Create a separate workspace to keep your dog off of your lap when it's work time - it can be tempting to sit on the couch or in bed and cuddle, but if you can't stay focused, find somewhere else to work. Your house is your office now and you have to find a good balance between the boundaries for both you and your dog. Try to keep business as usual but also keep in mind your dog's whole routine has changed.
Don't give in to crying and begging. Your dog will see that you're home and won't understand why playtime isn't on the schedule for the entire day. They may beg for your attention and get disruptive. If it's a problem, try keeping the door shut so they cannot actually see you. When the door is shut, office hours have begun. When the door is open, it's time for attention.
Stick to a Schedule
Create a regular routine so your dog will know what to expect throughout the day. Not only will this benefit your dog, but it will help you stay focused when it is "work time". Schedule mealtime, playtime and work time and stick to it each day. Just like when you're gone at work during the day they need to have alone time, this will allow you to you focus on your work. Eventually, your dog will get used to the schedule and things will get easier.
Tip: Start the day with an activity to help your dog (and you) burn energy. Take your dog for a walk, play fetch, or do some indoor exercises with your dog first thing in the morning.
Keep them Occupied
If you have a high-energy dog it can make it more difficult to focus while at home. Keep your dog from bugging you Here are some ideas:
- Turn on the TV: If your dog likes to watch tv, find a show with animals or pets and turn it on.
- Antlers: Long-lastly chews might be just the thing you need! Things like elk antlers are a great idea and will keep your dog busy for days. You can order these online from ThePetGourmet.com.
- Durable Toys: If your dog is a chewer, make sure you get durable toys for them to play with so you don't have to pick up pieces of toys at the end of each workday.
Limit the Treats
It can be easy to give your dog too many dog treats throughout the day to either keep them busy or just because you're home and bored. It's important to your dog's health to not overfeed.
If you're struggling with this, start each day by getting out the number of treats you want to give them each day. Set these on your desk. Doing this will serve as a reminder to you that there should be a limit and will also make it easier for you to give them a reward for being a good-boy without having to get up and go to the treat jar.
Looking for other ways to make your quarantine fun with your dog? Take a look at our COVID-19 resources for pets.