Think you are too busy to have a dog? Most pet-free dog lovers fear that their lives might be too complicated or too jam-packed to leave any room for canine companionship. While that may be true (and we would not advise someone who cannot properly care for a pet to suddenly adopt one), there are ways to enjoy having a pet in the midst of life’s demands.
Before we launch in, please note that these dogs are not animals that can go long days without any affection, and no exercise. Even the most laid-back of pets still require the basic necessities: Exercise (a good walk longer than 30 minutes); Healthy food (even if this means you set up a time-feeder that you only have to refill 2-3 times per week instead of every day); Basic hygiene (if you set up a potty-pad or turf patch for your dog indoors, you will need to take the 2 minutes it will require a day to toss the soiled pad, or “poop-scoop” the turf patch so that your pup doesn’t have to live in unsanitary conditions. Even just a five-minute brush down and tooth brushing really isn’t that time-consuming when you think about it!)
The basic summary is, if you can afford ONE hour a day for exercise (for you and your pup) a few cuddles, quick clean-up of any messes and some snappy pup-hygiene, then owning a dog is completely doable. Here are the best breeds to match a demanding lifestyle.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels: These pups were content to sit for hours in royal courts, or nestle near their owner’s feet. They are not persnickety, and find a mellow life perfectly suitable to their taste. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs are also and affectionate pets that will enjoy being by your side whenever they do have the privilege of spending time with you.
Basset Hounds: This breed is notorious for lounging around, and basking in sunny spots for an afternoon nap. They have low-key demeanors and do not demand an active, rigorous schedule. They are great for both apartments and single-family homes.
Chihuahuas: These perky pets are one of the easiest breeds to take care of. Their food costs are low because of their size, and they are one of the more adaptable dog breeds. They will curl up and nap on you bed for hours while you are away, and can content themselves with playful activities as well in your absence. Expect plenty of enthusiasm when you return home, because Chihuahuas are bouncy dogs that will jump right up on your lap.
Greyhounds: Known for their speed and agility, there is no question that Greyhounds thrive with good exercise. But take our word for it, in the extensive in-between hours, these svelt dogs are determined couch potatoes without a care in the world.
Great Danes: It is tough to imagine a Great Dane being satisfied with a solitary and limited indoor life, but these pets actually do fairly well on their own. As long as you are consistent about that daily walk, and give what time you can afford to playing with him, the Great Dane will be a happy camper.
Dachshunds: For a small breed, the Dachshund is pretty mild-mannered and easy going. They are independent enough to entertain themselves while you are away, and can trot around the house enough to get decent exercise in their lonesome hours.
Senior dogs: If you are particularly keen on a specific dog breed, but worry that your lifestyle might not be active or engaging enough to keep them satisfied, then consider adopting a senior pet. An older Golden Retriever, for example has slowed down enough to value uninterrupted hours to rest or amble around the house. Choosing a senior dog not only provides good support for the local rescue home and animal shelters, but also will give you a comforting canine friend that doesn’t need much more from you than love and a safe, calm home.
Other breeds for busy people: Pugs, Beagles, and Japanese Chins.