The coronavirus currently has the whole world on high alert. Most states now have stay at home orders in place for the foreseeable future, which means there's a good chance you're now doing your job remotely. Isolation can be difficult to cope with, but there's one bright spot: you now get to spend more time with your dog!
Of course, it's not all fun and games. As much as you'd like to, you can't just sit at home and do nothing but cuddle and play with your pup all day. It's important to set boundaries, both for your wellbeing and his. Let's look at how to work at home with your dog.
Why Boundaries Are Important
Spending all your time with your dog can seem like a dream come true, but remember, when working from home, the operative word is working. You still have tasks you need to complete, and your furry friend can end up unintentionally distracting you from what you're supposed to be doing.
And when this is all over, you could have unintentionally set your dog up for a bad case of separation anxiety. This quarantine might seem to last forever, but remember that in time, you'll be going back to your job. You'll be gone all day again, and your dog will be left home alone. If you let him get too dependent on you now for stimulation, he'll have a hard time coping when you go back to work.
The stress from separation anxiety can cause your dog to chew up or otherwise destroy your belongings, pee and poop more frequently, bark all day, try to escape, and more. This is why it's essential, while spending this extra time with your canine companion, to set boundaries.
Tips for Maintaining a Balance
The key is to achieve a balance between the extra play and cuddle time with your dog, and the alone time you both need. Start by making sure you each have your own space, separate from the other.
Stay separate during work hours
Create yourself a designated workspace, where you can close the door during office hours and keep your dog from coming in and distracting you. Similarly, give your dog his own, separate play space where he can keep himself occupied while you're hard at work. Give him toys to play with and set them in his designated space.
Keep a schedule
Maintaining a schedule is important, too. Have specific times of day when you two can play and spend time together, and specific times when you each spend time on your own. He might whine and beg to try to come into your office during your designated separate time, but don't give in.
Yes, it can be heartbreaking to ignore your dog when he clearly wants to spend time with you, but it's for his own good. Over time, he'll get used to the schedule and learn to keep himself entertained.
Adhering to a schedule also helps your dog to learn obedience. If you give in, he'll learn that all he has to do is cry, and you'll give in to whatever he wants. Being strict and maintaining structure will help him become better trained.
Setting healthy boundaries with your dog while you're working from home is not only good for both of you, it will ultimately make the time you do spend with him seem that much sweeter. Being in quarantine isn't easy, but with a little bit of structure, you and your dog can get through it together, happy and healthy.