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How to get along with your new office mate
If your current job allows you to work from home, you can count yourself lucky. Not only can you practice social distancing and be safe, but you can also spend more time working from home with the dog. However, even though they might be the best office mate you’ve ever had, you and your dog must adjust to the new situation. You’ll need to balance activities throughout the day and an established routine.
Start your day with a Dog walk.
Why not start your day by taking your dog for a short walk? You’ll get a dose of vitamin D and physical exercise. As a result, you’ll feel more invigorated.
As for your dog, they’ll appreciate the time outside, use some energy, and be calmer on their return, especially if you incorporate Plenty of sniffing into the walk.
Keep Plenty of chews in the house.
Even the most well-behaved dogs will have the odd occasion when they don’t want to settle. I can almost guarantee this will be when you have an important telephone/zoom meeting. Here is an article on how to keep pets from crashing work calls
Make sure that you have a good supply of their favourite chews so that when this happens (ore before you start an important call), you can give them a tasty chew to settle down to
Some of the best low-fat long-lasting chews to keep at hand
- Cows ears
- Buffalo horns
The following treats will last a lot less (up to an hour) but will help add a variety.
- Beef tripe
- Bully sticks
- Dental chews only last 5 to 10 minutes but are supposed to help with their teeth – I’m not so sure.
Another option is to keep stuff kongs at hand in the freezer with mashed banana, dog-friendly peanut butter or dog pate.
It is advised that when working at computers that you should take short breaks every hour. This is perfect for getting yourself a drink and having a five-minute play session with your dog.
This could be a quick game of fetch in the garden, a tug of war, or some brain games.
Break their food down into small meals and feed them using a snuffle mat throughout the day
When you start playing, say cue words such as “playtime”, and then when you finish, end the session with “time to work.”
These short playtime periods will help him to settle so you can work.
Set up a sleeping corner
If your dog doesn’t already have a designated resting spot, now might be a great time to set one up. You can go online to buy a comfy bed, big enough for your pet to stretch in, as well as fluffy blankets and cushions. Make sure you place it in a low-traffic area, where they can’t get distracted by outside noises or people stopping by. Of course, your dog won’t spend the whole day there, but they’ll quickly learn that it’s their quiet place, and, most importantly, they’ll come to associate it with you working, and they’ll be less likely to interrupt you while you work. Have Plenty of healthy chews and toys (especially food toys) ready to keep your dog occupied and help them settle.
Dog-proof your workspace
This will depend on how lively or playful your dog is. Things to consider:
- Use a cable guard to hide leads and wires.
- Don’t keep highlighters, pens, and small items such as paperclips on display – they’re a choking hazard!
- If your dog likes exploring your rubbish bin, empty it more often if necessary and/or ensure it has a secure lid.
- Don’t leave food or drink unattended on your desk within reach of your pet. You might like to use a travel mug for hot drinks.
Use this time to teach your dog new tricks.
As part of your new routine, introduce a dedicated time for some training work. Teaching your dog a few new tricks is mentally stimulating and fun for them and will give you a break from your work. Treat yourself to a book or search YouTube and the internet for posts from reputable trainers, e.g. Kikopups, the IMDT, etc. Ensuring the training uses modern, reward-based methods is very important.
Make an effort to leave your dog at times.
Bear in mind the current situation won’t go on forever, and your pet must spend some time on their own to ensure they don’t lose the ability to remain comfortable in their own company and suffer separation anxiety. Having their bed in another room at times will help, along with leaving them alone when you shop, for example, or occasionally exercise without them.
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