Working from home has seen a drastic rise lately, with many of us spending day after day inside the house. For some, this might have got tiring pretty quickly, but for others, working from home just means you get to spend more time with your four-legged friend whilst you work.
Do you remember the first few times that you didn’t leave the house for work? The excited tail wagging from your four-legged companions? Your dogs will be ecstatic to have you at home, readily available for cuddles and attention. But it is also no secret that we’re all still going through an adjustment period, which will be the same for your dogs. This is why we thought we would put together the expert guide on how to work from home with your dog from Your Dog’s Club. Here you can find all of our tips and tricks to ensure a healthy work and home balance with your pets, which you will both benefit from.
Fitting In Walks
Let’s start with the basics, and that’s fitting in walks into your new schedule. Before working from home, you might have found yourself fitting in the daily dog walk into whatever spare time you could find, whether this is before or after your commute into the office. You might have thought that there were no issues with how or when you walked your dog before working from home, but now that you have the opportunity, you should work on adding a little more structure to your pets lives.
Without a long commute into work or back home, you have probably found yourself with more spare time at the start and end of your day. Instead of lazing around waiting to start your working day, grab the collar and lead and take your pup out for a morning walk to start your day. Not dragging your dog out too early in the morning for a rushed run around the block and, instead, taking the time for a leisurely stroll will have a big impact on both you and your dog. You don’t need us to tell you that dogs are very intuitive creatures, and so they will be able to sense your calm demeanour and in turn, start their day happy and content. Plus, think about this to your advantage too, a chance to clear your head and get some fresh air is the best way to start your day, so thank your dog for being the best motivator!
If you’re not a morning person, then we recommend utilising your lunch break for a chance to take your four-legged friend for a walk. Keeping to this schedule will give your dog some routine, and be an excellent way to break up the day. Plus, if your pup is very lively or playful, a midday walk is the best way to allow them to burn off some energy, so that come afternoon time you can crack on with getting your work finished.
Whenever you deem it the best time to fit in your daily walks, do not allow working from home to make you lazy. Instead, seize this opportunity for what it is, make the most out of your extra time, and be close to home. In fact, why limit it to just one walk a day when you could swap coffee breaks in the kitchen for another little stroll outside? Both you and your dog will appreciate the fresh air and quality time spent away from screens!
Keeping Them Entertained
Of course, between walks, your dog might require some extra entertainment to keep them busy. Working from home might even make your question what your pup would usually do at home all day on their own, and can be an eye-opening experience. Are your dogs feeling fulfilled?
Now is the perfect time to study how your dog spends their time, what type of toys they enjoy the most, and how much of their day is spent looking for playtime. If the majority of your dog’s toys are designed to be played with a human, then you may want to consider investing in some new toys. After all, working from home does require you to actually get stuff done.
Luckily for you, finding the right toys for your pup is easy with our wide selection available online at Your Dog’s Club. For keeping your dogs entertained while you work, we recommend interactive dog toys, which will keep your pups happy and satisfied without needing your attention. Most interactive dog toys work with hidden treats inside, giving your dog a goal to try and get the treats out of the toy by chewing and playing. Of course, other toys work well too, like soft toys and chew toys that your dog can have fun with on their own, and it’s a good idea to keep your dogs entertained with a variety of toy styles.
Help Them to Relax
Just as you have most likely scrambled to set up a home office work station, your dogs also benefit from having a designated area. By giving your dog their own space for sleeping and playing, you can help them to relax into their new routine and feel safe within it. This also allows for a clear divide between work and play for both of you.
You mustn’t think of your dog’s zone as a ‘time out’ area when they get too excitable, but instead, as space where your dog should feel comfortable and not as though they are being punished. Fill their space with their toys and treats, as well as a comfortable bed or mat for them to relax into. Whether your dog chooses to sleep and spend the night in their new space, or its a ‘home away from home’, that they can come back and forth from, your dog will appreciate the independent space.
Finally, we think that now you’re working from home with your dog, it’s a good time to set some clear boundaries for your four-legged friends. After all, if you’re in the middle of an important meeting, on the phone with a customer, or even just trying hard to get work done, having an over-excited dog clambering for attention can be very off-putting. But this isn’t your dog’s fault, and gentle guidance will help them to understand when petting or playtime is acceptable.
Our key tip is to make sure you do not give in to your dog’s demands, even if you’re not actually at that moment busy. Your dog will most likely try and get your attention by head-butting, barking, whining, or pawing at you, and all of these can be incredibly distracting when you’re working or in the middle of an important conversation. You need to make sure that you do not respond to your pet when they do this, as that sends them the signal that the behaviour gets them the desired reaction. Do not answer them, but you should also refrain from pushing them away or scolding them. Instead, try ignoring the behaviour. To your dogs, any attention is good attention. Once they realise that they are not getting what they want, they will get bored and move onto something else.
When your dog begins behaving in a way that you want them to, like lying down quietly, then you should reward them with attention or a treat! They will quickly learn the signals of when they should be calm and when you’re free to play with them.
However, like with any adjustment, you shouldn’t aim for perfect right off the bat. Focus on progress, for both you and your dog. We know better than anyone that it can be just as hard for humans to resist a quick break to cuddle or play with their pets, so don’t beat yourself up about becoming distracted. We are sure that once you start taking the necessary steps from our guide, you and your new furry colleague will fall right into your perfect routine.