This article is contributed by guest writer Julia Nikolaus (Dog Proofer Fence Systems)
6 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Happy While Working from Home
Working from home has become an achievable goal for people worldwide. If you’re part of this new norm, you’ve certainly gotten to experience some benefits, including working in comfortable clothes, ditching a long commute to the office, and spending more time with your beloved family and pets. While being around “Fido” more often is undoubtedly a wonderful experience, it may also be a trying one whilst trying to get work done.
You’ve probably realized that being productive and concentrating on job assignments is nearly impossible if your pooch is bored. It’s not easy to say “no” when those puppy eyes look into your soul. However, you can’t stop working every time your dog wants attention, or you’ll never get anything done. Fortunately, you can still be a successful worker, even if you have a canine assistant. You simply have to figure out how to keep your pooch occupied and content.
The following six tips can help you do just that!
1. Take Care of Essential Needs Before Logging In
Your dog probably has a morning routine, including a bathroom visit, breakfast, and attention requirements. Make sure you fulfill these needs before starting work to ensure your pup isn’t bombarding you with their demands when logging in.
These morning routine ingredients may be the recipe for a morning nap if you have an older dog, which should allow you to work for an hour or two disruption-free. However, if you have a younger pup, you may need to add playtime to the list to help tucker your pooch out.
Think of this process as if you were actually leaving for work. Ask yourself how you would prepare your pup for the day if you had to drive to the office. Doing so will help you and your pooch get into a regular daily routine.
2. Start the Day with Exercise
Dogs of all ages benefit from a daily walk or a game of fetch – anything that gives them some exercise. After taking care of your pup’s essential needs, you should consider working out with your dog, especially if you have an overly energized pooch. A morning activity will help calm even the most hyper dogs, enabling you to start work peacefully.
The great thing about exercise is that it also benefits your health! Not only will it wear your dog out, but it will also help you mentally prepare for the work tasks ahead.
3. Take Breaks
During regular days at the office, most bosses expect their employees to take breaks, so their minds have a chance to recharge. A work-from-home break may be slightly different if you have a dog, as you’ll also have to focus on your pooch’s needs as well as your own.
Luckily, you can usually kill two birds with one stone, meaning that you can give your dog attention during nearly any break-time activity. For example, you can grab a snack or stretch while petting your dog or tossing its favorite toy. Also, don’t forget to let your pup relieve itself during this time, so you don’t have a mess to clean up later.
Tending to a dog during the workday may sound problematic. But doing so actually reduces stress and encourages productivity. Therefore, if you’re having a particularly challenging day, interacting with your pooch may help. After all, dogs always do things that make their owners chuckle. This positivity can help put you in a better mood and get you through a demanding workday.
4. Provide Interactive Toys
Giving your dog a plush toy or a tennis ball while you’re working might provide entertainment for a while. But your pup will likely get bored sooner rather than later, which means it may start hounding you for attention. And your dog certainly won’t check to see whether you’re on a conference call or not before it starts begging for your time.
To avoid an embarrassing work situation caused by your persistent pooch, try giving your dog an interactive toy, such as a puzzle ball, a strategy game, or a chew toy to which you can add a tasty treat. Rather than repeatedly using fattening treats in these toys, consider opting for healthier alternatives, such as dog food or pet-friendly fruits or vegetables.
These toys are effective because they put your pup’s brain to work, which ultimately helps you to complete your own work.
5. Offer Your Pooch a Treat
It’s no secret: dogs love treats! A long-lasting option, such as an antler or a bully stick, can come in handy if you have to attend a virtual meeting or work for an extended period of time without interruptions. However, you shouldn’t overdo it with treats, as letting your pup indulge too often can lead to obesity.
Most dogs also enjoy chewing on ice. You can easily create a fat-free treat by freezing water in a container and letting your pup play with the ice chunk. This idea works great with all dogs but is especially beneficial for those that are overweight.
Regardless of which type of treat you give your pooch, you should keep an eye on your dog when it’s chewing to ensure it doesn’t choke. If your pup is in another room, consider getting a pet camera to monitor it while working.
6. Give Your Dog Something to Watch
You may have noticed your pup gazing out the window, mesmerized by whatever is happening outside. Dogs like to see what’s going on, whether it’s the mailman dropping off a package or a bunny hopping through the yard. It may be beneficial to keep the curtains open in the room your dog typically stays in to help keep its mind occupied while you’re working.
Additionally, you can set the TV to a pup-preferred station, as a few are explicitly meant for dogs. These channels have been designed to ease anxiety and stimulate their minds.
Remember that while dog channels are great for keeping your pup occupied, they shouldn’t consistently replace attentiveness on your part. Make sure you give your dog the attention it deserves throughout the workday to ensure it doesn’t become a couch potato!
Enjoy the Extra Time with Your Dog
Keeping your dog happy while working from home doesn’t have to be problematic. You just need to learn how to create a balance between doing your job and taking care of your pet. Once you get a routine down, your pup will know what to expect daily, resulting in a happy pooch and a successful career!