Working From Home With Dogs

Working from home with dogs

The world is becoming more digital and more and more people can work from home. This includes employees, freelancers and many self-employed workers. However, developments regarding coronavirus have made it necessary for more people to work from home. This can be challenging if there is a dog in the family. If it is planned well though and our ideas are incorporated, a dog can be a very enriching part of home office. The following tips will help you and your dog get through a working day together in a relaxed manner!

An all round good start

Would you like to work from home with your dog? Off we go – and out we go! Because only well-stimulated dogs are happy dogs. Invest the time you save by not commuting in long walks. In summer, you can reschedule long walks for the morning so that walks during your lunch break are shorter. Depending on your fitness level and that of your dog, a jogging lap is also an ideal kick-start for the office. Then comes a healthy breakfast for both of you. Fresh air and exercise make it possible for you to concentrate at work, whilst your dog can sleep calmly. This of course doesn't just apply for home office, but so that every human-canine team can start the morning in a positive manner.

A comfortable place to sleep

A fixed, comfortable spot for your dog is just as important as a good office chair for you when it comes to home office. If you get your dog used to it, it will learn quickly: “relaxation without attention from my owner is the order of the day with this sleeping spot.” A den or sealable box gives dogs a place to retreat. However, this is less important at home than for dogs in a company office. Focus on comfortable cushions or beds. If your dog tends to stand guard, a spot in front of a patio door can encourage it to bark frequently. In this case, a place to snooze in a strategically insignificant area is more suitable. However, your dog doesn't have to spend the whole working day there – let it plod about and look for other places if it wishes. If you really have to concentrate though, it's good if your dog can stay quietly in place for up to half an hour upon command – such as “siesta”. Remember to then abolish the command.

Working at home with a dog: is your working space dog-proof?

Especially with puppies and very playful dogs, make sure your dog can't bite anything dangerous in your working space. This mainly includes computer, printer and phone cables – a cable guard can help. Make the area behind your computer a forbidden zone from the beginning. The area around your bin can be dangerous too. The bins in offices are usually open, so dogs usually sniff out quickly if they contain something interesting. Hence, keep an eye on your dog. If it tends to inspect the rubbish, don't put anything tempting in there. Be particularly careful around dropped rubbers, paperclips or adhesion tape rolls.

Is a dog suitable for flexible office?

More and more companies allow one or two days of home office, whilst the employees should meet in the office on the other days. This flexible office concept is suitable for dog owners is the dog is able to accompany them to the company office the other days or if there is another option to take care of it – for instance, doggie daycare. Dogs rely on social contact and shouldn't spend more than four or five hours alone regularly. Even if you are allowed to take your dog with you to work or currently do home office, consider what the alternatives for your canine are if your work situation changes.

Lunch break – outside we go!

Working from home often means greater flexibility. You can organise your lunch breaks flexibly. If you only went outside for a short time in the morning, you should explore outdoors with your dog no later than midday. Anyone who has a forest or park nearby is very fortunate. Dog sports like flyball or retrieval exercises are a perfect supplement to lunch breaks with dogs and stimulate your dog both physically and mentally. If you have your own garden, you can also let off steam there.

5-minute training

Most people who work at a computer are familiar with small drops in productivity. Instead of reaching for bars of chocolate or watching funny dog videos, dog owners doing home office can use their time much better: practice little tricks with their dog like shaking hands or rolling over. Your dog isn't keen on doing tricks? Use your home for a short game of exploration. Or work with your dog on basic obedience, such as “stay” when you throw it a toy. As soon as you say “run”, your dog is allowed to bring you the toy. There are many ideas for games that include training at the same time. Change exercises regularly.

What toys are suitable for home office with dogs?

Playing together is fun and strengthens your connection. However, your dog needs to be able to entertain itself if you work from home. Keep a selection of intelligence and activity toys for dogs on hand. Here are some options:

  • Intelligence toys in which your dog can acquire dry food biscuits by squeezing, dragging or clever fumbling.
  • Sniffer rugs for tracker dogs
  • Balls filled with dry food encourage dogs to chase them but make some noise
  • Silent cuddly toys

Make sure your dog doesn't destroy any toys and eat individual parts of them. There are harmless chewy snacks for dogs that love to chew.

Working at home with dogs: chewing calmly in the office

Many dogs love chewing. This satisfies their urge to chew and calms them at the same time. Keep a small supply of chews at home that you can give your dog if need be. Is a video conference or difficult phone call starting in a few minutes? Give your dog something to chew just beforehand! Options are dried natural products like rumen or pizzle. Dried rawhide is available in many varieties and with numerous extras and offers most dogs great chewy fun. Special dog bones or dental care snacks are also excellent choices. Make sure that your dog doesn't swallow large chunks whole. With dogs that bolt their food, it helps to choose a long or thick chew and to take it off them towards the end. As well as tasty treats or special dog pastes, filled dog toys made from solid natural rubber are also a good alternative.

Resisting puppy dog eyes

So you're focused on work but your dog looks at you with a ball in its mouth and puts on the puppy dog eyes? Its clear message is “play with me!”. Anyone who gives in now will be more frequently distracted from work. Even if it's difficult, send your dog back to its sleeping spot. It's best if you determine the beginning and end of short play or training sessions. However, plan them with your dog in mind so that is it well stimulated. You should adapt even breaks for urinating and defecating to your dog's needs: young dogs are allowed outside every one or two hours for a short time. Older dogs should have the opportunity to relieve themselves at least every five hours.

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