These days, a lot of people are working from home. Now that you’re with Fido all day, he may think you’re available to pet and play with him any time. It’s any dog’s dream! We know you’d love to snuggle with him all day long, but you need to concentrate on your work. So we’ve come up with some tips to help you work without having to toss his ball every 5 minutes. Happy dog + productive work = win win win!
DISTRACT THEM WITH FOOD
A clever idea is to stop giving your dog their meal in a bowl while you’re having lunch and dinner. Instead, feed them during your working hours to keep them busy while you work. You can also feed them with an interactive feeder or toy to stretch out meal time!
Here are some examples of commercial interactive feeders you can buy, and some you can make using items in your home:
- Kong Wobbler®
- Orbee-Tuff Snoop
- Nina Ottosson treat puzzle
- A plastic bottle you can transform into a kibble dispenser
- A snuffle mat to hide treats in
- A treat puzzle made out of a muffin pan and tennis balls
GIVE YOUR DOGS THINGS TO DO
Are you worried your dog will start barking while you’re on an important call? Put them in their crate or in a different room of the house and give them something to do. Put some music on to disguise any ambient noises they might bark at. Here are a few tips for how to keep your dog busy and entertained:
- Give them things to chew on such as a rawhide strip or chew toy. You can even add a few drops of beef or chicken stock or put some peanut butter (without xylitol) on the toy to really get your dog’s attention!
- Give them a Kong® filled with food. You can use canned food, homemade fruit puree made from bananas, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple or blueberries (just not grapes!), or moistened and pureed kibble. To occupy your dog for a longer period of time, fill the Kong® with food, put it in the freezer, and then give it to them. They’ll spend ages trying to lick it clean!
- Another inventive idea is to give your dog an ice cube tray filled with frozen chicken or beef broth with a few pieces of fruit, kibble, or treats in the middle (unless your dog is the type to destroy the tray and eat bits of plastic). The goal is for your dog to lick the cubes as they thaw, which fortunately for you, can take quite a while!
You don’t need to wait until you have an important call to provide your pup with this kind of distraction. You can make a habit of doing it every day—it’s a good way to keep your dog’s mind sharp! Dogs enjoy solving puzzles and it’s also good for their overall health.
Keep in mind what your dog’s healthy weight is. We want to keep your dog from gaining too much weight during lockdown, so make sure you adjust his meal portions if you’re giving him a lot of treats during the day.
MAINTAIN A ROUTINE WITH YOUR DOG, EVEN WHEN WORKING FROM HOME
Your dog probably used to spend part of the day alone when you were at work. So don’t feel bad about leaving them alone in another room or in their crate if you need to focus for a while or jump on a conference call. They’re already used to this routine.
Even on days when you don’t need your pet to be somewhere else so you can concentrate, it’s a very good idea to plan a few moments during the day for your pet to be on their own in another room. We recommend you keep up this routine so your dog maintains their good habits and is comfortable being alone on a regular basis. This will make it a lot easier for your dog to adjust when you eventually go back to working away from home. Find out how to prepare your dog for the end of lockdown in our article on the subject.
TAKE SMALL BREAKS WITH YOUR DOG
A bit of fresh air does everyone good. Take your dog for a walk at lunch! You’ll both get a lot out of it.
Take short breaks during the day to teach your dog something. This will help to give your brain a break so you can come back to your computer ready to work and let your dog expend some energy. More good news—you’ll also get some quality time together, which will have a positive impact on your relationship with your four-legged friend.
Take a few breaks to cuddle with your pup, it’s good for morale! Take care of yourself and your whole family during these tough times. Globalvet is here to support you and answer any questions you may have about your pet.