How to Deal With Your Dog? Halfway into 2021, and the entire world has been into the pandemic for almost two years already. Most people have been kept at home due to health and safety protocols and quarantine systems imposed by both local and international governments.
Under this “new normal,” you might already be part of the labor force, particularly 42% of the working population, that have already shifted to a work-from-home setup. This also means that this situation would change the household dynamics as everyone is kept at home. Who exceptionally would be the happiest with this new setup? You guessed it right – your dog.
Now, there is no more waiting for you to come home at the end of the day! This would also mean unlimited playtime, lots of treats, and long walks in their dog world! But you, as a fur parent, how can you deal with this sudden change and balance your work life and paw-renting duties? Here are tips to help you deal with your new furry “co-worker”:
1. Designate Bonding Time Throughout the Day:
Although working from home seems like fun for some as it would mean more time for yourself, it is certainly a different case if you have a pup/s at home. Every hour might seem like playtime happy hour for them, as they have their fur parents around them every day.
Time management can be a tough challenge if you have your dog begging for your attention, especially if you are in the middle of a meeting or trying to catch a deadline for a project. To solve this predicament, and for you to also keep yourself from getting distracted, you can set specific times throughout the day to allot playtime or even to cuddle with your little furball.
This time need not only be limited to play. You can also maximize this break to walk your dog for a couple of minutes or squeeze in training to reinforce obedience. Setting certain times throughout the day for bonding with your dog creates a structure that you and your furbaby can adapt to and strengthens your relationship.
Activities such as taking your dog out for some exercise or walking them around the neighborhood during the designated times are not only beneficial to you, health wise, but also to your furry buddy.
2. Stop Yourself From Surrendering Into Your Pup’s Whining and Begging:
Along with setting designated times for play and leisure with your dog, you should have a firm resolve to not easily give in when your dog begs and whines to get your attention. Studies have shown that easily giving your dog extra attention might have them end up being overly dependent on you as their owner. This can also result in separation anxiety.
If you are keeping your dog outside of your room while working, or confining them in a crate for training, giving them the attention at the slightest whimper or cry will do them more harm than good. This also takes away your authority as it might impress on them that they can quickly get what they want by crying or acting out.
Being a dog owner must mean to your pup that you are the alpha or the pack leader. You are the one in charge, not vice versa. Within the home, you are the boss, and your dog should know that.
3. Set Up a Separate Space for Your Furry Buddy:
For your workflow not to be disrupted, it is best to keep a separate area for your little pup. Sure, you would see many videos and memes where owners would post adorable moments of their dogs joining in their calls or doing some funny work-related antics. This isn’t always the case, though, especially when you need to focus on the job.
Keeping your dog in a separate area, another room in the house, or keeping them in a crate would also be the best.
The solution is to help your dog get over their separation anxiety. If your dog is well-behaved and does not try to distract you while working, it is still better to set up an area within the room where they can settle.
By gradually distancing yourself enough to reassert your pup’s independence, you are also doing yourself a favor in maintaining your work-life balance.
4.Keep Them Busy:
A concern that should be on the top of your list when working from home is to keep your dog from making unnecessary noise and doing destructive activities. This includes chowing down on valuable things when you are not looking or barking at the slightest noise coming from outside the house.
Dogs are also restless and anxious when they have nothing to do and are kept in a confined space for extended periods. This can provoke your little companion to misbehave and do undesirable acts, such as having potty accidents or chewing valuable household items.
One helpful tip is to keep the blinds or curtains in your room shut to avoid distractions outside the house. You can also offer your dog high-value chew toys, such as a food-filled Kong or puzzle games to keep them preoccupied. Treats are also effective reinforcements to reward good behavior, such as keeping quiet when the delivery man walks up to the house.
6. Remember That There is No Perfect Paw-renting:
You shouldn’t beat yourself up if there are times when you get too busy with work and sometimes forget to look after your pup’s needs, such as taking them out for their needed potty break or giving some time for play and exercise. Like there is no one-size-fits-all kind of parenting, there are also no perfect paw-rents.
This also goes the other way when you find yourself having so much fun playing with your dog, not realizing that it is beyond the time you allotted for your break. Remember that you are not a machine, and treat these moments with your little furball as things you can never get back to once things go back to normal and work would again be face-to-face.
A work-life balance, especially if you are a fur parent, might feel like a difficult feat. Why not use this time to grow not only as a working individual but also as a loving owner to your furry companion? You would be surprised how your relationship can grow with just the proper knowledge and guidance.
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