Working at home comes with many advantages. For one, there’s no commute time, meaning leisurely mornings and no rush hour traffic. Some people love being able to work in their pajamas, while others may enjoy a more flexible daily schedule. For pet parents, the true reward is getting to spend more time with our favorite four-pawed furiends.
While our dogs certainly love it when we are home more often, waiting for playtime was not what they had in mind. It’s boring watching you work! And if you have to contend with sad eyes staring at you, barking or whining, or a cold nose nudging you during a meeting, you may be thinking that this wasn’t what you had in mind either!
Bring peace to your workday by providing fun for your dog that will keep them out of your hair, and away from your keyboard! Read on for furbulous tips to entertain your canine pal while you work at home.
#1 Before and After Work Playtimes - Make it a routine to get up a little early and play with your pup before jumping on your computer or laptop all day. This burns off excess energy, relieves stress, and gives your dog some excitement before the big snooze that is the bulk of your workday. Then, when work is over, be sure to have another play session. If done daily, your dog will know that even though the day is quiet and uneventful, there is fun on the horizon!
#3 Puzzle Games – These games up the brain engagement by requiring your dog to figure out the puzzle to get the treat. Usually, they’ll have to move levers, open doors or turn something to be rewarded, which holds their attention and keeps their brains sharp, lessening their risk of canine cognitive dysfunction as they age. Best of all, they come in different levels, so even beginners can have fun!
#4 Rotate Toys – Chew toys, bones, ropes, balls, treat-dispensing toys, and puzzle games are all exciting! Until they aren’t. Keep your dogs interest in their own toys by rotating them in and out of play, hiding the ones that are out for a time. This way, your dog can be re-introduced to toys they loved, and be just as excited to play with them as the day they received them.
#5 Hide and Seek – Get your dog’s nose on the clock by creating a snifftastic trail around your home! Use pieces of kibble or treats, and hide them inside toys, puzzle games, or in little piles around safe spaces in the house. After you’ve taught your dog to “Go Find,” you can use this command to start the game!
#6 Take Training Breaks – If you’ve been sitting all day in front of a screen, you should take some breaks, so why not engage your dog’s brain too? New tricks and commands are best learned over several small training sessions, which makes breaks a pawfect time to give a two-to-five-minute lesson that excites your dog, and strengthens your bond.
#7 Make Treats Exciting – Treats can be entertaining too! For dogs who love to chew, freeze them flavored ice or peanut butter to munch. Or you can even freeze their toys in ice to chew free. Find new and delicious fillings for toys you can stuff, and make a few new homemade treats on the weekend for a nice surprise during the work week.
#8 Turn on the TV – Dogs can recognize other dog and animal faces on television or computer screens, so try turning on the TV to an animal station or documentary. There’s sure to be cats, dogs, bears or other critters making all kinds of noises to stimulate your dog’s mind and keep their attention for a bit.
#9 Play Them Some Tunes – If you have a super hyper dog you need to calm down, try some music. Studies have shown that classical music can relieve anxiety and relax dogs. Try some different pieces to see what your pup likes, and get that dog calm during that meeting!
#10 Lunchtime Walk – Reward your patient pup with a walk when you break for lunch. Just 10 to 15 minutes can be a great treat, cause let’s face it, you both could use some exercise! Try taking different routes to vary up the smells and scenery. If you just can’t fit it in, hire a dog walker to do it for you!
With these puptastic tips, you can enjoy some peace and quiet in your home work space while keeping your furry furiend happy!