Tips for Working from Home with Your Dog
Working from Home with Your Dog?
Tips and tricks to stay productive
Over one-third of Americans are working from home (WFH) full-time now due to the ongoing pandemic. Some employers are even offering benefits like dog insurance to entice employees.
Even as things are slowly reopening, the majority of those who work from home haven’t returned to the office yet…and many don’t plan on it for a while. A lot of things, mainly getting used to Zoom calls, wearing sweats all day, and working as far from the fridge as possible, to name a few.
What does all this time at home mean for our dogs? Well, for one, most fur babies are probably thrilled they now have access to their human literally all As much as we love spending time with our pets, working from home with dogs at our feet has its challenges.
Recommended tips for working from home with dogs:
Combine belly rub breaks and exercise with your breaks and stress relief.
Scale back interruptions.
Re-evaluate your parental responsibilities.
Establish a routine.
Designate a quiet space.
Invest in interactive toys & long-lasting chews.
Schedule a spa day.
Productivity Tips for WFH With a Dog
Here are a few expert tips on how to be productive working from home with a pup:
Tips from Helene Segura
For some effective WFH tips, we turned to time management consultant Helene Segura, who works with companies and business owners to streamline workdays and have a life outside of it.
Daily pet duties include feeding and hydrating them, making sure they get enough exercise, and, of course, showering them with attention. If you don’t have systems in place when you’re working from home, your fur babies can easily take over your day and drive down productivity. To make sure your productivity levels stay at peak performance while remaining a loving pet parent, here are my three tips on how to balance working from home with taking care of your dog:
Tip #1: Combine their belly rub breaks and exercise with your brain breaks, exercise and stress relief.
Aren’t dogs the best huggers and snugglers? Studies show that spending time with pets can lower your blood pressure. For me, a snuggle with either of my pups provides instant decompression, and they’re also both my walking partners. Combine exercise time with stress relief time. Take breaks with your pets at mid-morning, mid-day, and mid-afternoon. When pets receive this type of attention throughout the day, they’ll tend to drop toys in your lap and stare at you with those seemingly pleading eyes less often.
Tip #2: Scale back interruptions.
Do your pets interrupt you for their bio breaks or bark right next to your desk to let you know that a delivery has arrived while you’re on a Zoom call? Get your dogs on a bio break schedule. Even when your meetings occur at differing times each day, you can let your dogs out within an hour of the same time. To prevent those bark-a-thons, if your workspace is a separate room, you can close the door for important meetings or when you’re expecting a delivery or for an hour at different times of the day for some uninterrupted work time. If you don’t have a separate office, allow your pet to curl up in a luxury crate – your bathroom. With either scenario, make sure your fur baby has access to water and a bed or cushion.
Tip #3: Re-evaluate your parental responsibilities.
Let’s get real for a moment, shall we? You are the parent in this relationship; you’re the one who enables unwanted behaviors or reinforces desired behaviors. I know this might not be an easy pill to swallow, but I learned this when I realized that I said, “They can’t help it; they’re dogs,” one too many times to excuse their interruptions. While working from home early on during the COVID lockdown, I came to terms with the fact that I allowed interruptions and distractions to occur. To correct this, my husband and I took a couple of lessons from a dog behaviorist to learn behavior modification techniques for them – and us. This has allowed our interactions with them to be of greater quality (instead of scolding or reacting with exasperation) and our productivity levels high.
More tips for working from home with your dog
Here are a few other tips to help you get through your day working from home with your pet:
Establish a routine
And stick with it! Just like when you went to an office each day, having a routine will help your dog know what’s coming next and when to expect your attention. Anxious dogs and those who have separation anxiety especially appreciate a steady routine. Try to stick to it as closely as possible and your dog will be a great reminder for you that it’s lunchtime.
Designate a quiet space
As much as you need a quiet space to work at home, your dog will benefit from having his or her own space, too. If your dog has a bed or crate, make sure it’s set up in a nice, quiet area where your dog is able to have some chill time. Close the curtains or blinds so that your dog can’t stare outside, especially if they have a tendency to bark at every single passerby.
Invest in interactive toys & long-lasting chews
These fun items are truly amazing and your dog will love you (more) for bringing them home. Depending on your dog’s age and size, choose appropriate toys and chews; they’ll be entertained for hours.
Not all treats are created equally, which is why we posted some great DIY treats a while back. If you are able to make some homemade, health-conscious treats, your pup will certainly enjoy them. The treats will help keep them busy – especially when given with an interactive toy – and guarantee their happiness while you work.
Schedule a spa day
If you have a crazy workday or just feel like treating your favorite co-worker, you could look into a pet day spa near you. Some of these pup pampering places offer drop-off and doggy daycare along with a variety of spa services. Learn more about dog spas and see if you can find one close by.
Looking to help protect the health of your favorite WFH buddy? You can get up to 20 percent off on Spot Pet Insurance with employee benefits program. Check your employee benefits portal or ask your human resource department to see if your company offers discounted Spot plans as a voluntary benefit.
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