The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has completely disrupted and changed our everyday routines. The only times it’s advisable to leave the defensive borders of your home is for groceries or to grab a breath of fresh air. Gyms are closed, dumbbells are sold out on Amazon, and we’ve had to get creative with simple tasks such as getting in some exercise. And now, most of us have gone from the solid structure of a 9-5 office job with coworkers, to working out of our homes with our needy pets who are NOT used to us being around so much (but, they’re not complaining)!
For many, this is your first time working from home…and you’re totally not getting anything done. Whether your dog is taking advantage of your constant presence by whining at you for walks or they keep bringing their favorite ball to your feet for a “quick” game of fetch, there’s no doubt that working at home with your dog can be…distracting.
Lucky for you, the Hunter’s Pet Sitting Team is a bunch of PROS at working from home with dogs! Here are our top tips for efficiently working from home with your new coworker(s):
1. Stick to your routine
If you’re remotely working from home, you’re likely expected to continue working during the same hours you would at the office. While it’s definitely tempting to sleep in, make it a point to stick to your normal routine! Set an alarm and hold yourself accountable to get out of bed and go through your morning routine.
Chances are, if you typically work in an office setting, you already feed and exercise your dog before leaving for work. Stick with this at your dog’s normal feeding/walk time, and maybe exercise them a few minutes longer. If they’re fully fed and worn out from activity while you’re working, distractions will be minimal and you will be able to get more done!
2. Make sure water is available
…especially now as it’s getting hotter outside for us Floridians! Make sure that you have a couple of watering stations throughout the house, especially if you have 2 stories. Check on the water bowls (especially after walks or games of fetch) and make sure they’re full of cool and refreshing water so your dog can stay happy and hydrated while you work!
3. Set designated walk/play during “break times”
Watching your dog lay on your couch and stare at you working all day can get a bit…sad. And you? Well, when working from home, it’s advised to take a break every couple of hours to get outside and stretch your legs!
You can kill 2 birds with 1 stone by setting designated break times throughout your day, and during these breaks, you can make your new favorite coworker happy by taking them on a 10-minute walk or playing a short game of tug of war with them. This helps both of you get some energy out!
4. Use lunchtime as a training session
Instead of wasting your work-from-home lunch hour watching T.V. or scrolling through the ‘gram, use part of your lunchtime as a training session (once you’ve finished your food, of course)!
Not only will your dog have a wide range of new tricks to show off after the stay at home order ends, but it will reduce their energy levels and tucker them out so you can get back to work.
5. Don’t be afraid of the crate
You might feel guilty about crating your dog while you’re in the house with them. But, if your dog is crated throughout the day while you’re normally in the office, stick to your normal routine by crating them to limit distractions. No need to feel bad!
6. Utilize the art of distraction
Is your dog whining at you and making it difficult to put a dent in that to-do list? If your pet is taking advantage of your new constant presence, try filling a Kong with peanut butter, giving them a bone or a brain teaser toy. This will keep them occupied (and hopefully quiet!) for a while.
7. Move your office outside
If you have a backyard, move your workspace outside! Not only do you get to sit outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, but your dog gets to endlessly chase lizards and sunbathe.
8. Close the blinds
For those of you with dogs that think they are, in fact, neighborhood watch — do not underestimate the simple action of closing the blinds. They can’t bark at the mailman if they can’t see him!
9. Have a low energy pup? Make a spot for them in your home office
Your dog probably just wants to hang out with you….so make a space for them! Temporarily relocate their bed next to the chair you’re working from or make them a cozy spot on your bed. Now, every time you miss a work phone call, you can just blame the dog!
10. *Install a pet door
Depending on your living situation and dog’s size, installing a pet door may be a great option for you! Having pet door accessibility gives your dog the freedom to enter or exit the home if they’re needing to do some business, or if they’re just a little bored and need to chase some lizards in the backyard. You can find them on Amazon, and we’ve provided a few popular options for you below:
*Please, think twice about installing a pet door if your dog is an avid digger, or if you have a smaller dog (take caution to hawks and other outdoor predators in your area). Additionally, remember to close them up when you aren’t home or when it gets dark.
As we all continue to adjust to life in a global pandemic, remember – it’s all a learning process. None of us have ever had to deal with anything like this in our lifetimes! Soon, life will be back to normal and you will be back in that office chair, wishing you had your dog next to you. So, take advantage of the extra time you have with them right now!
We hope these tips were helpful for you! Hang in there working from home and throughout the COVID-19 shutdown, and don’t forget – we will be here to provide cute pet pictures and helpful blog posts all quarantine long!
This blog post was written by Kelsey Kryger. Kelsey is a fitness professional, writer, and social media manager. She has been a part of the HPS Team as their social media manager, blog writer, and pet sitter for nearly two years. When she’s not working on Hunter’s Pet Sitting’s latest blog post or sharing cute pics of furry clients, she’s hanging at home with her pup, Leo, and her kitten, Elvis!