Working from home can be a wonderful experience, for so many reasons. Depending on how close you live to your regular workplace, you are going to save money and time getting back and forth from your regular work site. You will avoid the distractions from workmates and your workplace surroundings. And, perhaps best of all, you get to spend all those extra hours with your dog – bonus companionship for both of you. However, working from home when you have a dog (or dogs) in the house requires some careful thought and planning.
Here are our helpful tips for working from home when you have a dog:
Stick to a routine
Dogs are creatures of habit and thrive on routine. Try to establish good work habits that will give your canine pal a sense of security and let him know what to expect, when, in his new life with you.
Make a special place for your dog
Give careful thought to where your dog can be comfortable while you are working.
Having him in your work area is fine but supply him with a comfortable bed or place to rest to encourage him to lie quietly while you are busy. Take him to that area every time you start work or return after a break so that he understands that is his place when you are otherwise engaged.
Some dogs are needier than others and are constantly seeking attention when their owners are nearby. Others are content to simply be in the same general vicinity as their owner.
You will need to set limits as to when your dog receives personal attention during the workday. If he is constantly looking to be petted or cuddled, you will have to be very consistent in gently returning him to his ‘designated area’ until he gets the message. Give him a small treat every time you do this to reinforce your expectations.
Supply distractions for your dog
There are literally hundreds of great toys and chews on the market these days that will help to keep your dog occupied while you are busy with work. Toys and bones that you can stuff with treats are a great distraction for your pooch. 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.
Make good use of your extra time
Instead of sleeping in a little longer because you don’t have to travel to your workplace, get up at the usual time and take your dog for a good walk before you begin work.
This will take the edge off him and will set you up, both mentally and physically, for the day ahead. This also helps to maintain your regular routine, which will give your pooch a sense of security.
At the end of the workday, go for another walk that would correspond with the amount of time you would normally spend getting home from work. If you normally walk your dog before leaving for work or after returning from your job, add that extra non-travel time on to the length of your usual excursion(s). Both you and your dog will be fitter and healthier for it.
Take breaks during the workday
Just as you would if you were working at a regular workplace, take intermittent short breaks. Play fetch with your dog for a few minutes, go for a quick walk with him, or enjoy a few minutes with a beverage and a cuddling session. These simple activities will clear your head and make your dog very happy.
Working from home when you have a dog is really just a matter of common sense and careful consideration. Properly thought out, it can be an enriching experience for both of you. Enjoy it!
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- Carrie and Cliff