Pet owners, especially dog and cat lovers, will do almost anything to insure that their furry companions are cared for in every possible way – including providing nutritious foods, necessary veterinary care and proper exercise.
Leaving Pets Home Alone
Yet one unavoidable factor for many owners is the time spent away from pets while at work or school. Currently, pet owners take care of approximately 77.8 million dogs and 85.8 million cats in the United States, according to the National Pet Owners survey for 2015-2016. The incidences of behavior problems and injury increase when these animals are left home alone for excessive hours during the day.
Online Schools – One Solution
However, one unlikely solution to this problem involves pet owners enrolling in online schools, instead of on-campus schools, in order to decrease the time away from pets. Full-time students and part-time adult learners returning to school should consider choosing this distance learning option. Coursework to increase job skills or enter a new career may be completed while the dog or cat is curled up at home near its owner. Also, the flexible schedule inherent in e-learning allows more play time with pets.
Other Ways to Lessen Pet Solitude
Spend the lunch hour at home. Some businesses offer flex time, which may allow a longer lunch hour in lieu of going home earlier. This offers pet owners a chance to check on and exercise their pets in the middle of the day.
Find a friend with a pet who is willing to swap pet-sitting time. Perhaps the friend will check on your pet during the day while you are at work; and you can watch the friend’s pet during their planned vacation.
Check into reputable dog or cat daycare centers. This is a more costly option; but the peace of mind may be worth it. Supervised day-and-night kennels should carefully screen pets for social skills, aggression and health concerns. Pets will, hopefully, enjoy play time and rest time and be well-fed. Some breeds and temperaments may not be acceptable.
Leave dogs outside in an enclosed yard with plenty of water. This way, the pet can take advantage of exercise and fresh air while you are away. Be certain that there is no way the pet can escape by digging under the fence or jumping out of the yard. Provide a place of shelter from inclement weather; and peruse the contained area for toxic materials that the pet could accidentally ingest. Chew toys may help to curb destructive habits.
If you have a private office and a flexible boss, request permission to bring your pet to work. This is only successful if the pet is quiet, well-trained and clean — and if clients do not use your office as a meeting place. Just be aware that as much as you love your pet, some people are allergic to or have an aversion to animals. So please be sensitive to the needs of both clients and co-workers.
Pet ownership is known to increase satisfaction with life, enhance emotional well-being and contribute positively to physical health. But being a responsible pet owner means creating the safest possible living situation for one’s precious companions. Remember to consider these strategies to ensure the best for your pet’s excellent health and safety.