With many workers shifting to being remote due to recent COVID-19 events, dog owners are preparing to spend more time every day with their pets. Working from home can have its own difficulties, but dogs provide another level of distraction. To help make this transition easier, we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to working from home with your dog.
How to work from home with your dogs
Working from home has great benefits for dog owners. You can take them on walks throughout the day instead of finding a dog walker, they can keep you company as you work, and you have an excuse to take much-needed breaks throughout the day. Most dogs benefit from the increase in attention and care, especially those that may suffer from separation anxiety. Working remotely with your dog also allows for more time for you to bond. However, it is important to set some boundaries in order to provide your dog with a routine and minimize workday distractions.
1. Make sure to give your dog (and yourself) time alone
Working from home instead of going into your office can be great if you have a dog with separation anxiety. Instead of being left alone for eight hours a day, they’ll be able to interact and play with their owners. Dogs that experience separation anxiety can exhibit destructive behavior like chewing, digging, and barking, so the opportunity to spend more time with them can be good for your dog and your home.
However, it is important to maintain a level of independence, especially if you will eventually return to working in an office. If your dog becomes accustomed to being with you all day every day, they will not learn how to entertain themselves independently. This can exacerbate their separation anxiety when you are no longer working from home.
To have sufficient alone time, leave your house for short periods of time every day. Try going for a solo walk, or simply drive your car around for a bit. Remember to always be mindful when leaving your home and to practice all social distancing guidelines. Slowly increase the amount of time you are gone so that your dog gets accustomed to spending time on their own. If they seem stressed, agitated, or bored, give them a new toy or a bully stick or other chew to occupy their time.
2. Set a designated playtime with your dog
In order to set up a good work rhythm, schedule a time every day for playtime. This will help provide your dog with a routine as well as make it easier for you to incorporate playtime in your calendar. Setting a time to play every day can help prevent your dog from bothering you or barking during meetings and calls. This will also prevent your dog from becoming bored and will give you the time to take a mental break.
3. Walk your dog every morning
Working from home can be an adjustment for both you and your dog. Some people struggle to set a normal routine if their daily commute is to their living room. Walking your dog every morning before you start working will get you up, dressed, and active before your day of work and meetings. Walking has many benefits for your dog’s physical and emotional health. Setting aside this time to go for a walk can strengthen your emotional bond and prevent excessive barking or whining throughout the day.
4. Stock up on toys and treats
If you’ve got an important meeting, the last thing you want is your dog barking or whining in the background. When you need quiet time for a call or a presentation, put your dog in their separate area and give them a chew toy or a bully stick, antler, or other chew for them to play with. There are dental health benefits from chewing and your dog will be less likely to bark or whine. If you choose to give your dog a chew toy, avoid toys that squeak.
We’re pet parents just like you, and we’re all taking the time to readjust to our new normal. Our team is still available, Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM EST to assist you. You might just get the opportunity to meet some of our wonderful home-office pups!
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