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Do you have dogs? Maybe you’re considering getting one (or more!). Having dogs has certainly improved my work at home lifestyle.
Before I moved to Canada, I didn’t really get out that much. I had no reason to, except to go to the gym when I chose. When I moved to Canada, my ex-husband convinced me (read that as wore me down) to get a dog. So, we ended up with a husky that required a lot of work and a lot of walks.
The agreement was that the dog was his responsibility. Of course, it became mine, and it ended up being the better for me. Just don’t tell him that! It took some time to get a routine (and we ended up with a second husky) to get settled, but it ended up improving my work at home lifestyle.
Now, my ex and I do share custody of the dogs. If you have a dog full-time, you’ll see more benefits than I do.
Breaking up my work at home lifestyle
As I mentioned, before moving to Canada, I didn’t get out much. I had a gym membership, which I would use a couple of days a week, but I didn’t get moving a lot throughout the day. The dogs changed that.
They need long walks. Anyone with huskies will know the exercise they need. So, three times a day, we head out on our walks. One of those is at the very end of the day, but two are in the middle, and they help to break up my working day.
I tend to look forward to the walks, except in the middle of Southern Ontarian winters. They’re a chance to clear my thoughts from the work I’ve done, which can be needed if the topics are heavy or I’m switching from one style of writing to another. They also help me just get away from the computer and rest my eyes.
I get my body moving
I could easily get up from the desk and walk around the house. How often do we actually do that, though? Probably not enough. I know I didn’t before the dogs.
Now, I’m forced to get up at least every couple of hours. I try to get up every hour, but some of those are for five-minute stretches. With the dog walks, I’m moving for a good 20-30 minutes depending on the speed and route we take (that depends on the weather).
It’s been much healthier for my body. I can tell the days that I don’t have the dogs and I get lazy. My legs ache from the lack of use.
A better bond with the pets
The walks haven’t just been great for my work from home lifestyle. They’re also better for the mom part of my work-at-home-mom life. I have a much better bond with my pets.
We’ve worked a lot on recall. I give them the chance to sniff and use up mental energy, which means they’re less likely to be worried and anxious when I leave them alone for a bit. Training has been a little easier—it would be even easier if the ex would actually do his part, but that’s another story—and our walks are (mostly!) enjoyable.
There are some bad days, usually on the Monday I get them back from his weekend, but those are to be expected. My bond with the dogs is strong, and while so many huskies run off, mine will get out and then come running back. I also hired a dog trainer from MLK9 Dog Training to train my dog to have excellent behavior. Click to read more about the benefits of dog training.
It’s also helped me bond better with my children. They come out on the walks with me when they’re not in school, and it gives us all a chance to talk and I can give them some responsibilities with the dogs when out.
MORE: 5 tips to improve sleep for better health
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