If you ever struggle to keep up with your daily to-do list, you’re certainly not alone. In our fast-paced world, it can be difficult to pencil in time for the people—and pets—we love.
As a dog owner, your canine is likely one of the greatest sources of joy in your life. Unfortunately, lack of time—and those puppy dog eyes—often lead to an enormous amount of guilt.
At Breed Advisor, we’re passionate about helping dog owners connect with their four-legged family members by freeing up time on a daily basis, so we’ve compiled a list of 15 timesaving tips you can start utilizing right away.
We’ve collaborated with experts and fellow dog owners to bring you tried-and-true strategies—and a few awesome products—that will eliminate your guilt and give you more quality time with your pooch.
Ready? Great! Let’s dig in.
1. Simplify Feeding Time
If you’re anything like us, you might occasionally forget whether you’ve fed your pup. Feeding time gets even more complicated when multiple family members feed Fido. How many times have you called your spouse or child to see if the dog had eaten?
This problem can be easily solved by investing in a weekly or monthly calendar to use specifically for feeding. Simply mark an X each day after each meal. This is also a great reminder system for medications, grooming, etc.
2. Invest in a Pet Fountain or an Auto-Fill Water Bowl
Rather than filling your dog’s water bowl multiple times throughout the day, treat him (and yourself!) to an auto-fill water bowl or a pet fountain, which is convenient and fun for dogs, as well as cats.
3. Shop Online
You can save a few minutes—and a massive amount of money—by shopping for pet supplies online. Chewy.com is a one-stop shop for everything pet-related. From food, treats, and toys to healthcare supplies, beds, and crates, this popular online retailer is an excellent option for busy pet owners. Best off all, the prices are great, and each auto-ship order comes with an additional discount.
If your pup needs kibble or treats in a hurry, most supermarkets now offer same-day home delivery, so you can stock up on groceries and pet supplies without leaving the house. We also recommend purchasing large bags of food (especially for bigger dogs) so you can stop at the store or order kibble less often.
4. Exercise Together
This might seem obvious, but including your pup in your fitness routine could save you hours each week. If you enjoy going for regular walks or runs, take your dog along. You might even want to consider breaking your workouts into shorter sessions so you can fit in some movement in the morning, as well as the afternoon or evening.
If you enjoy yoga, consider practicing poses outdoors while your pet runs and plays. Fetch and Frisbee are also excellent ways to up your activity level.
5. Make Training Sessions Short
As you probably know, training your canine is an ongoing process. Dogs tend to have a short attention span, so opt for short training sessions to save time and keep your pup engaged.
6. Give Your Dog a Job
Many dog breeds were initially bred to complete specific jobs. Canines enjoy completing meaningful tasks, which can make them great helpers around the house. Whether it’s fetching the newspaper, toys, a blanket, or your slippers, your dog will feel a sense of pride from completing a task and receiving your praise. You might even be able to train your pooch to put his toys away.
We’re big fans of dog training extraordinaire Zak George, and in this video, the canine expert focuses on teaching your dog to fetch and bring you things. We highly recommend it!
7. Find a Mobile Groomer
Instead of toting your pup to the groomer, look for a mobile groomer in your area. This option will save you both travel and waiting time.
As an alternative, search for a traditional dog groomer who will allow you to drop off and pick up your pooch when it’s convenient for you. Many pet salons and groomers at veterinary clinics allow owners to drop off their pets before work and pick them up after.
8. Use Baby Powder between Baths
Baby powder is an easy, inexpensive way to keep your pooch smelling amazing! Best of all, the powder will help cut down on oil in your dog’s fur, so you won’t have to bathe him as often. This is particularly helpful for dog owners who take their pups to a professional groomer, as well as people whose pets don’t enjoy bath time.
9. Clean Your Dog’s Teeth with Little Effort
Dental stick toys are the perfect way to forego traditional tooth brushing, which can be time-consuming and frustrating for you and your pet. These toys reduce plaque and gently clean teeth and gums, and you can even add dog-safe toothpaste. Chewy.com offers a wide variety of brands and flavors.
10. Make Pill Pockets
If your dog takes medication in pill form, pill pockets are a must. You can pick them up at your local pet store or make your own by mixing ¼ cup of peanut butter with ¼ cup of arrowroot powder. Simply mold the pocket around the pill and offer it to your pup. If all goes well, your pet will think it’s a tasty treat!
11. Hire a Pro to Remove Your Pet’s Poo
No matter how much we adore our dogs, scooping their poop is a hassle. Luckily, there are pet waste removal services nationwide. A quick Google search will connect you with a pet waste professional who can save you oodles of time, so you can play in your yard with your pup instead of picking up his poo.
12. Invest in a Pet Hair Remover
As a dog owner, you probably spend a lot of time attempting to remove fur from your rugs, sofa, etc. You can save time—and money—by purchasing a reusable pet hair remover. We love the ChomChom Roller, which is adhesive-free and super easy to clean. It’s a great tool for busy pet owners who’d like to cut down on their cleaning time. Who wouldn’t?
If you don’t want to splurge on a roller, a squeegee or damp rubber glove will also get the job done.
13. Ease Your Guilt with Doggy Daycare
There’s nothing worse than knowing your beloved pet is chomping at the bit for you to get home. Puppies (and most adult dogs) need regular stimulation. Prolonged boredom often leads to bad behavior, so it’s important to keep your dog occupied when you’re away.
Doggy daycare is an excellent option for busy adults and families who have limited time at home. Your pup will likely love the experience and look forward to playing with other energetic pooches. If finances don’t allow for daily daycare, consider enrolling him just once or twice a week.
An added bonus? Your dog won’t be filled with boundless energy after a day of exercise and play, so you won’t feel guilty for snuggling up on the sofa.
14. Find a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker
If your canine is starved for attention, a pet sitter or dog walker is a great alternative to the above-mentioned doggy daycare. Rather than keeping your pup cooped up while out-and-about, ask a neighbor to stop by regularly to check on your pet and interact with him, hire someone to pop in throughout the day, or hire a dog walker to scratch your dog’s itch to be active.
Although spending time being active with your pet is ideal, there are only so many hours in the day. It’s perfectly okay to share the responsibility when it comes to your furry family member.
15. Consider Bringing Home another Four-Legged Companion
Dogs are social creatures; most greatly enjoy being around people and other pets. If your pup seems lonely or lacks social interaction, consider adopting another canine. Some experts recommend scheduling multiple meet-and-greets prior to choosing a second dog; however, it’s important to note that it often takes time for dogs to bond.
Sure, you’ll spend time searching for another canine that’s compatible with your family and your pup, but bringing home a second dog will undoubtedly ease your guilt when you’re unable to spend as much time with your pet as you’d like.
Start with Your Favorite Timesavers
You don’t have to implement all 15 tips on our list to save yourself loads of time. In fact, making just a couple of small changes truly makes a big difference! Start small by choosing one or two timesavers each week. You’ll be amazed by how much time you get back by slightly tweaking your routine!
Becky Simmonds is a professional dog walker and part-time rescue worker. In her local community she's known as the 'dog whisperer'! Her innate ability to understand and communicate with dogs (even if they're not hers) is quite incredible! Becky's loyal companion Chip, a German Shorthaired Pointer accompanies the group on their daily adventures!