Zoom Call Zoomies [How To Work From Home With Your Dogs]
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It never fails. finally left procrastination station and are productive as …well you know. It’s good with your pup in the other room on his bestest behavior, until…
You clock into your next Zoom meeting with your boss and, as if on cue, your dog crashes your call. Insert incessant “look at me” lap pawing, pacing back and forth in your video background, or (my personal fave) bombastic barking at the suddenly suspicious-looking tree in your back yard.
Yeah. Slow nods. That’s happening. But OMG why?
Working from home with your dog is great until…it isn’t. And while many employers have learned to be more tolerant of interruptions during the pandemic, dog barking is still pretty taboo. With three dogs in my home and a heavy Microsoft Teams meeting schedule, radio silence throughout most of my work day is must.
So how do I keep three dogs quiet while I work from home?
Why You Need A Routine When You Share Your Home Office With A Dog
Now I will confess that I am a bit of a routine stickler when it comes to the dogs. From the moment each of them arrived, they’ve been on a pretty regular schedule.
Predictability is a huge factor when it comes to training dogs. When your dog knows what is expected of him and what the boundaries are, he’s less prone to be anxious or suffer from boredom. And remember, anxious or bored dogs can lead to cohabitating with excessive barkers.
Pro Tip: A predictable wfh schedule reinforces for my dogs that, even though I’m home, I’m busy until 5pm daily.
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How To Keep Your Dog Quiet When Working From Home
Set your dog up for success when you are working from home. Don’t just leave him to his own devices and expect him to “behave.” Behaving for a dog is barking, running, chewing and sniffing which more than likely is not what you’d prefer to happen during that important Zoom meeting with your boss.
A great way to keep your dog quiet while you work is giving him pet puzzles. I provide each of my dogs with a separate puzzle before every conference call. I also separate them during puzzle time so no one steals someone else’s game.
On days where I have multiple meetings, I rotate several puzzles, including scent work snuffle mats, between the dogs. This keeps them all quiet while they are being challenged with a different activity.
When I’m not on the phone, I’m totally okay with them playing a couple of loud games of tag or puppy wrestle-mania while I do paperwork. Throw in a brisk lunch break walk and I’ve got myself some tired pups.
Mixing up your dog’s day with puzzles, nose work, zoomie games and walks does not have to be an all day affair. Simply committing to a few of these activities daily can easily keep your dog busy for up to 4 hours. And 4 hours of stimulation for my dogs definitely results in some long afternoon naps — which means, you guessed it, more quiet work from home time for me.
Pro Tip: Make food stuffed toys last longer by filling them with treats like kibble and peanut butter the night before and freezing them.
So with all of that information under your belt, here are my favorite puzzles to keep Paris and The Twins quiet when I work from home.
Most Loved Dog Puzzles For WFH Pet Parents
When I saw the incredibly cute design of this puzzler I knew I had to have it. As a dog mom who has a penchant for neutral home decor, I was really drawn to the muted tones on this toy.
How It Works: This is a bit of a more advanced puzzle, so you may have to help more docile pups figure it out. It also helps if you place this toy on a carpeted area or a rug to keep it from sliding around the room.
Lastly, if you need absolute silence for a Microsoft Teams Meeting or a Slack Session, this is probably not the best option to have near by. The slider and treat slates are a little noisy which can make this toy distracting.
This interactive game from Fable Pets again speaks to the modern pet parent with its sleek design. It comes in several beautiful colors.
How It Works: This game is definitely more quiet than the SmartyPaws Slider. You simply fill it with your dog’s favorite kibble treats and let the game begin. You pup has to knock The Game over to “win” treats.
Just remember this is an interactive game. Which means your dog is more than likely going to be roaming all around the house trying to knock out more treats. So you may want to have your dog with play this game in a confined space or behind a puppy gate.
As a lover of fabrics and textures, The Snuffle Mat from Barkolino is so perfect. I personally have The Nuvole Bianche design but Barkolino as lots of fun designs. From colorful avocados & ferocious lions to beautiful rainbows, Barkolino has plenty of themes to match either your home decor or your pup’s personality.
How It Works: This is a nose-work activity. So you hide treats between the ruffles and let your pup sniff them out. This is a great extremely quiet game that it will give your dog about 10-20 minutes of stimulation.
The only draw back is if you have a super chewer, like my Dylan, then you need to be sure to monitor the activity when it’s in your dog’s possession. Be sure to remove the mat when your dog is done or he may flip it over and go to town trying to dig through the base in the hopes of more hidden treats.
Fable Pets makes our favorite pet puzzle list twice because of their modern aesthetic and functional designs. I love the Falcon Toy because you can keep adding pieces to create an increasing challenging experience.
How It Works: This toy can be used as a single piece or interlocked with additional toy pieces to create a more stimulating (and longer) gaming experience. You simply fill the toy holes with yummy pet spreads and let your dog work through enjoying them all. The more toys you interlock, the more fun!
As a warning, since this puzzle can work with spreads, it can get a little messy. So you may not necessarily want you dog to use this one of your favorite area rug.
For more of our favorite toy recommendations, be sure to check out our post: Vibes On Vibes: Most Loved Pet Toys For Dog Moms With Neutral Homes.