How to Deal With a Puppy When You Have to Go Workby Kimberly Caines
Puppy supervision and confinement can prevent coming home to damage.
Although getting a new puppy might sound fun and exciting, it's a full-time job. Just like having a baby, it requires time, attention and constant supervision. This doesn't mean you should quit your other full-time job that brings home the bacon. Instead, do some planning and adjusting before bringing your furry friend home so you know he'll be taken care of while you're at work. If all goes as planned, your pup will grow into a well-behaved adult dog.
If you think confining your puppy to a crate is cruel punishment, think again. A crate becomes your pup's safe haven. It's a den where he can sleep, lounge and play while you're at work, and it also helps to housebreak him because dog's dislike soiling their dens. If your pup is under 6 months of age, avoid confining him longer than three to four hours because he can't hold his bowel and bladder for too long. You might have to go home to walk him during your lunch break to avoid potty accidents.
Hiring a pet sitter can keep your puppy on a regular schedule while you're working. The sitter can come to your home at set hours and feed and walk your puppy. This allows your pet companion some interaction and he gets to play and exercise. Using a pet sitter gives peace of mind, because your dog remains in the environment where he's most comfortable while being taken care of by a qualified individual. Additionally, he's not exposed to other animals and possible illnesses.
Bringing your puppy to a doggie day care before you go to work gives him a chance to interact with other dogs and people, which is essential to his social development. Take a tour of the facility before committing to bring your pup there. Ensure there's at least one person to care for every seven to ten dogs. Ideally they separate the dogs by size and maintain a clean and organized environment run by a professional staff.
Confining your puppy to a small pet-proof room with easy-to-clean flooring can keep him safe while you're at work. Before confining him, practice paper training so he gets used to doing his business on newspapers or a pee pad. Provide dog toys and place his crate on one end of the room and lay newspapers or a pee pad on the other. This way he has a designated potty area that's away from the den he lounges in and a variety of toys to play with to keep him busy while he awaits your return.
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