With the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, a lot of people have been forced to work from home. This is not an easy transition, especially for dog owners. Whether you're enjoying your extra time with the pup or still trying to restructure your life, there are some helpful tips on how to make your home office pet-friendly and be as productive as possible.
Table of Contents
Fortunately, working from home actually comes with many benefits, as long as you organize well and keep the distractions to a minimum. Some studies show that working from home is also less stressful and more productive.
1. Exercise and Feed Your Dog Before Work
It is known that a tired dog is a quiet dog. Get up early and take your dog for a walk or a run in the backyard. Let him get that excess energy out and feed him when you get home. Then you can go about your business and expect your pooch to doze off and sleep through the morning without bothering you while you work.
Another good idea is to make food and water readily available to your pooch. Even if you are used to feeding your dog at certain times of the day, you can try free feeding and leave some food and water out for the dog so you don’t have to stop working in order to fill his food and water bowls.
2. Keep the Office Floor Clear
You may not always be able to keep your dog out of your home office, and you don’t even have to. Your pet may find the spot under your work desk cozy and having him just sit there and keep you company can be extremely comforting.
But to achieve this, make sure that the floor of the office is clear of dangerous things that your dog may chew and ingest. Also, remove any books, files or computer equipment, especially any wires since your dog may dig his teeth into them. And, keeping your computer case elevated will keep it free of dog hair.
3. Keep Your Dog Quiet
Working from home means that you will spend a lot of your time on the phone and conference calls. It’s important to keep your dog quiet during these times. To accomplish this, make sure your dog isn't bored and vocalizing his dissatisfaction.
To further occupy the dog, give your pooch a treat-dispensing toy or a frozen food stuffed toy before the call and get him separated in another room if that’s possible. He should be busy enough for the duration of the call.
If your dog is usually quiet and he spends his time in your home office even during the conference calls, keep the telephone sound low or on vibrate to prevent it from upsetting your pooch and getting him worked up. Don’t forget that you can also use the mute button if you are only listening to others.
4. Install a Dog Door
If you live in a house with a backyard, investing in a dog door can be a life-changer, especially if you also work from home. With a dog door, your pooch will be able to get out and in as he pleases, so you won’t be disturbed when the is being called by nature.
Also, having a dog door allows your dog to spend more time outside and only go in when he’s had enough of the great outdoors, leaving you free to do the work without interruptions.
5. Spend Time with Your Dog
Even if you work from home, you should still take a break from time to time, and get away from the computer for your own personal health reasons. Use that break time to play with your dog a bit more and maybe even tire him out. There are many activities you can do indoors. That way the dog will not be looking for your attention when you have to go back and concentrate on work.
6. Provide Your Pooch with Many Toys
If your dog is bored, he is more likely to pester you for entertainment. To prevent this, make sure that your dog has plenty of toys to keep him occupied. Do not give all at once, and try to switch the toy with a new one whenever you see the dog is bored with it.
The best choices are interactive toys that will keep your dog mentally stimulated and also playing longer. In particular, treat-dispensing puzzles and toys that will also reward the dog for his work are great. However, other toys work as well, like chewing toys, plush toys or even a regular tennis ball.
7. Be Smart with Treats
Treats are a very useful tool to keep your dog quiet and calm but you have to be careful and not overdo it. If your pooch is not used to you being home all the time, he will take this opportunity to pester you for treats and start begging when you're working.
Resist the temptation, since too many treats can be bad for the dog's health and they may also lose the effect they had on his behavior if you treat him all the time and not only to reward good behavior. Treat-dispensing toys and puzzles should be your best friends when you work from home.
However, some situations warrant the use of dog treats. For example, many dogs will bark like crazy when they hear a doorbell. Whether it is the UPS guy, solicitors or somebody else, the sound of a doorbell can get your pooch into a barking frenzy. This is the perfect time to use treats to train the dog to stay quiet when doorbell rings.
Working from home comes with many benefits but it can be hard to keep the distractions away, especially if you have a dog.
Make sure that your dog gets his exercise and food before you start to work, provide him with many toys to keep him entertained and use treats to keep him quiet and calm when necessary.
With a bit of effort, you can make sure that your pooch is well-behaved and doesn’t interrupt you when you work from home.
READ NEXT: The 10 Best Dog Toys for Boredom and More