I’ve been working at home with a dog by my side for over ten years now. In fact, Chuy is the reason why I decided to start working from home in the first place to pursue my dream career.
I’ve learned a lot over the years and want to share with you my tips on how to work at home with a dog.
1. Stick to a Schedule
Sticking to a schedule is the most important tip when it comes to working at home with a dog. Dogs thrive on consistency and humans do too.
Working at home doesn’t mean you oversleep and wake up whenever you want. I stick to a pretty strict schedule. My work schedule involves time for potty breaks for Chuy, walks, and feedings. I also allow my schedule to give me the freedom to head out and go to the park and enjoy my time with Chuy. Working at home with Chuy has improved the quality of my life in ways I can’t describe in one post!
2. Take Breaks to Play!
I didn’t create my business and start working at home so that I could stare at a computer screen for 12 hours a day and never enjoy my life. Sometimes, I can get caught up in my work and forget that. Chuy has been known to actually step on my power strip, turning off my lights and my computer. He’s also been known to drop a tennis ball at my feet. It’s like his way of saying, “come on, take a break and play with me!” It’s a great reminder to be in the moment and actually enjoy life.
3. Have a Dedicated Home Office Space
You need to dog proof your dedicated home office space. I have a separate home office where I do all of my work so that I can keep the door shut. Chuy has his own doggie bed right next to my desk. If he’s not laying there, he’s in my chair sitting behind my back while I type away. While I’m working, I don’t give Chuy free range of the house. He stays in the office with me so that I know he’s safe. Plus, he’s basically my shadow and always wants to be right next to me. I keep a bowl of water in there along with a basket of his toys. I make sure that there aren’t a ton of things he can get into why I’m working. Otherwise, it becomes really distracting.
I don’t always stay in my office. I get bored. I also have a three year old daughter at home. When my husband goes to work, I usually move my laptop downstairs and work from the couch. Where’s Chuy? Curled up in my lap under the laptop!
4. Plan for Meetings
Will your dog stay quiet during conference calls? Luckily, Chuy is not a big barker unless the doorbell rings. From my home office, you can’t really hear the door bell. It’s important to do a little prep before any meetings or conference calls. I host a lot of Zoom meetings for coaching calls with clients. It’s best practice to take your dog out for a quick potty break or a walk before the call. I swear dogs are just like kids and will be silent until you’re on a call. I also keep a bag of Chuy’s favorite dog treats on my desk in case he decides to chew on post-it notes or other random things in my office while I’m on web cam. You can also give your dog a Kong stuffed with a frozen treat to keep them occupied.
Working at home with a dog is a dream come true. I can’t imagine doing it any other way!
Do you work at home with a dog? Tell me your top tip in the comments.