How to Incorporate Your Dog Into Your Work Schedule

The way we work has changed since the pandemic. Many of us are still working from home, with no intentions to change that in the immediate future. 

But there are those who just can’t get stuff done while they’re at home, for whatever reason. Maybe there are too many distractions, or you don’t really have an appropriate place to set up. 

That’s where coworking spaces come in. This is an office-away-from-home, without having to actually be in… Well, your office. 

If you’ve bonded more with your pup over lockdown, you can still incorporate him or her into your work schedule, whether you’re in an office, at home, or at a dog-friendly coworking space. 

Here are a few things to think about if you want to get work done and involve your dog in your day at the same time. 

Create A Routine 

Dogs thrive on routine just as much as humans do. If you want your dog to be involved with your workday, create a routine that you can both follow to make the most of your day. 

Whether you work from home, at a shared office space, or switch between the two, try to keep a regular schedule. It may be a good idea to set a weekly schedule; for example, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday work at your coworking space, and Tuesdays and Thursdays work from home. 

Photo by devn on Unsplash

Once you have a weekly routine, a daily routine is the next step. The more similar you can keep your routine on a day-to-day basis, the more likely your dog is to be happy and easy to incorporate into your work schedule.  

For example, make sure to have your breaks at the same time every day. Try to get home at a similar time and feed your dog at a similar time every day. 

The other bonus of getting your dog into the same routine as you is that you’ll be more motivated to get up and get going so you don’t ruin your pup’s routine! 

Make Sure Your Dog Is Welcome 

If you’re going to be taking your dog along to a coworking space, be respectful and let others know that they’ll be there, even if it is dog-friendly. Although the space might be pet-friendly, not all the people working there are going to necessarily be comfortable with your pup. 

If you haven’t already checked them out, there are likely to be pet guidelines for each specific coworking space. Read up or make a call before you pick a space so you can ensure that your dog doesn’t violate them. 

For example, some spots may only allow small dogs. Some may allow any dogs, but only if they’re well-trained and reliably follow vocal commands. Make sure your dog is allowed and will be welcomed at your space, not dreaded! 

Finding the right coworking space is also essential to getting into a structured working routine with your dog. You don’t want to be bouncing from place to place. Ideally, you want to find a “home base”.

Start Your Day With Exercise 

If you’re planning to incorporate your dog into your work schedule, you need to cater to their needs too. Exercise is essential (and beneficial for us humans too), and starting your day with it has numerous positives. 

Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash

Firstly, you’ll find yourself feeling more refreshed when you arrive at work. You may have to wake up earlier to go for a run or do some yoga with your pup, but you’ll get the blood flowing and the muscles working, which is perfect especially if you spend much of your day in front of the computer. 

Secondly, your dog will work off some of the excitable energy they most likely woke up with. That means when you settle into work or arrive at your coworking office, they’ll be more relaxed and less likely to cause chaos because they’ve got too much energy to burn. 

Set Up Regular Walking Breaks 

Wherever you’re working, if your dog doesn’t have free rein and the ability to wander outdoors whenever they feel like it, you’ll need to take them out. This can actually be a bonus for you too - it’s a good thing to take regular breaks from the screen, and most of us are guilty of forgetting to do that! 

Again, try to keep this one on a fairly regular schedule. It may be hard to keep it exact all the time, especially if you’re dealing with client calls or meetings. But the more regular you can keep your breaks, the more your pup will get into the routine and you’ll find there are fewer accidents. 

In the beginning, you may need to set an alarm for every hour or so, depending on your dog. Use this time to reframe your mind, allow your eyes to adjust to the world instead of the screen, and focus on something other than work for just a few minutes. 

Keep Your Dog Busy 

If your dog is a senior who’s happy to lie at your feet all day, you have nothing to worry about. But if you have a young, boisterous and energetic pup, you may have more trouble keeping them in line in a coworking area. 

Plan beforehand! Pack a doggy bag of toys, treats, their favorite comfortable blanket, and anything else they might enjoy. If they eat during the day, remember to pack their food and make sure they have fresh water available at all times. 

Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

You’ll need to keep an eye on your pooch as well. There’s no need for them to stick to you like glue if they’re well-trained and everyone is comfortable with them, but make sure they’ve got enough to keep them busy so they don’t interrupt others who may be working. 

Give Your Dog Attention 

You can’t expect your dog to be a part of your working space and then ignore them all day! Make sure you’re taking time to give your pooch some attention. You don’t necessarily have to stop your work entirely and focus completely on your pup. 

You can give your dog head scratches while you're researching or doing something that only requires one hand. If you need both hands, rub their belly with your foot. 

If your pup is in a playful mood (and you have the space and they’re not too exuberant), you can even play fetch from your seat. Roll the ball out for them to fetch, or toss it gently into a space in the room. 

You can do these things to bond a little with your pup without even leaving your seat or taking your attention away from what you’re doing. Just remember to be respectful of others and make sure the ball never hits anyone and your pup never gets in anyone’s space. 

Use the Crate When Necessary 

Be prepared to crate or restrain your dog if you need to. For example, if you’re having a video call with a client, you can’t be throwing the ball for your dog or have them pawing at you for head scratches. 

Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash

While we definitely don’t recommend keeping your dog crated all day in a coworking space, having a crate and using it when necessary can save you plenty of agitation. Make sure your dog is crate trained before trying to use it, though! 

Conclusion 

Work can take its toll on our good mood, but let’s be honest: Having a wagging tail and happy yaps near you makes everything better! 

Figuring out how to incorporate your dog into your work schedule is also ideal for those pups who suffer from separation anxiety and are most comfortable around their owners. 

Thankfully, it just takes a bit of planning to be able to involve your dog, whether you work from home or at a pet-friendly coworking spot

Remember to be respectful of others, even if you are in a dog-friendly coworking space! 

Bio:
Mike Powell fell in love with dogs as a child and has had many canine companions since then. He’s found ways to incorporate his dogs into every aspect of life, from work to leisure. You can find his dog-related advice and info on Dog Embassy

Author:

@Mark Rosario

Date:

08-30-2021

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