Working from home has its obvious benefits. You don’t have to hire a dog walker, you won’t get stuck in morning traffic jams, and you only need to dress your top half in business attire while your unseen bottom half can remain in casual wear.
However, there are some unique downsides. You must create boundaries with the neediest but cutest coworker you’ve ever had and prevent your dog from barking during important meetings. So, how do you go about it? Keep reading to find out exactly how you can stay productive while managing your dog’s schedule.
The 7 Tips to Work From Home With Dogs
1. Keep a Routine
Dogs thrive on routine and structure, so it’s important to establish a good daily routine when you’re working from home. Be consistent with mealtimes, potty breaks, and those all-important cuddling sessions. Sticking to a routine will manage your dog’s expectations and minimize disruptions. Because they know when playtime is, for example, they won’t bother you for it when you’re busy working.
Or course, real life isn’t always consistent. You might have to work late or participate in an unscheduled video chat. But try and stick to it as much as possible, and it will make a big difference.
2. Breaks Are Good for You Both
You might get coffee and want to get right back to work but remember, breaks are good for you both, and your dog might want a break from being alone. A cuddle on the couch for a bit will be enough to clear your mind and give your dog some affection it will appreciate.
3. Create a Comfy Place for Them to Relax
Setting up a space for your dog to relax is an excellent way to keep them comfortable while you’re working. This can be something simple like a bed near your workstation. If you think it’s too distracting having them close, you can always set it up in a nearby room, like a cozy spot on the couch.
4. Provide Stimulation
It’s important to provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog throughout the day. This means providing them with food, toys, and puzzles. If your pet is bored, they will likely turn to you for stimulation. Having a rotation of toys on the go is a fantastic way to keep your dog happy and distracted.
It’s also a good idea to take note of your dog’s energy patterns. Do they seem to have more energy at a certain time of day? Are there sustained periods of restlessness, or do they get the zoomies every so often? Once you notice a pattern, you can plan around it.
5. Play Calm Music
While there hasn’t been much research in this area, there has been enough to suggest that music can be calming for your dog. Something soothing, like classical music, can reduce your dog’s anxiety levels, and the added bonus is that sometimes it can help humans too. It’s also been suggested that soft rock and reggae have a calming effect too, so if classical music isn’t your thing, there are alternatives for you to try!
6. Keep Moving
Walks are good for you and your dog. Starting off your day with a walk is a great way to clear your head before starting your work day. But, most importantly, it is a fantastic way to burn off any pent-up energy your dog might have. Your dog can use the bathroom during the walk, meaning when you get home, your dog should be much more relaxed.
7. Accept the Surprises
Ultimately, you must be relaxed and accept that animals are unpredictable. You might be in the middle of a meeting, and your dog hears something outside that sets it off barking. All you can do is laugh it off, and you’ll probably find your colleague does too. Keeping calm is always the best reaction; shouting at your dog might scare it, or it might just think you’re joining in and bark even louder!
What if My Dog Thinks I’m Ignoring It and Hates Me?
Often, we project human emotions onto our pets. Your dog won’t hate you for setting boundaries, so don’t worry about that. Of course, working from home isn’t a typical working day. If you’re in the next room, you can’t go the whole day without seeing your dog. So, as long as you plan a schedule with your dog included in it, they will be fine.
What to Do With a Puppy
Establishing boundaries is always easier with an older dog because they’re familiar with you and can anticipate what to expect from a day. The world is new to a puppy, and you might have just started training. Handling a working day with a puppy is trickier than with an older dog. This is where people will use crate training. It creates a safe, comfortable space for your dog.
Most of our tips still work for a puppy. You can play calming music, take them out to burn off some energy, and provide them with mental and physical stimulation.
Working from home presents its own set of challenges. Your dog associates you with playtime, cuddles, and walkies. So, getting used to a new routine will take time and patience. We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and can eventually work from home without your dog disrupting your routine.
Featured Image Credit: SpeedKingz, Shutterstock