For many of us, our homes have turned into office spaces. Almost 5 million people who don’t normally work at home started to because of COVID-19. With that, the home office has brought some adjustments for everyone in the family including your dog.

While our dogs mean well, they can also become a major distraction when you’re trying to get work done. Whether they’re putting their paws on your keyboard, barking during meetings or begging for some attention – your furry friend can become an uncooperative coworker.

Here are some great tips on how to keep your pooch entertained while working from home.

June 2022 Update! With people starting to return to th eoffice, we are once again going through a change that our dogs may need a hand adapting to. We've shared an updated blog with tips on overcoming separation anxiety here. 

Window Watching
Windows can either be your best friend or your worst enemy when you have a dog. If your dog likes to bark at everything that moves, make sure you keep your curtains closed or only open windows that don’t have much action going on outside of them. If your dog is more relaxed around neighbourhood activity, then a window can be a great way to keep them entertained. Set them up with a comfy pillow or bed next to one where they can keep an eye on the community!

Calming Treats
If you’re dealing with a dog with high anxiety, there are lots of different treats that can help calm them down. Brands that offer these types of snacks tend to use different non-medical ingredients like herbs and vitamins that can help reduce your dog’s uneasiness. Make sure you check with your vet first before giving your dog any new type of treat or food.

Humans aren’t the only ones who like frozen treats! That’s why ‘Pupsicles’ are so popular with dog owners. Not only are they tasty, but they also take a while to eat, creating a distraction for your dog for at least a little while. There are so many different versions you can create depending on your dog’s favourite flavours including peanut butter, chicken broth, fruit, beef and more. Keep in mind that they could get messy, so make sure you have a designated area for snacking!

Long-Lasting Chews
Dogs love chewing, so giving them a long-lasting chewy treat is a great way to keep them occupied. Just make sure you keep an eye on your dog while they chew, no one wants their doggo to choke. One of the most popular is the KONG that can be filled with their favourite treats and foods. Other long-lasting options include Nylabone, Benebone and Bullysticks. Try getting a variety and see which one your dog loves and what keeps them busy the longest.

Dog Toys to Keep Them Busy
Dogs want to be entertained and giving your dog a toy to play with is a great way to keep them occupied, especially if it’s interactive. Treat balls not only give your dog a tasty snack but also gives them some exercise and mental stimulation. There’s also the Snuffle Matt that has treats hidden in it. Invented in Norway, it’s a game that keeps them busy and rewards them for their effort.

Tip: avoid toys that squeak or makes noise – you’ll quickly understand why!

Take A Walk
Sometimes there’s nothing better than some fresh air for you and your dog! It allows you to de-stress and is important for your own physical and mental health - not to mention the health of your dog. Dogs like routine so try to set a time or two each day to take your pup out for a walk. A perfect time is just before or after your workday. Not only does your dog get to burn off some of that energy but you also get to take a mental break from your work.

Make Time for Play Breaks
Working from home can be convenient but it can also blur the lines of work and life balance. It’s important to take breaks throughout the work day – get up and go for a brief walk or stretch, grab a water, or even play with your pup – just be sure not to overdo it! Being a dog owner has been shown to boost serotonin, lower blood pressure and decrease depression. This means playing with your dog allows you to get a major mental health boost and your dog gets some attention too - it’s a win-win.

Our dogs are often like family – in fact, they are family! Even though we love them, they can sometimes get on our nerves. With the right tools and techniques you can create a good situation for everyone in your home, and new workspace. We hope these tips will help you get your work done and keep your new doggy assistant happy!