The number of people working from home is set to double in 2021, with many companies seeing the benefits and increase in productivity it brings. However, working from home requires adaptation, both for you and for your rescue dog. Those who are new to working from home may notice a change in their pet’s behavior, but all dogs need a stable routine for mental and physical health. Here are some tips to make the transition easier on both of you.
Give Each Other Space
Your dog may grow accustomed to your company while you’re working from home, but it’s important that you set boundaries. It may be a novelty at first to see your dog every day, but remember that there may come a time when you’re not working from home. Studies show that having a dog reduces stress, lowers the risk of depression, and even prevents physical illnesses like heart disease. This is linked to the companionship felt, which is why it may be tempting to show them lots of love when working at home. However, if they become too used to regular cuddles and play time during the day, they may find it difficult to go back to their regular routine when you are no longer there. Have respect for their time and space, and they will do the same for you.
Create A Play And Rest Space
Although home working with a pet can result in decreased loneliness and improved wellbeing, your pet may not understand why you are not playing with them all the time. Training your dog while you’re home working is a great way to avoid loss of concentration. Create an area of the house where they should go when you’re trying to work, and fill it with their bed, toys, games and activities that will keep them busy. After a few weeks, they will learn that you have your space and they have theirs. Punishment-based techniques like yelling may have negative effects on your dog in the long-term, and may cause them stress. Instead, try reward-based training by telling them to go to the space, leading them there, and adding a toy or giving a treat when they stay there.
You are entitled to breaks too, and it is always beneficial to get outdoors and away from your work space. Dogs are a great excuse to leave the desk, and they should get some exercise too. Outdoor walks will help strengthen your bond with your dog, and will also improve their mental and physical health. It will also help you to prevent fatigue and stress when working from home. Take them out on your lunch break, or take one extra break just for walking. One extra outing per day should not be a tough habit to break if you have to return to working in the office, and can easily be phased out.
Be patient with your pup, and they will get the message that you can’t play with them all day eventually. The trick is to set boundaries and keep to the routine that you choose to ensure that they feel loved while you remain productive.
Article by: Jane Anderson, a freelance writer, editor and dog owner.