If you are beginning a home-based business while welcoming a new dog, or cat, then your furry companion is part of your day almost as much as the job at hand. However, striking a good balance between the two can take some work! This article presents four ways to bring your pet into your work-from-home strategy.
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1. Establish a Routine for You & Your New Dog
One of the most productive steps you can take is to create a routine for you and your new pet. Your workday will probably have a structure to it, and most pets thrive on a routine.
Pets need time each day to eat, sleep, relieve themselves and play. According to the American Kennel Club, dogs and cats need to eat twice a day, while puppies and kittens require more frequent meals. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about what and how much to feed your pet. If it helps you keep a routine, consider feeding your cat or dog at your regular mealtimes.
Puppies need to relieve themselves every two to four hours, while adult dogs should have potty breaks at least three times a day, according to DailyPuppy. An adult dog in a new home may need to learn the routine, so plan some extra breaks at first.
Your pet also needs your attention — and plenty of it! Include time in your schedule to focus on your furry friend by playing fetch, chasing a ball or toy, or offering a belly rub. Or, you can set aside a little time to groom your pet on a regular basis (Pampering Dogs has several grooming guides to help you in that department). Pets are attuned to routines, and once they know they have your undivided attention at times, they are less apt to pester you.
2. Give Your Pet Space
Depending on your pet’s personality, he might find your routine stressful. Dogs can be quite sensitive when it comes to loud noises or sudden movements that disturb their snoozing.
Cats especially benefit from time to themselves in a new environment.
Try creating a relaxing space away from the work environment activities if you notice your pet is anxious. By making up a bed or designated spot where new pets can retreat, you’ll provide an area that they can call their own.
3. Enlist an Exercise Buddy
Both you and your pet need exercise. Why not do it together? A scheduled walk before or after work, or during your lunch break, is a perfect way for both of you to get moving. Dogs love this. You will find your new dog can almost ‘tell the time’, or so it would seem. If 5pm is the timeslot you usually take him for a walk, then you can be sure he will be wide awake by then and raring to go.
If on the other hand, if your new pet is a cat, then exercise requirements will be different. If your cat isn’t the strolling type, he might enjoy chasing a ball or laser pointer for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
You can combine exercise along with other routines if it helps your schedule.
A tired pet is a calm pet. Putting activity and play in your schedule might give you the uninterrupted time you wouldn’t otherwise have.
4. Provide Entertainment for Your Pet
Naturally, there will be times you need to get some work done — after all, your new business won’t build itself. Or if you are working for a company, your boss won’t welcome any slacking off.
Set aside some complex toys and games that you can bring out when you need to distract your new dog so that you can focus on your job. Dogs can enjoy a long-lasting chew toy or a puzzle with a treat hidden inside.
An interactive or electronic toy may do the trick for cats, or you can break out the catnip.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on entertainment, though. Many pets appreciate cardboard boxes and tubes, while some dogs and cats even enjoy watching videos. Did you know that you can find online videos made just for pets.
5. Enlist Automation Tools & Online Services
It’s easy to get sucked into working overtime, especially on busy days, increasing the likelihood that your pet won’t get much attention. This is even more so if you own your own business.
To ease up on some of your tasks, employ automated tools to lighten the load.
- HootSuite can tackle your social media
- A payroll system like QuickBooks can help you automate payroll and easily track expenses
With the extra time on your hands, that working from home can afford, you can give your pet more attention and thus better build your bond.
A new pet can comfort and encourage you as you begin your business. Similarly it can provide company if you are used to working in a busy office but now find yourself restricted to home working. As long as you work hard and find that perfect balance, you can enjoy both your pet and your business.
Guest Post by: James Hall