Home Office Ideas: 5 Perks for Your Pets

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Jessica Rhae Williams and her two dachshunds love to get outside and hike. But they also love to spend time together in their home office, where Williams writes a blog about her adventuresome dogs, Chester and Gretel, and runs a social media consulting business.

“If we’re in bed and I ask, ‘Want to go to work!?’ Gretel will jump up and run to the office door,” Williams says. “She’ll prance around as if she’s saying, ‘Let me in, let me in.’ It’s really cute. I open it up, she comes in, and we go to work.”

Working from home has its perks. No commute. Everything in the fridge is yours (you can even use your kitchen as a home office). And best of all for a pet parent, you can spend more time with your furry family.

And it’s not just you who benefits. Here are some home office ideas from Williams and other pet parents to keep your dogs and cats happy while you work.

Play music

Although some pets love to howl or meow out a tune, Bee Lindquist’s Maltese/bichon mix prefers listening to 1970s soft-rock musicians.

Lindquist, a longtime pet parent, is used to working from home with pets: She’s done it since 1995. Lindquist uses an old cell phone to stream music for her current pooch, Bozz, while she works in her home office. She started playing music for two previous dogs to keep them calm. When Bozz joined the family, he got into it, too.

“He’s really particular about his music,” Lindquist says. There are even times when Bozz’s music listening takes precedence: Lindquist sometimes wears headphones so she can work in quiet while Bozz enjoys his music.

Get active

If you keep plenty of toys in your home office, your pet can stay mentally and physical active while you’re working. And, some home office ideas can be equally good for you and your pets. When you schedule breaks to play with your pets, they appreciate the attention, and you can return to work more alert.

Lindquist sets the alarm on her phone to go off every hour and 15 minutes, reminding her to play with Bozz. He knows the routine by heart. If she doesn’t take the break, even if the alarm doesn’t go off, the dog will nudge her leg. “‘Hey, lady, I’ve had my nap,’” she interprets his playful tap to mean. “‘Let’s go do something.’”

Williams takes periodic breaks, too, giving her dachshunds belly rubs and playing with them.

“I like to get the dogs up and moving,” she says. “They help me to take breaks. I’ll get up and go out into the living room and play with the dogs or lie on the floor with them. That’s healthier for me not to be in here all the time.”

Create a special space

home office ideas working with pets

You have your personal space in a home office, so there’s no reason your pet shouldn’t have one, too. Consider moving furniture they like from another room, creating a secret pet hideout, or simply keeping a few pet lounging areas in your home office.

Bozz didn’t like the dog bed that was in Lindquist’s office, often opting for her lap. But she noticed he often sat on the couch in another room, so she and her husband moved the couch into her office.

“We barely got the feet of the couch on the floor before he was lying on it,” she says. Bozz also has a basket of toys and a water bowl in the office.

Interior decorator and pet parent Susan Hayes offered a few less traditional options, including a sofa with a dog room built into it, a glass coffee table with a hammock for cats, and planters that have a space for cats or small dogs.

“The last one is a cat library,” says Hayes, who has a bed in her home office for her bulldog. “Bookshelves that enable a cat to walk up and perch on the top. What a great piece for an office and a space for your cat.”

Whatever space you carve out, don’t forget to consider pet-friendly carpet or luxury vinyl flooring for your office. They resist most difficult pet stains and are easy to clean.

Keep a pet-first attitude

home office ideas inspiration dogs

“I work hard so my dog can have a better life.” The block with this inscription is for Williams to see in her office, but it benefits her dogs as well. It’s a reminder, along with a print of the dachshunds hanging up and awards Williams has won for her pet blog, of why she’s in the office.

Keeping your pets in mind helps you remember that you’re not alone in the office; that there’s someone there’s who’s just as worthy of your attention as your work.

“That’s really what I feel like,” Williams says of the block’s inscription. “It’s important for me to make money and make a living doing this … because then I can take them out for regular walks every day, then I can take them for hikes, and I can travel with them. They get the best food and the best treats, and they have like 10 dog jackets. … That’s what keeps me working so hard to make my business work. It’s for them.”

Add a few finishing touches

Here are a few more home office ideas that put pets first:

  • Include a basket of toys, preferably ones that don’t squeak.
  • Keep a jar of treats on your desk, for when your pet is extra quiet during a conference call.
  • Offer toys that dispense treats when your pet plays with them.
  • Put your pet’s lounging area by a window, so they can sleep in the sun.
  • Get a heated blanket made for pets to add a little warmth during cold months.
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