1. All Aboard—Getting Everyone on the New Schedule
If you know what your new hours will be, do some test runs. If you need to change up their potty breaks, breakfast and dinner times, start doing so. If you work near your residence, maybe you can zip home during your lunch break, and what a terrific way to check on your dog and still take him/her out. If you work too far to visit at noon, see if you can have a family member/friend/neighbor/dog walker come by for the mid-afternoon break and potty run. By initiating the new schedule earlier than needed, it will give you and your dog time to adjust so when you start work, they will be used to the new format.
2. What About Medications?
Having a Siberian Husky diagnosed with epilepsy, medication schedules were very important for me to set up and adhere to. If your dog requires specifically timed medications, and they are different than what your new work schedule will be, begin over a period of time adjusting their administration times so it works for their dosage instructions and your new schedule. Sudden medication changes can possibly adversely affect a dog, so be sure to back up/extend the time gradually over a few days to a week so it is not a sudden change for your dog.
3. To Crate or Not to Crate
That is always a big question. Naturally, if your dogs are crate trained, then everything will be status quo. If this is something new…try it out. Get them a nice crate pad or dog blanket, too. If your dog has anxiety when crated, then close off an area for them (baby gates are great for this) and make it their safe area that includes a nice bed, a few of their favorite toys, and always fresh water. If your dog is fine with the run of the house, then that’s cool, too. You can treat them to a nice new comfy blanket for their favorite spot, whether it be on the sofa, bed, or floor!
4. Peek-a-Boo, I See You!
A great peace of mind for a dog parent who is looking at now working outside of the home is to install a video camera, whether separate or through your home’s alarm system. There are also some that are two-way, meaning you can not only see your dog in your home, but also talk to them through the video/alarm system app. (There’s one where you can even dispense treats!) Some dogs, however, may get overexcited at hearing their person’s voice, and that could be confusing or upsetting. We all know our own dogs, so use your best judgement. If your dog does get overexcited, it may be best to just silently peep in on them.