Raise a Happy Puppy While Working From Home, by Frankie Wallace |Published 09-23-2022
There is nothing quite as exciting as bringing home a brand new puppy. You are about to forge a new friendship with this adorable dog, and many adventures lie ahead.
While you are likely excited to have a good time with your new pal, working from home may give you a bit of a challenge.
If you work from home, you will need to properly train your puppy and set boundaries as usual. You’ll also want to spend some quality time with them so they can grow up to be a happy adult dog.
Let’s talk about how you can juggle these responsibilities while also making time for your job.
You may be on the fence about whether you want to adopt a pet in the first place. Maybe you think your job is too hectic or that you aren’t ready for a new responsibility.
While it is ultimately up to you, there are many benefits to owning a dog, starting with the fact that they are great companions that will stick with you through thick and thin.
On top of that, there are also many health benefits to owning a pet, including the fact that chasing them around helps you to stay active and keep the blood flowing.
Also, walking your dog and bringing them on adventures can help you to land in more social encounters, and having friends is good for your mental health.
If you are missing these attributes in your life — as many folks who work from home are — then a dog is a worthwhile addition to consider.
Once you have decided to buy or adopt a new pup, you need to start making preparations. Consider talking to your boss and requesting a few days off.
Doing so will give you time to show your puppy the house, learn their habits, and spend some quality time so you can start to create a bond.
As you get closer to adopting your puppy, you will want to do some shopping and buy your pet the necessities.
Purchase a bed, a crate, bowls for water and food, plenty to eat, and some toys to keep them occupied.
Allocate a dedicated room or space for them and put all of your new dog’s belongings in one place.
You’ll soon find out that puppies love to have the attention of their owner so if you don’t take the proper precautions, then you will find your dog jumping all over you while you’re trying to work.
Once your pup gets into this habit, it can be tough to break. Thus, you need to start setting boundaries and doing what you can to prevent separation anxiety.
While it may be difficult for both of you, it is important that you show your dog that it has its own space. Add the bed, some food, and a toy or two into their crate, put your pup inside, and close the door. Try to keep them there for a couple of hours.
You may want to consider putting the crate nearby so you can keep an eye on your dog’s well-being. If your dog is throwing a fit or you cannot keep yourself from checking in every few minutes, then it is a good idea to spend a few days working out of a coffee shop or co-working space so you can create the necessary separation.
You also need to set boundaries for your pup from day one. Close the doors of the rooms that they are not allowed to enter.
If they are not allowed on the furniture, then don’t bring them onto a chair or couch at all. If you don't have doors to close, consider infant gates or x-pens to keep them confined to one area.
If they get up there on their own, mark the bad behavior with a negative word, such as “no” and remove them. If you find that you like the idea of having your pup on the couch with you, then consider investing in some pet-friendly furniture.
Look for pieces made of leather because the fabric is non-absorbent and easy to clean. You could also consider adding some nice outdoor furniture into your living space because it is quick to dry and just as comfortable.
If you do want to invite your puppy onto the furniture, and the puppy is just too small, a set of dog steps or ramps may be what you need, at least initially.
While you need to teach your dog boundaries, you should not keep them locked up all day. Puppies have a lot of energy, and they will want to have fun and play.
Many small breed dogs are prone to separation anxiety and cannot tolerate any type of separation from their new human mom or dad. This can be exacerbated when you work at home and they see you most of the day.
Puppies need to learn that they are quite capable of being alone for parts of the day without developing undue anxiety.
Puppies with separation anxiety can whine, cry, bark or howl, making it difficult to communicate on the phone or attend zoom meetings due to their vocalizations.
Having two beds, two crates, or two enclosures where puppies can rest could solve some of the problems.
If you do have a puppy that tends to bark, you may want to place his x-pen and bed in another room where you won't be disturbed to do your work.
When you are not attending a meeting or talking on the phone, the bed could be moved to under your desk. Puppies will soon realize that you will not be available for their every need 24/7.
You can bond with your pup and allow them to work out their energy by scheduling exercise time before your workday starts and at breaks and lunches.
Bonding can take many forms: Playing with toys, cuddling, grooming or quick training sessions. Teach your puppy to walk on a leash so that you can take them on walks to the park or around the block.
Use the time you have at lunch and breaks to head to the park, play fetch in the yard, or just sit outside with them so you and your dog can breathe in some fresh air.
Housetraining while working from home can be accomplished easily if you arrange a time to take them outdoors on a regular schedule.
If you have an important meeting at work or you have a large task that demands your attention, then you will want to find ways to keep your dog entertained, so they don’t bother your work.
If they are amused by the action outside, then make sure there is a window that they can reach for endless entertainment. You can also supply your pet with a long-lasting chew treat that they can work on for the next couple of hours.
Interactive toys such as Kongs can keep them occupied for longer if you fill the kongs with tasty treats the puppy will enjoy.
Toys that squeak or produce crinkle type sounds seem to fascinate some puppies. If you don't have anything like this, consider using an empty plastic water bottle that they can chase around. It produces the same crinkle sound and costs you nothing.
Some soothing types of music will calm active puppies. It doesn't need to be classical tunes, or music you might hear in a spa to work, just something that is rhythmical and can be played at a low volume.
In the case that nothing seems to calm your pup down, then they may just need to release some of that energy again. If possible, go out for a walk around the block.
Doing so will give your dog a chance to stretch its legs, and it will give you an opportunity to take your eyes off of your computer screen and get a mental break from work.
As you can see, it is possible to bring a new puppy into your dwelling even if you work remotely.
Your work-from-home productivity with a dog can even be enhanced by scheduling regular breaks for exercise and play time to keep your puppy entertained and your brain sharp.
Just remember to set boundaries, have patience, and schedule your day accordingly, and you will create fun memories with your new work companion.
Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. If her spirit animal could be anything, it would be a beagle--inquisitive, and always searching for food.
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