Owning a dog is likely one of your greatest sources of joy but, at the time, it’s probably also one of your greatest time consumers. Taking care of a dog is challenging work as it comes with a lot of responsibilities. Between that, your work schedule, and household chores, it can seem like your to-do list is endless and that there’s no time left for you to have a social life and spend time with friends and family. Fortunately, there are plenty of time-saving tips for dog owners to make their dog-caring tasks less time-consuming so that you can easily fit them into your schedule. Below are a few of our favorite ones.
1. Buy a food and water dispenser
Every day you need to fill your dog’s food and water bowl. Although refilling it one time doesn’t seem like a big hassle, when you need to do it several times per day, it adds up. A great way to save some precious minutes is by investing in a food and water dispenser. Besides saving you time, it also ensures your dog always has fresh and clean water and that it also has food available, even if you’re spending a significant amount of time away from home.
2. Simplify your dog’s grooming routine
Regular trips to the groomer can be extremely time-consuming. Giving your dog a dry bath using baking soda or baby powder will allow you to spend more time between grooming trips. Sprinkle your dog with one of these products and rub it using your hands. After that, brush your dog. This will help your dog’s coat stay fresh for longer.
When you absolutely need to take your dog to the groomer, check if there’s a mobile groomer in your area. This service helps you save drop-off and pick-up time, and the grooming process can also be faster since they usually only groom one dog at a time. Alternatively, you also plan your dog’s grooming sessions in advance for when you have other errands to run in the same area. That way, you can drop off your dog, do what you need to do, and pick it up on your way home.
3. Create a dog walking station and a dog feeding station
One of the most popular time-saving tips for dog owners is streamlining hydration and exercise for your dog. Instead of having everything scattered around the house, making you waste a lot of time searching for it, create a designated space to keep all your dog walking gear and another space to keep all your dog feeding gear. The dog walking station should be located near the door you usually use to leave the house with your dog. Here, you’ll need to keep your dog’s collar, leash, harness, house keys, waste bags, and anything else you might need to take your dog on a walk.
The dog feeding station should be located near the spot where you usually feed your dog. Here, you should keep everything you need to feed your dog. From dry kibbles to any oils or wet food you usually use. Also, to save time cleaning up after your dog, you can put a water-absorbent mat under the food and water bowls.
4. Sign up for subscription services for food, treats, and toy delivery
Shopping for dog supplies online is a terrific way to save time. Today, you can find anything online, from dog food to treats, toys, beds, crates, and healthcare supplies. There are also companies that offer subscription-based services where they’ll deliver your dog’s food, treats, and toys to your door. This means there’s no more heavy lifting and needing to move 40-pound bags of dog food from the store to your car and then from your car to your house. This not only saves you time but can also save you a trip to the chiropractor.
5. Multi-tasking both your and your dog’s exercise
Why plan to exercise and walk your dog separately when you can do both at the same time? Multi-tasking your and your dog’s exercise is another one of the popular time-saving tips for dog owners we’re calling out because it enables you to check two things off your to-do list at once and allows you to have your own workout friend. If you like to go on regular walks or runs, take your dog with you. You can also break your workouts into smaller sessions to fit in some more exercise in the morning and afternoon.
6. Saving time on vet trips and giving medication
Vet trips can be time-consuming, but planning can make a significant difference. Start by making appointments in advance as walk-ins usually wait longer. When booking appointments, try to schedule them for off-peak days and times. These can vary but it’s usually on weekdays in the mid-afternoon. You can also ask the clinic staff when they have “surgery days” or when there’s only one doctor available as these days can have longer delays.
If your dog needs to regularly take any medication in the form of pills, another time-saving tip will help make it easier. If you usually find yourself wrestling with your dog, try using pill pockets. You can either buy these at your local pet store or make your own. To make your own pill pockets, mix ¼ cup of peanut butter with ¼ cup of arrowroot powder. After that simply mold the pocket around the pill and give it to your dog as a treat.
7. Hire a dog walker or sitter for extra busy days
When you have some extra busy days coming up, there’s no harm in scheduling a dog walking or sitting service. Although this means spending some extra money, it’s a wonderful way for you to have some peace of mind knowing your dog is going to have some much-needed exercise and attention. This can be especially helpful if you’re having a long day and won’t be able to make it home for longer than 8 hours. That way, you know someone is checking on your dog. They’re worth the cost.
Making sense of it all
Although owning a dog means you have some added tasks to your to-do list, they don’t all need to be time-consuming. You can delegate some of them and you can easily fit the rest of them with a bit of extra planning. If you stay organized, following these time-saving tips for dog owners don’t need to take from your me-time and from the time you want to spend with your friends and family.