How to Love Dogs When You Can’t Have One

Maybe you’re not ready to give a dog a forever home. Many landlords don’t allow dogs in their rented apartments. Dogs are also a commitment. They need attention, exercise, playtime and meals everyday and some working families just don’t have the time and money to keep up with one. If you can’t own, but want to spend some time with furry friends, there are lots of other ways you can get involved.

Volunteering

Aside from donations, animal shelters rely on volunteers to run. Animal shelters are one of the most popular places to volunteer at, so you may have to wait before they can find a spot for you, but they will always need volunteers. Shelters need help socializing, walking, playing with and cleaning up after dogs. If you’d prefer some other furry friends, you can also help out with cats and other small animals, depending on what you shelter has.

“Borrow” a Dog

Chances are you know someone who has a dog. You can offer to walk their pooch while they’re out, dog sit or ask to go over and play with the pup every once in a while. Dog lovers love other dogs lovers, so they are more than likely going to have no problem letting you spend some quality time with their pet and they’ll appreciate the help.

This is especially useful for younger children who can’t have a dog in their own house. Parents can send them off with friends and family they trust and the children will love spending some quality time with a dog.

Become a Dog Walker or Dog Sitter

There are many working dog owners who need someone to walk their pooch everyday. Or many owners who go out of town and can’t take Fido either. Websites like Rover or Dogwalker can help connect you with people in your area that need a little help with their pup. This is flexible job you can do part time or full time around your schedule, so it’s a great way to make a little extra cash.

Work in a Kennel

All you would do everyday is spend time with other people’s dogs. You may be a young professional yourself trying to make it out in the world, but happen to need a part time job. Check around for kennels in your area that may need some extra help. If you happen to be studying some type of veterinary care or animal care this is also a great job to gain experience in caring for many animals at once.

Keep in mind that a job like this requires the dirty side of owning a dog as well. You’ll be required to clean up after them when they go to the bathroom and make messes, as well as the kennels every time a dog leaves.

Foster A Dog

Fostering can save a dog’s life while costing you no more than your time and love. Rescue organizations and shelters often can’t provide care for the high number of dogs that are given to them for various reasons, but they provide food, training and any medical care the dogs needs.

Fostering often saves dogs from being euthanized. This is for dog lovers who are ready for a short commitment, because a dog could be living in your home anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year, depending on how long it takes to get adopted. Once you receive a foster dog, you are not only their caretaker, but also their PR person. The shelter can only do so much, so you need to be on your game marketing your new friend.

Many foster dogs have suffered abuse and neglect in the past, so they will probably be terrified when they arrive. This is another reason why fostering is necessary: shelters need volunteers to help dogs with behavioral issues adjust to a normal, loving home.

The worst thing you can do is get a dog and  then have to surrender it to a shelter. So if you’re not ready for one, try a couple things on this list first. Also, remember to research what breed of dog is best for you before taking the plunge. Once you do decide you’re ready, dogs are loving, adorable animals and owning one is worth all of the work it takes.

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