Adopting a dog when living alone, whether permanently or temporarily, can make your days feel brighter and provide you with comfort during difficult times. Being alone can make taking care of any animal more difficult, especially a pet that needs more supervision—like a dog. Dogs require constant attention, especially as puppies. Educating yourself on how to care for a dog when you live alone is essential, whether you’re new to dog care or have had dogs your whole life.
Pick the Best Breed
Familiarizing yourself with different breeds of dogs and their needs is important when deciding on a new furry friend. Specific breeds require different levels of activity—and sometimes enjoy certain types of weather in particular. Huskies, for example, love winter and snow and are very active dogs. A high-energy dog is more likely to get into trouble while you’re away at work or when they get bored. Try to get a low-energy dog that can handle being alone, like a Labrador.
Rescue or Adopt an Older Dog
The age of the dog matters too, and older dogs deserve happy homes just like puppies do. Rescuing an older dog lets you skip the troublesome puppy days and instantly enjoy the lazy dog days. Many people overlook middle-aged dogs in shelters or adoption centers in favor of cute puppies. Even a dog as young as three years old can be overlooked and left in the shelter for long periods. Older dogs are just as loving as puppies are.
Keep a Regular Schedule
No matter how often you’re in the house, your dog will appreciate having a schedule. Whenever you come home, reward your dog with a walk or any other kind of outdoor activity. Not only is it healthy for your dog, it’s also beneficial for you to get some fresh air and exercise. You’ll be strengthening your bond with your dog at the same time.
Have a Travel Plan
Dogs can’t go with you everywhere. Make sure you know where to keep your dog when you leave for a trip or vacation. Leave your furry friend with a trusted friend or family member while you’re away or consider boarding your dog at a local dog hotel. Always research dog hotels and daycares before signing up, and learn how to make the boarding transition go smoothly. Solving separation anxiety can be one of the most difficult parts of tackling how to care for a dog when you live alone, since your dog has no other outlet for socialization. Train your dog to be able to handle separation before you leave for a long trip.