Jobhop Jobhop's blog : Working from Home with a Dog: Here Are Some Expert Tips You Need to Know
As work-from-home set-ups continue to prevail across industries, thousands of Brits continue to rally for flexible schedules even after lockdown.
Now, pet parents have the luxury of keeping an eye on their canine companions throughout the day. However, there are many setbacks to consider with remote work—keeping your pet calm and entertained while at your desk may be more challenging than you’d anticipate.
If you’re struggling to hone a more productive work environment while catering to your four-legged household member, below are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
Set a Morning Routine
The key to a happy pup is to cater to their needs before you pay attention to yours. Take an additional half-hour in the morning to walk, feed, and play with your dog. Kicking off your day with a leisurely walk around the block can deter attention-seeking behaviours such as barking.
Dogs who experience extreme bursts of energy will benefit from a structured morning routine, allowing you to work in peace.
Time Block Your Day
If your dog enjoys your presence, chances are they’ll also crave your attention. So if you work on a schedule, dedicate time during your lunch hour to play or exercise.
Taking regular, consistent breaks to entertain, groom, or feed your dog keeps their day predictable and stimulating. Keep in mind that predictability works both ways.
For instance, if your dog suffers from a sensitive stomach, consider putting them on a grain-free diet to prevent accidents in the middle of the workday.
Dedicate a Space for Your Dog
Creating a clear divide between you and your dog establishes space. Set boundaries by crating them across from you or penning them in a separate room. Whatever the case, you don’t want to make your dog feel as though they are in a “time out.”
As such, provide them with items that ensure they are comfortable. Offer long-lasting chew treats or puzzle toys that keep your dog engaged. If your dog has a highly particular palette, consider these foods for picky eaters.
Keep Your Dog Active & Distracted
Nothing is more nightmarish than an inconsolable dog in the middle of an online meeting! Fortunately, there are solutions to this frequent work-from-home issue.
While the best way to prevent aggressive barking is through consistent training, not every pet parent has the luxury to do so regularly. So instead, you can keep your dog preoccupied with a frozen treat.
More importantly, you’ll want to avoid giving in to your dog’s attention-seeking behaviours. Paying mind to habits such as barking, whining, and pawing will only reinforce the behaviour in the future. Instead, reward your dog when they sit, lie down, and stay quiet.
The Bottom Line
When working from home with your canine companion, aim for progress—not perfection. No dynamic is free of the occasional Zoom mishap or dog starved of affection. So, don’t beat yourself up for the occasional stumble.
With a little bit of effort, achieving the ideal balance between work and play is just within reach. Plus, your dog will thank you for it—probably in licks.
About the Author
Mike is the founder of Dog Embassy and an experienced pet trainer. Through his website, he provides accessible resources for dog care, nutrition, and gear.In: