You can be a busy person and still be a good pet owner. Ever heard these cliché phrases “if you want something done, ask a busy person” or “the busier you are, the more time you have”. As with all common phrases, there is some truth in them. Chances are, even at your busiest, you can make time to take good care of a pet.
If you currently have a pet and life suddenly becomes busy, don’t rush to give away your pet. Adjust your routine and include taking care of your dog or cat on the to-do list. Have a routine where you feed, walk and bond with your pet at the same time each day.
You will notice your pet feels more secure and confident when they know what to expect and what time. Thus, they are less anxious and less restless. The schedule will also make you feel organised and disciplined which can boost your self-esteem.
Another thing you can do is to delegate where you can. If you are struggling with grooming or taking them for vet visits, have a pet groomer or a vet pick the cat or dog every fortnight or every month or when they are due for vaccines.
Exercise is great for you as well as the dog. Combine your daily exercise with your dog. However, if you are too busy, avoid getting a big stamina and high energy dog which you can’t keep up with.
If you work from home, during your small breaks, give the pets attention, rub their bellies during your coffee breaks. Talk to them too, rant to them, they will not judge and you will feel lighter afterwards. If you are not home all day, prioritise morning and after work to give you pet attention. When it comes to bonding when you have a busy schedule, think quality over quantity. Spending undivided 10 minutes each day with a pet beats people who have had their pet all day and ignore them the entire time.
If you are considering having a pet but you are too busy, you can visit animal shelters over the weekend and volunteer. You can also take care of a friend’s pet. Most will be willing to be off pets for a few days.
Maryanne is a pet owner.