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Owning a Dog as a Single Person: 10 Tips for Success

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman among her three dogs

Owning a Dog as a Single Person: 10 Tips for Success

Being a dog parent is incredibly rewarding; you get to have the love and companionship of a furry friend while providing the same for them. But if you own a dog as a single person, being a dog parent can sometimes present a bit of a challenge. After all, having two or more people in a home means your dog gets more attention, and there’s nearly always someone to feed, walk, or play with them. But a single person faces time constraints and more.

So, if you’re a single person thinking of getting a canine companion, how can you ensure you do the best job you can caring for them? With a few life tweaks, you, as a single dog mom or dog dad, can be sure your pup is getting all the love, care, and attention they need. Just use these tips for success!

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The 10 Tips for Owning a Dog as a Single Person

1. Exercise in the Morning

woman walking her beagle at the park
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Dogs need exercise, and some breeds require much more than others. So, consider the exercise needs of a dog before you get them. If you don’t have time for nearly 2 hours of exercise a day, you don’t want a breed like the Dalmatian. Whatever your pup’s exercise needs, though, exercising them extensively in the morning before you leave for work can be helpful. If you tire them out enough, they should be content to nap and lounge until you return home from work. Just don’t overexercise your dog, as that can be harmful!

2. Keep a Consistent Schedule

owner with dog strolling and walking at the park
Image Credit: Ground Picture, Shutterstock

Our four-legged friends enjoy routine. They like knowing when they’ll go for a walk, when they’ll eat, and when to expect you home from work. Having a consistent schedule will help reduce anxiety and stress in your pup. So, be as consistent as you can be with your daily routine, and try to keep walks and feeding times at the same time each day. This won’t only benefit your pet either; a consistent schedule will simplify your life, too!

3. Flexible Work Schedules

Dog Office Working
Image Credit: buritora_Shutterstock

This tip won’t be doable for everyone. But if you can swing it, ask your job about having a flexible work schedule so you can spend more time at home with your dog. Maybe your work will allow you to work from home a day or two each week, or perhaps they’ll let you come into the office in the mornings and work from home in the afternoons. Any extra time you can spend with your dog at home will be beneficial.

4. Keep Your Pup Busy While You’re Away

dog is looking for delicious dried treats in food puzzle toy
Image Credit: Lenti Hill, Shutterstock

Many people won’t be able to get flexible work schedules, though. For those who have to leave home for 8 or more hours a day, you’ll want to ensure your pet is kept busy while you’re away. A bored canine is a destructive canine, and the last thing you want is to have your pet eat all your shoes or tear your home up because they’re bored and anxious. That’s why you’ll need a lot of toys for your dog, particularly interactive ones that will keep them entertained and mentally stimulated. Look for puzzle toys or interactive feeders. Even a Kong treat dispenser can work wonders!

5. Have Pet Supplies Delivered

dog ordering food for delivery
Image Credit: sophiecat, Shutterstock

Something that can be incredibly helpful for single dog owners is getting pet supplies delivered to their homes. This saves you the time it would take to go to the nearest pet store and buy your dog’s food and other supplies, and it can often save you money, as well. Plus, you won’t have to wrestle with bulky bags of food at the pet store or haul heavy items around until you get home. Having your dog’s supplies delivered can be a lifesaver!

6. Make Use of the Time You Have

Welsh Corgi Pembroke in dog park dog owner playing
Image Credit: Hrecheniuk Oleksii, Shutterstock

Dogs are incredibly social creatures who love having all your love and attention. When you’re gone for long hours, they can suffer, which is why you need to ensure you’re making use of the time you do have with them each day. You should spend at least a couple of hours a day giving your pet all your attention and care. Go for a long walk, cuddle up on the sofa, or play a few rounds of a game. Whatever you do, make sure they know they’re your favorite pup in the world.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

pet sitter brushing a french bulldog at the balcony
Image Credit: Banana Images, Shutterstock

Caring for a dog as a single person can be challenging at times. You have time constraints, and you might have financial restraints. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family when you need it! If your pup needs to go to the vet but you can’t get off work to take them, ask someone to take them for you. Going on a vacation but can’t take your dog with you? Ask a family member to keep them while you’re away. Being a single dog parent doesn’t mean you must do everything alone.

8. Have Lunch Dates With Your Pup

Image Credit: Reshetnikov_art, Shutterstock

This tip won’t work for everyone, but if your job is near your home, why not have a couple of lunch dates with your pup throughout the week? Just run home for a quick lunch and snuggle, then head back to work. Your dog will be thrilled to have you home to hang with them, even for a short time.

9. Utilize a Dog Sitter or Dog Walker

pet sitter giving dog a bowl of food
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

You can keep your dog from feeling so lonely and give them a chance for a bathroom break by hiring a dog sitter or dog walker. A dog sitter will be able to stay with your dog for longer, while a dog walker will simply come by for a quick stroll with your pup. Either one will keep your pet from dealing with separation anxiety or a lack of entertainment (not to mention keep them from having accidents). The downside to this is that it could get expensive over time to have a dog sitter or dog walker come to your home consistently. However, you might have a friend or family member who can do the job for you.

10. Enroll Your Pup in Doggie Daycare

dogs supervised by female staff at daycare
Image Credit: Jayme Burrows, Shutterstock

Doggie daycare will get them out of the house, allow them to socialize with other dogs, and teach them some training. Your pup will make new friends, learn vital socialization skills, and avoid boredom while you get peace of mind. It’s a pretty win-win! However, this is another thing that could be pricy depending on where you live, but you could just enroll them for a day or two a week to keep costs down.

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Having a dog as a single person can be challenging at times, but with these tips, you can ensure you’re doing the best job possible to care for your pup. Utilize the time you do have with your dog, and be sure they’re entertained when you’re away, and you’ll be doing well! Also, keep in mind you don’t have to do everything yourself; don’t be afraid to ask for help when it’s needed.


Featured Image Credit: RavenaJuly, Shutterstock

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