A Survival Guide To Work From Home with a Dog
You may think that working from home means getting up whenever you like, working in your PJs, and basically living the dream. Those of us who work from home know it’s not that simple.
The challenge of working from home can come with a lot of obstacles, and your dog can be one of them.
Some people may think that working from home gives you the freedom to get up whenever feels convenient, work whenever is convenient, and take off early to do fun things. You’re wrong!
Yeah, it’s nice to skip the drive to work in the morning and have to deal with other people all day long. However, working from home also requires structure, discipline, and planning. Both for you and your dog.
Work From Home with a Dog
You have been at home all day with your dog, so it’s probably as if he won the lottery. They don’t know that you are actually home to work, not to entertain them.
Both of you may find it challenging to establish ground rules and stick to them. Have you ever tried doing a conference call with your dog barking in the background? It’s not as much fun as it sounds.
When your dog gives you the sad puppy eyes, it’s hard to focus on work. However, there has to be a point where you accomplish some work. You don’t want your pooch photo bombing your Zoom or video conference.
As you work from home, you will build a stronger bond with your dog, which will benefit both of you. It’s going to be such a happy day for your dog!
Benefits to Work from Home with a Dog
It is well known that dogs reduce stress and increase serotonin levels, so you probably already know the benefits of owning one.
You benefit from those chemicals in your brain when you feel good. Working from home with your dog has other benefits as well.
Here are a few of those surprising benefits.
Dog's Help To Lower Your Stress Levels
Have you ever had the thought that your best fur-friend would make your workday so much better if they came along?
Having a dog makes working from home even more rewarding. Apparently, they boost your “feel-good” hormones, lower your anxiety, and lower your blood pressure.
It is much better to have your pet with you while you work than not to have them. All day long, do you really want to be away from your baby? If you aren’t worried about what they’ll get into, you might imagine how sad they’ll be just waiting for you to come home.
So, working from home with your puppy is a win-win.
You'll Have A Happier Dog
Work from home is not only beneficial for you but also for your dogs. You are always at home with them, so they love it!
It makes your dog happier to have you around even if you are working. When their best fur-friend is at home with you, how can they not be happy? Even if you aren’t aware of it, many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when left home alone.
How often have you come home from work only to find torn up toilet paper, ripped up shoes, or something else that upsets you? Separation anxiety manifests in these symptoms.
Your pet will be happier and you will be as well if you’re home all day. Everyone wants to be happy, don’t they?
You Can Boost Your Productivity By Having A Dog
With your furbaby by your side at work, you are likely to be more productive.
The benefits of having Fido or Fluffy next to you while working range from reduced stress to increase serotonin levels. You can drastically slow down your work if you worry about how your dog is doing or if he’s scared of being home alone.
Research has shown that when you have your dog with you at work, your stress level is much lower than when it is not with you.
Giving a scratch behind the ear to your pup if you’re feeling stressed over a client problem can calm both you and your dog.
Dog's Make Us Happier
Having your dog around reduces your stress level, as you already know. How about the fact that they can actually increase your happiness? Yes, it’s true!
Exercise may also contribute, as it increases serotonin and other happy hormones when you’re home with your pooch.
You will have more serotonin and oxytocin in your body when you exercise, which are both hormones that increase your happiness. Whether or not you like it, having a dog will get you moving.
Keep them healthy by taking them for walks and playing with them, which will make you healthier and happier as well. This is another win-win situation.
Besides never being alone, your pooch will also help you say goodbye to loneliness.
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Tips to Make the Most of Working from Home with your Dog
Over the next few years, we’ll spend a lot more time with our beloved dogs. Even in these stressful times, that’s good news for pet parents.
The best part of this is that you don’t have to go to work today, but your dog doesn’t realize that this isn’t an extended weekend with endless opportunities for chin scratches and walks. Working from home with a dog can be a blessing, but you can struggle to keep your pup quiet all day.
Here are some tips to make sure your four-legged friend won’t get you into trouble with the boss.
Walk Your Dog Before You Start Your Day
Before you begin your workday, take your dog for a walk. Taking your dog for a half-hour walk before sitting down to work is beneficial for you both in many ways.
You will probably have to get up earlier, but take your travel mug of coffee and let your dog sniff all he wants.
When you exercise, you release stress and nervous energy before they cause problems on your conference call. Also, showing your dog attention at the start of the day will reduce their desire to seek your affection later on in the day.
Feed Your Dog In A Puzzle Feeder
Place the kibble into a puzzle feeder or an item that lets them dispense food, rather than feeding them breakfast in their bowl. Your dog will stay occupied and tired out while you’re getting your day started with the right puzzle feeder.
Tip: When you’re working, avoid toys with hard, hollow parts. They are very loud when dogs throw them.
There are a varity of doggy-style puzzles are also a great way to give your dog some mental exercise, which will help to tire him out and keep him calm.
These "pawesome" puzzle toys are fun and teach your pooch to learn new things while providing mental stimulation.
Consider Your Dog’s Environment
The best way to keep pets busy while you work is to provide them with lots of physical and mental stimulation. For your dog, critical thinking can be just as exhausting as physical exercise.
While you work from home, you can give your dog their own project so that they’ll be entertained while you’re away. Kongs and other hollow toys can be filled with peanut butter or spray cheese to keep dogs entertained for hours.
Dogs can stay quiet while you work with chew toys or puzzle toys that require them to find hidden objects.
When you really need your dog to calm down, give them a special toy, so they are more interested in it than what you’re doing.
Toys with squeakers and hard toys with loud sounds should be avoided.
Keep Your Dog Separate From Your Work Area
The best way to ensure your dog will not put a kink in the flow of your workday is to create a separate, pup-free workspace.
Dogs that are used to being separated from their owners all day should not have a problem if you need to work while they wait for you. The dog can be crated or the door should be closed in order to prevent access to the office. If you’re trying to keep them distracted, turn on the TV or the radio.
It’s important not to ignore the whine of a dog who constantly communicates - there is always something you can do to help distract them.
Hire A Dog Walker or Dog Sitter
There’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional to take care of your dog. It is possible to keep your dog tire out while working from home.
Two walks a day is ideal, and the length of time that’s best for the dog will depend on their overall energy level.
Then you can concentrate on your work and not feel guilty working through lunch.
Take Breaks With Your Dog
You’ll have to balance time management with your dog. It’s recommended that you stand up every 30 minutes.
You’ll want to watch the time you spend with your dog when standing and limit it to only 10 minutes, this has to be strictly for the both of you because if you play with your furbaby “for just a minute,” you may find that you spend an hour with your furry friend.
You can play with your dog while you wait for the coffee to brew or for the meeting to begin.
You can throw their ball around a few times, or sit and cuddle with them.
These quick breaks will also benefit your health and productivity.
Benefits of Having a Second Dog
If your dog is still exhibiting bad behaviors such as chewing up things in the house, or if you think they could use a break or socialization with other dogs, schedule a day of daycare for them or think about getting them a companion dog.
Another option if you’re thinking, “I can’t deal with just one dog” while you’re rushing to meet your deadlines, two dogs that get along will entertain each other.
Working from home has many perks, including a full-time office mate. It doesn’t take much effort and planning to have a great workday with your dog.
Have a Daily Work Routine To Work at Home with Your Dog
Dogs, especially, don’t enjoy spending all day at home doing nothing.
Some dogs may show destructive behaviors, like chewing or scratching on furniture and picking up and chewing on inappropriate items, such as shoes, electronic devices, etc.
One of the best ways to prevent such bad behavior to make your day begin with an activity that makes both of you happy.
The benefits of taking your furbaby on a walk every day are many. Besides getting your heart rate up, exercise also strengthens your legs and strengthens your heart. Walking your dog before work also boosts your mood-enhancing hormones.
Your pup will benefit from walks as well. As with humans, dogs are equally susceptible to obesity. They can develop diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and osteoarthritis. So, get outside and walk around.
After you get home, make sure they have fresh water in their water bowl and come back to your computer.
Keep Your Dog Busy During Working Hours
Dogs without an opportunity to release their energy can become stir-crazy and engage in counter surfing, barking at any leaf that moves in the yard, digging out from under the fence, and on and on. The pent-up energy of a cooped-up dog must be released somehow, and, unfortunately, this is often in a negative way.
A great start can make an enormous difference to your day. By letting some of their energy out at the beginning of the day, you will set the day up for success.
You may find your day is more productive by taking your dog for a walk around the block.
Try to use up some of your pet’s energy whenever you are taking a break from the computer or phone by playing fetch or tug of war, or by giving them a little physical attention like a back scratch or belly rub.
Have an Independent Space for Your Dog
Create a distinct space separate from your workspace for your dog. Setting boundaries during your work from home hours, whether you put your dog in a crate or gate them off to a certain room in the house, helps get your dog used to the routine.
Your dog should be able to feel comfortable in this space. While you’re working hard, give them toys and puzzles to keep them engaged while you’re out.
Playing, relaxing, and sleeping in a space that allows them to be active throughout the day will go a long way to keeping them content.
Play with your Dog
As a result, you don’t have to stay in separate rooms the entire time. A dog is something you got because you wanted to spend time with them. It is hard to resist playing with them for too long. Keep a block of time aside for your dog to play while you are working.
Playing with your pup for a few minutes at a time is more productive than getting up to do so several times throughout the day.
Whenever they do something cute, you shouldn’t expect to come to them. Your dog will catch onto that quickly and pounce on the chance to keep distracting you.
How to Keep your Dog Active When on a Call
When you work from home, interruptions during conference calls are one of the most common problems. It’s easy for your coworkers to find out who among them has a dog because they see your dog make a special appearance or bark at a squirrel in the background.
I enjoy seeing a dog on camera, but it can impede meetings. Make sure your dog has something to do that will keep them busy for a long time. If you think they appear to be bored, distract them by giving them a frozen treat.
If your colleagues know that you have a dog, they might want to say hello regardless of the agenda. If possible, save it until the end of the meeting after you’ve achieved your goal.
Whining and Barking Dogs
When working from home with your dog, avoid giving in to attention-seeking behavior. You may be whined at, barked at, pawed at, or nudged with your head. By responding to these actions, your dog learns he can get your attention whenever he wants.
It’s best to totally ignoring your dog when they try getting your attention in this way. Therefore, don’t punish or scold your dog: In your dog’s eyes, any attention is good attention! As they realize they aren’t getting what they want, they’ll move on to something else.
When your dog behaves in the way you want them to, such as lying down quietly, you can reward them with a pet or a treat. In this way, you send the right signals for how they should behave when you work from home.
Prevent Your Dog from Barking while Your Working from Home
Barking is a normal behavior for dogs, but what makes up excessive barking?
As for excessive barking, we need to figure out the causes of it in order to prevent it and help our dogs to stay calm and relaxed.
Besides providing mental and physical stimulation, these options will satisfy your dog’s need for companionship. Another reason for excessive barking may be separation anxiety when your dog is left alone.
Dogs can bark excessively because of territorial behavior to warn you of intruders.
Aim For Progress Not Perfection with your Dog
Nobody is perfect in raising a puppy. Don’t get upset with yourself if you spend 20 minutes playing with your pup instead of reconciling the budget for this month.
You’re allowed your one “work vice” and that can be your dog.
If your pet is practicing excited behavior and you give affection to that, they will have no limitations and constantly look for attention.
The goal is to give your dog something to do that you know will keep them busy for an extended period.
Tug of war and fetch are great ways to spend quality time with your dog and to release their pent-up energy.
Be Flexible with yourself and your Dog
What is the best way to encourage good behavior in dogs? Be flexible!
Every day is different when you freelance or work from home. Some days, you’re lucky to eat a sandwich that you threw together in a hurry; at other times, you might have to reorganize your bookshelf while waiting for an assignment.
Having a dog at home can make it difficult to follow all the rules and adhere to the routine you’d like for working from home with the dog. With a dog and working from home, learn how to remain flexible and adaptable.
The key here is to set specific break times for you and your dog.
Final Thoughts on Working from Home with your Dog
While you’re at home, you shouldn’t treat your house as an office and ignore your dog while you’re at home. Sure, if you have a dedicated room that you can shut the door to, that can help you get work done in peace. But you will probably find your pup camped out on the other side of the door or, worse, up to no good.
You and your dog can have a great time working at home together. Work on ways to balance your work with your pet to ensure a happy life. If you have a dog, let your employer know, since you want to make sure working from home is a good fit for you.
It has some considerable benefits for you once you fully integrate your pup into your career. Study after study has shown that employees who work from home are actually more productive than their counterparts who commute to the office. Your furry office mate and you can enjoy working from home and finding the perfect balance between work and life if you put some effort into it.
Also, be sure to spend some quiet time with him a few times a day just petting or cuddling with him.
Another option is to use this extra time for some extra grooming for your dog. Allowing your dog ample time for their grooming routine gives them great mental stimulation.
I hope you and your fur babies can provide a lot of comfort to each other as you work from home!
DON’T FORGET TO ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF WORKING REMOTE WITH A DOG!