Working at home with pets: Navigating a new normal

SEATTLE — Many people are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. For those with pets, it means spending a lot of time together and navigating a new normal.

Furry companions can offer much needed comfort during these challenging times. However, it is important to still maintain a routine for your pet and to even have your dog practice social distancing while out for a walk.

As pet parents adjust to working from home, so are their fluffy coworkers. At KIRO 7, Morning Anchor Tracey Leong’s Bella sleeps during the morning newscast while she broadcasts from home. KIRO 7 morning producers Hillary Kenyon’s Lucy and Temitayo Osilesi’s Saint also cuddle up next to them while they work on the show. KIRO 7 evening producer John Burfisher’s Sally also stays next to him while he works remotely.

“You’re not going to find a better support than a loving animal who can get you through this tough time,” says Dr. Gary Richter, Rover’s Veterinary Health Expert.

Rover’s Veterinary Health Expert, Dr. Gary Richter, says pets are thrilled to have their owners home all the time, but they can make it challenging to meet deadlines.

“It’s a lot more difficult because you constantly have someone who wants your attention right here,” says Nicole Ellis, Rover’s Resident Certified Dog Trainer.

Rover’s Resident Certified Dog Trainer Nicole Ellis recommends getting your dog both physically and mentally tired.

“If they’re not mentally tired they are still ready to go, so that’s the key for setting them up for success and having them relax and have downtime,” says Ellis.

This includes longer walks and creative games to stimulate your pup’s mind. Some toys can even be made from household items. Ellis uses a cupcake baking pan filled with treats hidden under their favorite toys.

“So they are going to have to work around and try to figure out how to get them out and you can encourage your pet its something new,” says Ellis.

When taking your dog for a walk, it’s important they practice social distancing as well and not allow strangers to pet them.

“Is it possible that there are virus particles on your dogs fur, yes it’s possible, there have not really been any sort of documented cases of somebody getting the disease in that way, the disease can be transmitted on any hard surface,” says Richter.

Plus, always clean their leash, collar and paws after a walk. This helps to keep you and your isolation buddy safe and healthy.

For those without a pet, right now might be the perfect time to foster or adopt if you are working from home.