I decided I wanted to write a blog on this topic the other day, then thought to myself, “…how has it taken me THIS long to decide to?!” I started working from home full-time in fall 2019, pre-pandemic. And when the pandemic hit, I knew I was in it for the long-haul along with many other professions. I realize how lucky I am to have the privilege to work from home and be able to spend nearly every moment with my dogs.
While I love it, there are some tips I’ve learned – because yes, I too have had my dogs start barking on an important call with management or made the mistake of not having a frozen Kong ready before a 4-hour workshop.
So, here are my tips for working from home with pets (better late than never, right?).
Tire them out
I always say “a tired pup is a happy pup!” Before signing on in the morning (or however you start your workday), make sure your dog is tired. That may mean fetch in the yard – or long hallway. Or if you’re like me, that may mean a long walk or intense frisbee session. I ideally like to start our day with a 1.5 – 2 mile walk, as this really tires my girls out.
Why is this important? Well, a couple reasons.
First, exercise is important for your pets – regardless if you work from home or not! But second, a bored or energetic pet can lead to a destructive (or disruptive) pet.And you won’t be able to keep as close of an eye on them while you’re working so they’re more likely to get into the garbage, or tear up the couch, or may even bark in your ear excessively while you’re on an important call.Moral of this tip is to tire your pup out so they’re too sleepy to even think about doing any of that!
Keep them busy
So you tired your pup out in the morning, great! Now they will wake up eventually and get their energy back. Make sure you have something to keep them busy at any moment, so you aren’t left in a frenzy trying to distract them while wrapping up an important project or call.
Here are a few of my favorite “busy activities”:
If all else fails, make sure the blinds are open and let your pups people-watch! (As you can see, my girls love this. Fair warning if your dogs are barkers, this may not be the best choice 😊).
Find what works for you and your pet, and have it ready! (p.s. mental stimulation will tire your pup out even more, so it’s a win-win!)
Take breaks throughout the day
Enjoy the time with your pets while you can! When you’ve wrapped up those calls or finally finished the project that has been looming over your heads, go outside! Have a cuddle session! Do a quick training session! Whatever it may be, make sure you’re taking breaks throughout the day – for your pet’s sake, and your own!
I love to have a 10-minutes frisbee session when I have a break in calls, or maybe even work from outside so the girls can enjoy the sunshine (…as long as it’s nice enough for me to do so).
What are your work from home tips or must-haves? Leave a reply below!