How to Work From Home With Pets
Working from home with pets is a challenge for everyone: the employee who tries to remain professional under all circumstances, the employer who hopes productivity will not change, and the pets who suffer from neglect.
The pandemic has brought this issue to the forefront as the world is now embracing online services and contactless interaction. Every company now has employees who make calls online and hold meetings without leaving their couch.
Unfortunately, the situation is not going to change much soon. It forces us to adapt to the new pet work environment.
Since we can no longer perceive this regime as a temporary measure, we have to learn to fulfill our responsibilities despite the home environment and the cute little muzzles that climb in front of the monitor.
Tips for working from home with a dog
Start the day with physical activity
When you start the day working with pets, the first thing you need to do is worry about them. Your pooch is probably used to some morning rituals, and a brisk walk will be best.
To make sure your dog is exhausted mentally and physically, use new routes and activities. Offer it something new to sniff, learn a new command together. Play a little longer than usual.
Take the extra time to make sure your dog is tired and calm until the evening. Ignoring this step will make you regret it.
Your dog’s excess energy will turn into excessive jaw or paw work. Be careful in this case if the dog is full of energy and not bothering you – it may be finishing your shoes.
Set up a play area
Setting up a separate play area would be a great idea if you are working from home with a dog. But make sure it’s not located right where the video conference takes place.
Use a separate room or backyard where you will spend time with your pet, play with it, or leave it with toys, so it doesn’t get bored. Most importantly, don’t use it as a place for punishment and isolation. It will only make your pet’s behavior worse.
The main parameter for this area is your pet’s safety and peace of mind, it should always be able to leave it and come back at will. You should also take breaks and give your pet attention right there, so it won’t demand it where you’ve tried to set up a home office.
Don't respond to ingratiation
You should also not respond to any demands for attention while working from home with a puppy. Pawing your hand or head on your feet should not be marked by any emotion or active interaction on your part.
When you scold your dog it will get two signals: your attention, which is a good signal, and your displeasure, which is the bad one. So it will look for ways to get attention until it gets a positive response.
It may seem harsh on your part, but it’s the only way your pet will know when you’re ready to play and learn to respect your space.
Prepare for a video conference
A dog seems like a dangerous animal, but its biggest weapon is cuteness. Silly games or loud barking in the background can bring disruption to even the most formal meeting.
Of course, you can count on your pet’s manners, but if the call is really important it’s better to use proven ways. Look into dog toys that will keep it occupied for a while until it gets bored. Just avoid the screaming rubber figures.
The last argument against a hyperactive fur baby would be frozen bones and other treats that will take time to get a handle on. Stock up on these and use them in case of an emergency.
Chances are your coworkers know you have a dog and will want to see it. Don’t deprive them of that pleasure. Just make sure you finish all the basic discussions and present your pet at the end of the call. That way you’ll cheer up everyone at the conference and not decrease productivity.
Tips For Working From Home With a Cat
It’s not hard to wean a cat off the computer. After all, he is interested, not in technology, but in you as a source of entertainment. You just have to find him interesting activities, and your favorite pet will leave you alone and allow you to finish all the tasks in peace. Forced quarantine is just as stressful for pets as it is for people – especially if pets are used to being home alone for long periods. And here are a few ways to teach it to have fun without involving you in the process.
Closer to nature
Nothing is more fun for house cats than watching what goes on outside. A window is like television for animals who are deprived of many distractions due to being indoors all the time. Spice up your cat’s life by installing a bird feeder behind it, and you will “lose” it for at least a few hours.
Have you ever seen how enthusiastically cats chase the light of a laser pointer? We are sure that no pet will refuse such entertainment – and your presence is not required. We’re talking about an automatic laser pointer that will keep your pet’s attention away from you for a while. Let it run around in the living room – half an hour for an online meeting is guaranteed. Just be sure to make space to play – safety rules are the most important thing!
Turn on the Cat TV
Many video streaming services have special channels available for pets. They can also be replaced with publicly available wildlife programs. Your cat might be interested in watching the lives of squirrels, birds, and fish – at least for a while. Alternatively, download a simple game on your tablet where you have to catch fleeing mice.
Hide and Seek
Cats love a variety of adventures, and the game of hide-and-seek is inherent in their very nature (think of how backyard cats catch mice). To diversify the leisure of your pet, prepare a quest to find a treat for it. Hide something very fragrant in the room or around the apartment, and wait for the cat’s innate instinct to hunt.
Building a maze
What cat doesn’t love cardboard boxes? They are crazy about them! Often even one is enough for fun. But some caring owners manage to assemble whole castles and mazes from unnecessary cardboard boxes for the pets. It is worth spending one free evening on this – and then work quietly.
A small sacrifice
Another win-win activity for mischievous and cheerful cats is destroying a roll of toilet paper. Online meeting with coworkers coming up? Sacrifice the house cleanliness and a couple of rolls – nerves are more expensive.
Get a pet for your cat
Pets can also suffer from loneliness and lack of attention. Two pets are already a gang. Two cats (or maybe a cat and a dog) will definitely find something to do together. And having to work from home is a good time to keep their adjustment process to each other under control.
Any global situation is no reason to make you or your pets suffer. Find the opportunities that a changed lifestyle presents. After all, you spend more time at home and can devote it to your household chores, loved ones, and of course the cute pets who live to please us and get our attention.
Dogsonlyclub – a blog about dogs. We write about how to treat and teach dogs well, life stories and recent news about our buddies.