They’re the new stars of our conference calls, the CEO of lunch tasting and the perfect excuse for some 3pm procrastination. Unfortunately, your new colleague may also have a few inappropriate behaviours; like barking during your conference call and begging for attention.
Working from home has become the new normal for most, so we have a few tips to make sure that the time you and your dog are spending together is enjoyable.
1. Establish a routine
Your regular schedule has been completely flipped on its head, and so has your dogs! Dogs thrive on routine, so it’s incredibly important to quickly establish a new routine to keep everyone happy. Keep in mind, this won’t last forever. It’s important to prevent change as much as possible when you do go back to work, so don’t add in an extra 3 walks each day if it’s not something you can do long-term.
2. Ignore attention seekers
If your dog is begging or whining for attention, it’s incredibly important that you don’t give in. This will teach them that they’ll get attention when they’re naughty. Instead, wait until they are quiet, then praise them. Then you can re-direct their attention into a more productive activity like a food puzzle.
3. Let sleeping dogs lie
Did you know dogs need 12-14 hours of sleep a day? This increases to up to 20 hours for puppies and elderly dogs. Make sure your dogs are getting enough rest during the day.
4. While you’re working, make them do a bit too!
Give your dog a few activities to do while you’re working. Try some puzzles or treat toys or spend 5 minutes teaching them a new trick. Don’t have a spare 5 minutes? Try a simple trick routine a few times per day. For example, while you are waiting for the kettle to boil, or while doing your hourly stretches. Ask your dog to perform a 1 minute routine of all of the tricks it knows. Vary the order each time to keep them on their toes!
5. Practice alone time
Have an important conference call? This is a great time to have a bit of dog-free time. Make sure your dog is spending some time away from you each day, but it has to be a positive experience. Put them in their crate with a food toy or scatter some high quality treats in your yard to keep them busy and help form a positive association with alone time. Doing this each day will help avoid separation anxiety when the time comes to return to the office. It doesn’t take long for your dog to learn that alone time = good things.
Grab your walking shoes and your dog’s leash. It’s important for both of you to get outside and go for a daily walk to enjoy the fresh air. Take a long leash and add an extra 10 minutes for a dog-led sniffari to help exhaust your dog mentally as well as physically!
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