Updated: Oct 29, 2021
If you're still experiencing some social isolation due to the pandemic, having a pet can really help. A four-legged friend can also make a world of difference to busy entrepreneurs - helping you to stay positive, and making you more productive too.
But if you want to adopt and you're in the middle of setting up a new business, bringing a new pet into your home can be a lot of work - especially in the early launching stages. Here are some tips to help make it easier to balance the two together...
Get the red tape out of the way first.
Make sure you're clear about all the legal and technical aspects of getting a business set up and determine whether any of this will be altered by the presence of a pet in your home. For instance, if you purchase business insurance, make sure your pet is covered too, especially in the event of damage or injury. Hire dog-loving team members to assist with your business.
It’s important not to over-exert yourself when launching a business. If you're not planning on having nine-to-five staff in an office, you may find you need to hire freelancers to aid you in meeting your goals and completing your projects. If they're going to be around your pet at any point, you will need to make sure they are comfortable with dogs first. If you're hiring remote team members, consider including your furry friends in virtual meetings to help build a tighter connection.
There are steps you can take to find the best possible candidate for the job. These include clearly defining your company’s mission and values, providing a good job description, pre-screening applicants with phone interviews and performing background checks.
Get educated about your pet’s needs.
Every pet is different and each one has varying needs when it comes to space, feeding and general care. Things you will need to consider include shedding, whether to spay or neuter them, and if you have enough space for them to enjoy a happy and healthy life. It’s unfair to bring a pet into a home that is ill-equipped to give them the kind of environment they need, no matter how much love and affection you give them.
Pet-proof your home and business space.
Some pets are low-maintenance and will thrive happily in a variety of spaces. Others need to have areas carefully prepared for them. If you have a dog that likes to chew, keep all cords out of reach and make sure to protect your furniture too. Be aware of which everyday items and house plants might be toxic to your pet and keep them well out of the way. If you're planning on keeping your pet outdoors, you will need to ensure that your garden is safely enclosed so there’s no risk of them escaping. You will also need to make sure your work area has easy entrances and exits in case you are entertaining clients who are uneasy around pets, or have allergies.
Find reliable pet care.
Since your business is likely to require a lot of your time, it’s important to find reliable pet sitters and other pet care providers. If you get a dog, consider hiring a dog walker to make sure your furry friend gets the exercise and mental stimulation they need while you focus on your work. You may also want to find a trainer who can help you work with your pet on developing a relationship of trust and communication.
It does take a little extra planning to welcome a new pet into your life whilst getting your business off the ground, but you will be glad that you did.
Blog post by Cindy Aldridge