I am a stay at home dog parent. I have worked it out this way after several years of trying to figure out how, so that I can be at home, look after the dogs, train them and spend time with them and my husband Ernie. Ernie is retired from his conventional job (I am younger than he is), so we both work on the house stuff and I on earning money, so that we have have the lifestyle that we want.
Part of the lifestyle that we enjoy is to have the ability to go somewhere whenever we want to or need to. This requires a certain way of doing business and having income that is location independent, and pets and hobbies that can be transported/accessed easily.
Our main interest is travelling, and especially camping. We do this from May to October either trailer or tent camping depending on where we are.The other part of the lifestyle is not having to leave the home to earn a living. This I will discuss in another post.
The following is a short list of the most my important points to becoming a stay-at-home dog parent (just in case you were thinking about it) 🙂
The desire to have the lifestyle.
The most important thing to this lifestyle is the desire to live like that. You must be OK with being at home a lot. It may sound good at first, but it is a lot of work and sometimes can be frustrating or distracting especially when you are trying to work. It is nice to be able to get up when you want, work when you want, take a walk when you want, but in reality, everything must be scheduled in or nothing gets done. It is exactly like having a regular job in which you are on some sort of a schedule, like having to be at work on time.
Take regular vacations.
When you work from home, your home becomes your workplace. Most people don’t want to LIVE at their place of work. So because of this, you will need to schedule regular vacations away from home.
This could be done with or without your dogs, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are changing your scenery. The best way to make sure you do this is to be organized and keep a fairly strict schedule. Vacations must be booked first before anything else is put on your calendar, otherwise they can easily be forgotten about or put aside because it is difficult to say no to just one more client or job.
Taking time away from your normal life and away from your house is extremely important to keeping up your motivation for work.
Understand what your needs are versus your wants.
You obviously won’t be able to buy everything you want unless your business is paying you more than just a living (which it could at some point, but not at first). There will always be a budget. But, sometimes, you may have to live on less than expected. This requires a little thought.
Since my goal for staying at home is to spend time with my family, I don’t work all the time (although Ernie might say otherwise). Instead, we spend a lot of time looking after our vegetable garden. We put away all of the veggies for our winter needs, and this saves us a lot of money. The money we are saving is money that I don’t have to earn from a business or a job outside the home. Our garden saves us thousands of dollars a year. I put in time away from conventional work to save money growing our own food. The dogs can be with us when we are working and we have regular impromptu training sessions daily.
Saving money is a crucial part of my ability to be at home with my dogs.
The dogs come first.
We buy high quality dog food for our dogs. Each bag of dog food lasts 10 days so that is 3 bags a month of dry food. Sometimes we are able to get meat from local farmers who raise animals themselves such as chicken and beef. The dogs get fed well.
The dogs all obviously visit the vet regularly. One of my dogs is on heart medication, which helps her immensely. The medication is expensive. If a test is needed, we get it. All the dogs get their teeth brushed. Sometimes we go to the vet to just check something out. It is a large expense.
Anytime we go anywhere, it is the dogs that are looked after first before we do anything else. If we are camping, we don’t set up the trailer until the dogs are toileted. If we go to a store or museum, the dogs stay in the van but one of us stays with them. We rarely go anywhere on our own, together.
Putting the dogs first is something that you would have to determine if it will be a burden or a blessing.
It sounds weird, but it is a choice.
So, these are some of the things that I would suggest be considered in deciding to stay home with the dogs. I know it is not realistic for most people, but for those with the desire to do so, it can be a rewarding way to live, because you CHOSE to live that way and can likely accomplish the things you dream of accomplishing while living the lifestyle.