When the pandemic upended the entire world’s work routine in early 2020, just about everyone found themselves adjusting to a home-based lifestyle. Many employees returned to the office in person this year, and for dog owners, their pups inevitably had to learn how to be alone again (which is its own unique challenge). But there are still plenty of remote workers with pets who are trying to strike a balance between work and play.
A whopping 66% of U.S. households have at least one pet, and over 65 million of those homes have a dog. In addition, it’s estimated that 27-50% of Americans still work from their living room. These numbers tell us that quite a lot of pet parents work remotely and also have a pup who’s likely eager for entertainment over the course of an average 9-to-5.
When a dog wants to play it can upend your day, but with the right approach these interruptions are avoidable mishaps for the stay-at-home-spaniel owner. From occupying your pooch’s active mind to taking care of their bathroom breaks, we’ve got you covered with tips that’ll make your fur baby and your boss happy.
Establish a Schedule
The first step in ensuring that you’ll be a productive WFH employee without compromising your dog’s wellbeing involves thorough planning. Dogs thrive on schedules, so solid, reliable routines can set up expectations that are easy to meet. You may have to give your at-home coworker(s) more attention compared to your human ones, but so what? One of them has softer fur to pet!
Start with a planner or to-do list and jot down your usual morning and afternoon schedule. Then, factor your dog’s needs into the equation. For example… 7 a.m. jog with Fido; 8 a.m. check emails; 8:15 a.m. feed Fido; 8:30 a.m. team meeting; 9:30 a.m. organize calendar; 10 a.m. snack and stretch with Fido; and so on!
Blending your schedule with your dog’s is the key to creating a stable environment no matter what you do for work.
On the flip side, if your job warrants a completely silent and separate office space, introducing your dog to some boundaries will be a must. Dogs should be fairly independent, whether their owners work from home or not. Designate an area of your house for work (ideally a room with a door to close) and keep your pup away while you’re on the clock. Teaching your dog that the work area of your home is off limits actually helps them understand that it’s totally fine being everywhere else, even if you’re not there.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to ignore your precious pup all day. Look for opportunities to devote small but regular chunks of time to the dog and focus on work requirements the rest of the time. If you have fifteen minutes to catch a break, the two minutes it takes to make coffee is premium ear scratchy time!
Though it probably seems obvious, exercise ahead of a busy workday at home does wonders. A tired dog is a quiet dog, and developing a repeatable routine helps to predict exactly when your furry friend will want to go for a walk with you or run amok in the dog park. Even a quick bit of fetch in the living room is better than nothing. Fit in those moments for exercise at the beginning or midway points of the day and see how well behaved your dog is as a result.
Along with physical exercise, dogs benefit from mental workouts in the form of complex toys or mind games. Puzzle feeders, motorized roller balls, snuffle pads, sniff sliders—there’s no shortage of options. Your dog loves peanut butter? Lick pads are a huge hit with food-motivated pups. Tug-of-war is their absolute favorite? A press-and-pull toy that adheres to the floor and allows them to play by themselves is worth a purchase. When you work from home with a dog, the right stimulation will occupy them mentally and physically so you can stay engaged paying the bills.
Provide a Potty Spot
This last step is a groundbreaking change for your dog if you work remotely. Have you ever had to duck out of an important meeting because you hear the familiar whine that means I have to go potty! Your pup can’t control their bladder, but you can circumvent this problem for them by adding a City Loo luxury dog litter box to your home.
City Loo removes the hassle of outdoor potty breaks throughout your workday. Rather than risking a puppy accident on the rug in favor of finishing a big Zoom presentation, you can give your dog 24/7 bathroom access from the comfort of home. You won’t have to worry about working any inconvenient walks into your schedule for the sake of simply getting your dog to “go” on command. Instead, your pup will have the autonomy to relieve themselves at their own pace, using a product designed to fit into your interior style or sit pretty on your patio/balcony.
Invest in a City Loo
With a City Loo, the smooth and seamless work-from-home routine you’ve been dreaming of is finally possible. Scheduling, boundary-setting, exercising, and playing are all essential components to success when you work from home with a dog, and making sure their bathroom needs are taken care of is one of the first places to start.
For remote employees, your dog is also your coworker, and workplace harmony is vital to productivity. Let the City Loo luxury dog litter box handle your dog’s business while you’re busy taking care of business!