If you have pets, you have a responsibility to give them the best care you can, and that includes not leaving them on their own for too long. It is especially true for dogs, who need regular exercise and quality time with you to be well and happy. However, there are bound to be times when you get held up in traffic, have to work late, have a dentist appointment, or any number of reasons that can delay you from arriving home on schedule. If you have other family members who can be home it’s not so much of a worry, but even then they might be out too, or you could all be caught up in a family emergency. It is sensible and will put your mind at ease to take precautions and have plans in place for when these situations crop up, as they almost certainly will.
Taking care of food, water, and toileting needs
The priorities for your pet are that they should have access to food, water and a place where they are comfortable to relieve themselves. There are automatic feeders available for most types of pets, that either deliver food at appointed times, can be activated from your smartphone, or allow constant access to food. Have a look at the different systems to find out what’s the best automatic dog feeder for your situation. For example, a constant access feeder, even if it is only letting out a little food at a time, would be inadvisable for a dog that overeats. You should always make sure water bowls are full before you leave your animals and put down extra ones if you find they are drinking most of the water during the day. Cats can use litter trays or make use of a cat flap quite happily, but dogs need to get outside to do their business. A good solution is to put in a dog flap, so they can get outside whenever they need to. Or you could let them stay outside during the day with a warm, comfortable kennel to sleep in, but do make sure the perimeter of your garden is secure, as you don’t want your dog escaping while you’re away.
Having carers on standby
If you are very held up, have a pet that needs special attention, or your dog is shut indoors, then see if you can find a few friends or neighbors who would be willing to see to the animals for you when you can’t get back. It’s reckoned that around four hours is the longest a dog should be left for if they are inside. Many will valiantly hold on for far longer, and it’s distressing for them to be forced to toilet indoors when they know they aren’t supposed to. Your emergency carers need to be able to get in, let the dog out and check all the food and water, and make sure that all the animals are ok.
Despite your best intentions there is bound to be a time when you can’t get home for your pets. Follow the advice above, and you’ll know all will be well and your precious companions will be coping fine.