Pet care tips: Ways to help your dog cope as you go back to working from office
As we enter the third year of Covid-19 pandemic, which is now actually headed towards an endemic, the subject of going back to the office after years of working from home amid the coronavirus lockdown is a thorny one especially for pet parents who are trying to navigate exactly how to help their pets cope with the new normal while they are off to work. Spending time with pets is something most of the pet owners wish to do all day, every day and those with the option of working from home, out of your pyjamas and alongside their dogs are considered the lucky ones.
As Covid-19 lockdowns lift across the world and duty calls, pet parents are torn to leave their furry babies behind to deal with real-world responsibilities like paying bills and going to work and we can't help but feel sorry for their pain. In an effort to make this experience a tad bit less painful for dog parents, we decided to get an expert opinion on tips to ensure that your pet dog is taken care of and doesn't feel lonesome.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Bhupendra Khanal, Co-Founder of Dogsee Chew, listed the following tips to help your dog cope with their “new normal” while you go back to working from office:
1. Provide a safe and happy environment - It’s worrisome to leave your dogs at home while having to be away for work, unless you have arranged a proper doggo-proofed zone at your home, preferably with a provision for your dog’s own room. It’s important to keep things that can probably be of harm far away from your pet’s reach. Make your dog’s room cosy by providing a comfortable mattress and blankets. Also, let them have access to the backyard without compromising their safety.
2. Turn on the TV or radio - Let your pet tune into its favourite TV show or music while you’re away. There are various TV shows in the stimulation category that will encourage your dog to stay active. Relaxing and calming music with videos of waterfalls, ocean waves, and more helps calm dogs that have high levels of anxiety. Moreover, it helps them get rid of the feeling of loneliness.
3. Make time for an early morning workout - It’s important for both you and your pet to start a fresh day with some activity. Setting aside time for walking your dog will help you bond with your pet and create a close-knit relationship with them in spite of having a tight work schedule. You could also play tug or fetch if you don't have enough time for a walk. Always remember that a tired dog is a happy dog, and an active morning will pave the way for a calmer day!
4. Set up a playdate - Your dog’s social life is incredibly important for their development. When cooped up in the house with no socialization with other dogs, they may become uneasy around other dogs when introduced. Incorporating playdates into your dog’s life will help them develop good behaviour skills around other dogs and even humans. Reach out to a familiar pet parent and have them over to make sure both dogs get along before leaving them unsupervised together. If this works, they can help entertain your dog and expend energy playing with each other while you are away working hard.
5. Plan a treasure hunt for your dog’s chew treats - Munching on dog chew treats and sniffing around are probably two of your pet's favourite hobbies. Set up a scavenger hunt for your dogs at home by placing dog treats in different places. Let your pooch activate his sniff mode and find them on their own. This will surely pay off and help get your pooch excited as well as occupied.
6. Let your dog have access to a window - Dogs at home love to have live entertainment. Open the curtains or blinds on a back window in your home so that your pooch can watch whatever is going on outside your back door. Arrange a comfy chair that gives him the height he needs to see out the window, and let him watch the world go round. If you’re nervous about your dog reacting to something he sees, start him off with a window facing a quiet side of the yard or neighbourhood. Always remember to keep the window closed!
7. Set up an interactive webcam - Even though you are physically at work, your mind will be with your beloved pet. Thanks to technology, you can get rid of your worries and check in on your little ones during the day. For the best experience, find a camera that allows you to talk to your dog through a speaker. You can chime in to tell them how wonderful they are or distract them when they are about to do something naughty. This way, your dog never feels lost or alone.
8. Entertain your dog with puzzle toys - Treat your dog to the mental stimulation they need for a happy and healthy lifestyle. There are loads of interactive dog toys on the market that will keep your dog occupied for hours. Dog puzzle games provide mental and physical exercise, decrease anxiety and boredom, increase problem-solving skills, and release pent-up energy.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you learn how to keep a dog occupied when home alone.