Millions of people across the world ended up working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic and this, for many, was an opportunity to own a pet. The term ‘lockdown puppy’ thus exists as we witnessed an increase in pet ownership during this time but owning a pet is never easy, especially if you are working from home.
Pets are excellent stress busters at the end of a hectic workday but they can lead to a lot of distractions during work hours. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Chandrakant Yadav, Chief Marketing Officer at ThePetNest, shared, “Although offices started to reopen recently, remote and hybrid working is here to stay for some time and it is time we find a balance between our work and pets. There are a lot of benefits to owning a pet and it has been scientifically proven to boost mood and improve physical as well as mental health. The pandemic has been a horrible experience for all of us but our pets have stood by our side. They have been best friends, confidants and comedians and it is time we return the favour by taking care of their health and happiness while taking care of ours too!”
He revealed some tips on how to manage working from home with pets:
1. Keep them occupied – If you are working in a separate room away from your pets, do make sure they are well occupied during that time. For instance, dogs are highly social and are well adapted to living in groups. However, with work to do, they cannot have our attention 100% of the time. They can indulge in barking or digging and chewing due to boredom. To avoid such problem behaviours, it is important to keep your pet’s brain stimulated while you are busy. Here are a few ideas to keep them occupied:
a) Take out some time to play with your pet, even if it is playing fetch with your dog in the nearby park for a few minutes. This will tire out your pet and strengthen your bond with them. They will remain calm and naturally take a rest after a tiring game!
b) Try engaging your pet in indoor games like “treat hide and seek” or “guess which hand” and when they get good at it, try hiding treats around the house.
c) Toys are also a great option to keep your pets occupied as well as entertained. There are a lot of interactive puzzle games that can nurture your dog’s mind.
Unlike dogs’ cats are solitary hunters, so keep your cat entertained and mentally stimulated by appealing to their instinctual behaviours. Cats can be exercised and entertained by using vertical spaces like shelves to perch and jump onto for treats. A quiet and warm, dimly lit space is ideal for cats.
2. Stick to routine – A routine helps your pet understand when you are available and when you are not. This will also help you prevent unnecessary distractions while you are taking calls or just trying to finish that long pending article. Try to get up at the same time each day and feed your pet. Provide them with play or exercise and then continue with your work.
3. Communicating with them – Communication is the key when it comes to interacting with pets. Pets have their own way of telling us what they need. They may scrape with their paws at the back door when they need the loo or lick their empty bowl when they are hungry. They are very good at giving us clues and it is up to us to understand their language and communicate with them as best as we can.