According to PIAA statistics, more than 62% of Australian households have pets, with 38% owning dogs and 29% having cats. With coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases still rising in the country and worldwide, many people are being urged to work from home in a bid to slow down the spread of infection. Pets, especially dogs are probably happy with this news.
However, this can be a problem for employees who struggle with noisy pets when they are working. Unlike children, making pets understand that you need to work is tougher. Also your dog’s constant barking during video calls or your cat’s sleeping on your keyboard can make it more challenging to stay focused on the task at hand. Here are some ways you can keep pets quiet while you work at home.
Walk Before And After Work
Taking your dog for a walk before and after you start work has many health benefits for both you and your pooch. Walking is a good way to keep weight down and keep fit and healthy. Dogs are naturally outdoor creatures so staying indoors for long periods of time cause anxiety and depression which leads to destructive behavior. Take your dog for a walk before work to release pent up energy and to calm them down.
Aside from exercise, walks also stimulate them mentally. Seeing new stuff, smelling new smells and being able to socialize with other dogs will make them happier and teach them how to behave in public.
Walk them after work too. This will further release any pent up energy so both you and your dog can have a good night’s sleep.
Keep Them Engaged With Food Puzzles and Interactive Toys
Keep your pets engaged and quiet by giving them food puzzles and interactive toys. A good example is the Kong. Dogs and cats will have a great time figuring out how to get the food out of the Kong. It is literally hours of quiet and fun as they try to get every bit of food out.
Start by packing the Kong with a few bits of food. Pack tighter as they get the hang of it. Try to buy different pet food puzzle feeders and food balls to engage them mentally and to keep them quiet.
Cats are easier to entertain. Cat furniture, boxes and pieces of paper lying around are usually enough to keep them entertained for hours.
Frozen Food Treats During Video Calls
Now that you have a pet food puzzle feeder, pack them with a frozen homemade treat 5 minutes before a video call. If you have multiple pets, the trick here is to give each pet a frozen treat and to separate them so that they can lick and solve without squabbling and you can get to your conference in peace.
Get The Family Involved
Your housemates should also share in pet care. Create a schedule where somebody is in charge of a particular chore. For example, your spouse can be in charge of walking and feeding the dog. Kids can be in charge of feeding or playtime.
Just remember that chores should be age appropriate. Young children should never be left unsupervised when they are doing pet chores. Also, don’t forget to pencil in some personal time with your pet.
Be Patient And Consistent
Pets will find it harder to understand why you don’t play with them even if you’re home all the time. They will result to barking and other means to get your attention. In this case, try you very best to ignore them especially if you don’t have a home office. If you keep ignoring them despite the barking, whining and howling they will learn that such behavior is not tolerated and will get them nowhere. In time they will learn to keep quiet and to entertain themselves.
The key here is to be consistent. Don’t keep shushing them because it only works temporarily. We know how hard it is to ignore pets but you need to be patient and consistent so that you and your pet can work and live hand in hand at home in peace and harmony.
It looks like Covid-19 is here to stay for the time being. While Australia is doing a good job in containing the virus, local spread can still sometimes shut down communities and cities. Many companies will ask employees to work at home in order to mitigate risks so finding ways to keep pets happy and entertained while you work is important.
Work from home can be challenging especially during the transition period. However, finding creative ways to stay focused while keeping pets entertained is important in order to keep up your work efficiency and productivity.