Owning a dog and working full-time isn’t mutually exclusive. The key is being able to get through the puppy stage in a way that sets both you and your new best friend up for a successful and happy life together. The following are a few tips to get your started.
Tip #1: Get a crate and a pen.
You may have heard that crate training is the key to a well-adjusted and happy dog that doesn’t make messes indoors. While this is true, puppies don’t come crate trained. Crate training works because most dogs refuse to mess in their dens.
The crate, which usually contains bedding and sometimes food, becomes the den. The problem is a puppy doesn’t have the bladder capacity to last all day in a crate, so messes will occur in the confined space. The answer is to pen off an area with a portable pet pen.
Place the open crate in one end of the pen and put your pup’s bedding and food bowls inside. Line the rest of the pen with puppy pads and provide a few toys. Your puppy will go “outside” to relieve themselves on the pads. You can remove the pads and pen when you get home and then practice regular crate and potty training.
Tip #2: Manage loneliness when you are away.
It’s wonderful if you have a job where you can come home for a little while at lunch, but this may not be enough time for a puppy. It’s a good idea to invest in a dog walker during these early days with your pup. Not only will a quality dog walker play with and exercise your puppy, they will also help your dog learn to socialize with other people and dogs. Choose a skilled dog walker that can help you enforce crate training and potty training skills. They should also have the same obedience training philosophy so your dog won’t get mixed signals.
Tip #3: Consider a monitoring system.
A simple monitoring system that has a camera that delivers real time images to your phone or computer can help you keep tabs on your new dog throughout the day. Since your puppy is in a pen, a single camera is probably enough. The camera can help you track your pup’s progress and recognize any issues. For example, is your dog spilling their water which causes them distress for several hours until the walker gets there? If so, you may need to invest in a weighted bowl. If your puppy becomes very distressed, you can even call your dog walker to see if they can get an extra visit in.