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For those who commute to work each morning, you may think working from home means waking up whenever you want, working in your pajamas, and essentially living the dream. For those of us who do work from home, we know it is not that simple.

Working from home comes with a bunch of obstacles, and your dog can sometimes be one of them.

Is being a pet parent getting in the way of your working from home? Check out these tips to keep your sanity and your paycheck.

Set Designated Play Times

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One of the greatest challenges of working from home is time management. It’s easy enough to get distracted from work while at home by yourself, let alone with a cute puppy begging for a play session.

In order to keep your dog–or other distractions–from eating into your work day, set specific break times for you and your dog. Having this structured play time will not only help you get your work done, it will also help reinforce obedience with your pup.

Create A Separate, Pup-Free Work Space

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The best way to ensure your dog isn’t going to put a kink in the flow of your work day is to keep them in a separate area.

Yes, it’s nice to be able to pet your pup while you are listening in on a conference call, but doing this tells your dog they can get your attention whenever they want.

Setting up a separate work space is great, not just for you and your dog, but also for your work-life balance in general. It helps makes you feel like you aren’t actually living in your office.

Don’t Give In To Begging And Whining

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If your dog is used to getting your attention at any time they want, you may start to see signs of anxiety.

If your dog starts whining, crying, or batting at the door when you have told them to stay out, do not cave and let them in. This will only tell your dog that they are in charge, and by crying, they can be near you.

Your dog is not the boss when you work from home–you are. Make sure you act like it.

Keep Your Dog Occupied

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If dogs are bored or anxious, it can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing or marking around the house.

To avoid an interruption to your work flow–like stopping to scold your pup for chewed up shoes–make sure they have plenty of physical and mental stimulation for when you’re hard at work.

We have a lot of toys we are fond of over here at DogTime, so check them out!

Aim For Progress–NOT Perfection

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None of us are perfect puppy parents–period. So if you find yourself playing with your pup for twenty minutes when you really should be reconciling this month’s budget, don’t beat yourself up about it.

Time theft occurs in an office environment in the form of loitering near the water cooler and scrolling around on social media. You’re allowed your one “work vice,” as well, and that can be your dog.

Be Flexible

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Freelancing or working from home means that every day is a different beast. Sometimes you’re so swamped, you’re lucky to get a hastily thrown together sandwich down for lunch; other times you can find yourself reorganizing your bookshelf while waiting for your next assignment.

This flux in schedule can make it difficult to keep all the “rules” for working from home with a dog as rigid and routine as you’d like. Part of working from home–and owning a dog–is learning how to be flexible and roll with the punches.

Do you work from home with pets? How do you keep them happy while also getting everything checked off of your to-do list? Let us know your tips and tricks to a healthy work-pup balance in the comments below!

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