We have tips for keeping your pup entertained if you’re new to working remotely.

If you’re not accustomed to working from home — like the team at DOGTV is — there may be a learning curve for both you and your dogs. Your dogs are accustomed to the routine of getting up, having breakfast, going outdoors then you heading off to work. Once you’re gone for the day, they play with their puzzle toys or Kongs, relax with DOGTV on the television or snooze until you come back at the end of the day.

Now that you may be working from home because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) you and your dog may both be finding your way through a new normal. If you will be involved in video chats, or phone calls with colleagues what will you do if your dog starts barking in the background? If you’re not involved with other pet people, they may not be as understanding of the distraction.

According to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control, no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can spread COVID-19. Most viruses are very specific regarding the types of cells and the species of animal in which they can replicate, and there is no evidence that the virus responsible for COVID-19 can be replicated in our pets.

Your dog may even be a bit out of sorts because his routine has been impacted. Let’s face it, our dogs enjoy their routines and a change in that could lead to a change in her behavior.

Working From Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

Here is a schedule for you to consider to make working remotely a joy for both you and your pup.

Before your workday starts. If you typically rush through your dog’s breakfast and take her for a walk long enough for her to do her business, get up a bit earlier so you’re not rushing. Determine what time you need to be at your desk for your new remote role and add in time for:

  1. A long walk with your dog. Grab your coffee and make a morning of it.
  2. Play fetch in the yard with your pup.
  3. If the weather isn’t cooperating, then play a rousing game in the house.

Help your pup get her zoomies out before you need to get to work. This is especially important if you know you’re starting your day with client phone calls.

Before you dive into your calls. Give your dog a food puzzle toy or a Kong with a frozen treat inside. Even if your dog doesn’t normally get these kinds of treats when you’re at work, you may want to find ways to entertain her while you’re getting your work done. Keeping your dog occupied will allow you to concentrate on your work and may keep him from barking while you’re on a call.

Take a mid-morning break. Because you’re home your dog will want some of your attention. Embrace the additional time you’re spending with your furbaby because to him it’s an amazing treat. Take a short walk again and play with your pup. Take a few moments for a belly rub, a hug and some quality time before you need to get back to work.

Turn on DOGTV (grab your FREE trial subscription here!) You can keep your dog entertained, and out of your newly created home office while you work. DOGTV is a canine enrichment technology that provides scientifically-developed content designed to entertain and enrich your pup.

Lunch break. When you’re eating your lunch, give your dog a snack. Don’t feed her from your plate — that’s a bad habit to start! Give her some healthy snacks like cut up carrots, or apple slices or other fruits or veggies she likes. If you have a food dehydrator, slice up some organic chicken, place it in there and make some healthy jerky for your dog; you can also cook thinly sliced chicken low and slow in the oven to make healthy chicken treats. After you’ve eaten lunch, take your dog out again. He may not need to go to the bathroom every time, but it’s healthy for both you and your pup to stretch your legs and get some fresh air before you get back to work.

Offer a different treat to keep your dog occupied. A “lick mat” that you spread with peanut butter will offer your pup a delicious treat and keep him occupied while you’re finishing your work day.

At the end of the workday. Turn off the computer and step away. When you work from home, it’s easy to be continually “on” and you need to resist the urge and call it a day at the end of your shift. Remember, your dog is accustomed to you arriving home at a particular time of the day so keep that in mind. Perform the typical ritual and routine you would with your dog when you would come home from work then slide effortlessly into the evening routine.

Before you go to bed, get your dog’s Kong filled and make other treats for him, fill the puzzle toys and dig out toys he hasn’t played with in a while. All of these will keep him occupied and entertained while you’re working. Don’t forget to turn on DOGTV to keep him company while you’re on the phone or a video call!

We know that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is front of mind for many pet parents and non-pet parents alike and we wanted to share this note from DOGTV Board Member David Haworth, DVM, PhD:

COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is on everyone’s mind. There is a lot we still don’t know about the virus, but there is a lot we do know, or that we can safely assume. From our DOGTV pack, there have been several questions posed about the risks for and from our beloved pets.
According to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control, no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can spread COVID-19. Most viruses are very specific regarding the types of cells and the species of animal in which they can replicate, and there is no evidence that the virus responsible for COVID-19 can be replicated in our pets. That being said, pets can theoretically serve as “passive carriers,” where the virus could be carried by them for a short period of time if unintentionally put there by an infected person, so recommendations are for sick people to limit their interactions with pets who could potentially expose other people to the virus. Also, frequent hand-washing as well as avoiding touching your mouth, nose or eyes will help limit the spread of virus. Helpful information on this topic is provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control here and the American Veterinary Medical Association here.
During this time of heightened anxiety and limited social interactions, our pets serve as critical emotional support providers. There is no evidence dogs spread the disease, and there is plenty of evidence they have positive effects on our lives. Feel free to snuggle your dog, and use common sense when actually exhibiting symptoms to help everyone weather this time as safely as possible.