Working from home has increasingly become a norm for many Australians. But while it offers flexibility and the comfort of your living space, it presents unique challenges for pet owners with dogs or puppies in Sydney, Melbourne, or other Australian cities.

Dogs barking during conference calls, cats walking on keyboards, or just the persistent guilt of not spending quality time with your furry friend – these are all-too-common occurrences.

How can one juggle the demands of work while ensuring their pets are well cared for? Let’s dive into some tried-and-tested strategies.

The Pros and Cons of WFH for Pets

The Bright Side

  • Consistent Companionship: The most evident advantage is that pets get to see more of you. This can be especially comforting for pets prone to separation anxiety.
  • Flexible Walks and Playtimes: Working from home means you can decide when to take a break. This can allow for more frequent and flexible walk or playtimes.

The Flip Side

  • Distractions: While it’s cute when your cat decides to make a cameo on your Zoom call, it can be a distraction.
  • Over-dependence: With you being home all the time, pets might become too reliant on your presence, leading to potential issues when you eventually return to the office.

Achieving the Perfect Balance

  1. Create a Dedicated Workspace

Establish a separate workspace, ideally a room with a door. This signals to your pet that you’re ‘at work’. Over time, they’ll understand that when you’re in this space, you’re off-limits.

  1. Stick to a Routine

Just like humans, pets thrive on routine. Stick to regular feeding, walking, or playtimes, even if you’re at home. This not only structures their day but yours too.

  1. Schedule Regular Breaks

Take short, regular breaks to play with or attend to your pet. These interludes can serve as much-needed mental breaks for you and ensure your pet gets attention throughout the day.

  1. Invest in Engaging Toys

Interactive toys can keep pets entertained for hours. Puzzle toys filled with treats, for example, can be a great way to stimulate your pet’s mind and keep them occupied.

  1. Consider Pet Cameras

With technology at our fingertips, why not use it? Pet cameras can allow you to keep an eye on your furry friend from your workstation, ensuring they aren’t getting into mischief.

  1. Set Boundaries

It’s essential to teach pets that work time is not playtime. Consistent training, using commands like “stay” or “off”, can be beneficial in establishing these boundaries.

  1. Over-communicate with Colleagues

Let your teammates know you have a pet at home. Most people are understanding and may even enjoy the occasional appearance of your furry friend on a video call.

  1. Prep for Important Meetings

If you’ve got a crucial meeting, ensure your pet is well-exercised and fed beforehand. Consider giving them a new toy or treat to keep them occupied during this time.

  1. Plan for the Future

Think about how your routine will change once you return to the office. Gradually acclimating your pet to longer periods on their own can make the transition smoother.

Embrace the Journey

Balancing work from home with pet care might seem challenging, but with a little planning, it’s more than manageable. The journey is filled with memorable moments, from the cheeky antics of pets trying to get your attention to the joyous breaks spent playing fetch.

With the above strategies in your arsenal, not only will you achieve work productivity, but you’ll also ensure your pet feels loved and cared for.

After all, in these unprecedented times, the comfort and companionship our pets offer are more invaluable than ever.