5 Tips To Get Stuff Done With A Puppy In The House

This is post 8 in a 12 post blogging challenge I’m doing through The Blogging Badass.

Whew! Puppies are tiring. I’d forgotten that having a puppy in the house is like having a human baby in the house. They are demanding. They need constant supervision. They poo and pee on the carpet — puppies, not babies (hopefully).

Because I work from home and because we have a new puppy, Murray, in the house with me I have had to be creative when it comes to caring for him, making certain he doesn’t chew through electrical cords and getting my client work done.time management tips for puppy owners

Here are my five tips for getting stuff done with a puppy in the house:

  1. Be patient. Remember that the puppy doesn’t know you’re on deadline. He only knows that he is hungry, has to poo or just wants love. The minute that you take away from the keyboard to pet him or toss a toy or the five minutes that you spend walking him so that he will learn to poo and pee out of doors will not make or break your deadlines. HINT: If your time is so tightly regimented that a five minute break every hour or two will break your deadlines you need to rethink your schedule. Remember to build a buffer into your daily to-dos. It could be a literal life saver. I didn’t have a time cushion prior to my breast cancer diagnosis so when I was facing surgeries, treatments and recovery I had to quickly rethink my schedule. I made it work and and found a way to work fewer hours but bring in more money!
  2. Sequester. I prop Murray’s crate in the doorway of the office. He can go in there and sleep when he’s tired and it also keeps him sequestered into one part of the house. This alleviates my wondering what he is up to because it’s so quiet. His bucket of toys is in the room. Henrietta, the Diva Poodle, is in here with us and she has a bed on the futon so she can get away from her annoying brother. HINT: Sequester your daily to-dos into blocks of time that make sense or by priority.
  3. Eliminate distractions. Let’s face it, puppies are easily distracted. Squirrel! I’ve had to puppy proof the office and other areas of the house. It keeps him safe and it keeps me from wondering if he’s chewing my shoes or eating a book or licking an electrical outlet. Murray has a bucket of toys and other appropriate puppy items to keep him amused. HINT: When you’re working on a project, eliminate distractions such as email pop up notifications and social media update pings. Don’t multitask. You will not be more productive.
  4. Tire him out. An active puppy is a tired puppy. I take Murray and Henrietta for walks every hour and a half to two hours. He romps around the yard. Bounces on Henrietta. Rolls in the grass. Barks at flowers and trees. A ten minute walk is enough to tire him out and he will happily come back to the office, plop himself down, chew on a bone or toy and fall happily asleep. HINT: Take time to enjoy your down time. Take a nap if that works for you. When you’re away from your desk, enjoy the distractions as a way to refresh your mind. A refreshed mind is a productive, creative mind.
  5. Set a time limit. I now know that when Murray is tuckered out he will sleep for close to two hours. Because I know that I know I can delve into a tough project and devote at least an hour and a half to it before I have to attend to his needs — I keep that half hour buffer just in case he decides to wake up earlier. I plan on being interrupted earlier than the two hours I’ve set aside and plan around it so I don’t stress over it. HINT: Have a task you’re dreading? Set a timer for X amount of time (I suggest at least 30 minutes) and dive into it. Anyone can face anything for 30-minutes, right?) If you find yourself procrastinating a task, add it to your to-do list, set a timer and have at it.

Murray toyAn additional tip for getting work done with a puppy in the house? Enjoy the puppy times. They will be fleeting.

30 replies to this post
  1. First of all, Murray is just adorable!
    Puppies, how I remember those, sometimes long days, early mornings and middle of the night potty breaks.
    I think what saved my sanity was crate training Edie. Just like a baby, I tried to keep her on a schedule for nap times. She soon became used to the idea of having breaks in her “bed” throughout the day and it was good for all of us. Of course puppies/dogs need to get their energy out, so it’s important to be able to put time aside for one on one play time.

    • Thanks for thinking he is adorable — we think he’s a keeper (Henrietta is NOT convinced). I’d forgotten about the sleepless nights and agree the crate is a life and sleep saver! I take the dogs out every couple of hours and just run around the yard with Murray to get his energy out — I’m certain the neighbors love seeing that!

  2. OMD, Murray is super adorable! But how does Henrietta feel about this new addition? Tiring him out is definitely a tact I have taken, it’s the best way to keep a puppy out of trouble! I miss the puppy days , you forget how crazy they can be – enjoy this puppy time! See you at BlogPaws2016?
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    • Henrietta is not ever amused with her younger brother! See you at BlogPaws, definitely! I’m speaking on time management — big surprise!

  3. What a snuggly pup! It’s so hard to keep a puppy out of the way in a home office environment, these are great tips for letting pet parents keep a work/life balance! That being said, with a face like that, a little distraction from a fluffy puppy is a-ok! Call it pet therapy!

    • Oh believe me, I get so distracted by him and Henrietta and pet therapy helps in the middle of a crazy work day! Thank yo for liking my tips!

  4. He is ADORABLE! Congratulations! These are such great tips. I wish I’d had someone share these with me nearly nine years ago. Look forward to seeing more of Murray as he grows.

  5. He is so adorable and these are great tips! I know with my last 2 siblings, I had them from 4 weeks on (now almost 4 years). Having the two of them going through potty training, chewing, and general getting into everything just about killed me LOL! You are so right on the wearing them out. They do their best sleeping after a good playtime!

    • Tiring him out is crucial to my getting anything done and to Henrietta not being bugged by him all day! He has so many toys and so far none of our shoes have been chewed… so score!

  6. Well, you are a rockstar to get anything done with that fur ball in the house–SO cute! I think I might have repressed some of the less than wonderful things that happened when Jon Farleigh and Dewi were babies. Except for the time they ate my husband’s briefcase…oh and they chewed the corners of the cabinets and the chair legs…

    It was ALWAYS because I got distracted and let them get too quiet, though. Your tips are SPOT ON about that.

    I’m not sure I could do another puppy, but who knows? Maybe when all my kids are gone, I’ll change my mind.

    • Agreed! The time Murray gets into trouble is when we aren’t paying attention — just like with a human baby, except without sticking forks into the electrical outlets. lol I keep him and Henrietta baby-gated in the office with me so then I know when trouble is brewing.

    • I’m bringing a Devon Rex into the house in August so will be dealing with fun kitten stuff again! Lucy, my crazy calico is three and she is still as full of mischief as she was when we adopted her.

  7. So Murray is the cutest thing and no wonder he can be a distraction! I love how I can apply all of your tips even without a puppy in the house. Shasta is a senior so he likes to curl up and sleep next to me!

  8. Murray is adorable and I love his name. I think he is one lucky pup that he is living with someone who knows so much about dogs. I think my puppy days are behind me, but I still love them.

    • I thought my puppy days were behind me and there are some days when I think “what were we thinking!?” but we are so in love with him! Thanks for reading!

  9. I am laughing because many of these tips sound similar to things I remember telling myself (and others telling me) when my daughter was a baby. You are right, puppies and babies are very much alike!

  10. I love that you shared tips for taking care of the pup and the human each time! So clever! I agree with your awesome ideas, especially sequestering and taking away possible distractions! Great post. Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. All of this is gold. My husband and I adopted Rusty, our Red Heeler/German Shepherd mix, when he was 5 months old and I was working at home in the mornings. He was fairly well potty trained and we live in an apartment, but accidents still happen. Additionally, we don’t have a fenced area for him to play in. We have since then built trust and defined boundaries for Rusty in the grassy area outside our apartment, but it took time. I mention all this to say that I totally understand what it’s like to have a new puppy in the family while you’re trying to get work done. For those with puppies in apartments, I highly suggest learning how to make DIY enrichment toys and treats so your pup at least gets to exercise his brain if not his body!

    • Lacey, I need to get better at making DIYs — we go broke buying dog toys to keep everyone entertained! Right now, Murray is about 90% housetrained, although yesterday after his grooming he seems to have forgotten everything. I chalk that up to stress from being at the groomer.

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