While working from home is a boon if you are a pet parent, recently I discovered it is not as easy as it sounds. I am home with my pooch the entire day and she is happy about it, but that also means she expects me to play with her most of the day. Unfortunately, my work does not allow that and hence I am unable to give her time throughout the day.
This has started to make me feel guilty only because it seems like I cannot give her the best time of my life. As I live in an apartment hence, I also do not have the option to leave her free in an open backyard as I do not have one.
I am sure many pet parents face the same issue when they have a pet at home and must work most of the day. I have been searching for solutions to deal with the situation and have a few which I have listed below.
1. Get Smaller Dog Breeds:
This point is valid only if you are still deciding to get a dog and do not have one. Smaller breeds need less workout and an apartment is enough for them to stay active. This is mainly why you should prefer F1 Goldendoodle rather than a Golden Retriever, as it is easier to take care of if you do not have an active lifestyle. Small dog breeds have fewer exercise needs and get tired easily. It is only fair for the dog because an active breed needs more engagement, which, if not given, then the dog can get mentally and physically unwell.
2. Window Watching:
Window watching can be a great time pass for your dog. Dogs love to watch moving objects and sniff the outside. An open window can keep them engaged for some time. Just put a bench next to the window and they will automatically sit there for hours. Set your dog up with a comfy pillow on the bench from where they can keep an eye on the community.
3. Take Small Breaks:
It is important to take breaks while you work, not just for the dog, but for you as well. Instead of indulging in other activities, take your dog for a quick 10-minute walk. Small walks are not just good for the dog, but it is great for your body as well. This will stimulate their mind so much that they will get tired and then as you resume work, you will see your dog happily napping.
4. Dog Toys to Keep Them Busy:
Dogs such as multigenerational goldendoodle are just like kids who love to play with toys. This can keep them occupied for long hours, especially if it is interactive. There are so wide varieties of toys in the market that you will easily find a few. Better stay away from squeaky toys as the noise might disturb you while you are working.
There are several smart toys available nowadays that can be used nowadays and operated via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This means even if you are not at home, you can use the mobile app to start the toy which your dog can interact with. There are a few self-operating fetch toys and you can always use a vacuum tug rope attached to the wall for the dog to play with.
5. Play in Between:
When you work from home, you end up working extra as the line between work and life balance blurs. It is important to take small play breaks with the dog. You can even play with the dog when you are on a call. Just throw the ball along a long corridor and play fetch for some time with the dog. This will help them engage with you for a while and the dog can take a rest after that while you continue your work.
6. Long-Lasting Chews:
There are many chews available that can last long such as raw hides. You need to keep an eye on your dog while it chews on it, though. Dogs love to chew, hence this will keep them engrossed for a long time. Simple treats are consumed by a dog in minutes, which is why I prefer long-lasting chews. But you should limit it to just one per day and see if your dog can digest it. If not, then go for a raw-hide-free chew such as Himalayan yak chew.
7. Frozen Treats:
There are several frozen treat toys available, such as kong, which you will with treats and freeze it. When the dog eats it, as it is frozen, it takes about an hour or two and the dog gets mentally tired as well. Just fill the toy with healthy treats such as curd, apples, bananas, watermelon, chicken, and a little peanut butter to make it tasty. Snacking a dozen treats can get messy, hence assign an eating place for the dog to keep the home clean.
8. Puzzle Toys:
Dogs want to be entertained the entire day, which is not possible, hence you should keep them occupied as much as you can so that they spend a good day. But if you are a busy parent, it is impossible to keep the dog busy all day hence you can instead choose to give mentally stimulate them by giving them puzzle feeders, snuffle mats, and toys to keep them busy. This will quickly tire them and they would like to take a nap for the next few hours.
The Bottom Line:
Life needs to go on and while your pooch is important, you cannot ignore your work. Your dog may not understand this, but you should not feel guilty about the situation. You are doing what is essential and you cannot avoid it. Use the tips above to make the best of the situation and help the dog engage more or stay busy while you finish your work with no worries.