You’ve probably heard of the “quarantine puppy” by now, basically a dog or puppy purchased or adopted during the pandemic. For the first time since probably ever, shelters in certain parts of the country were actually out of dogs in 2020. Some breeders even had a waitlist out to a year. Whether it was finally having some time to get the pet they always wanted, feeling lonely or just wanting to pass the time somehow, several families ended up with a new furry friend.
It’s a hard shift for the dogs when a family goes from being home all day to starting work, school and activities again. It’s actually enough of a concern for some families, that they have opted to find work from home so they can be home with their dogs.
Now, there could be several reasons why you and your family has chosen to do online school. But, if you do have a dog at home, you might find there’s times when your “helpful fluffy study buddy” is just a bit in the way too much.
Ultimately, an occupied dog is the best kind of dog while you work on your schooling. So, in light of National Dog Day, which is August 26, we thought we would share some tips to help you keep your study assistant out of the way while you focus on school.
Tips to Keep Your Dog Occupied While You Study From Home
1. Try to get in morning exercise
A sleeping pup is an occupied pup. Granted, their snores may get loud, but that can be much better than other behaviors. Exercise is so good for your dog and for yourself! If you can wake up a bit earlier and walk, run, or bike with your dog running (depending on their energy level), it can work wonders for your morning studies.
2. Take Scheduled Breaks
Dogs really do know routines, and usually when they want to play, it only lasts for a few minutes before they’re good to go rest again. For every two hours you work, set aside 15 minutes for playing with your dog. They will get into a routine and you can hopefully train them to understand what “later” means.
3. Find long lasting chews and treats
A Kong Ball with peanut butter inside, a puzzle tray with treats or even just a pig ear can work wonders in keeping your dog happy and entertained. And hopefully, all that chewing will tire them out to lay down for a bit.
4. Keep Window Open, or Shut, Depending on Your Dog
Windows can be a great resource, or can be a complete destruction to your ability to focus in while you work from home. If your dog tends to bark at people or things passing by, we recommend shutting blinds to keep its attention away from there. But if not, windows open are good for your own health and can help your dog pass the time away as you study. Here’s a few reasons natural lighting can be beneficial for your mental health and keeping focus while you study.
5. Play some TV or music in another room
Sometimes, a dog just feels a bit of anxiety with you being gone in the other room. Having some noise in the background, like music or the TV might be enough to help them relax and doze off for a bit.
6. Make sure you have lots of toys too!
Treats are good, but not always an option, as your dog can’t just be eating all day long. Once the treat is done, get a super chewer toy, or something that makes them think. For example, Costco sells a stuffed “log” with squirrels inside for them to find and pull out. Those things that keep them thinking will be best not only to occupy them, but to once again, get them a bit tired after some play time.
7. Walks are your best friend. Aside from your actual fluffy best friend, of course
If all else fails, and your dog simply is just being clingy and won’t leave you be, there’s a chance that they either have to go to the bathroom or just have too much energy! So, let them go release it with a quick walk. It can be as short as 10 minutes and will work wonders. If you’re not feeling up to walking, playing fetch is a great way to make them run out energy while you stand more comfortably.