Folding a pet into the rhythm of your life likely comes with a few bumps, and that’s normal. After all, it’s a new breathing, living family member to take care of and manage—feeding, potty breaks, baths, vet visits. Your newest family member is completely dependent upon you for their care, never mind your other life responsibilities like work deadlines, cleaning and social activities. Just like having a baby, it’s a change where you’ll have to find your new norm.
Now, managing two or more pets – yowza. This is where things can really get tricky. This means two or more furballs with their unique demands. Your work (chaos?) has just doubled, and what can make things even more complicated is that your two or more furry pals may not necessarily be in sync. In other words, you’re living under one roof together, but everyone’s on their own ride. This means individual medication requirements, solo vet checkups—heck, even unique training needs. *Gulp* Deep breaths. Here’s how you get through it.
The Chain of Command
First up, that pesky animal kingdom dominating thing. Regardless of which order you got your pets in, and let’s assume we’re talking dogs here, they’re going to want to beat their paws to their chest and thump around for a bit; figure out who is Man or Mamma of the house.
Here’s our easy peasy suggestion for nipping the drama: let your pets deal with it on their own. Yes, they will naturally figure it out, and you may be shocked. It’s not necessarily based on size. You may find out that your 15-pound purse pooch leads the pack, versus your German Shepherd! You never know. But the best thing is to the work out the kinks and try to step in as little as possible.
Tackle Training One By One
Ah, training. Well, it seems so simple to lump it all together, doesn’t it? Heck, it seems like the most brilliant, efficient way to go about it! But here’s the deal: each dog is going to have its “thing” – it’s challenge or barrier. Just like we learn at our own pace, so do our doggies. You may find that one dog responds so well to treats and another one needs more leash training. Frankly, it may bet too much to try to do a group training. If so, then keep it separate.
Get Everyone In Sync
Communication is supposed to be the secret sauce to any smooth relationship. Don’t take in a new pet without outlining who is handling what with your human family. You may think that your partner can walk the dog every day at lunch because they work from home – but they may see a need to build a budget for a dog walker. Get it all out there and figure out the give-and-take before growing your furry family. Set up the regular care schedule then try it for a week or two. You may find that you need to adjust and juggle some of the tasks between family members. And be flexible; we all have our strengths and challenges with regular routines. If one person is better at a chore, consider shuffling it to them to save yourself the headache of managing the task AND the family member.
Find Ways to Lighten the LoadLife happens when you are busy planning. And the onset of COVID has thrown all of our routines out the window. In a time like this, it’s a good idea to reassess what resources you have and what you need now and into the foreseeable future. Here are a few that will help you handle things when you're stretched thin.
- Dog Walking/Pet Sitting - Rover is a fantastic service that connects you with local furry friend caregivers
- Reordering from the couch - Scollar is your online source for personalized pet product suggestions with in-app purchasing and home delivery
- Places to take your doggo - Dog Trekker serves up all the really cool places you can go with your pooch; especially good since we're mostly staying close to home these days.
- Diversions to cheer you up - Tucker Budzyn is a very popular Golden Retriever with huge following on YouTube and Instagram. Guaranteed to give you a giggle.
Digitize the Work
Here’s some good news: you can digitize the management of your pets. We know you’re attached to your smartphone (hey, we are, too) and that’s why we made Scollar. Keep track of those rascals wherever they go, get timely reminders and alerts, find the right pet products and get them shipped to your house, and so much more. Our goal is to make pet care super easy, change the way you care for your pets and remove the hassle from the process. When care is that simple, everyone wins – you, your family and your furry pals.
Have a pet management tip to share with our community? Please share it in the comments. Or, if you have a question about our platform, we’re here to help.