I have talked about this in the past and I think it is worth bringing up again, because I often see neglected homes, the people in it and their pets. Clearly, if you have no time for yourself it is likely that you won’t have time for an animal- even a goldfish needs cleaning and food!
I am generally talking about all animals; but will refer mostly to dogs and cats in this blog, because they are the most common fury mates living in a house, with people. This write up is also not a suggesting to dump your pet, but asking you to be honest and change for the better if necessary.
To me, a four legged friend has been part of most of my life and it feels right. We have two dogs and two cats in or family and it looks like a pony will be part of the family soon (just checking to see if my husband reads my blogs!). Anyway, since I have moved many times, have children and I often have to manage life by myself, I know the extra work, time and responsibility that comes with a pet. I could just go on and on here, from the cute puppy that does not want to be alone and chews your furniture, the cat puke you step in first thing in the morning, the rat that is brought in the house at midnight and vet bills that accumulate.
Again, the reason I am writing this blog about decluttering and pets, is because I am seeing repeatedly stressed families with chaotic homes and lives that include inappropriate conditions for their animals. Especially dogs need your time, training, a purpose, cleaning, care and good food. Canines are not meant to be left alone. They need exercise, stimulation and a caring pack. I am not saying you can’t go to work and have a dog- what I am saying is, you have to walk your dog before and after work unless you live on a farm. Neighborhoods are full of barking and annoying dogs that are sheltered behind walls. They are purchased or adopted to accompany humans or their children. Dogs are wonderful companions and most likely they will love you no matter what, but that is exactly why people think they can get away with neglect. Just because your dog shows attachment towards you doesn’t mean that he is happy- they don’t have a choice and they need a pack.
If you are overwhelmed and are too tired to care for your animal you may want to change some things. I base my work as an organizer on three pillars: Enough sleep, good food and daily exercise. You may wonder what that has to do with your pet and decluttering. Well, if you get enough sleep you have the energy to exercise, you can exercise with your dog and this will likely lead to a healthy appetite. With commitment, these habits will transfer to basic skills. This accomplishment will launch the capability to newly shape your daily life with less clutter, fewer stress and more time!
There is also help for keeping a clean home with your animals. There are self cleaning litter boxes for felines- mine are outside cats, so I never tried it, but I guess there are also good litter brands that capture the smell as well. Cat or dog doors are a great addition, as long as they are not a nuisance and your dogs don’t run outside and annoy your neighbors with their barking. I have a bicycle attachment to safely ride with my dogs and a mountain scooter to cover some terrain- all just for fun! A tired dog is a good dog! Robot vacuums are also great helpers to clean up after your pet and I highly recommend one to shorten your workload. Order your pet supplies online, this way you save a trip to the store and it is likely you buy only what is needed.
Some of us are not meant to have pets. If you are overwhelmed and you can no longer care for your animal, do not rush to the animal shelter. Do the right thing and find a good home for her or him. Last and least, if you are planning on getting a pet, be honest with yourself and know what you are getting into. There is a reason why the animal shelters are full!
Dogs are such acceptable mates —they do not ask questions and are not critical of you; therefor be good to them because they will try to love you even if you are not.” – FRITZ Space Maker