There’s no doubt that our pups prefer us staying home with them all day and they’re eager to show it by following us around, stealing a few pats and prompting us to play. It can be hard to resist their cute little antics while you’re stuck on a Zoom call or ploughing through emails. So here are five useful tips to help you keep your four-legged friend entertained and content while working from home.
1. Try to maintain your (and their) usual routine
We get it – the temptation to stay in bed all day, work in your PJs and let your pup snuggle up alongside you is real. But for the sake of your mate, you should do your best to maintain their usual routine.
Most pets are creatures of habit, so a swift change in their day-to-day could cause them unrest.
Sticking to a routine means they are more likely to relax throughout the day and, in turn, you’ll be more likely to be able to focus on the task at hand during work hours. This means, if they’re used to a morning walk, it’s time to get out of your PJ’s and out and about, as you usually would.
2. Don't forget quality down-time
At the office, you’d chat to your colleagues during a quick break, or go out at lunch time for some fresh air – well, at home, your puppy is there to fill those time slots. Scheduling some quality down-time together every day means you both have something to look forward to and helps you get back into work refreshed.
3. Long-lasting chew toys
Snacking all day whilst working from home is a habit we’re probably all trying to avoid, but giving your pet something to nibble on and play with is a great investment. Longer lasting, healthy chew toys, in different shapes, sizes and chew-strengths are a great option to keep your four-legged friend occupied while you work. At the same time, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your pup while they put their new chews through their paces.
Make sure treats are used as a reward or training aid and as part of a healthy diet and should comprise no more than 10% of a dog’s daily energy requirement.
They should also be appropriate to your pup’s age and weight category.
4. Food puzzles
Food games and puzzles are always a winner in the doggy playbook, but even more so when you’re stuck in a conference call – think of them as your secret weapon. Always try to choose treats made with natural ingredients (balancing their everyday meal) to ensure your pet still gets all the nutrients it needs.
Chances are your local pet store holds a variety of toys specially designed to provide hours of mental and physical stimulation as your pet is hard at work retrieving their delicious reward.
5. Get creative
If your presence at home has sent your pet’s excitement and energy levels through the roof, it’s time to get a little creative. You could invent games like hiding their favourite toys or dinner biscuits around the house and yard, or create new ‘hidey holes’ out of boxes or alleviate boredom by teaching them a new trick. There are hours of entertainment to be had!
You don’t have to choose between being productive at work or spending quality time with your four-legged friend.
With a little planning and preparation, you can keep your furry bundle of energy happy, healthy and entertained while you work to bring home the kibble.