For many of us who are now working at home, our new four legged coworkers may be feeling the changes more than we are aware. If you’ve noticed some changes with your pets attitude since you’ve been home, the following tips may help them relax and take the change in schedule in stride.
Whether you are working part of full time at home or are at home because of changes with your job, we want to ensure that our pets are still keeping a routine as similar to their normal as possible. Our dogs thrive on routine and predictability. Dogs love routine! It helps them understand what is coming, how to react, and what to expect. If you used to get up to go to work at 6 AM everyday, that is something that your dog is used to and expecting certain things at that time (like a potty break!). If you are able to maintain that routine for your pet, their expectations remain consistent, and it helps to set the tone for the rest of the day!
Try to stick to the same time and routine for important daytime events, such as meals. Keep them at the same time as much as you can, but you can explore things like puzzle toys or slow feeders to make their meals last longer. This helps keep boredom at bay and gives your pets some mental drain to start the day with. If they are used to going outside at certain times, try to keep those the same as well. Dogs love time outside, even if they are able to just run around the backyard or sniff. It will give them a mental break and some stimulation that can help to take the edge off of their energy. If they are used to walks at certain times, try to keep those part of your routine, as well.
Another thing to consider is when you are gone at work, your dog is most likely napping the day away! With you home and with more activity going on for them to keep track of, they won’t be getting the sleep that they are used to. This can lead to some behavioral changes or challenges. Just like a toddler who missed their naptime, your dog can get overtired and end up acting out. Try giving them a space where you can give them time to relax and nap like they normally would during your workday. This should be a quiet area without much stimulation, like a gated-off office or a basement bedroom. Also try covering your windows so they aren’t distracted or intent on staring out at the activity all day. These simple changes may help get their behavior back to normal.
If you have noticed that your dog is wanting to have cuddle time and attention during those conference calls, try a few boredom busters when you know you will need uninterrupted quiet time for your work. You can see some different options in our brain games and boredom busters ebook available here. It is also helpful to give them time and attention before those Zoom meetings- try teaching a new trick, playing a game of tug, or making a trip outside with them before letting them settle in to relax with a chew toy. Their brain should be tired out from the play and they will be less likely to bother you for a while!
In your free time- try to do some of the activities listed below to help to wear your dog out and give them some satisfying brain drain!
Get recipes and more fun games in our Brain Games and Boredom Busters ebook! As a Lucky Pup Explorer, you get our Boredom Busters ebook for free! Also check out these other Explorer posts for more on this subject: Boredom Busters for Pets – Indoor Games for Cats and Dogs – Keep Pups Occupied with Kong Recipes – DIY Enrichment Ideas
Explorers: Try a new game they haven’t played before. Start off small with lots of easy wins so they can get excited about the games and want to play more.
Growers: Increase the difficulty of one of their favorite games! Start off with small increases to keep their attention and see how far you can help them grow!
Challengers: Now is the time to shift the game! How can you apply their problem solving skills in a new way? Try layering games together, adding different materials, or nesting games inside of each other to really test their ability!