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How to Be a Responsible Pet Owner When You’re Short on Time

Blue-collared cat nose-to-nose with person

We all know that one of the key parts of being a responsible pet owner is taking time to care for your dog or cat. Unfortunately, sometimes “real life” gets in the way. Maybe you are busy at work or having a family crisis. Whatever the reason, here are some ways you can make sure Fido and Fifi are getting the TLC they need to be happy and healthy.


Doggie daycare is a terrific option for busy pet owners. Daycare takes some responsibility off your shoulders and is beneficial for your dog as well. Here are some of the perks of daycare:

  • You don’t have to worry about your dog bugging your neighbors with barking or whining.
  • You also won’t have to worry about destructive behaviors that stem from loneliness, such as chewing and digging.
  • Your pup will learn important social skills by interacting with other dogs and humans.
  • A tired dog is a happy dog. Constant attention, games and exercise result in a happier and healthier pet.

Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters

Dog walkers and pet sitters can also help provide the attention your animal deserves. A dog walker can make sure your pooch gets enough exercise, taking them on walks or trips to the dog park. Some walkers even feed dogs their breakfast or dinner. You can also hire pet sitters to feed your cat or stay with your pets long-term if you’re out of town.

Low on cash and can’t afford to hire someone? Try getting a friend or family member to volunteer. If that seems like that’s a lot to ask of someone, hit up people you know who also have pets. Offer a trade as a form of alternative payment. You take turns watching each other’s pets. If they don’t need a pet-sitter you can also barter with other services, like washing their car, doing yard work or watching their (human) kids. And heck, you can’t go wrong with good old-fashioned pizza and beer.

Puzzles, Games and Tech

One of the downsides of a busy pet owner is not having the time to entertain or feed your pet. Luckily there are a number of cool solutions for both of those problems. Leave your dog or cat alone with engaging toys and puzzles! These keep pets busy so they won’t get as lonely in your absence.

Plus, technology can take over some of the responsibility of playing with your pet or feeding them. There are electronic feeders that dispense the same amount of food at the same time every day. There are also devices that play games with your pets or let you supervise your animals when you’re not at home.

No one’s perfect, but we hope this article helps you be the best pet owner you can be. You can also read here for more tips on saving money if you’re a cat or dog owner on a tight budget.