Working from home has become part of everyday life for many employees over the past year. The dog owners were particularly happy about the extra portion of time with their four-legged friend. But some of them only came to the dog: Many of them were able to fulfill their dream of having a dog thanks to their home office. You can read here how it works with the office dog and what you have to watch out for.
Routines for everyday life with a dog in the home office
It has long been known that dogs have a positive influence on the working atmosphere and promote the reduction of stress hormones. However, this is especially true when the four-legged colleagues are well integrated into everyday work. Routines help with this: Fixed structures allow your dog to orientate itself in the daily routine and better assess what is expected of it. Start the day with an extensive walk-around. This is how you exercise your four-legged friend physically and mentally. After that, he won’t say no to a nap and you can concentrate on your work.
Speaking of naps: Always plan rest phases in addition to being active. Dogs sleep an enviable 17 to 20 hours a day. If your work in the home office degenerates into constant fun, this is even stress for your four-legged friend. Combine the walks with small highlights. For example, have a cuddle session after lunch. In the late afternoon, many dogs become more active – this is where playing together in the form of dog games is a good idea. A search game or a short training session provides variety. To ring at the end of the day, you romp through the garden together. Great side effect: The small moments of relaxation not only improve your dog’s mood but also your work-life balance.
The right equipment
A comfortable sleeping place for your dog is just as important as your office chair for you. That way he can rest while you’re busy. A shielded, draught-free corner near you is ideal. If your workplace gets very warm in summer temperatures, you have to cool down.
Special cooling mats for dogs do a good job. Fans are less suitable: the cold air can lead to conjunctivitis and respiratory diseases. If you need a fan yourself, make sure that your dog can escape from the cold air at any time and use models with protected rotor blades.
A dog-safe working environment is generally an important point. This applies all the more if your animal colleague is still a puppy. Cables tempt you to nibble, the wheels of an office chair can be dangerous for dog paws, and erasers, paper clips and the like must not end up in the dog’s mouth.
This is what the ideal workplace with a dog looks like:
- Comfortable, quiet resting place for your dog near you
- Draft-free and protected from the sun
- Dog-safe work facility
- Bowl with water accessible at all times
- Dog toys for occupation – tip: Intelligence toys for dogs challenge your four-legged friend mentally and on top of that he can deal with them independently
What can you do if your dog constantly demands your attention?
If your four-legged friend becomes a disruptive factor because he is constantly looking for attention, or plays the clown for your human colleagues during video conferences, you should take educational action. Help your dog to cope with the new situation by setting limits and sticking to them. Send him to his resting place and practice the “Stay” command. Keep doing the exercise until he lies down relaxed and maybe even dozes off.
If you have trouble implementing this exercise, a transport box for dogs can help. If this is new to your four-legged friend, you have to gradually get used to it. Under no circumstances should he see the box as a punishment! Give his new retreat positive feelings: feed him in the box – first with the door open, then with the door ajar, and finally with the door closed. Slowly stretch out his times in the pits, making sure to open the door at first before he claims it. Your fur nose will quickly get used to the box.
With all the flexibility, even in the home office, there are days that are tightly scheduled and deadlines that are approaching. If you have a stressful day ahead, it can make sense to hire a dog sitter.
The four most common mistakes in the home office with a dog
- Don’t set limits:
If your four-legged friend gets attention when he disturbs you, you establish a wrong pattern. Resist the sad dog look, even if it’s hard. Remember: The be-all and end-all is loving consistency.
- Not enough breaks:
Children are romping through your office, the parcel service keeps ringing and the craftsmen are in the kitchen? No wonder your dog can’t relax. Make sure he is undisturbed in his sleeping place.
- The dog forgets to stay alone:
Little makes the pack animal dog happier than always having its pack around. However, if he gets used to not being alone at all, separation anxiety can develop in the dog. Make sure he regularly spends at least short periods of time alone at home.
- Too little activity for the dog :
A bored dog gets stupid ideas. Plan walks and playtimes firmly into your daily rhythm.
This is how you keep your dog busy in the home office
Does your four-legged friend really get going in the afternoon hours? Then the optimal time for dog games has come. Let your creativity run wild: from hidden object games where you hide treats or toys, to fetch games and an agility course – everything is possible.
Time spent together in nature is hard to beat, but even when the weather is bad or you don’t have time, there are ways to keep your furry friend busy: Intelligence toys or a toy filled with treats, a particularly tasty chew bone or a sniffing carpet provide variety. In summer, you can jump into the cool water – whether at the lake or in the dog pool in your garden, or on the balcony.