How to Spend Quality Time With Your Dog When You Have No Time

August is an unusually busy month for me. But that’s not Honey’s fault. So how can I spend quality time with my dog when I don’t have much time to spare?

Honey the Golden Retriever loves her Nylabone.

No matter how busy I get, I always make time to spend with my Nylabone.


Spending Quality Time With Your Dog 

Share a meal together. Hey, you gotta eat. So instead of grabbing a sandwich while watching TV, why not sit down beside your friend to enjoy your meal while he’s enjoying his.

Train a trick. Training sessions are often the first thing to go when we get busy. But really, it doesn’t take much time. And you’re bonding with your dog while working his brain.

Honey is learning how to close a cupboard door. I keep the clicker on the counter above the door we’re working with and bits of liverwurst are waiting in the fridge. We practice 5 times and then stop. It takes less than two minutes.

Take a short walk. Walks are another activity we can’t find time for when we’re busy. But a short walk is good for both of you.

No, it’s not going to be a lot of exercise for a big and fit dog. Or for you. But you can make it more fun and stimulating by varying your pace (if I skip, I’m going about as fast as Honey is on a trot). Or toss a ball or play tug for a few moments.

Enjoy a nap. I hate to sleep in the middle of the day. And besides, who has the time? But Honey loves it.

So later this afternoon when I have to order things for our trip to Panama, I’ll cuddle up on the couch with my laptop, credit card, list of items to buy, and a fuzzy Golden Retriever.

Give a massage. Yes, I know. Even when you’re not crazy busy you probably don’t massage your dog that often. But you really should.

Within moments of stroking your dog (or cat), you’ll experience the release of many positive hormones and the decrease of the stress hormone, cortisol. And what’s more likely to help you be productive in a busy day? Raging stress or a calm, can-do attitude?

Honey the Golden Retriever rolls in the grass.

Time to air out the floofies.

Write short blog posts. Or, if you’re not a blogger, limit your Facebook, Twitter, or Candy Crush time.

Sure, it’s fun to go online. But is it really more fun than spending time with your dog? When time is short because you have too much to do, get offline. You (and your dog) will benefit far more from the time you spend together then you’ll ever get from spending time with Mark Zuckerberg.

And now I’m off to take my own advice.

If you, like me, have no time, I hope you’ll spend some quality time with your dog. She’ll thank you. And I bet you’ll get even more done.

Your Turn: Do you find that making time for you animals improves or decreases your ability to get things done?

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  1. Thanks for this reminder. I’ve been facing the same due to work pressures and I see it in Jack & Maggie’s behavior…they miss their interaction. Got myself out of the desk chair and out for a walk mid-day yesterday and determined to do it more often. You are so right about the massage – I typically give them each a mini-massage before bed and I think it’s just as much for me as it is for them!

  2. I can so relate to this post. I get up at 4:35 daily just so that I can spend the morning with our dogs before running out at 5:45 to catch the train to work. I’m home 12 hours later and we spend the evening running and playing. I have so much blogging and housework to do not to mention that the humans need to eat. It’s hard to fit it in and I find myself working on my blogs when they’re napping.

    I love that our dogs love to hang out with us so much; I love hanging out with them. But I look forward to the day when I’m working from home full time.

    I want to learn more tricks – it’s hard to train three dogs, but I know others do it so I just need to learn how :)

  3. Since we all work, live, and play in the same space, this is not a big issue for me. I am visiting blogs this morning with Roxy snuggled beside me.

  4. I make my time with the dogs a priority and let the other things (like vacuuming up their hair) slip.

    LOL! Sharing a meal together on the floor really, really wouldn’t work. They eat in about 10 seconds and would be all over my food at second #11!

  5. They always seem to find some time for me. I think they enjoy walking and playing with me.

  6. These are really great tips. It’s so hard to feel like I’m doing enough for my guys during busy times. Short walks and short training sessions help. I’ve also found that I can take calls while sitting in their dog beds giving them rubs!

  7. Just a thought or two…How to spend quality time with your human:
    1. In the middle of the day, walk up to them, look them in the eye and yawn…a lot. It’s contagious and they will become sleepy & take you in for a nap.
    2. Pace between your human and the door to outside…a lot. They will think you need to go for a walk to do some business so they will grab the leash (maybe even reluctantly) and go for a walk with you.
    3. (My favorite) Every time they get themselves a snack or meal, sit on their feet and whimper as if you have not eaten in days. They will give you a treat so you can enjoy your food together.
    4. Every time your human goes in the kitchen, go in there and do a happy dance until they give you a treat. This will train them that the kitchen is the place where treats are kept & doled out.

  8. Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says:

    Thanks for the reminder! I’m not even busy most days but I’m still guilty of not giving Callie and Shadow enough attention while Ducky’s at daycare. But I DO try to make it up to them at bedtime, after I say good night to Ducky.

  9. Recently things have been abit hectic in the house with work schedules etc but I have found a way to spend time with Winston but it’s actually tomorrow’s post on the blog. So you’ll have to read it to find out!

    P.s, for once tomorrow’s post was not influenced by one of yours! This is purely coincidental đŸ˜‰

    L’n’L Laura & Winston

  10. Wait. Whoa. Hold on a second…you lost me on the first one there. You can sit? On the floor? And eat? Next to YOUR dog? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Try that with Toby.

    Okay….going back to read the rest of this post, just couldn’t stop myself from commenting first. :-)

  11. Awesome! Every morning before work I dedicate at least a few minutes to loving on both of the boys. It gives me extra strength for my day, and it’s definitely good for them. The rest of your tips, I will be working on incorporating. I go back and forth between being a good houndmom and a busy houndmom. The massages are a fabulous idea. I actually got some liniment for this purpose for George, as he has some pretty hefty issues with arthritis already. They both love my massages, but I don’t do it nearly as often as they’d like.

    Thanks bunches for the tips!!!

  12. We are together almost all the time, so that is good. We have our 1+ hour walk every morning, no matter what and our 1/2 hour walk in the evening, the midday walk may get cut. The other day Mom took a nap with us, that was fun. Mom loves a short power nap but rarely has time for one. On and off during the day she will have to leave her desk to get something elsewhere in the house and she makes a point of coming over and snuggling with each of us for a minute or so. As for the cats, bedtime is their time and they sometimes sit on her lap when she works. We get time but she still feels bad sometimes because she can’t spend all her time concentrating on us.

  13. Excellent post! Yes to time with the dog!!

  14. The first one wouldn’t last long with us. Maya & Pierson can scarf down a meal in under a minute, even with the slow feeders! They do suffer a bit when I get busy. There isn’t as much playtime or training time. But I still try to get in a walk if the weather is not bad. And I work from home, so at least they get to sleep at my feet and get occasional belly scratches. :)


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