Furry Friends

Four-Legged Frenzies During the Pandemic

By: Lisa Marie Carter

Though quarantine may be a dog’s dream, it may not work so well for actually trying to get work done. It’s hard to believe many people are still working and studying from home right now, but there are more than most know. For those who are juggling working from home, the four-legged children can become a stress point.

Pets wanting attention or just being adorable can become a distraction. Providing some structure for your dog will help increase your productivity and allow you to focus on your work. 

Some simple steps can help ensure things go/stay smooth between you and your beloved pooch. First, set times that are designated for you both to play together. Time management is crucial when working from home, and the key here is to set specific break times for you and your dog. Having structured play time will not only help you get work done; it will also help to provide a routine for your pup. 

Create a designated workspace that separates you from your dog, which should give you more work-life balance and help you avoid feeling as though you live in your office. Plus, your dog will be less likely to distract you during conference calls or important tasks.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the viral videos of the cat walking across the computer or the dog making his/her presence known in the background with the consistent barking. Make sure your dog is occupied while you work because if they grow bored or anxious, they may exhibit destructive behaviors like chewing on things they’re not supposed to, barking a lot or even marking inside. Ensure your pup has plenty of physical and mental stimulation for when you’re hard at work.

Many of you may be lucky enough to be able to be back in the office, and eventually, most of us will head back to work. You’ll want to plan to acclimate your dog to those changes. The objective is to try to get your dog ready by slowly altering the present routine. Try out short times of separation like going to the garage, buying groceries or hanging out for a while in a place in your home without your dog. Though it can be harder for dogs to be separate from you when they can hear or see you than if you leave completely. Discuss with your employer when they will need you back at your workplace. Ideally, you’d have a window of time between getting a return date and returning. If possible, phase into a new routine by slowly increasing the time you spend outside the house away from your dog (with) half days, alternating days, etc.

Some dogs may face separation anxiety after having their owners home all the time for several months. Keeping hellos and goodbyes with your pup simple can help because if you make a huge deal, your dog will pick up on that cue and also realize it’s a big deal as well. Another separation anxiety tip is to mix up your routine some before you leave your home because dogs are smart and will see your habits. You can, for example, get dressed to leave and then just hang out and watch TV instead.

Another great idea is to take your dog to a doggie daycare center. They have grown in popularity all around the Upstate. Bringing your dog to a daycare can also help the transition of home all day to working, for both of you! The selection of doggie daycares varies as do their offerings. We spoke with Bert Basabe, Owner of Camp Bow Wow in Powdersville. Basabe explains Camp Bow Wow as “a home away from home for your pup. Your pup is given the attention they want and need while getting to play with furry friends. It’s all-day play while you’re away.” They have cabins for napping and also offer a lunch break at noon to feed your pup and give them a little R & R after to digest. Basabe jokes, “We often say pups have more fun than you do when they come to camp.” 

Basabe shares this gentle reminder, “As the pandemic craziness winds down at some point, owners should continue to interact with their dogs by making time to play, train and keep their bond going. Dogs show us what true unconditional love looks like. There is nothing better than coming home after a long day at work to the joy and romp displayed by dogs that are simply happy to see you”

Camp Bow Wow Powdersville is located at,110 Cooper Lane in Powdersville, you can contact them at 864-568-5855. Learn more about them and the services they offer at https://www.campbowwow.com/powdersville.