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 because you can practice social distancing and be safe, but also because you get to spend more time with your dog. However, even though they might be the best office mate you’ve ever had, both you and your dog will need to adjust to the new situation. You’ll need to have a balance of 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 and you’ll feel more invigorated as a result.
As for your dog, they’ll appreciate the time outside, will use up some energy, and be calmer on their return, especially if you incorporate plenty of sniffing into the walk. Chances are you’ll start your work in a good frame of mind and be able to focus on your tasks, plus your dog will settle more quickly.
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’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 in general for posts from reputable trainers e.g Kikopups, the IMDT, etc. It’s very important to ensure the training uses modern, reward-based methods only
If your dog struggles to settle
A good routine incorporating nice sniffy walks, chews, and food toys and a break for some training will hopefully help set your dog up to chill happily while you work. If they’re still fidgety consider moving their quiet space to another room away from you. it’s important your dog gets plenty of rest for their sake as well as yours, the average dog needs around 17 hours sleep! Freezing food toys such as Kongs will keep your pet occupied for longer and the effort of working on the toy will encourage your dog to drop off to sleep when they’re finished.
Make the effort to leave your dog at times
Bear in mind the current situation won’t go on forever and it’s important your pet spends 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 this as will leaving them completely alone when you shop for example or occasionally exercise without them.