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  • Writer's pictureStream Valley Vet

Tips to Successfully Work From Home With Your Dog!

Working with your pet sounds like a fun idea, but they can be a distraction. Because we all lead busy lives, our pets often end up spending a good portion of their day home alone. If you give your pet "jobs" to do when they're by themselves, they'll be less likely to come up with their own ways to fill their time, such as chewing on a pair of shoes or raiding the trash can.

Dogs like routines and are typically not fans of changes. When you have go to back to your regular work routine, your dog may have a very difficult time with adjusting. Prevent any behavioral problems now by giving them structure and guidance. If you're in need of ways to successfully work from home with a pet, continue reading!

Use this time to teach them you're working and when you are finished, take the time to interact with them. While you’re working, give them a place to relax nearby, such as a dog bed or other targeted location. The best way to keep them behaved is to give them lots of physical and mental stimulation. If your pet is practicing excited behavior and you give affection to that, they will have no limitations and constantly look for attention.

Give them a bully stick, frozen kong, or bone to keep them busy. Also, be sure to take breaks and interact with your pet. Small training times of seven to 10 minutes a few times a day will help them stay entertained and get tuckered out!

Puzzle toys are great ideas for enrichment activities. Food puzzle toys usually have holes on each end or on the sides, and dogs must work by shaking, pawing, rolling, nibbling or licking the toy to get the food to come out. These toys require time, patience, and problem-solving, which are all skills that are great for your dog to enjoy quiet time. Instead of giving your dog all of their food in their bowl, place some in their toys or play hide-and-seek around the house. If your dog happens to get too frustrated with a puzzle toy, try making it easier on them by removing some of the parts or assist them in shaking a treat out.

When you are taking breaks from work, here are a few activities you can do with together your dog:

  • Work on training new and good behaviors, such as sit, down, stay, recalls, and fun tricks, such as roll-over, shake, and more.

  • Tug of war: Playing tug with your dog can be a wonderful outlet for their urges to grab and pull on things with their mouth!

  • Round Robin Recalls: This is a fun game you can play with the whole family! Have everyone spread out in a large space in your home. Take turns calling your dog to you, and happily praise them when they reach you. If your dog happens to hesitate, don't say "come" again, engage them with clapping, slapping your thighs, or making high-pitched noises. To avoid confusion, whenever one person is calling your dog, the others should remain quiet.

  • Show your dog some videos of other dogs barking and playing. Their reaction might surprise you!

  • Go for a drive to a nice lookout point. Be careful with rolling the windows down, especially in the event that your pup is an escape artist!

  • Find a walking trail nearby and take your pup for a family excursion when the weather permits! Two walks a day is ideal, and the length of time that's best for the dog will depend on their overall energy level. If you increase the amount of walks in a day, that will suddenly stop when the quarantine is over, and may become an issue for you and your pet.

If possible, keep the structure of your day as close as you can to the normal routine. Dogs may develop anxiety and confusing during this time if you are not guiding them and giving them opportunities to learn throughout the day. Keep to the same routine for feeding, grooming, and walks as much as possible. If need be, be sure to give them time to relax in their crate or usual space in their house when you are typically gone for the day. Quality of time with your dog is more important than quantity! Does your dog have cabin fever? Stream Valley's kennel is still open! If your pet is exhibiting bad behaviors, chewing up things in the house, or if you think they could use a break or socialization with other dogs, please don't hesitate to schedule a day of daycare for them! Call us at (703) 723-1017 or send us an email at We'd love to give your pup an extra dose of fun to help tucker them out for the day!



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