How owning a dog is like having a part time job (and paying for the privilege!)

How owning a dog is like having a part time job (and paying for the privilege!)

Breed Facts

Many people in the UK work two or three jobs (or even more) as standard just to make ends meet, and these days it is very common to have several part-time jobs or multiple jobs with erratic hours rather than one stable full time job of around 40 hours a week.

However many induvial jobs you have, few people who have to fully support themselves on their own income are lucky enough to be able to work for less than 40 hours a week in total, and many have to work a lot more than this to make ends meet.

Many people who work full-time hours also own a dog too of course, and whilst this can be challenging, dog ownership and full time work is far from impossible as long as you have some help and support, either in the form of someone living with you or a friend or even professional that can assist with your dog’s care.

However, if you work full time hours (or even if you don’t) and are considering getting your first dog, it is important to recognise how much time dog ownership takes from you if you do it properly and responsibly; and this means time actively taken from you that you cannot spend doing other things, rather than simply time spent chilling with your dog on the sofa!

In fact, whilst dog ownership is of course hugely rewarding and most dog owners would never wish to be without a dog again, the time commitment involved can easily be likened to that of having a part time job of anything from 15-20 hours a week or more, which is quite a lot to think about if you already work or have a very busy lifestyle.

Thinking about being able to find an additional 15-20 hours in an already full work schedule or otherwise busy lifestyle to care for a dog can be quite daunting, but it is important that you consider if you can do so and would be happy to as well, before, and not after, you get your dog.

Owning a dog is like having a part time job in many ways, aside from that you don’t get paid for it and do of course have to pay for the privilege; and this article will explain how and why this is, to prepare you for the realities of dog ownership in the future! Read on to learn more

Caring for a dog properly means finding an additional 15-20 hours a week to dedicate just to them

Sitting around with your dog watching the TV or simply being in their presence doing things you’d normally do but with your dog involved do not count towards the 15-20 additional hours every single week you’ll need to find in your schedule if you want to own a dog!

Take walks, for starters. An hour walk every day is the minimum most dogs need to thrive and be happy, and for probably more than half of all dog breeds (including popular picks like the Border collie) an hour a day is nowhere near enough.

That’s seven hours a week minimum just off the bat. Then you also need to factor in time playing with your dog, grooming them, training them and refreshing their skills, tending to their needs like buying food, giving them their meals, taking them to doggy daycare, the vets and other places they need to go; and fitting in all of the other practicalities of dog ownership too.

Once you look at it like that, 15-20 hours a week doesn’t seem like much time at all, but rather, barely enough time! And remember, that doesn’t include time spent simply relaxing spending quality time with your dog.

Dog ownership means you need to be reliable and have good timekeeping skills

Dogs need routine and reliability, which means you need to have good timekeeping skills to feed and walk your dog at the same time each day, get home from work when expected to look after them, and even to get them to the places they may need to go, like a sitter, the vet, the groomer, or doggy daycare.

If you don’t have good timekeeping skills or are unreliable, your dog won’t thrive, and dog-related businesses and even friends aren’t likely to be keen on helping you out!

Dog ownership means taking responsibility

Even the lowest calibre entry level job involves some responsibility, and dog ownership is one of the most responsible jobs of all. You’re not just responsible to your dog, you’re responsible for them; training them, controlling them, keeping other people safe, and being a responsible owner in every respect.

Dog ownership means always getting up in the mornings

You might like to sleep until midday on your day off, but your dog certainly won’t! Dog ownership means always getting up in the mornings to let your dog out to do their business, give them their breakfast, and take them for their walk if this is the time they are used to going; even if you just finished a hectic night shift or got home from a party half an hour earlier.

Dog ownership means doing things you’d rather not do

Nobody’s favourite side of dog ownership is picking up the poop, cleaning up vomit, picking something rancid out of the dog’s coat or brushing your dog’s teeth. However, a large part of dog ownership means taking care of these mundane but sometimes unpleasant everyday essentials you’d rather not do; every job has its downsides!

Dog ownership even means arranging your own holiday and sickness cover too!

Finally, if you had a part time job for someone else, if push came to shove and you were unwell, or wanted to book holiday, you would be entitled to time off and your employer would be responsible for covering for this.

However, when your part-time job is owning your own dog, you even have to arrange your own holiday and sickness cover too; as your dog’s needs still need to be met!

Newsletter icon
Get free tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox.


Pets for StudWanted Pets

Accessories & services


Knowledge Hub


Support & Safety Portal
All Pets for Sale