Editor's Note: This is a guest post on the Grey Matters Blog and not written by anyone affiliated with Grey Muzzle. We allow guest contributors from time to time in order to provide our supporters with a wide range of topics pertaining to senior dogs.
One of the best decisions you can make in life is owning a senior pet. They have so many wonderful attributes: They're loyal, they're calm, and they're notoriously happy. They also love a good afternoon nap on the couch just as much as you do. Plus, deep down, most senior dogs still have that captivating puppy heart.
That being said, as amazing as owning or adopting a senior dog can be, the one thing to consider about having senior pets is that they may require more time, attention and care. They still have that puppy heart, but they also have a senior body and needs. And for most working pet owners, this can really interfere with a regular work schedule.
However, instead of catering to your dog’s needs around your work schedule, why not try it the other way around? Choosing a job so you can spend more time with your senior pet isn’t an impossibility.
Finding Better Flexibility
Taking care of your senior pet requires time. Whether that’s regular vet visits, help outside for potty breaks, or simply your presence to help calm their anxiety. This means that finding a job with flexibility is crucial. It can be a challenge to balance your professional obligations and provide your senior pet the care he needs.
Luckily, these days there are more jobs popping up that allow for a lot more flexibility. Those at CNA Buzz provide a helpful list of the best flexible jobs that are great for busy moms and dads (furry or human). Some of the options they list include:
● Certified Nursing Assistant: Not only do CNAs have quite a bit of flexibility in the hours they work, but it’s also an occupation that has great job security throughout economic fluctuations.
● Data Entry Keyers: There are a number of businesses that need data entry keyers so it’s likely you’ll always have work while also being able to work part-time.
● Financial Clerks: There is currently a steady demand for this line of work and it’s also one of the highest-paying jobs that don’t require a degree.
● Virtual Secretary or Administrative Assistant: Just like a regular in-house secretary or admin assistant, you can accomplish necessary clerical duties but from home. You can also work for a company or create your own virtual assistant business.
● Writer: Writing is a really versatile job and you can write about what interests you either as a freelancer or a remote work for a company.
Taking care of an aging pet may present its own challenges that you'll need to invest time in and some jobs simply can’t provide the right flexibility. While there are pros and cons to any kind of work, if having more time to devote to your senior dog is a priority, it’s easier now more than ever to find a worthwhile part-time or remote job that suits that need.
Weighing Your Pros and Cons
Making a career change to have better flexibility is obviously a big step and there is a lot to consider before doing so. One really important factor to consider when job hunting is your need for insurance and other benefits. While a gig job would be a good option as you're looking to create your own schedule around your aging pet, you’ll need to carefully consider your needs beforehand because the gig economy is notorious for lacking benefits and security for its workers.
As some attorneys outline in regards to the dangers of the gig economy, “Another area where contract workers may notice a gap is in regard to worker protections and benefits that are typically included in many full-time employment packages. These items can add up to a significant value. Items like 401(k) matching, healthcare, paid sick leave, paid time off, and even company-provided equipment like a computer or cell phone must all be paid for by the freelancer.”
When choosing a remote or part-time job, you should be wary of what could happen if you get sick, hurt, or if the market dries up. An injury or even a bad case of the flu could set you back financially with an expensive medical bill and time off to recover. Furthermore, freelance work often involves constantly finding a steady stream of work so it’ll be important to stay on top of your projects to keep your income flowing. While part-time or freelance work may allot you more time to spend with your pet, you’ll need to think about the financial costs of having a senior pet and if this kind of work can cover those expenses -- as well as your own. Being aware of your options before taking the plunge could save you (and your pet) from some major headaches in the future.
Finding ways to spend more time with your senior pet can be tricky in this fast-paced world. With so many obligations between work, friends, and family, you might feel like your furry best friend doesn’t get enough time with you — particularly our senior pets. As our beloved pets enter their golden years, finding a flexible job to better suit you and your senior dog needs will give you more time to spend together and further solidify that special bond.