Disclosure: This post is sponsored by WHIMZEES®. The content and opinions expressed here are my 100% own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!
In 2020 there was a mass shift where millions of people began working from home. Millions of dogs around the world would now get to spend the whole entire day with their humans! So much time to play and take walks– Oh, what a magical time.
But sadly, humans still had to work…
Well, if you didn’t know, I’ve been working from home for five years now. Long before Covid-19 changed the work environment as we know it.
I also have two dogs (and a cat) that are at home with me during work and virtual meetings. I’ve definitely made some mistakes in adjusting to finding a healthy work/life balance for us all, but I’ve also learned how to make it work.
That’s why I’ve partnered up with WHIMZEES® Natural Dental Chews to share with you all the best ways to work from home with dogs. And let me tell you, giving them WHIMZEES® has been so helpful during work calls. (Pro Tip: I keep a jar of WHIMZEES® at an arm’s reach!)
These dental chew treats last 3x longer than the other guys, and I don’t have to feel guilty about giving them too many treats as these chews help maintain their oral health. A happy and healthy dog is one with healthy teeth.
So without further ado, here are 9 tips that have helped me stay sane and productive while working from home with pets.
9 Tips for Working From Home with Dogs
Tip 1: Set (and Keep) a Schedule for You and Your Dog
This tip goes first, because well, it is the most important tip for working from home successfully… You got to set a schedule! Working from home comes with so much flexibility.
It can be tempting to sleep in or jump straight from the bed to the desk, but that kind of instability will set you and your dog up for failure. If you create a morning schedule that sets you up for the most productive and efficient day, and it’s one that you and your dog can follow, you’re going to find working from home a lot easier.
Of course, everyone is different, but I believe that what you do in the first two hours after you wake up sets the tone for the rest of your day and helps you to be your most productive. And so to help you plan a morning schedule that sets you up for successfully working from home, here is what Louie and I’s morning looks like:
- Hour 1: I wake up, shower, brush my teeth, get dressed (no sweatpants over here thank you very much!), check the news and do my makeup.
- Hour 2: After I get ready, I feed the dogs, make my coffee while they eat, and then let them outside to chase the squirrels in our yard. During this time of ‘quiet’ inside the house, I’ll plan the rest of my day, prep for client appointments, and answer any important messages.
Tip 2: Do NOT Give Into Their Demands
This brings me to my next tip for working from home with dogs: do not give into their demands! I used to (and sometimes still do) think my dogs only think I’m here to let them in and out of the house to chase the squirrels.
And trust me, when Louie gives me his puppy dog eyes, it is so hard to say no. But if I gave in to their demands I wouldn’t be able to get any work done.
Tip 3: Create a Clear Separation Between Your Workspace and Your Dog’s Play Area
I’m fortunate that my home has two bedrooms and we’ve been able to turn one of those bedrooms into an office. If the dogs are being too needy or wild, it’s easy for me to close that door and pretend I’m somewhere quiet and peaceful, far, far away haha.
If you don’t have room for a home office, it is still important that you’re able to create some separation for you and your dog, especially those young and adorable puppies. This also helps in not setting your dog up for developing separation anxiety.
I typically will spend at least 1 to 2 hours in the office with my door closed, because my little Louie stays glued to my side when I’m working from home.
Tip 4: Schedule Time for Play and Walks
Which is why there is another scheduling tip on this list. For myself, and many others who work from home, every day is different. It’s nearly impossible to follow a strict schedule every day working from home.
That being said, you can still schedule breaks for yourself and your dog. It’s no good for any human to sit at a desk for 8 hours straight, and it’s not fair for your dogs or yourself not to take advantage of the flexibility that comes with working from home.
I like to schedule a walk for the dogs right before my daily 3:30 wrap up meeting with my team. This allows me to clear my head and body of any tension or stress from the day. While also letting my dogs release some of their energy (which keeps them quiet during my meeting!)
Tip 5: Keep Your Dog Occupied During Calls and Meetings
Currently, I work from home, at an agency. Which means we have virtual calls and meetings all day long. My previous job, which is when I first started working from home, did not involve nearly as many meetings. So finding how to successfully have productive (and not distracting) meetings took some time.
There were a few moments in calls where my dogs made an appearance that still makes me cringe…I also know that sometimes, I can be more distracted if they are locked out of my office. I won’t be able to stop thinking, “Oh god, I hope they’re not getting into anything bad!”So the solution? Keep them in the office, but out of camera view, and keep them distracted with a healthy chew treat such as WHIMZEES® Natural Dental Chews! Toys are too squeaky and my dogs like to rip them up. Hello, I’m not trying to give myself more work during the day here!
Plus, with WHIMZEES® Natural Dental Chews, I can knock out two birds with one stone! My dog is getting a healthy chew treat that will last him during my call, and I’m giving him a treat that will clean his teeth and reduce tartar and plaque. That’s called being hyper-efficient!
Tip 6: Incorporate Your Dog Into Your Virtual Worklife
While dogs may be distracting during meetings, they can also be a great way to brighten up your co-workers’ days. So definitely incorporate your fur-babies into your virtual worklife.
At my company, we have created Slack emojis of all of our pet’s faces which we can use for reacting to messages. We also like to randomly share cute or funny pictures of our dogs working from home alongside us!
Tip 7: Set at Least 1 Day a Week to Work Somewhere Outside the House
No matter how busy or crazy the week has been, I like to take at least one afternoon to spend working from somewhere outside the home. I work from home alone, just me, two dogs, and a cat. After a few days, I feel like I’m going crazy or that I need some time being around others, IRL
Maybe, I’m a very restless person, I don’t know. I just know that looking forward to working outside the home, at least once a week, keeps me motivated and gives me a break from the dogs. Usually I’ll visit my favorite brewery with WiFi or plan a coffee shop date with a friend. This afternoon away also helps make sure the dogs don’t develop any separation anxiety!
Tip 8: Take Advantage of All the Perks of Working From Home
Working from home comes with so many perks and so much flexibility, make sure you take advantage of it. Don’t forget to take those sick days and make sure you set boundaries that prevent you from working longer than you would at the office. Your dog will love you for doing so!
Tip 9: End Your Day with a Routine or Habit
One of the biggest challenges in effectively working from home is signing off. But just as you start your day with a schedule or habit, it’s good to end your work day with one as well. If it was a quiet day with no meetings, or Louie was in a rare quiet mood, I’ll use this time to give him a treat to say, “Hey man, thanks for being awesome today. I was able to get all I needed to do, and now it’s time to play!”
Since Louie is still young, I know it’s important to take care of his teeth that are still so clean and white. Did you know that dental disease is the #1 health issue for dogs?! 80% of adult dogs have dental disease, which could lead to other health issues down the road.
That’s why I love giving him WHIMZEES Natural Dental Chews. He normally goes through other dental chew treats way too quickly. Which totally defeats the purpose! I’m like, “Did you even chew that dude?!”
Not with WHIMZEES® though! WHIMZEES Natural Dental Chews last 3x longer than the other guys. That means more cleaning time to reduce plaque and tartar so his breath stays fresh!
What Tips Do You Have for Successfully Working From Home with Dogs?
What do you think of these tips for effectively working from home with your dogs? Try out a few of them and see how they go.
As things return to normal, it seems that many companies are choosing to stay virtual and remote. Hopefully these tips will help you and your dog work from home successfully, while also taking advantage of all the sweet perks that come with remote working!
Of course, we all work differently so if I missed any good tips, make sure to share them with me. And if you found this article helpful, please do pass it on to a friend or coworker you think it might help!