With the ever-increasing cost of living, one payslip is sometimes not enough for anything beyond putting food on the table. This is why most people often have to work long hours and even weekends. Consequently, finding the perfect work-life balance is a struggle for most of us, which jeopardizes relationships with family, friends, and even pets.
If you’re one of those people, here’s a 5-point guide on how to balance your lifestyle when you are living with pets.
Exercise With Your Pet
You already know that living a sedentary lifestyle can dramatically reduce your lifespan and predispose you to diseases like cancer and diabetes. So, with or without a pet, you should set aside some time to exercise at least thrice per week.
If your free time is not adequate for both exercising and bonding with your pet, you can combine the two for an even better outcome. Take your dog or cat for a walk around the neighborhood every evening or try to fit in a hike on the weekends. Your bond will grow even stronger.
Engaging in these activities sets you towards living a healthy lifestyle that’s beneficial to your health. If you have an active dog, it’s one way to keep it healthy, too.
Don’t Forget About Your Family
Your family needs your love, attention, and presence just as much as your furry, four-legged friend. So, as you make the necessary lifestyle changes with your pet, extend said changes as far as your family is concerned.
For instance, bring your kids along on walks with your pets and use the opportunity to get up to date with their lives. If you have the means and the time, you can also organize outings as a great way to bring the whole family, including the four-legged members, together.
Consider Switching to a Career with Better Work-Life Balance
Sometimes, what you need is not a bunch of lifestyle changes but a complete switch to an alternative lifestyle. And no, we are not suggesting that you start wearing hippie wigs and all that. Instead, consider changing the way you work and live.
For instance, switching your 9-to-5 job for a freelance career will give you a better work-life balance and improve your relationships with your pet and family. Other examples of best careers with good work-life balance as compiled by Forbes include:
- Corporate Recruiter
- Data Scientist
- SEO Manager
- Mobile Developer
Notably, you may need to undertake additional studies to get a job with better work-life balance, which admittedly and unfortunately is not applicable to everyone.
See Also: 7 Tips to Happy Coworking with Your Pets
Choose a Pet that Fits Your Lifestyle
Some pets require lots of activities while others can do just fine with minimal exercise. It is, therefore, imperative that you consider an animal’s personality and how it fits in your lifestyle before bringing it home.
For instance, if you have no free time on weekdays, you may want to keep off dog breeds like terriers as they need lots of activity to stay healthy. Similarly, if you happen to travel a lot for work and can’t take your dog along, you’ll be better off looking for a breed with an amiable temperament.
The number of kids you have and their ages should also be considered when selecting pets. If your kids are below 5 years, avoid toy breeds like poodles and chihuahuas as they’re known to be too nervous around small kids. Instead, go for bigger breeds like bulldogs.
Nonetheless, toy breeds are amazing if you live a minimalist lifestyle with limited floor space. You’ll need a much larger house if you like breeds such as St. Bernard and Great Dane.
Assess the Costs of the Required Lifestyle Changes
After figuring out the type of pet that fits in your existing lifestyle, the next step is to consider the amount of time and money needed to maintain it. Remember, the key is to balance your lifestyle and your needs without one overwhelming the other.
The costs to consider include:
- Food expenses
- Medical costs
- Toys and accessories
- Grooming costs
- Recommended exercise time
For instance, common breeds like Beagle and Chihuahua are manageable even on a limited income. Others, such as Chow Chow and Rottweilers, are a struggle financially and physically. You may also find that small pets are more expensive and difficult to handle than bigger pets.
We all love pets for one reason or another which is why it doesn’t make any sense for either animal or man to have lifestyles that are not in sync. Whatever your professional life is like, strive to create a balance in your life when living with pets. That’s one way to increase the bond between you and your furry companion while also augmenting your lifespan as well.