There are nearly 4 million professionally active nurses in the U.S. How many of them own a dog?
While many nurses love dogs, they also find it difficult to balance pet parenthood with the reality of long shifts at work. This is especially true for those who are single or don’t live near family who can help to keep their dog happy and active.
Long hours make pet parenthood more difficult
A quick Google search turns up dozens of posts about dogs on forums like allnurses. “How does your dog handle 12-hour shifts?” asks one nurse in a recent post. Another poster laments that she loves dogs, but worries about the demands of her schedule. Nursing humor and lifestyle blog NurseBuff caught onto this trend, noticing the uptick in the number of questions about dogs and nurses on professional message boards and forums.
“There are a lot of nurses out there who want to have pet dogs but are not sure just how it’ll work out due to long hours at work, changing shifts, and night duty.” -NurseBuff
Dogs improve quality of life for nurses
Yet, despite the challenges of their busy schedules, many nurses still embrace the joy of dog parenthood. Top nursing lifestyle magazine Scrubs offers up “5 Reasons Why Every Nurse Should Consider Adopting a Dog.” Beyond the fact that dogs are fabulous exercise partners, companions, and mood-boosters, they note that for nurses, the stress-relieving aspect of pet parenthood is especially vital.
“Caring for a dog during your off hours can feel so therapeutic…It’s like you can do no wrong, and it’s a wonderful feeling.” – Scrubs Magazine
Nursing can be a particularly stressful profession. After all, as is the case across the medical field, on-the-job decisions can literally make the difference between life and death. When you factor in the grueling hours and near-constant activity in many hospitals, you can see that nurses are juggling a lot—emotionally as well as physically. It can be hard to let it all go at the end of the day. That’s where a loving dog companion can have a hugely positive impact on a nurse’s life. It’s just easier to relax and let go when you’ve got a happy dog on your hands. After all, petting a dog is one of the best forms of stress relief there is.
After all, petting a dog is one of the best forms of stress relief there is.
The bottom line
Nurses should be able to experience the love of a dog just like the rest of us—and maybe even more so.
Fortunately, with the rise of online networks like Rover, busy medical professionals can easily book loving, local dog walking, dog boarding, and doggy day care. Yep, it’s actually that simple. Pet parenthood for busy medical professionals? Bring it on.