April 5, 2020
If you’re someone who’s used to working with a snoozing kitty on your lap or discussing your weekly sales report with your dog, things may not have changed much for you. But for those who are new to this situation, how do you go about juggling your pet’s needs while working from home?
We spoke to Melanie Jones from Lead the Way about the best strategy for combining working from home with pets.
When you’re WFH (working from home), you’ll likely be giving your cat an extra scratch behind her ear or an extra belly rub for your pooch but when does it become overwhelming for our pets?
Whilst most pets and people enjoy the extra attention for some of our furry friends it can be disruptive or even cause distress.
Like the importance of choosing the correct ‘upperwear’ for your next Zoom session, we also need to recognise how to avoid upsetting our pet and keeping their lives as normal as possible.
Melanie says, “If working from home has resulted in a change to the routine, this can put some dogs out, particularly if the routines were important for the dog’s wellbeing (e.g. exercise or relaxation).”
She explains, “Domestic dogs are very in-tune with humans, over hundreds of years dogs have been selectively bred to attune to human cues and signals. This makes our family pets susceptible to the same stressors that we feel.”
When we’re out of synch, not sleeping well, doing too much snacking, or worse feeling stressed, angry or anxious, we may inadvertently transfer these bad feelings or habits onto our pets.
Tips for success
If your pet is out of sorts, there are some things you can do to help.
Melanie suggests, “Try to keep a healthy routine that includes exercise, healthy meals and regular alone-time for relaxation.”
Another tip Melanie gives is to be mindful of the attention you give your pet. Rather than overdoing things, try to maintain a balance. She says, “Instead try taking them for a walk in the park, or doing some ‘nose-work’ like hiding their dinner biscuits around the yard to sniff out.”
Not only will this help your pet to stay healthy now when you do eventually return to work you can rest assured that your pet will still cope with being left alone.