Working from home has become the new norm, but keeping our furry friends entertained and mentally stimulated can be challenging. How can we ensure our dogs remain engaged and happy while we juggle work and life balance? In this blog post, we will discuss “how to keep dog busy while working from home” by providing you with creative solutions and practical tips to keep your dog busy and content during your work-from-home hours.
- Establish a consistent routine for your pup to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Provide interactive toys, puzzles, chews, DIY games and daily exercise for mental stimulation.
- Utilise calming techniques such as crate training & treat trails to keep them content while you work.
Establish a Consistent Routine
Reducing stress and anxiety while working from home can be achieved by establishing a consistent routine for your dog’s feeding, exercise, and playtime. As a dog owner, interacting with your canine companion not only benefits your pet but also improves your mental health by increasing serotonin levels, reducing blood pressure, and alleviating depression.
Depending on their breed and age, dogs, who thrive on routine, should receive between 30 to 120 minutes of physical activity per day. Scheduling play breaks during your lunchtime or taking a brief walk between video calls can help maintain a healthy work-life balance for both you and your pup.
Interactive Toys and Puzzles for Mental Stimulation
Your dog can stay dog mentally stimulated and entertained during work hours with interactive toys, puzzles, and long-lasting chews. These dog interactive toys and puzzles offer a major mental health boost for both you and your furry friend. Examples of such toys include:
- Treat-dispensing balls
- Puzzle feeders
- Snuffle mats
- Hiding treats around the house
While using interactive dog toys and puzzles, supervising your dog for their safety and consulting with their veterinarian before introducing new treats or food is advised. Food stuffed toys, such as a Kong toy, can be a great option for keeping your dog busy and mentally engaged.
Long-lasting chews, such as bully sticks or raw bones, provide comfort and reduce stress in dogs during work hours. These durable chews help to keep your barking dog occupied and content. Being a responsible dog owner involves supervising your pet for safety when providing them with new chews or toys.
For pet parents looking for alternatives to rawhide chews, Earth Animal No-Hide Chews and the Bully Grip offer a variety of flavours and sizes, making them a great option.
DIY Puzzle Games
Creating DIY puzzle toy games with household items can challenge your dog’s problem-solving skills and keep them engaged. Cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, or plastic jugs with food-sized holes can be used to construct food puzzles, which help keep your dog entertained and engaged.
The muffin tin game is another economical method of hiding treats and providing amusement for your dog, offering a significant mental health boost for both you and your furry friend.
Daily Exercise and Outdoor Activities
Regular exercise and outdoor activities like walks, playtime, or a ‘sniffari’ are key for your dog to burn off excess energy and promote relaxation. Walking your dog in the fresh air helps dissipate surplus energy while maintaining their overall health and well-being.
Enlisting the help of a dog walker or involving family members in your dog’s exercise routine can provide additional outdoor activities and exercise and mental stimulation for your pup. This way, your dog stays happy and entertained, allowing you to focus on work without distractions.
Design a Dog-Friendly Workspace
A dog-friendly workspace with a comfortable bed, toys, and water can help in minimising distractions and boredom while you work. This ensures that your new doggy assistant remains dog happy and content, reducing your dog’s uneasiness during your work hours.
Playing calming music or leaving the television on for ambient sound can also help create a soothing environment for your dog, allowing them to relax while you stay focused on your tasks.
Calming Techniques and Safe Spaces
Playing soft music or providing a safe space are calming techniques that can help your dog feel relaxed and secure during your work hours. Crate training and establishing a Puppy Zone are effective methods to create a secure space for your dog, ensuring their comfort and stability while you work.
Calming treats containing non-medical ingredients such as herbs and vitamins can also be beneficial for dogs with high anxiety, promoting relaxation and a sense of security during your work hours.
Training Sessions and Brain Games
Your bond can be strengthened and your dog’s behaviour can be improved by incorporating short training sessions and brain games into their daily routine. Training and obedience exercises, such as basic commands and more complex tricks, not only keep your dog occupied but also enhance their mental stimulation.
Various training sessions and enjoyable games that can be utilised to engage your dog and provide mental stimulation while you work include:
- The Name Game
- Shadow Game
- Hide and Seek
Limiting potential distractions and dividing training into smaller, manageable portions can ensure the success of these sessions.
Enlist Help From Family, Friends, or Dog Walkers
Family, friends, or professional dog walkers can provide extra stimulation, exercise, and care for your dog while you’re working from home. They can take your dog for walks, provide mental stimulation with interactive toys and puzzles, and participate in daily exercise and outdoor activities.
To find a dependable dog walker, thoroughly investigate your prospects and ask for referrals from trusted acquaintances or coworkers who are also dog parents. Children can also assist with the care of the dog by dispensing their daily meals, engaging in basic training exercises, or throwing toys for the dog to pursue.
Preparing Your Dog for Your Return to the Office
As life slowly returns to normal, preparing your dog for your eventual return to the office becomes important. Gradually increasing their time alone and practicing separation exercises can help your dog adjust to your absence.
Separation exercises may include leaving your dog alone for brief intervals, instructing them to remain in a designated area, and supplying them with interactive toys and puzzles. Following these tips can help ease your dog’s separation anxiety and ensure their well-being when you resume full-time employment.
Treat and Scent Trails
Treat and scent trails set up around your home or yard can stimulate your dog’s natural seeking behaviour and offer a fun, interactive activity. Hiding treats or toys with a pungent odour can stimulate your canine’s olfactory sense, offering mental stimulation and enrichment.
You can also use essential oils to create scent trails, challenging your dog to search for the origin of the scent. Treat and scent trails can help maintain your dog’s mental stimulation and entertainment while you are occupied at home.
In conclusion, keeping your dog busy and happy while working from home can be achieved by establishing a consistent routine, engaging them with interactive toys, puzzles, and long-lasting chews, ensuring daily exercise and outdoor activities, designing a dog-friendly workspace, using calming techniques and safe spaces, incorporating short training sessions and brain games, enlisting help from family, friends, or dog walkers, preparing your dog for your return to the office, and setting up treat and scent trails. By following these creative solutions and practical tips, you’ll ensure a harmonious work-from-home experience with your furry companion.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I entertain my dog when I work from home?
Keep your dog entertained while working from home by providing them with long-lasting chews, interactive toys, food games and puzzles, chewable items, and scent work. Ensure that they get plenty of exercise and take regular breaks to ensure their mental wellbeing.
How do I keep my dog quiet when working from home?
Exercise your dog before work, provide toys and chewables, and offer positive reinforcement to discourage barking when you’re working from home. Teach your dog the “quiet” command and take time to play and interact with them regularly.
How to work on separation anxiety in dogs when working from home?
Providing your dog with a safe item like a Kong to help take their mind off you can help them settle elsewhere and give you an opportunity to focus on work. Taking regular breaks and engaging in outdoor activities such as walks or playing in the garden will also help reduce their anxiety.
How can I create a dog-friendly workspace at home?
Create a comfortable environment for your pup by providing a bed, toys, water, and playing calming music or leaving the television on for ambient sound. This will make for a great dog-friendly workspace at home.
How can I prepare my dog for my eventual return to the office?
Gradually increase the amount of time your dog spends alone, and practice separation exercises to help them adjust to your eventual return to the office.