Working from home amid coronavirus outbreak: How to care for your pet

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Working from home during the coronavirus outbreak comes with enough challenges — how to balance work and family, how to not eat the entire candy drawer, etc. But what about working remotely with a pet that now wants more of your attention, and uses those sad puppy dog eyes to get it?

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Dr. Danielle Bernal, veterinarian with Wellness Natural Pet Food, spoke to Fox News and gave advice on how to juggle your job and being a pet parent.

Keep your dog active

Keeping your dog active will allow them to relax (and you to get some work done), but it will also give you some much-needed exercise as well.

Ignoring your pup while you’re home all day isn’t really an option. So, make sure they get physical attention — like a belly rub or head scratch — to help ease anxiety.

Ignoring your pup while you’re home all day isn’t really an option. So, make sure they get physical attention — like a belly rub or head scratch — to help ease anxiety. (iStock)

“A walk around the block before the workday starts — paired with activity every few hours while you take a well-deserved break from your computer — will help use up Fido’s energy so that he remains calm in the interim,” Bernal said.

“Simply playing a quick game of fetch or 'hall ball' every few hours is a great way to tire out a pup! If there’s no space to toss a ball inside, even a game of tug-of-war helps get out that extra energy.”

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Increase physical contact

Ignoring your pup while you’re home all day isn’t really an option. So make sure they get physical attention, like a belly rub or head scratch, to help ease anxiety related to being cooped up for long periods of time.

Also, “placing your pet’s favorite toy, blanket or bed near your workspace to keep them close by for a loving pet will help keep them content” without you getting too distracted while working, Bernal said.

Granted, it can be hard to judge how "content" some pets are.

Granted, it can be hard to judge how "content" some pets are. (iStock)

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Don’t give too many treats

While you’re home, you may want to spoil your pooch with treats just to temporarily keep them busy while you’re working, but Bernal stresses this can disrupt your dog’s overall diet by overtreating.

“We know pet parents love to treat but treating should only make up a small portion of your dog’s daily consumption,” she said, instead suggesting more balanced bars by Wellness or multi-functional chews like Whimzees.

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Talk to them

This is as much for you as it is for them, Bernal explains.

“During a period of time when you aren’t chatting with people the same way that you would in an office, talk away to your pets! It’s as good for them as it is for you, especially in a solitary time,” she said.