2020 (pandemic) certainly changed how we do things in our lives - and one of the biggest changes was many jobs and careers switching over to being remote!
For some of us, gone are the days of commuting to an office, and we now welcome a 9-to-5 in the comforts of our home.
Where this change might make some things easier on us people (such as avoiding traffic), pet owners are now faced with a new challenge: what to do with the dog when working from home.
Here’s my take on it:
Crate your dog while working from home. Crating helps you work without distraction and gives your dog a routine. Spend weekends or time off getting your dog comfortable with the crate. Crate your dog in a different room. Tire your dog out and put stimulating toys into the crate.
In today’s article, I’ll reveal the secrets to achieving success crating your pup when you’re working, making the weekdays much easier to handle!
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Although everyone’s dog is different and everyone’s home-life is different, few pups are temperamented and behaved enough to keep around while working from the home office.
If you happen to have the quiet, calm, “I didn’t even know there was a dog in the house” kind of a pup, good for you! That’s absolutely fantastic, and I’m sure your pup can hang out in your office all day long.
If you’re like most people and don’t have that canine unicorn, you should crate your dog while working from home for various reasons.
For starters, crating your pup during work hours helps you, the human. Your dog won’t get in the way of your work, and you won’t be preoccupied keeping the dog entertained.
As well, if your job revolves around virtual meetings, it’s generally seen as unprofessional to have your pet frolicking around in the background.
From the perspective of your dog, setting a routine in which you crate them while “at” work helps mediate the potential for separation anxiety and gives them a set schedule.
This can make so many moving components of your life much easier, such as training and even having some “dog-free” time.
Although some may find it harder to crate the pup when working from home, doing so will help both yourself and your dog!
Here are some tips and tricks for properly crating your dog while stepping into your homebound office.
Having a routine is one of the biggest keys to success with crate training while being home all the time.
Even if your work office happens to be your bedroom, dining room, or an actual designated desk - keep a routine as if you need to leave home to go to your job.
This means taking Fido out for a walk in the morning, keeping a consistent feeding schedule, and (most importantly) a good potty schedule. Dogs (especially younger ones, such as puppies) thrive on routines because it gives your dog a sense of what to expect and their role in the schedule.
The goal is to be as consistent as possible; deviating from the routine can make getting with the program a bit hard for your pup.
Remember to mark in some midday playtime, walk time, and bathroom breaks so that your dog continues to be happy, healthy, and thriving!
An example routine can go something like…
If your dog or puppy still isn’t too comfortable with their crate, spend weekends getting Fido to love their crate. Use a lot of positive reinforcement and make the crate a happy place!
Check out our article on how to crate train your puppy the easy way for help!
As tempting as it may be to glance over and see your four-legged best friend all the time, it might not be such a good idea when you’re working.
On the human side, your dog can be a distraction that can make productivity more challenging.
For example, your pup may try to get your attention by barking, howling, whining, or other such noises, which can be problematic during work hours - especially if you are on a zoom call.
From the dog’s perspective, seeing you but being unable to get to you can cause emotional distress and be draining.
This could lead your pup down the road of separation anxiety or encourage them to become destructive towards their crate. Also, if you are still actively crate training, seeing you all the time can make training so much harder.
As such, it’s best to crate your dog in a different room from where you are working. Ideally, you want to still crate your dog in a room that they love and are most comfortable with (such as a bedroom or living room), assuming that is not the place you are working.
If you live in a smaller space, such as a studio apartment, it could be a good idea to create a faux wall (whether using a room divider or just some items around your living quarters) so that your dog doesn’t see you when you’re working.
If your pup is the easily bored type, such as a working or herding breed, throw in some puzzle or stimulating toys into their crate!
Freezing some peanut butter inside of a Kong toy is an easy way to keep your pup occupied for a good span of time.
Giving your dog something to do will not only keep them quiet while you work but will also help them pass the time.
A tired dog is a good dog, and even more so when they have to stay calmly in a crate, and you have to work. Even with stimulating toys, sometimes your dog just has a lot of energy that needs to be burned.
Taking your pup out on a walk as a part of the daily routine or designating periods of playtime is a great way to release that pent-up energy!
Teaching your dog a new trick can wear them out physically and mentally while impressing your friends with your dog’s newfound knowledge.
As much as hearing your furry family members whining breaks the heart, you cannot give in to their demands for attention.
Ringing true for any sort of training that requires your dog to be separate from you, if you give in to the whining and crying, you’re effectively teaching your pup that you will come running whenever they call. This completely defeats the purpose of crate training!
The crate should be a space where your dog is happy, comfortable, and calm. Allowing them to figure this out for themselves is a big part of success, and that requires you to be patient and not come running when called.
This can be another reason why the timing of bringing your new family member home is important.
If you can take some time off when adopting or buying Fido, you can work on crate training and not let the bumps in the road (like the whining) compromise your working-from-home status.
Much like any space, you keep your dog in, ensuring they have fresh water and a safe and comfortable temperature is important.
As I speak about in my article on overheating in a crate, ensuring that your pup is healthy inside their confined space is fundamental. This is especially true for the hot summer months!