up just a few minutes earlier to take your pup for a brisk walk first thing. If your spouse leaves later, he can toss the ball or play tug of war before leaving.
Look at your schedule carefully. If you typically run errands as needed, plan ahead. Rather than run errands after work, try to fit them in on your lunch break or all at one time on the weekends. Getting home at a reasonable hour will give you several hours to let your puppy use the bathroom, play, eat and still hang out with you before bedtime.
Take a few personal days or vacation days if possible. The first few days home with your new puppy are important towards establishing a routine. Taking a few personal days, combined with your normal days off, gives you and your pup time to bond and the opportunity to get a jumpstart on housetraining.
- Unless you and your spouse work entirely different schedules, you may need to hire a dog walker for the first few weeks of life with your new puppy. Unless your dog is older, it is unlikely he will be able to go all day without someone to take him outside.
- ASPCA: Top 10 Things To Do Before Bringing Your New Dog Home
- 101 Essential Tips: Dog Care; Dr. Bruce Fogle, DVM, MRCVS
- puppy image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com