Between feeding, toilet training, walking and playing, you might wonder what you’ve got yourself into when bringing home a new puppy – especially if you have a nine to five job.

By: Ross Cooper

So if you’re not lucky enough to work for a company that offers “fur-ternity leave”, here’s how you can care for your puppy while you’re at work.

Create a happy space

It might be tempting to give your puppy free reign of the house so they don’t feel couped up, but having a crate or set area they can access is actually better for them as it creates a safe space. Fill the area with a bed, a few toys and something with your scent (old clothing is great) to provide a little sanctuary. You can gradually expand the area, so it isn't too restrictive as your dog gradually grows. 

Schedule lunch-time visits

If you live relatively close to your office, try to pay your puppy a visit on your lunch break. Not only will this give you a chance to feed them (puppies generally need to eat three times a day), but it will also reassure them that you do indeed come back when you leave them alone.

A lady visiting a dog
Friends and family can visit a puppy if you can't make it home

Have a back up

If you can't visit during lunch time, try to make sure you have a back-up. Friends, family, neighbours or a paid dog-sitter can stop by your place to check in. A regular routine is important while your puppy is still young, so the fewer surprises, the better. 

Invest in a feeding bowl

Can’t visit manage regular visits ? Timed food bowls are available, which will distribute food for your puppy at set times. Another option is to invest in treat games, such as food inside of a chew toy, which have the added benefit of entertaining your dog while feeding them.

Dog sitting by their food bowl
Regular food times help keep dogs settled

Prepare a puppy-toilet 

Accidents are inevitable with a new puppy, which is partly why a routine is so important. Your dog will be able to hold it in for longer and longer as they grow, but in the short term, allowing them out to do their business is key. Puppy pads are available, as are 'grass patches' that you can keep indoors to train your pooch that toilet time happens outdoors. 

Keep watch

Wi-Fi cameras are available for your home, which you can sign into from an app. These are useful if you want to show off your new puppy to co-workers, or if you just want to check they haven't gotten into that fresh pile of laundry again. The cameras often come with a microphone if you want to chat to your dog at work. 

Socialise as soon as you get home

At the end of a long day when you’re finally re-united with your furry friend, make sure you take plenty of time out to play and show them some love. This can help make up for the time spent alone - so even if you have some work to do, it's important to set some puppy-time aside. 

Dog playing in a field
Get outside and enjoy your dog

Have you thought about pet insurance for your puppy?

Protect them with RAC Pet Insurance, offering reliable cover with up to 80%* of eligible vet bills covered and when you buy online you save $50** in the first year.

Get a quote

Last updated: September 2019

*Illness and injury cover – covers up to 80% of eligible vet bills up to $12,000 annually. Conditions, limits & exclusions apply. RAC Insurance Pty Limited is authorised by RACQ Insurance Limited (ABN 50 009 704 152, AFSL 233 082) as an agent to issue RAC Pet Insurance. This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Read the PDS and SPDS (where applicable) and TMD before making any decision. **Discount applies to the first year of insurance only.