In the middle of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, many people now find themselves working from home. You may be rejoicing at working at home with your pet, but how do you focus on work when your pet is demanding your attention? Your cat might like jumping on your keyboard, sending a string of gibberish into the report you were working on. And your dog might be insistently dropping his favorite ball at your feet hoping for a game of fetch. Yes, being at home is not like your standard 9-to-5 working day in the office. Here’s how to share your at-home days with your pet and still get your work done.
Keep Your Pet Busy When You’re Busy
Perhaps your cat keeps leaping up on to your desk and pawing at your hand while you’re trying to insert complicated formulas into your Exel spreadsheet. Or, maybe it’s hard to concentrate on your accounting task when your dog is barking because he wants you to go outside and play. It’s important to realize that just as working from home has altered the course of your normal workday, it also means that your pet has to adjust. Working at home with your pet means thinking about setting up some activities to keep your pet engaged while you’re hard at work. Here are a few suggestions:
- Keep some frozen Kongs on hand to keep your dog busy throughout the day. You’re right out of frozen Kongs? Not to worry – make a tube out of a paper towel, fill with a tasty treat, fold over both ends, and place in the freezer.
- Provide a fun challenge in the form of puzzle toys filled with some treats. You can also use the paper towel method to make your own toy – just fill it with loose kibble.
- For your nosy cat that is fascinated by your moving curser, try setting up a bird feeder outside a window. You live in a 12th-floor apartment with no balcony? – no problem – think about a bird video that your cat can view on TV. Here’s a link to one that lasts for eight hours!
Working at home with your pet can present a challenge, but it’s also a lot of fun! Having an animal around can break up the monotony of an 8-hour day and reduce stress. So, use the time you would have spent commuting to take your dog for an extra-long walk. And, build in short stretches of playtime throughout the day. When things get back to normal, and you’re back in your regular working environment, you’ll find yourself missing working at home with your pet.
- Consider bringing a cat tower into your workspace to give your feline friend somewhere comfy to curl up in and watch you work.
- Put a dog bed underneath your desk so your pup can happily stay close by.
Keep Your Pet Safe When Working From Home
When setting up your new home office, think about the safety of your pet. If your pet is a chewer, any new computer chords should be securely tucked away and unavailable. Chewing cords could be a fire hazard or result in electrocution of your pet. Also, make sure that any office supplies that could be dangerous if swallowed are kept safely out of reach – rubber bands, tacks, paper clips, etc. However, if you live in the Columbia, SC area, and your pet swallows something he shouldn’t, don’t hesitate to rush him to CVETS for the best in emergency treatment.