WOOF WOOF! WOOF!!
As you swiftly hit the mute button on your microphone, you can't help but wonder why your dog just won't be quiet. Despite a lengthy power walk, a game of fetch, and a spirited tug-of-war game, your six-month-old puppy seems to have an insatiable appetite for mischief, leaving you with battle scars from playful "shark attacks."
On the other hand, your eleven-month-old canine companion seems to have developed selective hearing, sprinting away at the mere mention of "Come!" Meanwhile, your recent rescue dog is grappling with fears, jumping on everyone in sight and struggling to find peace.
Navigating work-from-home life with our four-legged companions has proven to be quite the challenge. Expecting a young pup to be a model of peacefulness, refraining from barking or seeking playtime, is, let's face it, unrealistic.
I've got a little secret to share—an ace up your sleeve for those crucial Zoom meetings and workdays: exercise. Not the one you are thinking…….Yes, physical activity is essential, but there's more to it. "But I already exercised him for over 40 minutes and played fetch forever this morning!" you protest.
, pumping up your furry friend into a state where they can’t make good choices. However, the missing puzzle piece is mental exercise, a secret weapon to calm and relax your dog. Consider how invigorated you feel after a gym session versus the mental exhaustion from a day of intense work or studying.Physical exercise generates adrenaline and endorphins
Here's the game-changer: start your day not only with physical exercise but also with brain games and canine enrichment activities. This combo ensures your dog stays calm and collected throughout the day.
Here are some practical tips for a smoother week:
You have an important meeting on Tuesday from 10am-12pm and another important meeting 2pm-3pm. You are presenting and need to give your full attention.
- On Monday after work, you set up a playdate with your dog's best friend and they run around and play for an hour.
- Tuesday you wake up 30min earlier and go for a sniffari walk in a different area you typically walk.
- You come home and give your dog's breakfast in a few different enrichment games/puzzles.
- You then get ready yourself for the day.
- At 9:45am, you give your dog a licky mat or stuffed kong.
- Noon you take your dog for a short sniffari walk around the neighborhood.
- When you come in you do 6 minutes of Circuits.
- At 1:45pm you give your dog a bully stick or bone to chew.
If you follow these tips, your dog will have all its needs met and will be calm and quiet during your meeting. *extra tip - if you have a dog who is noise sensitive and barks at noises outside, turn on your oven fan, or turn on a fan/music in the areas where they bark. Close the curtains and put on a white noise machine to drown out the exterior noises.
Let me share a story about a crazy black Lab named Dallas, who was a voracious eater. You set the bowl down and the food was gone in 3.8 seconds. One day I took her kibble and placed some in a snuffle mat and some in a bowl. I then placed both down at the same time.
Can you guess which one she went to first? Placing kibble in a snuffle mat proved to be far more enticing than a plain old bowl—proving that mental engagement triumphs over routine. She didn’t even go for the food in her bowl until she was done sniffing and foraging for her food in the mat. WIN!
For more mentally enriching ideas, dive into my book, "Brain Games For Your Dog." Your furry friend will thank you for the mental stimulation, and you'll find yourself navigating work with fewer interruptions and more peace of mind.
So, let the adventures in mental enrichment begin!
Links to products mention in blog:
- Brain Games book
- Chilly Penguin
- Licky Mats
- Snuffle Mat
- Bully Sticks
- Kong Classic
- Circuits (print at home)