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5 Tips for Surviving a Home Office With Your Dog

Dog owners who work from home can benefit from the company of their pets.

Of course, not all canine work partners are the same.

Some dogs think work time is playtime and can turn a potentially profitable workday into a disruptive, unproductive one.

The good news is, any dog can learn to settle into a workday routine and let you get your job done.

Here are five tips to help make working from home with a dog a productive partnership:

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Survive Your Home Office With Your Dog

1. Set Yourself on a Routine; Your Dog will Follow

dog with home office

Structure promotes productivity, so putting yourself on a routine for working from home can do wonders for both you and your dog.

Routines boost a dog’s sense of security and confidence by helping the dog understand what to expect.

When you apply order and consistency to your workday, your dog will learn to follow your schedule, including when it’s OK to interact with you and when quiet time is the rule.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

2. Exercise Your Dog Before Work

If you’re like most workers, morning is your most productive time of day, and a time you’ll want your dog on his best behavior.

A good way to ensure this is to exercise your dog before you begin working.

Exercise has a calming effect on dogs and can induce napping.

Besides that, it’s a healthy bonding activity for both of you. Start the day with a brisk walk or jog with the dog.

Even a morning game of fetch can do wonders for your workday.

3. Invest in Activities for Your Dog

While you’re busy with your work duties, your dog can be equally occupied–as long as you give him something stimulating to do.

Spending a little money on busywork for your pup can pay off.

Dog puzzles are great toys that keep dogs happy and engaged, and they come in many varieties.

Chews, like antlers or bones, can entertain a dog for hours. If two dogs are part of the family, consider investing in tug toys that offer dual play.

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4. Take Breaks with The Dog

Breaks are critical to a successful workday, not just for your mental and physical health but for the continued cooperation of your canine companion.

Breaks allow you and your dog to move around, refresh, and refocus.

Just make sure you are in charge of setting breaks and altering them. Mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and lunchtime are good times for you and your dog to grab a bite to eat, get some fresh air, or have a brief petting or play session.

5. Praise Your Dog for Good Behavior

Dogs will do just about anything for praise, so using it to reward good behavior while you work, can go far in buying you more quiet time.

Praise comes in many forms, from treats to an extended break together to expressions of appreciation.

When you praise your dog for his good behavior while you work, he will remember it and continue to understand–and adhere to–what’s expected of him day after day.

A dog can make your work-from-home experience more satisfying and fulfilling, as long as you set the rules and rhythm of the workday.

Follow these tips to supercharge your productivity while working from home with your dog.


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1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Andrea Robinson 11/15/2015 at 9:37 am

    Ha-ha! I had to laugh when I started reading this, because I work from home and this article has it nailed – a dog can be great company, but also has needs and wants to play. If you play your cards right, as stated, then you can balance it out for the best of both worlds.

    Sometimes my dog comes up to me and wants attention but there’s nothing clear that’s needed – no potty break, no food, nothing specific. I really believe that sometimes, she’s letting me know that I need a break! When that happens, we can step outside for a little while and enjoy some fun. That’s good for both of us.

    However, as stated in the article, the dogs have gotten used to my routine and adapt fairly quickly even if it changes. You just go about your duties and don’t worry too much about them (of course, after you know their needs are met), and they’ll get used to whatever routine you’ve got going.

    Very wise words and good research.


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