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Ask A Vet: I Want To Adopt A Dog, But I Work Long Days. How Do I Meet His Needs And Still Pay The Bills?

It might seem impossible – you want to give your dog the best life possible, and that requires both time and money. Working takes your time away from your dog – however, it’s a necessity if you’re going to meet her needs! It requires a careful balance that allows you to give your dog the attention she deserves while still making sure you have enough in the bank to meet both of your financial needs. It’s something most of us have to figure out, and it can be done!

Thank you to Simon S. for his great question about wanting to adopt a dog, but being concerned about leaving her home alone while he works. He wanted to know if there are any tips to make this situation optimal. Here are a few ideas that I think will help Simon and many others:

Consider adopting an adult dog.

Puppyhood can be challenging and may be more than you can manage if you’re juggling a very busy full-time work schedule that keeps you away from home for long hours. Adopting an adult may even save a life that would not otherwise be spared because adult dogs tend to be more difficult to place.



Consider a foster-to-adopt program so you can make sure that your prospective dog has a temperament that would allow a good quality of life despite your schedule. While you have the foster, set up typical day scenarios to see how they go and use the information that you gain to help you make the final adoption decision. Remember, everyone wants a happy ending, even the dog, and if he will not be happy with you, you want to know.

Do your research.

Certain breeds or breed crosses are more apt to require more time and entertainment than others. Review the temperament of your candidates with the rescue staff and see if you can get an idea what type of life would make each dog the most content. Then match your idea of the perfect relationship to the traits of the most suitable dog.

Get help from professionals.

In many areas, you can hire professional dog walkers to help your pet get out when you are away. Make sure that such expenses are going to be in your dog care budget and allow for them when considering adopting a dog. Take into account all that you have learned about your prospective dog’s needs and exercise requirements as you plan your budget of money and time.

Think about who you are and what you like.

Do you want to come home and relax? Then a sporting or working breed or breed cross might be too busy for you. But if you are extremely active and spend your weekends hiking or camping, you might want to choose an energetic dog that wants to take every step you take.

With some careful planning, interviewing (of dogs and rescue staff), and budgeting, you can help make sure that you and your new fur-friend have the happiest fur-ever after!

Do you love dogs? We have some WAG-tastic fun over on my Facebook page! You can find me by clicking here.


Do you want a healthier & happier dog? Join our email list & we'll donate 1 meal to a shelter dog in need!

Written by Dr. Kathryn Primm
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