Working from home means you can wake up whenever you want, work in your jogging suit, and sounds like a dream if you currently commute to work each morning. Unfortunately, working from home is not always that simple.
Working from home comes with multiple challenges, and no matter how much you love them, your dog can be one of those challenges sometimes.
Is your role as a pet parent interfering with your ability to work from home? Keep your sanity and your paycheck intact while entertaining your dog by following these suggestions.
Create a separate, dog-free workspace
The most effective strategy to ensure that your dog does not interfere with the flow of your workday is to keep them in a different area of the home. It may be comforting to pet your dog while listening in on a conference call but doing so sends the message to your dog that they can expect your attention whenever they want.
Helping your dog acclimate to not always being in the room with can also be good for your dog. Always being with your dog can increase the likelihood of separation anxiety. If separation anxiety has already set in, you may need to start with short 15-minute (or 5 minute) periods and slowly increase the time.
If you struggle to stay away from your dog, try working outside the home at your favorite coffee shop or park. This forces your dog to get used to not always having your attention and entertainment.
Not only is it beneficial for you and your dog to have a dedicated workplace, but it can also help your overall work-life balance. It contributes to the illusion that you are not actually working from your home.
Entertain By Designating Specific Playing Times
One of the most challenging aspects of working from home is managing one’s time effectively. Getting sidetracked from work while you’re alone at home is easy enough, let alone when there’s an adorable dog yearning for a play session with you.
To prevent your dog from randomly interfering with your workday, schedule designated break periods for you and your canine companion. Allowing your pup to have some scheduled playtime will help you get more work done and help him learn to obey you when you are not around.
Don’t give in to the begging and whining
If your dog is accustomed to getting your attention whenever he or she wants, you may notice signs of anxiousness in him or her.
If your canine companions begin to whine, cry, or bat at the door after you have warned them to stay outside, do not give in and let them in. This will simply serve to remind your dog that they are in command and that they can be reached by crying.
Be aware, your dog’s begging may increase right as your dog is about to give up. Be strong and hold out. If you’re struggling and have a camera in your home, use it to check on your pup. If necessary, relocate the camera for a brief time to be on your work area door. The camera can allow you the peace of mind to know your dog is okay.
Cameras are now affordable, and you can access the live feed from your phone. This home camera is a great options at $25 and doesn’t require a subscription to access the footage.
When you work from home, your puppy/dog is not the boss, you are the boss. Make sure that your dog behaves as you want.
Instead of aiming for perfection, strive for progress
No such thing as a flawless dog parent exists. So, if you find yourself spending 20 minutes with your dog when you really should be reconciling this month’s budget, don’t be too hard on yourself. It happens to the best of us.
In an office context, time theft manifests itself in the form of hovering by the water cooler and scrolling through social media. You are also permitted to indulge in a “work vice,” which can be your canine companion.
3 Exercises to keep your dog entertained while working from home
For those who work from home, are socially isolated, or whose dogs don’t enjoy going outside, here are three simple exercises to keep both you and your canine companion fit and entertained while you’re both at home. Take a look at the following suggestions, ranging from playing ‘Find it’ to practicing yoga with your dog.
1. Use the stairs
Stairs are an excellent tool for getting your dog moving and their heart rate up and running. Sit one person at the top of the stairs and another at the bottom of the stairs to prevent accidents. Share the responsibility of calling your pet and rewarding them for making the journey. When you have mastered this procedure, you will have no trouble training your dog to go up and down the steps in order to receive its treat.
2. ‘Find it’
‘Find it’ is a simple game where you show your dog a treat, throw or conceal it, and then tell them to ‘Find it!’ Starting with a treat right in front of your dog’s face will help him understand that he is searching outside the food bowl. With each repetition, move the object further away from you. You can make the game more complicated by instructing your dog to remain in one place while you hide the treat in another area behind him.
Increase the time of entertaining your dog by hiding a long-term chew such as a bully stick or Whimzee.
3. Doga (Dog Yoga)
Although it may seem absurd, doing yoga with your dog may be a pleasant way to bond with and train your canine companion. Not only that, but because dogs are so perceptive, any tension you are carrying will invariably rub off on them, making it beneficial for both of you to practice a little mindfulness with them now and then.
Working from home or as a freelancer means that every day is different. On some days, you may be lucky to get a quickly assembled sandwich down for lunch; on other days, you may find yourself reorganizing your bookshelf as you await the arrival of your next task.
Because of the erratic nature of your schedule, it may be challenging to keep all the “rules” for working from home with a dog as rigid and predictable as you would prefer. Working from home — and owning a dog — necessitates learning to be adaptable and to roll with the punches when situations arise.