How To Stop Your Pet Dog From Distracting You When Working From Home

Updated: January 23, 2023
by Jess Adeola

Your work-at-home lifestyle allows you to save time and money for sure, on your daily commute. But distractions are everywhere, including your furry friends. As much as we love them, our pets can sometimes get in the way of our work. It’s really hard to draw a line between you and your pet dog because you don’t want to spoil them, isolate them, or scare them. You need to stay focused on an important task while enjoying your pet’s company without being distracted. Let’s find out how to stop your pet from getting in the way of your productivity. Here’s how to keep them under control when working from home.

How To Stop Your Pet Dog From Distracting You When Working From Home

Understand Why Your Dog is Distracting You

First of all, you need to understand what your pet dog wants from you. Exploring different methods of calming your dog down can be beneficial to both you and your pup. 

  • Offer them a treat or toy that they enjoy, as this will distract them from the source of their stress. 
  • If this doesn't work, try gently petting their fur in an upward motion or lightly massaging their neck and shoulders for several minutes; dogs typically respond positively to physical touch. 
  • Play soothing music (or white noise)
  • Provide aromatherapy with pet-friendly lavender oils.
  • Take them on a walk around the block, or 
  • Simply just talk to them in a calm voice, reassuring them that everything is okay. 

Create a Routine

A daily routine for your dog can help prevent behavior problems from developing. Dogs thrive on predictability. When they know what to expect each day, they feel more secure and are less likely to become anxious or stressed. The daily routine includes;

  • meal times
  • potty breaks
  • exercise/playtime
  • training sessions
  • quiet time

These routines can also make your life as a pet owner more organized and less chaotic.

Routine Training for Dogs

  • Use positive reinforcement. This means rewarding your dog every time he or she completes a desired behavior. For example, if you want your dog to sit before you walk him, give him a treat every time he sits. Eventually, your dog will learn that sitting equals getting a reward, and he will start to do it automatically.
  • Establish rules and stick to them. For example, if you always put your shoes on before you leave the house, make sure that your dog sees you doing this every time. Eventually, he will learn that this is the rule and will start following suit.
  • Set aside time each day to spend with your pet. This will help them get used to the idea that when you're working, they need to be quiet and not bother you.
  • Keep their food and water dishes in the same spot so they know where to find them and aren't begging for attention while you're trying to work.
  • Give them plenty of toys and chews to keep them occupied, and rotate them regularly so they don't get bored.
  • Take them on a walk or play with them before you start working for the day, so they have enough exercise and won't be as antsy during your work time.

Set Up a Designated Area for your Pet

Set Up a Designated Are

Create a designated area for your pet in the same room so they can still see you but don't become a distraction for you. This area should be a few steps away from your workspace and have all the things your pet needs so they're comfortable and not trying to get your attention.

This can include their bed, toys, food and water bowls, and anything else they need. By having everything they need in one place, you can minimize distractions and help them feel at ease while you're working.

Use Positive Reinforcement

The best way to stop your pet from distracting you from work is to use positive reinforcement. This means rewarding your pet for good behavior, such as staying calm and not barking. You can use a small portion of treats each time. The key is to be consistent with the rewards so that your pet knows that they are behaving in the way you want them to.

Sit On The Floor

It’s not the best solution, I know because if you work online, you’d have to move your desktop to a coffee table, that’s not the most productive way to work.

One of the reasons that your pet dog is constantly making a fuss is that you’re always looking down to communicate with them - they’re constantly looking up at your face. This is because their natural eye level is lower than yours, and they can get anxious or agitated when they have to constantly look up at you.

So one way to help them calm down is to adjust your own eye level to meet theirs. You can do this by sitting on the floor or using a lower table instead of a desk, for example. Bring the dog bed right next to you. 

By doing this, you'll be able to make eye contact with your dog more easily and they'll feel less stressed, hence they may quietly sleep on their bed for a few hours, at least.

Adapt Your Work Schedule to Your Dog

Schedule

Your furry friend is a big part of your life. So why not incorporate them into your work schedule? After all, they're probably already dictating when you wake up and go to bed.

Try scheduling your work around your dog's routine, and you can take advantage of those moments when your dog is sleeping to do tasks that require more concentration. 

Write down all your “easy” work tasks, such as sorting data, stuffing envelopes, checking spam email folder etc. As soon as your dog is awake and playful, drop your current task and start the easy one so that you can get it done while playing with your pet friend.

Not only will this help you get more done, but it'll also help keep your dog happy and healthy.

Ignore Bad Behavior

Constant barking can make you feel impossible to get anything done. But remember that your pet is not doing this on purpose. They are simply following their natural instincts.

Ignore their bad behavior. This may seem counterintuitive, but by giving them attention when they are being disruptive, you are actually reinforcing their behavior. Instead, wait until they are calm and quiet before rewarding them with your attention.

If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break and come back to work later. It is important to stay patient and remember that your pet is not trying to make your life difficult, they are just being themselves.

Conclusion

Working from home with your beloved pet can be both frustrating and rewarding. With the right approaches, it is possible to prevent your furry companion from becoming too distracting during the workday. By setting boundaries, offering plenty of playtime and treats throughout the day, establishing a designated workspace for both you and your pet, providing toys that keep them busy while you are working, and being patient as they learn new rules - you can create an environment where everyone wins.

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About the author 

Jess Adeola

Jess is a working mother of two small children. Writer, graphic designer and a trainee accountant, who's looking to set up a design institution for children under 13 in the UK.

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