Whether working from home over the course of this past year has been ideal for you or not, one thing we can all agree on is loving every second spent with our furry, four-legged best friends… And if we were to put ourselves in the minds of our pets, this just may be the best year of our lives.
Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health.
There is no doubt that bringing a precious puppy or kitten home will skyrocket dopamine levels in our brains, but that is not the only joy in life pets can bring to you. Long term loyal companionship eases loneliness for you and your pet. Especially if your furry friend is a rescue, you are most likely the best thing that has ever happened to them for their whole lifetime. For humans, it is easy to register your pet as an emotional support animal, and allow them to tag along with you wherever you go.
Benefits of Being in Lockdown with a Pet
While facing all of the physical and mental stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic, pet owners are turning to their animals for company and comfort. There are a variety of ways you and your pet can comfort each other during this anxiety-provoking time (besides being your #1 snuggle buddy). Let’s look at some examples.
- Go on long walks. A nice walk around the neighborhood or a hike by the water will keep you both active and put you in a better headspace. Since we cannot venture around as much as we once could, it is important to get those steps in and stick to your typical routine.
- Look to them for a good laugh. Pets are very distinctive creatures, and often act as clown-like characters. Whether chasing their tail (or each other if there are two or more in your home), hiding their toys, falling off their exercise wheel or swimming in circles, pets are often good for at least a chuckle, and laughter is an excellent way to relieve stress.
- Providing a safe place for your potentially new pet. If you have been holding off bringing an animal home, now is the time to do so. Not only because you will be around almost all the time and have more time to train him or her, but also because shelters are overflowing with all kinds of pets in need of a safe home. Many places of work have gone to a temporary halt, but shelters have not stopped working hard to save and place every possible animal that they can. Wayside Waifs is an amazing no kill shelter, highly recommended by our colleague, Bob Bentz.
How to WFH with Your Pet & Remain Productive
As fun as the idea of working at home while raising an animal sounds, there are definitely some stressors that come with this commitment. Having their full attention at all times can create a pet-diva, so here are some tips to keep them grounded.
- Maintain your typical routine. Just because you are around more does not mean you have to entertain them the whole time. Your pet is already used to being alone for extended periods of time, so do not bend over backwards to keep them comfortable. In most cases, they are just testing you to see how quickly you give in.
- Keep your furry friends situated. Believe me, a Kong filled with peanut butter can go a LONG way. If your pet seems to be acting needier than normal since they are able to be in your presence at all times, make sure they have plenty of toys, bones and treats to both keep them occupied and tire them out.
- Set time aside for a playdate or walk. Another great energy release is to dedicate a certain amount of time every day (perhaps your lunch break) to have play time, take your pup on a walk, or maybe even to the local dog park for some fun. This will both wear them out and make them so happy.
- Go to your quiet space for conference calls. If you have worked from home, you know what it is like to be distracted by a constant dog bark during a conference call. Although it is fun to show off our pets to our coworkers, after the initial excitement it is most effective to go to a quiet space and potentially put in headphones for meeting time.
Benefits of Bringing your Pup to Work
Since our pets are now so comfortable being around us all the time, why not bring them along to work when we go back to the office? There are companies across the country that allow you to bring your pets to work, and we are 100% supporting them. Although it is an adorable distraction, bringing dogs to the workplace has proven to do more good than harm. Some benefits include reducing stress levels, improving work performance & relationships, boosting attendance numbers, promoting creativity, creating happiness and providing exercise.
Our Team’s Precious Pets! Because a collage just cannot capture all of their beauty.
Meet Hope & Pilgrim, Purplegator President’s two foster failures. (A “foster failure” is anything but a failure. It’s a dog that was adopted until the foster could find them their “furever” home, but then the foster couldn’t bear to be without them and adopts them permanently.)
Now, here are the siblings of our V.P…Ash Bash, Roxy, Snoop & P. Diddy!
Neela, Nora’s precious poodle-mix.
Nugget, Princess Moo, Rocky, Mimi & Zeus…AKA Nina’s Zoo!
The purrrfect Ely & Baron.
Sherman the Bunny!
Coco & Rex, the two best of friends!
In-sync sisters Lucy & Ruby!
Last but not least, Jasper and Cooper!