Working from home when you have a dog is amazing 90% of the time. You get a companion and cuddle buddy, and your dog doesn’t have to spend the day home alone. We’ve got three tips to keep your dog calmer and quieter to help you make that other 10% of the time go smoothly.
TIP NUMBER 1: SET UP A CALMING ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR DOG.
IN GENERAL, IT’S BEST TO PICK A SPACE WHERE THEY ALREADY LIKE TO RELAX.
It could be good to have your dog in your office with you, but it could be in a different room altogether. It will really depend on your dog. You may consider changing your usual work space to one that is less agitating or exciting for your dog.
CONSIDER WHAT THEY CAN SEE AND HEAR DURING THE DAY.
You probably want to keep them away from the front door, the street, and any other areas with sights and sounds that may agitate them. A window that looks at a quiet area is great stimulation for your dog, but it’s best to block windows that look at people, dogs, or critters that will get your dog hyped up. You can use doors and baby gates to keep them contained to their designated space. And, curtains, shades, and removable window frosting all work great to block troublesome windows depending on the situation.
Here are a few easy options from Amazon to get you started:
I know getting gates and window treatments and maybe screwing things into the wall sounds like a hassle, but trust me, it is so worth it. If you have a barker, this will help you more than anything else in this video.
WHITE NOISE AND MUSIC FURTHER REDUCE BARKING.
White noise from a fan, air purifier, or app is great at muffling noises that could wake your dog up or start them barking. Soothing classical music can also help block noise and will relax your dog. Kona is a big fan of the Peaceful Piano playlist on Spotify. You’ll get the most benefit by pairing white noise with classical music.
YOU WANT YOUR DOG TO HAVE EVERYTHING THEY NEED IN THEIR SPACE.
They should have a comfy bed or two, fresh water, and a few toys that you can rotate every few days to keep it interesting.
TIP NUMBER TWO: EXERCISE YOUR DOG IN BOTH THE MORNING AND THE AFTERNOON.
HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISE WILL GET YOU THE MOST BENEFIT.
Off leash hiking, going for a run, playing with other dogs, or playing fetch in the yard are great options. If you can’t do one of those, try to choose moderate intensity exercise with some mental enrichment mixed in. For instance, you might take your dog on a walk but let them sniff as much as they want.
THE ROUTINE WILL GET EASIER WITH TIME.
If you already take a 20-30 minute break to eat lunch, could you use that time to exercise your dog and then eat while you work? If you have an early afternoon call, could you do it from your cell phone while tossing a ball in the yard? The scheduling should get easier as you and your coworkers get used to the routine. The days where you are feeling rushed are when you will probably need this the most. If you are already stressed or on edge, your dog’s increased energy will make it worse!
TIP NUMBER THREE: BE PROACTIVE ABOUT KEEPING YOUR DOG CALM AND QUIET.
PLAN AHEAD FOR IMPORTANT CALLS, PROJECTS, AND TIMES OF DAYS TO AVOID BARKING OR PESTERING ALL TOGETHER.
First, if outside site and sounds are getting your dog worked up, block them by amping up your white noise and soothing music and further restrict your dog’s space or window access.
Give them something to do that will last a while. Bully sticks, stuffed or frozen Kongs, food puzzles, and treasure hunts are all great activities. You can stuff a Kong with peanut butter or cream cheese in 30 seconds or less, so it’s always good to have a few Kongs on hand.
CONSIDER HIRING A DOG WALKER.
Lastly, even though it might seem crazy to pay someone to walk your dog when you are home, it might be just what you need! There is no way for your dog to interrupt you if they aren’t home. Plus, they will get home tired and satisfied and be that much easier to keep calm for the rest of the day.
So, our three tips for peacefully working from home with your dog are:
1. To keep your dog in a calming, cozy spot during the workday.
2. To exercise them in the morning and again at lunchtime.
3. To proactively keep them quiet during key times of the day.
SETTING UP A CALM ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR DOG WILL HELP YOU GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR OTHER EFFORTS.
Your dog will be more likely to nap after exercise if they have a cozy spot to take that nap. And, it will be easier for them to focus on a bully stick or Kong if they are in a quiet spot with few distractions. So even if it seems like a pain to adjust your dog’s access to certain rooms and windows, it is totally worth it.
We hope these ideas help you and your dog live symbiotically on workdays! Check out our other posts about having a better work/dog-life balance for more tips and tricks!