It’s all good having our animal companions at home. But once we try to really “work from home,” they will do all they can to get your attention.
“A downside of working from home is that many of my important work conversations are interrupted by what I have begun to refer to as my fur-workers,” Candace Croney told Purdue in an interview. “They like to help me out by announcing the end of the world is coming because a delivery arrived or walk across my keyboard to end a web conference without my consent.”
Croney is a professor of animal behavior and well-being and director of Purdue’s Center for Animal Welfare Science. Compared to other pet owners, she is used to sharing her workspace with animals.
So she has some advice for those who are adjusting to their new workspace with new woof-mates.
It is true that companion animals are great stresss-buffers. People who have pets cite psychological benefits in having them – comfort and social support.
However, Croney says that it is important to remember that our pets are able to pick up on the stress we’re experiencing, especially at these times where we are all under self-isolation and quarantine due to the coronavirus threat around the world.
“That can definitely impact how stressed they are. Dogs are quite attuned to our emotional states and often respond accordingly,” Croney says. “All of this emotional support that our animals give us can therefore come at a cost to them.”
This is why as much as our pets support us, we as pet owners should also take the time to pay attention to them and support them in return.
Croney suggests the first thing to do is to set a routine for our companion animals.
“We need to establish a structured routine they can learn, remember and predict,” she says.
Pets also need a break away from us. So if you are working, do so in a separate room away from them while they are doing other activities. It is also important to let leave them be at time so they can be comfortable not having you around when you go back to work.
Croney says it still depends on our pets, since animals have individual personalities.
“There are some pets who don’t necessarily want constant interaction. With us at home all the time, especially with larger families, we need to make sure they’re not being overstimulated,” she says.
You might want to read:
– Science says pets can keep you productive and healthy while working from home
– Pet owners share photos of their pets ‘working from home’ amid coronavirus pandemic
– Veterinarians share best advice in keeping your home stress-free for pets