Working from home with your dog by your side may appear to be an effortless task. There is no need to pay for doggy day care, there is reduced risk of accidents as you reduce the amount of time that you are out, and you can take walks at convenient periods. However, before you and your pooch head to your home office, you might want to read this first.
The Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa (PFI) has compiled a list of top tips for working with your dog at home.
Dog-proof your workspace
Dogs are endearing creatures but if left to their own devices, they can also be destructive. This is particularly important if you have a puppy. Ensure that your workspace is dog-proof. Conceal computer cables, bins, important documents and other wires to avoid temptation.
Avoid inducing separation anxiety
When you work from home it's natural for your canine companion to adjust to the 'new normal' of your constant presence. And, while it's wonderful that your furry friend isn't lonely, a lack of time apart can exacerbate separation anxiety issues. Make an attempt to spend some time away from your dog, so that he is better adjusted to being alone when you return to the office.
Maintain your dog's entertainment
Dogs can become destructive and distracting when they are bored. Maintain a work zone by providing your dog with a variety of toys and treats to keep them occupied. Each dog has unique personal preferences, which no one understands better than you.
Utilize breaks to go for a walk with your dog
Working from home can become monotonous, even more so if you're in a “box” - an office with little human interaction. Taking regular breaks in the fresh air not only revitalizes you, but also ensures that your dog gets his daily exercise. It's a win-win situation!
Do not succumb to puppy eyes
It's safe to say that you adore your dog as if it were a member of the family – and that he or she adores you as well. Dogs are cunning creatures who are unafraid to tug on your heartstrings in order to get what they want. If you're busy working, don't let puppy eyes and cries for attention divert your attention away from the task at hand. Be firm in your approach and maintain a consistent routine.
Take your puppy for a walk in the early morning
We are all aware that when a dog is tired, he or she is more apt to behave well. By taking your dog for an early morning walk, you'll have more peace and quiet when it's time to start work. Additionally, you may discover that the fresh morning air awakens your senses and increases your motivation for the day, providing you with a double benefit!
Prepare for your dog's cameo appearance
You may have video meetings scheduled throughout the week, only to have your dog show up during the all-important one-on-one with your boss. While we'd like to believe that everyone adores dogs as much as we do, your dog disrupting a meeting may be distracting to others. Prepare in advance by ensuring that your dog is not in the room while you are on critical video calls.
Become adept at multitasking
Whether you're balancing work at home with children or a dog, mastering the art of multitasking is critical. You may find yourself typing with one hand while stroking your puppy's chin!
While working from home with your furry companion is not always easy, there is nothing quite like spending quality time with your canine companion.