If you’re currently working at home, it might be a big change for you. It’s also a change for your dog, who’s not used to having you home during the day but is probably delighted by your new schedule.
I’ve worked from home for 8 years, and I have to be honest: my dogs have been a real challenge at times. That’s why today I want to share 7 tips for working at home with dogs, in hopes of helping you make this a great experience for both you and your dog.
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7 Tips for Working at Home With Dogs
1. Keep your dog occupied
It’s nearly impossible to get anything done when you’re dog is whining and begging at your feet. I keep my dogs occupied during my work day with fun and interesting toys, designed to both entertain them and stimulate their brains. A bored dog is more likely to disrupt your work day than a dog who’s busy solving a puzzle or playing with a fun toy.
Speaking of toys, keep things fresh by constantly rotating toys. This will keep your dog from getting bored with toys and will give them new life when they’re reintroduced to your dog every few days.
2. Take regular walks throughout the day
Taking a 10-15 minute break from work is good for you, and your dog would love the opportunity to go for a short walk. If you do this every 2-3 hours, you and your dog will get some exercise, sunshine, and fresh air, and you’ll come back to your desk feeling refreshed and reinvigorated to get some work done.
3. Consider crate training
I know a lot of dog moms don’t like the idea of putting their dog in a crate, but I personally am a huge proponent of crate training. It can serve many important benefits for both you and your dog if used properly.
My dogs usually spend time in their crates if I have to be on an important phone call. I try to limit this to no more than an hour, and once I release them from their crates, I spend 10-15 minutes giving them my undivided attention.
Do they like being crated when they can hear me on the phone in the next room? No. But they’re used to it, and they’re both fine relaxing in the crates listening to dog-friendly music. Plus, they know they’ll get treats and extra Mom time when it’s over.
4. Give your dog her own space
Georgie would sit on my lap all day long while I’m working, and while this is precious and I love being so close to her, it can also be restricting.
The solution was to put a small dog bed in my office for her. Now, if she’s sitting on my lap and I need to get up to go to the printer or for any other work-related reason, I simply put her in her bed and she knows to settle in there for a while.
Having their own space always makes dogs feel more secure, so carving out a spot for your dog in your workspace is never a bad idea when you’re working at home with dogs.
5. Let her watch the world go by
Nike loves to look out the window all day long while I’m working. Guarding the house from intruders, squirrels, and the random delivery truck keeps her busy and happy and allows me to be productive.
If your dog can look out a window with being reactive, I highly recommend providing a window seat where she can watch the world go by while Mom is working.
6. Don’t forget to eat lunch
Even if your dog doesn’t eat in the middle of the day, you need to and doing so will give you a few minutes of play and cuddle time with your dog. This is really a much-needed break for both of you.
After finishing your lunch, take your dog for a short walk, give her a chance to potty and stretch her legs, and then head back to your desk.
7. Keep regular office hours
As much as possible, set a work schedule and stick to it. Not only is this good for you, but it’s also good for your dog.
Dogs are creatures of habit who love routine, so keeping a predictable schedule is important to her. It will also help you to manage your work time and your leisure time, keeping a healthy work-life balance.
Are you working at home with a dog right now?
I’d love to hear how it’s going for you, along with any tips you can share for making working at home with a dog easier for other dog moms. Leave a comment below or stop by my private Facebook group for dog moms and join in the conversation there.
P.S. If you’re interested in pet blogging as a way to work from home, be sure to check out my Start a Pet Blog series for some great tips, tricks, and resources.