Top Tips to Survive Working at Home with a Puppy

katy towle 19 February 2021


While there are many positives to taking on a puppy during lockdown, there is no denying that there are a few drawbacks too. One of the main issues pet parents are finding is that balancing work and a demanding puppy is no mean feat. Here, we discuss some top tips to keeping you sane and your puppy content while working from home.

  1. Stick to a routine. As is true with children, puppies thrive on routine. If your pup is used to getting fed and walked at a certain time, they know what to expect each day. Conversely, making them wait for dinner or skipping a walk can result in one confused little critter.

  2. Start crate training from day one. Crate training offers many advantages but we must take things slowly to ensure our puppies are content when crated. Any sign of anxiety means we need to take a step back. The crate should be seen as a ‘safe haven’ and provides somewhere secure for the pup to rest when you have an important Zoom call to attend. Plugging in a pheromone diffuser such as an ‘Adaptil’ near the crate can be useful.

  3. Spend some time bonding during your lunch hour and breaks. Pups operate on two speeds: Wide awake or fast asleep! Take advantage of this by playing fast paced games during lunch breaks, wearing out your furry friend so they nap while your work.

  4. Encourage good behavior with lots of praise and some tempting treats. Pooch & Mutt’s new Meaty Treat range is ideal for hungry pups and there are three delicious flavours to choose from. Games like ‘find the treat’ can be played around the home, encouraging your dog to problem solve and scent. This is not only fun, but also provides them with some much-needed mental stimulation.

  5. Practice those training commands. Getting a handle on the basics (such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘lie’) will come in handy if you are on the phone to your boss and your pup is considering bounding over to you. Training is something that can begin from as early as eight weeks of age and should continue throughout a dog’s life. 

  6. Teach your dog a ‘settle’ cue. You can use a mat and, when it is time for them to rest, use a word such as ‘relax’. This can be a time when they nap, play with a chew toy or have access to a yummy food puzzle. Once lockdown ends, this ‘settle mat’ can come with you to e.g. cafés and pubs and will always be a spot where your dog can chill out near you.

  7. Start as you mean to go on with a good quality diet. We strongly recommend a fresh, nourishing food such as our complete Puppy Superfood. Made with natural ingredients such as chicken, sweet potato and spinach, this is the perfect fuel for your little growing gremlin. Packed with prebiotics, this super food aids in digestion and is especially good for those who suffer from loose stool from time to time. As an added bonus, the salmon oil will ensure a luscious coat that feels silky smooth.

  8. Take full advantage of being allowed out for exercise and, once fully vaccinated, take your pup along with you for an adventure. Seeing traffic, construction work and other dogs and people at a distance is essential for the mental development of your furry friend. While it may be tempting to keep them safe inside, this can lead to behavioural issues down the line once they do start to go outside.

  9. Invest in some sturdy chew toys and ‘brain game’ puzzles to keep your pooch occupied when you are busy. While these won’t substitute human interaction, having a variety of things to do can help to limit boredom and frustration.

  10. Try to savour the moment. Though it won’t be easy caring for a boisterous bundle of energy while trying to meet deadlines at work, remember that your new pet will only be a puppy once. Try to enjoy their ‘mad moments’ and set aside some spare time to for puppy cuddles.

While raising a happy and well-rounded puppy takes real effort and commitment (especially while working from home at the same time!) it can be a truly rewarding task. If you feel like you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet who will be happy to provide further advice.