Three things your dog needs to create a stress-free environment while you work from home

Man speaking to his dog from his work from a home office desk
(Image credit: Getty)

Trying to work from home with a dog at your feet can be challenging. You have to make sure they aren't going to bark through meetings or need a walk before your lunchbreak arrives. But it's not only a stressful experience for you, your dog needs structure as much as your diary does.

But what does this look like? Unfortunately, you can't just rely on the longest lasting dog chews to occupy your dog while you type away from 9-5. Dog trainer and canine behaviorist, Liz Foley, says that dog owners must maintain structure and routine for their dogs when they are working from home.

"It’s my responsibility to make sure those doggies get their needs met EVERY. SINGLE. DAY," explains Foley, "Many times when we’re home with our dogs all day we forget about the importance of structure and routine."

In an Instagram post discussing this, Foley shares three things she deems essential for keeping you and your pup stress-free while trying to work from home. Thankfully, she keeps this pretty straightforward with the three things you should aim to factor in being: walks, crating and place work. Plus, she shares the schedule that works for her and her 'pack' of dogs. 

If there is one person who knows the value of a good routine for dogs, it's definitely a canine behaviorist. So we trust when Foley says that incorporating structure and boundaries into your schedule will help your dog to decompress throughout the day and allow you the peace that you need to reach the bottom of your email inbox.

We've included her personal work-from-home schedule below. She welcomes fellow dog owners to try it or simply use it as a template for you and your dog to work with. But, as Foley says, "Please note that more structure will be needed for dogs with problem behaviors."


6AM: Potty break

7AM: 1hr place

8AM: 1.5-2hr walk

10AM: Breakfast and rest in crate

1PM: Potty break and free time


2PM: Relaxation on place

4PM: Training/second walk

5PM: Crate for dinner and rest

7PM: Potty breaks and free time

10PM: Sleep in crate overnight

You may have read that and thought 'no chance' will your busy schedule or needy dog accommodate this. You needn't follow this meticulously to build a stress-free work-from-home environment with your dog. But forming your dog's day-around routine, whatever that looks like for them, will help to keep things calm. 

If you've tried the structure thing and are struggling to create good harmony with your pup while you're at your desk, you should consider seeking some 1:1 help with a professional to seek advice on how to calm a dog down or how to deal with a badly behaved dog.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.