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6 tips for working from home with pets

The past few weeks have forced many pet parents to make some major changes to their daily routines. If you’re among the many who are currently living under restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find yourself working from home. And while your pets may believe quarantine is the best thing ever because they get to have you around all day, you may still be finding your footing.

Don’t worry—as pet parents too--we have a few tips to help make working from home with pets easier.

Tips For Working From Home With Pets

1. It’s all about routine. Our pets, like us, are creatures of habit. They have their daily routines and they expect us to provide their food, walks, playtime, and cuddles. So even if your routine has been disrupted, make an effort to keep your pets’ schedule as reliable as possible. Here are some tips for creating a pet schedule. Pretending life is normal right now can be difficult, and it may be tempting to eat cake for breakfast and work in your PJs, but the stable routines you provide for your pets will help them stay grounded and can help reduce negative behaviors like toileting accidents and destruction of property. 

2. Getting physical. Both you and your pets require exercise to maintain optimal health. If you’re a dog owner, take a break from work to enjoy a short walk or hike with your pet. Whether it’s a break from the laptop to help clear your head and improve focus, or it’s a quick game of fetch to expend some of your dog’s energy before your next conference call, exercise benefits you both. Note: Many states and municipalities permit outdoor exercise as long as recommended social distancing guidelines are observed.

3. Make it family time. If you have kids who are home from school due to the pandemic, they’ll probably be looking for sources of entertainment and mental stimulation. Letting them help with pet exercise and care can be a great way to stave off boredom, while having some fun. Assist your kids with learning proper pet grooming and participate in pet-related DIY projects (like making a new cat toy to amuse your feline friends). Whatever you choose, it’s a great way to increase the bond between family members and the pets you love.

4. Find positive distractions. If your pets are unaccustomed to having your home this much, they’re probably eager to have your attention. But if you’re on a business call or composing an important report, you may need your animals to find ways to amuse themselves. Invest in a few practical toys that give pets some self-directed fun—and you some uninterrupted work time. Investing in a few healthy distractions now can help you better balance work and pet time during the quarantine.

5. Key to a healthy mind. While exercising your dog is important for keeping his body fit, his brain needs a workout too. With a few household items, you can help challenge him with doggy mind games between work tasks. And there’s no substitute for love and attention: When you’re able, set aside some time each day for some cuddles. This will not only help ease any boredom, sadness, and worry that your pet may be experiencing—it will also help you chill out at the end of a long day.

6. Treat those pets. After work, make a batch of dog approved treats. Crafted in our office test kitchen with the help (and appetites) of our beloved Figo dogs, Scarf’d pet recipes make it easy to show your pup a little extra love. Happy scarf’ing! Of course, we recommend consulting with a veterinarian before serving your pup human food. Also, everything in moderation.

Reminder to be safe!

To help control the spread of COVID-19, it’s important that we all follow guidelines. That means maintaining social distancing, protective masks, and frequent hand washing (especially after returning home from outdoors). And avoid situations such as crowded dog parks, where others are likely to interact with your pet. The best source for accurate, updated information is the CDC’s website.

Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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