Between busy work schedules, school activities, household chores, and pet care, your to-do list may feel never-ending. The good news? There are plenty of time-saving hacks for pet parents looking to consolidate their time spent on pet care.
We've rounded up some of the simplest ways to save precious time. Hey—you might even manage to get some much-needed me-time in your jam-packed schedule.
Skip the Groomer
Bi-weekly or monthly trips to the groomer can seriously eat up your time and your budget. Rather than spending hours—and hundreds of dollars—at the grooming, try a waterless pet wash to keep your pets' coats fresh, clean, and free of debris.
The Spruce Waterless Pet Wash is ideal for everyday use, and doesn't require rinsing. It's pH balanced for your pets' delicate skin, and formulated without alcohol, caustics, dyes, synthetic fragrances, parabens, phthalates, chlorine, formaldehyde, triclosan, or phosphates. Plus, its enzyme-activated formula gently removes dirt, feces, urine, and debris from your pets' hair, so you don't have to wrestle your 105-pound Labrador Retriever into the bathtub.
Invest in an Automatic Food and Water Dispenser
If your work schedule or kids' schedules keep you away from the home for a few hours each day, you might want to consider investing in an automatic food and water dispenser for your pet. Not only will it ensure your pet has access to fresh food and water, but it can save you some precious moments while you're trying to prep dinner, and get to your laundry, and do the dishes, and...you get the picture.
Plus, many cats prefer to drink fresh, running water whenever they can. An automated water dispenser—or even a kitty-sized drinking fountain—will provide her cool, running water all day long.
Create a Dog Walking Station
It's generally recommended that you walk your dog at least three to four times per day—and if all of your walking gear is scattered around the house, you can waste a lot of time searching for it. That's why we recommend setting up a simple dog walking station near your most-frequented door. Be sure to hang your dog's leash in a visible location and stock your station with an extra leash, harness, and set of keys, as well as plenty of poop bags.
Schedule Dog Walks With a Service
If you have a particularly busy day coming up, it's a good idea to schedule at least one dog walk with a professional service. Although it can be pricier—costing up to $20 per walk—getting your pooch some much-needed engagement and exercise is worth the cost.
Not sure where to find a qualified dog walker? Apps like Wag! and Rover make it easy to schedule services with highly qualified pet care professionals. Alternately, look for local pet care businesses that offer services like dog walking or doggy daycare. (A few hours at doggy daycare can help your dog burn some serious energy!)
Set Up Subscription Food, Treat, and Toy Services
Tired of schlepping that 40-pound bag of dog food through the pet store? These days, there are lots of online, subscription-based services that will send pet food, treats, and toys right to your front door (meaning, you can save your time and your back). Bonus: Many subscription pet supply services offer discounts when you set up recurrent orders.
Once your pet food arrives, transfer it from the bag to an easy-to-access, air-tight container that can be stored in a cabinet, pantry, or closet. That way, you won't have to wrestle with a floppy pet food bag during feeding times.
Stay on Top of Daily Cleaning
Whether your pet is furry, feathery, or scaly, you probably spend a lot of time cleaning up after him or her each week. Rather than doing an hours-long, deep clean once per week or every few weeks, we say, get ahead of the mess and do a little clean-up every day. The Spruce’s Stain and Odor Remover is a great addition to your cleaning routine as well. The product is specially formulated with enzymes that bust through the organic proteins that cause bad smells. Bonus: The formula even helps to discourage pets from repeating their actions.
Robotic vacuums and handheld or upright vacuums specifically designed for pet hair can also make it a quick, easy chore—and prevent those dreaded pet hair tumbleweeds. Cleaning up stains as they happen can save time and money, too. Not only will it keep your house smelling fresh and clean, but it'll boost the longevity of your carpets, area rugs, couches, and other soft surfaces.
Choose Engaging Toys
Need to distract your pet while you're getting ready for work? Engaging toys, like treat-dispensing puzzles or light-up balls, can do the trick. Puzzle toys are highly recommended for dogs, as they can alleviate boredom while you're busy or at work, and they pique your dog's innate curiosity.