How Much Time Do You Think You’re Spending With Your Dog?


Boston Terrier With Family.
Bella with Emily, Sofia, and Samuel.

Do you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day? Me too! I say this all the time, even though I have time to watch television, hang out with family, and somehow get it all done. 

I got to thinking the other day, how much time do I spend with Bella? This led me down a rabbit hole of numbers here is what I discovered.

How Much Time Do We Spend Away From Our Dogs?

On a conservative estimate, you will spend about 7 years and 4 months away from your dog when you add up the amount of time you work, sleep, go on errands without your dog, and go to events, parties, or out to eat without your dog.

How Much Quality Time Should You Spend With Your Dog?

According to Dr. Virgo, in an American Kennel Club article, you should be spending two hours each day socializing with your dog. This can be supplemented with socialization from other dogs. See more below.

Here is everything I found out about the time spent with our dogs…

What Is Calculated In This Article

I used the life expectancy of my Boston Terrier, Bella, for all these calculations, which I’m assuming will be 14 years. This means, all in all, I will be in my home with her awake for about half her life.

How I spend my time when home with her is the important part.

Your personal numbers may be a little different than mine but pretty close.

Topics Covered

Here are the numbers…

How Long Do We Leave Our Pets At Home While At Work?

If you work a regular job where you go in at 8:00 am and get off at 5:00 pm, you will be spending 9 hours away from your pet. This, of course, does not include drive time. 

To make our calculations simple, we will not include commute time.

One year equals 52 weeks
(-) 4 weeks of vacation
(=) 48 weeks
(x) 5 days a week
(=) 240 days
(x) 9 hours per workday
(=) 2,160 hours away from your pet per year because of work
(x) The life span of 14 years
(=) 30,240 hours away from your pet because of work over your dog’s lifetime

This means over your dog’s life span, you will be away from it for a total of three and a half years (30,240 / 24 hours = 1,260 days / 365 = 3.452 years)! 

Pretty crazy when you think about it like this.

It is going to get a whole lot crazier when we factor in our sleep time.

How Much Time Do I Spend Sleeping?

I typically get about 6 hours of sleep per night. We will use this number for our calculation because I think it a low enough number. Everyone probably gets six or more hours asleep every night, sorry if you don’t.

365 Days In A Year
(x) 6 hours of sleep per night
(=)  2,190 hours of sleep per year
Or 2,190 hours away from your pet per year because of sleep
(x) The life span of 14 years
(=) 30,660 hours away from your pet because of sleep over your dog’s lifetime

This means over your dog’s lifetime, you will spend a total of three and a half years away from your dog because of sleep.

(30,660 / 24 hours = 1,277.5 days / 365 = 3.50 years)! 

Time Spent Doing Errands Without Your Dog

Everyone has errands to run throughout the day, and there are errands you can’t do with your dog. For example, doctor appointments, grocery shopping (if it is hot outside), and other random things we do without our pets.

For the sake of argument, I’m assuming we all spend about two hours per week on random errands we do without our pets.

Here are the numbers…

52 weeks in a year
(x)  2 hours per peek doing errands without our pets
(=)  104 hours per year
(x) The life span of 14 years
(=) 1,456 hours away from your pet because of errands over your dog’s lifetime

This means over your dog’s lifetime, you will spend a total of three months away from your dog because of errands. (1,456 / 24 hours = 60.67 days or 3 months)!

Time Spent At Parties, Family Events, Or Evenings Out Without Your Pet

This really depends on you. And these numbers can vary wildly. For the sake of argument, I assumed we all spend about four hours per month away from our pets for these types of events.

Here are the numbers…

12 Months in a year
(x)  4 hours per month are spending time with friends, family, out to eat, etc. without your pet.
(=)  48 hours per year
(x) The life span of 14 years
(=) 672 hours away from your pet because of events

This means over your dog’s lifetime, you will spend a total of 28 days or the month of February away from your dog. (672 / 24 hours = 28 days or February except for leap year)!

So, How Much Time Should You Spend With Your Dog?

How much time you spend with your dog depends on whether or not you have other animals in the home.

According to Dr. Virga, in an American Kennel Club article, dogs need at least two hours of dedicated social time each day with humans or other dogs. Also, he says this time can be broken up into chunks rather than all at once. 

At a minimum, you should already be spending 30 to 60 minutes with your dog exercising. Exercise is a great way to socialize and bond. If you need some exercise tips check out this article, Winter Exercises For Your Boston Terrier.

What does two hours of quality time each day with your dog look like over your dog’s lifetime?

Here are the numbers…

2 hours per day
(x)  365 days
(=)  730 hours per year
(x) The life span of 14 years
(=) 10,220 hours of quality time with your dog over its lifetime
10,220 hours / 24 hours = 425.83 days of fun with your dog
Or 425.83 days / 365 days = 1 year and 2 months

How much quality time does the average person spend with their dog?

I posed this question to the followers on the Boston Terrier Society Twitter account to help give you an idea of what others do each day with their dog.

While the vote was still going a majority of people say 2 to 3 hours per day.

What Are Some Quality Time Activities I Can Do With My Dog?

There are several activities you can do that will count towards this “quality” socializing time. The key is active engagement. Action is not only good for your dog, but you as well.

Activities You Can Do

  • Walks 
  • Runs
  • Frisbee
  • Dog Park
  • Tug of War
  • Ball Toss
  • Play Dates With Friends Who Have Dogs
  • Dog Puzzles
  • Swimming (Lake or Pool)

Final thoughts…

When you add it up, you don’t have much time with your dog while they are here on this earth. Makes sure you’re using the time you do have to the best of your ability. Ensuring you spend “quality” time with your dog and family.

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Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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