Doggone it! How do you work from home with a dog?!
Anyone who has ever worked from home knows that it can be a blessing and a curse particularly if you have your furry friend working with you. On the one hand, you have the freedom to work in your pyjamas (or no clothes at all) and take breaks whenever you want. But on the other hand, dealing with distractions like an attention needing dog can be a real challenge.
Unfortunately, one of the most significant distractions can often come from your beloved K9 furry friend. It can be hard to find that balance if you’re trying to juggle work and care for your dog simultaneously.
So how do you successfully work from home with dogs?
I’ve put together this list of my top eight tips for working from home with dogs and being productive at the same time. Follow these tips, and you’ll still be able to get things done while keeping your furry friend happy by your side!
1. Walk your dog before work. Practice some dog training for obedience
There are plenty of good reasons to walk your dog before work, even if you work from home. For one thing, it’s a great way to get some exercise and fresh air. But more importantly, it can help your dog eliminate excess energy that can make them act out later in the day.
A good morning walk can also be a great dog training opportunity, giving you a chance to work on obedience and basic commands. And finally, if you suffer from anxiety or stress, spending time with your dog can be a form of therapy that can help you to relax and start your day on a positive note. So, next time you’re tempted to hit the snooze button, remember that your dog is counting on you to take them for a walk and get in a bit of dog training therapy.
2. Home dog training to establish boundaries for your dog while you’re working
Few things are as frustrating as trying to work from home with a dog who thinks your lap is their personal space. To avoid wearing your dog as a blanket all day long, establish a well designed workstation area and ensure that your dog understands that this is off-limits whenever you’re working.
You can set some boundaries with some straightforward dog training tips. Start by setting up a bed or crate near your work area but not in it. A direct line of sight with your K9 buddy works best and lowers anxiety levels and FOMO (fear of missing out).
If you place your dog’s bed within arms length of your workspace, expect to spend a good portion of your day petting your furry friend instead of working.
Whenever you sit down to work, give your dog a cue (such as “go to your spot”) that tells them to go to their designated area.
With some practice, your dog will learn that when you’re working, they should leave you alone and stay in their own space.
3. Take regular breaks throughout the day to give him some attention and playtime
Training your dog to understand that they should respect your space can be difficult when working at home. After all, dogs just want to spend time with you and feel like they’re part of the pack. However, teaching them patience is essential and that you can’t always drop everything to play.
One way to do this is by taking regular breaks to give them some attention. Taking breaks doesn’t mean you have to stop what you’re doing every half hour, but maybe set aside a few minutes here and there to throw a ball or just pet them. Not only will this help break up the monotony of the day for them, but it will also reinforce that they still have your love and attention even when you’re busy.
So, the next time you feel guilty about working from home, remember that your dog appreciates the attention breaks just as much as you do.
4. Keep your dog mentally stimulated throughout the day
There’s nothing quite like working from home with your furry friend by your side. But as any dog owner knows, our buddies can get restless when left alone all day. That’s why it’s essential to stimulate their minds with tricks, treats, and toys.
One of the easiest ways to keep your dog occupied is to teach them some tricks. Even simple tricks like sit, stay, and come can help to stimulate your pup mentally. If you’re feeling extra creative, you can try teaching them more complex tricks like shake or teach your dog to roll over.
Another great way to keep your pooch occupied is to hide their favourite treats around the house. This is a great way to get them up and moving, and they’ll love the searching for the tasty goodies. Just be sure to hide only a few treats at a time – no one wants a pup with a stomach ache!
Finally, there are a variety of interactive toys on the market specifically designed to keep dogs entertained. These toys often dispense treats or nibble as your dog plays, giving them an extra incentive to keep playing. And since they’re interactive, they’ll help to keep your dog’s mind engaged.
Keeping your dog stimulated mentally can avoid potential problems and ensure a happy, well-behaved pup while working from home.
5. Teach your dog not to bark and react to someone at the door
Working from home with a dog can be great – until someone comes to the door. Then, any doorbell or knock can set off a frenzied round of barking, which is annoying for you and your neighbour and can also be startling for delivery people, clients, or someone at the end of a video call.
If you want to train your dog not to bark and react to someone ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door, you can do a few things. First, ensure that your dog has plenty of toys and chewables to keep them occupied so they’re less likely to focus on the door.
You can also give them a special treat when someone comes to the door, so they associate visitors with something positive.
Finally, set up pre-planned door-knocking training sessions with a friend or neighbour. Have them knock on your door numerous times in a row, rewarding your dog with treats when he is calm and listens to you.
If you’re still having trouble reducing the barking or to teach your dog to stay there are many dog training classes available that will teach this skill; you can even learn to stop your dog barking on YouTube!
6. Don’t eat meals or snacks in your workspace
One of the biggest mistakes people make working from home with dogs is eating meals or snacks in your workspace. Dogs are curious creatures, and the smell of food is often too tempting for them to resist.
Workspaces are generally much lower in height than kitchen benches making leftovers or unattended meals left on your desk fair game. Your dog’s health can also be affected if they manage to get their paws on leftovers, especially takeaway foods. For example, pizza contains onions, garlic, and salt, which are harmful to your pup.
So if you’ve ever considered to yourself, can dogs eat pizza? Or can I let my pup finish off my highly processed takeaway leftovers? – the answer is a resounding “NO.”
If you’re working from home with cats or dogs, saving your meals for the kitchen or dining room table is the best practice. That way, you can avoid having your workspace invaded by furry beggars eating something they shouldn’t.
7. Put yourself or your K9 friend in a separate room during video conference calls
If you’re working from home with a dog, there’s a good chance you’ve had at least one video conference call interrupted by your furry friend. You wouldn’t be the first to ask why’s my dog barking at nothing? Dogs can sense when you’re focused on something other than them, and they may not understand why you’re ignoring them. As a result, they may start barking, seemingly at nothing or disrupting the call in other ways.
To avoid this completely, it’s best to put yourself or your dog in a separate room during video conferences. That way, you can focus on the call without worrying about your dog causing a scene.
8. Close the curtains or restrict your dog’s line of sight to the street outside of your house
Working from home with dogs can be challenging, particularly when it comes to keeping them from barking at every person or animal passing by the house. One way to reduce this problem is to close the curtains or restrict your dog’s line of sight to the street outside. This will help minimize distractions and reduce the chances of your dog feeling the need to bark.
Of course, it’s not always possible to keep the curtains closed, and your dog may still be able to see out, especially if you have large windows. In that case, consider investing in some window film or setting up a physical barrier (such as a baby gate) to limit your dog’s access to the window.
With some planning, patience, and training, you can help reduce your dog’s barking and make working from home a little easier.
When your dog insists on working with you at home…
So there you have it – my top tips for successfully working from home with your furry best friend by your side with some great home dog training advice. Just remember to be consistent with walking and training, set boundaries (and stick to them!), and make sure they have plenty of toys and things to keep them stimulated. Finally, and most importantly, enjoy this new phase in both of your lives!
I am a work at home mum of three children. I’m currently the managing director of two fitness businesses which I manage from home as well as being an editor and writer for the MeasureMyPizza website. I love being able to work from home and spend time with my children. It can be challenging at times juggling all the different roles, but it’s definitely worth it!