How to Have a Dog When You Work From Home

Our guide details how to have a dog and work from home while staying productive. Read our top tips now.

There’s nothing quite like having a dog—a loyal companion, a ball of love, and if you work from home, a dedicated co-worker.

Between the occasional barking, the need for attention, and the on-and-off desire to go outside, learning how to work from home with your dog might seem tough at first.

Luckily, once you get into a flow with your best canine bud, working from home and managing your pup’s schedule at the same time is a breeze. Bring your best chew toys and let’s take a closer look at owning a dog while working from home and still staying productive.

Keep Your Dog Entertained

As you navigate the best methods for how to work from home with your dog, try a few tricks to see what keeps them entertained. Safe chew toys are a good idea, especially chew toys that are only given to your pet when you’re working. You’ve also probably heard of puzzle feeders, like a KONG, which is made of natural rubber and can be stuffed with treats and peanut butter to keep your dog entertained for hours. For some pets that exhibit bad or anxious behavior when you’re not around or aren’t giving them your undivided attention, turn on the television for some white noise or play some soft music. You can even check out sound tones for dogs, which you can play to ease their nerves and put them in a state of relaxation. Remember that all pups are different, and what works for one dog might not work for another, but if you work together—you’ll find the right balance.

Find a Dedicated (Dog-Free) Workspace

When you’re figuring out how to work from home with your dog, one of the best things you can do is find a dog-free workspace. If your pup tends to act needy when you’re in the room, find a place of your own that’s free of barking, pestering, and chew toys. This can be a home office where you do your computer work, an outdoor patio where you make your phone calls, or the kitchen table where you work free of doggy-distractions. Of course, seeing your pup at various intervals throughout the day will make you both happy, but it’s good to establish a routine of work time versus playtime. When the clock strikes, and you’re done with work, reward your canine pal with a visit to the local dog park.

Take Potty Breaks

Just like potty breaks are important for humans, it’s necessary to create a potty schedule that works for your pup. This is especially true when creating a puppy schedule for working parents. Potty training can be tough but there are some simple pointers you can use to ensure that you both feel good about the potty schedule (and potty performance) at the end of the day. Keep your pup on a regular feeding schedule. Take them out first thing in the morning when you wake up then at one-hour intervals throughout the day. Always take your pup out after eating or drinking and reward them when they go pee in their designated “potty spot”. Remember that working from home with dogs is similar to working from home with kids — it requires patience, flexibility, and commitment. Accidents will happen so be prepared for them (rather than frustrated by them). Similar to how a routine helps you work, creating a routine for your puppy and pet will help them potty train.

Find Time to Exercise

One of the most important things to figure out when considering owning a dog while working is to find time to exercise. This schedule will vary depending on your line of work and the age and breed of your dog. If you get all your best creative work done in the morning with a cup of coffee, this might not be the best time to take your dog for a run around the neighborhood. Think of you and your pup as co-inhabitants in your household. Even if it takes a few weeks to figure out the right flow, rest assured that you and your dog will get there. If pup’s favorite time of day is when the afternoon sun is hot and bright, maybe this is a good take to take him or her outdoors to get the wiggles out. After they’ve exercised, they can come home and take a nap and you can get some uninterrupted work done.

Invest in a Pet Monitor

When your pup is in another part of the house, a pet monitor can ease both of your anxieties (and ensure that your favorite shoes aren’t being destroyed while you focus on meeting your deadline). Petcube is a popular brand of camera that allows pet owners to actually speak with their animals through the device. If your pup is being a good boy or good girl, you can reward them with the built-in treat dispenser or the interactive laser toy to keep them entertained. Their enhanced pet technology will not only keep your pup happy, but it will help you understand your animal better so that you can improve your pet parenting skills.

Create a Mealtime Schedule

Without a mealtime schedule to stick to, you run the risk of your pup whining and begging until mealtime finally rolls around. For those of us who have experienced a dog who thinks 9 am is lunchtime, this can quickly get repetitive and frustrating. If you want to figure out how to have a dog when you work from home and stay sane at the same time, it’s imperative that you create a mealtime schedule. If you take your lunch break in the early afternoon, use this as a time frame for feeding your pet. The goods news is that it will keep you both on a schedule, which is important if you work from home. It’s easy to fall into the trap of another cup of coffee and a protein bar at your desk. Feeding your pet and taking them out for a potty break and a breath of fresh air will be good for both of you (just don’t get suckered into giving them the leftovers from your lunch plate).

Avoid Unhealthy Patterns

Owning a dog while working from home makes things far easier than if you had to go into a traditional office. You can take breaks for walks and enjoy the company of your built-in coworker, but both you and your dog need to create healthy habits and stick to them. We all know that the list of video conference best practices doesn’t exactly include having your four-legged friend sit in on your next big call. You have to give your dog time alone to learn how to entertain themselves or they may develop some serious separation anxiety, which will be tough for you both. If you make a big deal about leaving the room or the house, your animal picks up on this. It’s natural for your dog to feel anxious when you leave, especially if you’re used to spending a ton of time together. But when the dog cries, and you give him far too many cuddles before leaving, the pup knows that their crying and anxiety can be eased by your attention. What this eventually creates is an unhealthy pattern that leads to your pup whining and crying every time you leave the room or the house. Even though it’s hard to leave your ball of fluff behind for a few hours, try not to make a fuss about it. Grab your morning coffee then slide into the office for a few hours, leaving your pup behind with his beloved chew toy and his sound tones or soft music.

From potty breaks to mealtime schedules, once you master the art of how to work from home with your dog, your ultimate work-life balance will fall into place. After all, is there anything better at the end of a long workday than puppy kisses and a long walk around the neighborhood?

If your job takes you on the road, make sure to check out our long-term rentals at Zeus. From city apartments in Los Angeles to neighborhood homes in New York, we offer pet-friendly accommodations for you and your pals. Our spots also feature dedicated workspaces and super-fast WiFi, so you can find a place for your pup to get comfortable with his chew toy while you settle into your conference call.

As always, if you have any questions at all about our long term furnished rentals, feel free to reach out to our team. We’re here with all kinds of animal advice and all sorts of work-from-home inspiration.