The biggest complaint about working from home is not being able to leave the office when you get home at the end of the day, but you may be missing out on your dog getting used to your new situation.
If you want your dog to adjust to having you around more often, follow these 10 tips on how to help your dog adjust to you working from home. This way, everyone in the house can adjust with as little stress as possible!
1) Taking walks regularly
By investing in a decent pair of comfortable walking shoes and taking your dog out on a daily walk, you’ll be giving him time to stretch his legs, socialize with other dogs, and burn off any pent-up energy he might have.
If you’re lucky enough to live near some wooded areas or parkland then these are ideal spots for dog walks. However, if you live in an urban area then try to find a quiet side street where there won’t be too many distractions for your pet.
If possible, take them swimming: Just like humans, dogs love nothing more than cooling off in the water during hot weather – so why not give them that opportunity? Swimming is also a great exercise for pets as it gives their muscles a good workout while also keeping them cool and refreshed.
And if you’re worried about your dog getting into trouble in open water, don’t be; most dogs are excellent swimmers and will happily paddle around with no problems at all.
However, if you do have an older dog or one who isn’t particularly confident on his feet then make sure he wears a life jacket when he goes out on his first swims.
2) Establish new routines
Once you start working from home, it’s important for both you and your pet to establish a new routine. This can help them feel more secure in their new surroundings. To get started, designate a specific room as your office and keep it strictly off-limits when you’re not using it.
Also, make sure that they have plenty of attention and exercise every day so they don’t feel too neglected while you’re busy at work. And finally, if possible, try to schedule some time during each day where you spend some quality time with your dog.
They will be happy to see you—and so will you!
3) Keep your dog distracted
When you work from home, it’s tempting to spend all day on your couch with your dog beside you. However, just like a child, a dog can get bored easily if there’s no one around for them to play with and interact with.
If your schedule permits, get up and take your dog out for a walk several times a day. It’ll wear them out and also provide exercise for both of you!
4) Give them treats for good behavior
Treats don’t have to come in a bag or can. When you leave for work, give your dog a special treat as you say goodbye. After work, do a little happy dance with your dog around your house and then reward it with another treat.
Good behavior deserves a tasty reward! If you make it fun for both of you, your dog will be less upset about being home alone while you are gone. Also, take time out of your day to play with your dog before and after work.
It doesn’t matter if you only have 10 minutes—every minute counts when it comes to building a bond between pet and owner. And since dogs love to please their owners, they will happily jump through hoops for even just a few minutes of extra attention.
The more attention your dog gets throughout the day, the happier he or she will be during your absence.
5) Use baby gates or exercise pens
You can keep your dog separate by placing baby gates at doorways, so they won’t be able to wander around while you’re working. If your dog is a runner, you might want to fence him or her off in an exercise pen.
This will give your dog a safe space to run and play around in—especially if he’s accustomed to being home alone while you’re out at work all day. Just make sure that whatever area you choose for your dog has enough room for them to move around and not feel confined.
If you have a big yard, try installing some sort of doggy-door system that allows them access when needed. That way, they can come and go as they please without bothering anyone else in the house.
6) Keep your dog on a schedule
Dogs are creatures of habit. They need a schedule, and that includes when you’re home or not. For example, let’s say you take your dog for a walk every morning at 8:00 AM, but on some days you aren’t able to make it home in time for your walk.
It’s important to keep your dog on his normal schedule as much as possible, so if you can’t get home by 8:00 AM, then consider taking him out before work or making arrangements with a neighbor to come over and give him his daily exercise.
This will help prevent destructive behavior like chewing up furniture or digging holes in your yard when he gets bored while waiting for you to return.
7) Watch out for separation anxiety early on
Puppies who are separated from their mothers at a young age tend to suffer from separation anxiety later in life. Make sure your dog is socialized early, so he can grow up feeling comfortable around other people.
To counter separation anxiety when you’re away, try leaving him with a friend or neighbor who’s willing to help out. Hire them to come to feed your dog and give him walks, at least for several weeks after you return home full-time.
If that doesn’t work, consider hiring a pet sitter. Or consider getting another pet—your dog may be more likely to feel secure if he has another canine companion around. Just make sure they get along well!
8) Take care of yourself!
The first day of working at home can be one of the most difficult, especially if you’re used to going into an office five days a week. If your dog is used to having you home all day and then you suddenly aren’t around, they may feel abandoned.
Make sure you make time for them during your day by feeding them their favorite meal, giving them lots of cuddles, or taking them on a nice walk. This will help keep them happy while you’re busy with work!
9) Is it time to get another dog?
If you’re like most people, work can sometimes feel like a second full-time job. As a result, you might find yourself caring for a dog alone more often than not, and your best friend can end up feeling neglected or left out of things.
This can have all sorts of negative effects on both you and your dogs, such as increased anxiety and depression in you and behavioral problems in him. The solution? A new furry companion!
Dogs are social animals, so if you’ve got another canine around who loves attention and company, it will give your current dog something to do while also giving him some much-needed companionship.
It may seem like a lot of work at first (and it is) but trust us: Once you get past those early days when everyone is getting used to each other, life will be better for everyone involved.
10) Try other creative solutions if these aren’t working!
If you’ve tried all of these tips, and your dog is still misbehaving, try some other creative solutions. If you really can’t think of anything else, consider hiring a pet sitter or dog walker on certain days.
Your dog might be even more anxious without you home if they feel like they have nobody there who can help them with their problems. Consider what would happen if you were out of town for a week – would they have any support?
Would they learn how to cope in that time? Or are they used to having someone around at all times? If so, it may be worth it to hire someone part-time just so your dog doesn’t get too stressed out.