Can You Have A Dog When You Work Full-Time?

If you’ve decided you’re ready for a dog but you work full-time, you might be worrying about whether your job and your desire for a dog are compatible.

If you want a dog, it’s important that the welfare of the dog comes first, and that can be difficult if you’re at work during the day. Weigh up the pros and cons carefully before you decide.

Toilet Training

The age of the dog you get will have an impact on whether you need to be at home all day or not. For new puppies who need toilet training, being left alone isn’t an option. They need be taken outside for a toilet break every couple of hours until they learn when and where it’s ok to go. If you’re not able to arrange for someone to do that, a puppy isn’t going to be the right choice for you. A toilet trained, older dog may be a better option. 

Dog Walkers Or Daycare

If your dog can’t be left alone all day, but you can’t get home during the day to let your dog out at lunchtime or feed him, consider hiring a dog walker. They can give your dog a good walk during the day, giving him company, entertainment and some exercise. For needier dogs, or if you aren’t comfortable leaving the dog alone, consider dog daycare. Your pup can go somewhere for the day to be cared for, meet other dogs and even get some training. 


If the dog is going to be in the house alone, make sure you provide lots of entertainment so you don’t come home to find your best shoes have been used for a chew toy. Put away anything you don’t want the dog to get too, and provide plenty of toys for them to play with instead. Make sure the dog has plenty of room to play too. Never crate a dog for the whole day. 


If you’re thinking about getting a dog, but won’t be home during the day, think carefully about noise. All dogs bark, and a dog left alone that takes to barking won’t be popular with the neighbors. Are your neighbors home during the day? Does sound carry from your home?  Try to choose a naturally quieter breed and be prepared to handle complaints from next door. 

If you do decide to take on a dog, choose a young dog who can be trained, or an older rescue dog who is already used to being alone during the day. Put the needs of your dog first and be sure you’re providing the best care you can. If you can’t leave the dog for long periods, take on a dogsitter, dog walker or doggy daycare so the dog has someone to look after it. Consider trying to work from home more often or see if your office has a policy that allows staff to bring their dogs into the office, so your dog can be with you all day. 

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