Starting a business and welcoming a pet will be the ultimate juggling act. But, with proper planning and help from those around you, the business will be up and running in no time, and you’ll develop a deep bond with your new companion. We will explore four strategies you can use to strike a balance between being an entrepreneur and a pet parent.
Streamline Work Duties
In the weeks leading up to welcoming your pet, prioritize time toward completing all business start-up requirements. As reported by the SBA, this will include applying for licenses, establishing a limited liability company, opening a business bank account, and more. On the marketing front, you’ll need to create a logo, design a website, and register business accounts on prominent social media platforms.
While you’re getting all of those business-related matters hammered out, spend some time preparing your home for your pet’s arrival. You probably have a dedicated workspace set up, so ensure that everything has been pet-proofed and secured (such as cords, cables, and anything else your pet could chew on). You should also invest in some toys and a pet bed, as these will help keep your new friend entertained when work requires your attention. Better yet, set up a “pet space” in your office so you can keep tabs on your companion during their naptime.
Choose the Right Breed
Dogs require a major commitment of time, money, and effort. Hence, it is important to choose the breed that is the best fit. While dog breeds vary on a lot of factors, they can be grouped into two broad categories:
- High-Maintenance: These are breeds that require lots of physical activity daily, which translates to multiple walks a day in addition to visiting the dog park. To compensate for constant activity, they need to be fed more. Prominent examples include Australian shepherd, border collie, German shepherd, and Dalmatian.
- Low-Maintenance: Breeds such as Boston terrier, Basset hound, Brussels griffon, and Dachshund have significantly lower exercise and diet requirements compared to the above-mentioned breeds. Additionally, these breeds are often considered laid-back due to their calm nature, which can be a good choice if you have a young child or elderly parents in the home.
Regardless of the breed, you will need to factor in the expense of regular grooming and vet visits. Within the first year, puppies need to visit the vet frequently for vaccinations as well.
Before visiting a breeder or a shelter, ascertain which type of dog best fits your lifestyle to avoid having difficulties in the future.
Adapt to the Changes
The first couple of weeks will play a crucial role in your pet adapting to its new environment. If you’ve adopted them from a shelter, being in a home will be a completely new experience, and here’s how to help them settle in while focusing on your business as well:
Create a Routine
If there’s one thing dogs love more than food, it’s a routine. A predictable lifestyle keeps stress at bay and allows them to maintain their playful nature, as reported by The Dodo. Additionally, once a routine is set, your dog will take the lead and ensure that you follow it to the T.
This can include:
- Having set times to wake up and go to bed
- Specified feeding times
- Going for a walk a set number of times a day
- Making time for play while you take breaks from work
Set Ground Rules
From the beginning, teach your pet the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. If they aren’t allowed on the couch, instruct everyone in the home to be stern and remove them from the couch if they climb up.
Teaching them basic commands such as sit and stay will make the process much easier. For instance, if you want them near you when working in the home office but not create a ruckus, place their bed in a corner and instruct them to sit. While this is easier said than done with consistency, your dog will pick up on commands and follow your lead.
Starting a business and welcoming a pet are two rewarding experiences, and by following the steps discussed in this article you’ll be able to enjoy both to the fullest.