The Life of a Dog Owner During Covid|
2020 and 2021 will definitely go down in history as the best time ever to be a dog. While most years, their human companions are off to work, or dinner, or doing any of those pre-Covid life events, now they're always home.
I think working from home should have been more popular even before Covid. Working from home makes a lot of sense for the majority of people -it saves commuting time and most of the work is done in a digital environment anyway. Plus - the dogs get to hang out with you all day!
Sometimes dogs don't understand that we're busy
Dogs love us too much. Along with many dog owners, I struggle with level setting that just because I'm home doesn't mean I'm available to pet and play all day. They usually sleep through the morning, but once they're up - it's all eyes on me.
Loo loves jumping up on my lap and getting scritches. He frequently jumps in on Zoom meetings, which luckily has never been much of a problem. Henry follows me around with his squeaker toys as I scramble to find a quiet place in the apartment where I can hold a phone conversation.
The guilt is probably the biggest struggle during the workday. When they eventually let me get back to work, they usually lay there just watching me before they eventually fall asleep. I feel bad that I'm sitting there working when they just want to hang out and play. If I take them on a walk but have to cut it short to get back for a call, I feel selfish.
I know from conversations with the rest of the PawMedica family that lots of you feel the same. Many of us Paw-Parents have to juggle the greatness of having dogs with the responsibility of adulting. I've found some great ways to alleviate the tension between work and play with your pup.
Here's some tips for balancing time with work and your dog
- Schedule your day and stick to it - Have times blocked off throughout the day that you know you'll take time to walk and/or play with your dog. This way you know there's proper time set aside for your dog and you won't have the constant tension throughout the day on whether you should be working or playing at any moment.
- Make time in the beginning of your day to take a long walk - Start their day off early with a workout and they'll have a nice mid-day nap during your work hours.
- Doggy Daycare - The cost can add-up here, especially if you do it every day - but especially for busy days, try to find a good doggy daycare near you. Your home will be bark and beg free for the day and your dog will have a great time running around with his or her four legged friends.
- Hire a trusted dogwalker - Finding a good dogwalker can be a huge time saver. Not only will it save you time taking your dog for a walk during your busy workday, but when your pup is back home, he or she should be ready for a nap. Similar to daycare, the cost here could add up, so save it for special days or find someone with a good price. Most importantly, find someone you can trust, not just someone you found off of Rover.
- Walk and Talk - If it's not a phone call where you're talking a lot, jump on the call while you walk your dog(s). If it's a call where you have to be home, pace around the house. If your dogs are like mine, they will follow you around as if there's some type of mission or game going on.
- Plan the right Daytime toys - As mentioned, Henry loves to play with squeaky toys. I've been on really important zoom convos and had to pause so I could go grab the toy from him and give everyone's ears a rest. Plan ahead! I started getting engaging, yet non-squeaky toys for the boys to play with during the day. A kong-ball, or bone, or an old toy that has been rendered unsqueakable by your dog's chewing.
Since implementing the above strategies, my workday has been much more balanced - and more importantly, Henry & Loo are still living their best life. Message us on instagram if you have any other great tips for working from home with your dog.