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Working From Home: 9 Ways to Best Support Your Pets

To help you and your pets live your best life while working from home, we asked pet-loving professionals this question for their advice. From creating an office space for your pet to self-serving treats, there are several tips that may help you ca...

Working From Home: 9 Ways to Best Support Your Pets

A workplace revolution is upon us, which means many former office workers are now doing their 9 to 5 from the comfort of their homes.  If you're a pet parent working hard for that money, you probably know that balancing pet care and a full list of tasks is no simple matter. It requires a lot of flexibility, creativity, and innovative thinking.

To help you and your pets live your best life while working from home, we asked pet-loving professionals this question for their advice. From creating an office space for your pet to self-serving treats, there are several tips that may help you care for and entertain your dog or cat.

Here are nine ways to best support your pets while working from home:

  • Create An Office Space Just for Your Pet

  • Install a Pet Door.

  • Create a Divider & Give Your Pet Some Personal Space

  • Use Flexible Hours to Care for Pets

  • Don't Close the Door On Them

  • Try to Match Your Scheduling Needs With Your Pup's

  • Give Them Extra Attention Before and After Your Workday

  • While Working from Home, Best Support Your Pets?

  • Self-serve Treats

Create An Office Space for Your Pet

Our pets can get lonely and bored if we spend most of the day working in a separate room. By creating a special office space for them, they can feel like they're part of the action. For example, I cleared off a spot on my desk right next to my computer for my cat. It's strategically positioned near a heat source, and I keep a dish of water there for her. She loves having her own little place, and having her there helps me de-stress some days.

Chloe Brittain, Opal Transcription Services

Install a Pet Door

Just because you're working from home doesn't mean you're always available. If you have a yard, installing a pet door allows pets to let themselves outside when they're ready to use the restroom, sunbathe or get some exercise. This is mutually beneficial for both you and your pets.

Nancy Belcher, Winona

Create a Divider & Give Your Pet Some Personal Space

When working at home during the coronavirus pandemic, it is great to have a pet around as they keep you company and give you some time to think about things unrelated to work. However, having a pet around while working from home can be distracting at times and can pull you away from getting work done in an ample amount of time. My suggestion for those who have four-legged friends would be to create a large enough space for them to hang out in but put dividers up so that they are able to see you working but can't come over to play with you. Take 10-15 minutes every few hours to play with them in order for you to destress & let your pet get all their energy out.

Sacha Ferrandi, Source Capital

Use Flexible Hours to Care for Pets

The good thing about working from home is that the hours are typically more flexible. Remote employers are normally more concerned with you getting your work done by a certain date rather than the exact daily timeframe you work within. For example, working from home will likely enable you to take periodic breaks throughout the day so that you can walk and feed your dog and play with him or her. Take advantage of flexible hours in order to keep your pets healthy and happy both physically and emotionally throughout the day.

Matt Miller, Embroker

Don't Close the Door On Them

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean that your pets aren’t prone to separation anxiety. Closed-door meetings can be stressful on dogs (and sometimes cats). You don’t want to hear a barking dog interrupt your call, but you may worsen it by closing the door. Try to time their food schedules to your meetings or simply feed them a snack while you’re on the phone - and keep your doors open. Also, people on Zoom calls love to see your furry friend making cameos. Don’t worry if your dog pokes its head and gets some camera time or your cat walks across your keyboard. It is usually a welcome distraction for those taking part in a group call.

Joel Jackson, Lifeforce

Try to Match Your Scheduling Needs With Your Pet

Pets all have different needs, so it’s best to start with knowing exactly what makes your pet healthiest and happiest. From there, you have to nurture a symbiotic relationship where you can get your work done and still spend quality time with your fur baby. To me, this means walking my dog Sophie at the pain points of my day so that we can both get a release. The better you can mesh your needs with your animal’s, the less stressful it will feel to juggle your workday with your pet’s wellbeing. Our pets are our family so taking care of them sometimes means putting in the extra work. I think that you can make your day work for both you and your pet with a little strategic planning!

James Shalhoub,

Give Them Extra Attention Before and After Your Workday

Giving your pets extra attention both before you start work and at the end of the day helps pets better cope with having you be off-limits during the day. A good play session or a long walk in the morning will also help to tire them out so they'll spend more time sleeping during the day. When you regularly play with them after work, they'll have something to look forward to. Once you make this a routine, you'll notice fewer disruptions from your pet during the day.

Mark Pierce, Cloud Peak Law

Take Your Dog For A Walk Before Work

Taking your dog for a long walk before starting your workday will benefit both of you. It will most likely mean getting up earlier, but bring your travel mug of coffee and let your dog sniff all they want. Exercising relieves stress and nervous energy before it becomes a problem during your conference call. Furthermore, showing your dog attention and effort early on lets them know you care about them, making them less likely to seek affection later in the day.

Sofia Hamberg, Hamster-Home

Self-serve Treats

My dog tends to get bored when I work from home, mainly because he’d rather me be staring at (and playing with) him than my computer screen. If you have a restless pet watching you work, try a treat-dispensing toy. It gives them much-needed mental stimulation that can help you stay focused during important virtual meetings, and some tasty treats so they feel rewarded and loved. When you’re shopping for a treat-dispensing toy you’ll want to choose one with a soft exterior that won’t make a load of noise when they nose it into your furniture.

Michael Jeffcoat, The Jeffcoat Firm

Terkel is a platform where business leaders can answer questions related to their expertise and get published in articles featuring their insights.

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