Having a pet can have important lifestyle benefits. Dogs can help boost your mood and decrease stress levels. They have also been shown to lower blood pressure and they can help with those that suffer from depression. For those of us with a stressful lifestyle, these are major advantages!
Unfortunately, many busy people think that they do not have room for dogs in their lives. In some cases this is true: If you are single and work 80 hours a week then you probably barely have time to meet your own needs let alone the needs of a dependent pet.
However, many people do have the time for a dog in their lives if they choose the right breed. This top 5 list will suggest specific breeds that either do well with more time alone, or are particularly well suited as travel companions for those constantly on the go.
#1 Miniature Poodle
The Minature Poodle is my top recommendation for a companion dog that is readily adaptable to new environments and thrives in various social situations. If you are a person that is always on the go, this is an excellent choice for a co-pilot.
Miniature Poodles are extraordinarily intelligent. They take very well to positive training methods and love to entertain for an audience. Teach them a few adorable tricks and you will have an instant ice-breaker for all social situations.
The Miniature Poodle is among the hypoallergenic breeds. Contrary to popular belief, they do shed. However, they shed much less than most dogs because their hair grows until it is cut rather than falling out once it hits a certain length. This has the effect of lowering the dander levels in the home, a major advantage for those allergic to dogs.
They will need a hair trim every 6 weeks in order to maintain peak cuteness. You can take them to the doggy salon for a fancy doo, or learn some simple trims you can do from home with a good set of doggy clippers. Either way you will gain a buddy who will constantly remind you not to take yourself too seriously.
My second top pick is a relatively new designer breed called the Cavoodle. Very popular in Australia, this hybrid dog is growing in popularity across the globe. The breed is a mix of the Miniature Poodle and King Cavalier King Charles, both well known as excellent companion animals.
Cavoodles make fast friends with other dogs, children and adults alike. They have a cheerful and playful disposition and are eager to please. Highly adaptable, trusting and confident, these dogs adjust quickly to new environments.
Like the Miniature Poodle, these are low-shedding dogs, adding another advantage to their role as excellent compadres ready to travel to the next adventure at a moment’s notice.
However, the strong social drive of the Cavoodle would make spending too much time alone unbearable. This is not a good choice for those that need to leave a pet home alone regularly.
Despite their athletic build and reputation as racing dogs, Greyhounds adapt very well to apartment living and are a good choice for those away from home during work hours. They generally do not mind time spent alone and are likely to enjoy long comfortable naps while you are away at the office.
If you are considering a Greyhound, be sure to research the rescue options in your area. The National Greyhound Adoption Program is a good place to start. You may decide to foster a Greyhound to give a rescue dog a chance to win over your heart on a trial basis. Fair warning: Plenty of Greyhound fanatics started out this way!
#4 Basset Hound
The Basset Hound is another breed that is likely to take advantage of long, lazy naps during your day at work. Although this breed does not require a lot of exercise, they do enjoy a nice long sniff so a yard or a daily walk is recommended.
Most Basset Hounds are quite mellow in temperament and will adjust well to long periods of time if introduced to it slowly. If you are away from home often, consider adopting an adult Basset Hound since all puppies, regardless of breed, require a good bit of training time and frequent bathroom breaks throughout the day.
Keep an Eye on Your Dog While You’re Out…
If you have a busy lifestyle and are away from the house a lot, you may want to keep an eye on Fido while he’s left at home. Our friends at selfpetcare.com recommend the top 10 pet cameras so you can always check on your pet while you’re out. In addition to seeing how your pet spends his day at home — and perhaps come away with a hilarious story — pet cameras can be useful to monitor your pet’s behavior. Since some pets get anxious and panicky when left unsupervised, it can be helpful to see what they’re doing when you’re not home.
Adopt a Dog to Fit Your Busy Life
One advantage of the pure-bred dogs listed above is that because of careful breeding, you can more or less know what to expect from specific breeds, eliminating some of the guess work with choosing a dog that is right for your lifestyle.
However, many busy people opt to adopt a dog from a shelter. Saving the life of an unwanted animal can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. If you decide to go that route, here are some tips for choosing a dog that is right for you:
- Research the parent breeds. This is not a foolproof system as individual dogs have their own personality and sometimes the lineage of rescue dogs is a rough guess to begin with. All the same, speculating about breeds and doing some research can eliminate some poor choices right off the bat.
- Consider a Senior K9. Senior dogs tend to have a very hard time being adopted. Ironically, they often make excellent choices for today’s busy lifestyles. They come house trained already, decreasing the time you need to invest in their training. In addition, they tend towards being less high strung and more adaptable to spending time alone. They usually need less exercise, although larger medical expenses can be an issue for aging dogs.
- Work with a local foster organization. Many towns and cities have established volunteer based pet fostering organizations. Because they have spent significant one-on-one time with their charges, they can do the screening for you to make sure you find a good fit for your busy lifestyle. Be honest with them about your specific needs and take your time waiting for the perfect fit.
Author Bio: Mat Coulton has worked with dogs for just under a decade and is the founder of WileyPup.com, a doggy lover’s website that provides great tips and advice for pet parents everywhere.