My life is exploding and my dogs haven’t been on a walk in 2 weeks. This is temporary and they’re just going to have to suffer with me. Sometimes you aren’t going to be the ideal pet parent and that’s okay.
Your dog needs food, water, shelter, bathroom breaks, and a reasonable amount of space and love everyday. Sometimes that’s all they’re going to get and beating yourself up for not being able to do better isn’t helpful for anyone.
This isn’t an excuse to adopt a dog you can’t properly care for, but an acknowledgement that life happens. If you know you generally won’t be able to provide something then of course you shouldn’t adopt a pet that needs that. Plenty of pets can be litter box trained, are lower energy, and are more independent than your typical dog. If your otherwise spoiled dog misses some walks or grooming sessions please don’t beat yourself up for it. You’re allowed to make sure your pets are okay in the moment and focus on getting things back under control for everyone.
Sometimes, episodes of poor health or work craziness can be planned for and if you can make arrangements in advance, that’s wonderful. You may be able to swap dog walking or sitting with family, or stockpile indoor toys and games, or preemptively paper train your dog if you know you’re going to have an erratic schedule for a month or two every year. Having a plan and other people they know makes things less stressful for you and for your dog.
On some days, being a good dog mom involves extra cuddles, a nap, and passing out dog safe junk food for dinner. You’re still a good pet parent and this isn’t every day.