One of the conversations I hear a lot of dog owners talking about is how happy their dogs are that they are home a lot now. Many of my friends are working from home and some unfortunately are furloughed, so their dogs are getting a lot of extra attention. I am still working every day but I’ve been home every night for what seems like FOREVER. And my dog is loving it.
But….what happens when we go back to a more normal life? It might be time to start preparing our dog friends for that day. (Don’t worry about the cats, they’ll be glad you’ve stopped interrupting their nap.)
The first tip is keep your dog’s routine as normal as possible. Stick with your regular meal times and walk times. If there is something you do with your dog daily, keep doing it at that time.
Secondly, if you’re working from home, do not constantly interact with your dog. Set aside play time, but when you’re working, they should do what they normally do during the day while you’re gone. Show them to their bed or if they are crate trained, they should still go in their crate for some time each day. If not, you might be starting all over when back to work day roll around.
Another way to get them back into a normal work day is to go for a ride, without them. Leave the house as you normally would and then take a drive, get lunch or go to the grocery. Try to do this daily so they do not expect for you to be home all day or take them with you every time you leave the house.
Dogs quickly fall into habits and routines. So try to keep your dog’s day as normal as possible. And as you get closer to going back to work, reinforce that by adding even more of what they will be experiencing again back into their day.
It’s been one of the only upsides of the coronavirus crisis, so enjoy the time while you can and hopefully, we’ll all be back to something resembling normal soon.