Successfully Taking Your Dog to Work

iStock_000016084712_SmallFor many of us, work can be a bit blah – and most of us agree that it would be much better if we had our favorite four-legged friend to keep us company as we trudged through the workday. If this pie-in-the sky idea sounds familiar, then you’re in luck! Here are tips for making a success of National Take Your Dog to Work Day, or any day that you introduce your dog to the office.

The official Take Your Dog to Work Day was created in 1999 by Pet Sitters International. It’s original intent was to celebrate dogs as companions, and to encourage people to adopt. This annual event is now celebrated on the Friday following Father’s Day each year.

Why Take Your Dog to Work

The American Pet Products Association surveyed fifty million people and found that they all believe that pets in the workplace not only help people get along better, but that it might even lead to more creativity. Your dog calms you when you are stressed at home, so just imagine what he or she can do for you and your co-workers in the office!

There are actually companies that allow dogs in the office every day – including Google and Amazon. In fact, The American Pet Products Association found that about 1.4 million owners take their dogs to work with them every day. That’s a lot of dogs.

Tips for a Dog’s Day at Work

If there are going to be multiple dogs at your workplace, you want to make sure that you take some safety precautions with your own dog. You want him or her to have a good time, not prevent you or others from being productive, upset a co-worker or come home sick or injured.

So before your pack up your pet and take him or her to work on Friday, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Check with your employer ahead of time to make sure that they will allow your dog to come to work with you.
  • Be considerate of your co-workers – check to make sure no one suffers from any allergies to dogs. If someone with a desk close to your does have an issue, maybe you can exchange desks for the day so your dog can still enjoy a day at work with you.
  • Make certain your pet is wearing his or her collar and ID tag, and that you have a trustworthy leash that you can use to restrain your pet and use for walks.
  • Make sure your pet is up to date on all of his or her vaccinations, including Bordetella. Your pet runs the risk of exposure to illness from the other dogs visiting your office.
  • Your workplace can be a cause of anxiety if you have a pet that isn’t used to being away from home or around strangers. Bring something with you that lets him or her feel more like they are at home – like his or her favorite toy or blanket.
  • Don’t forget to bring food and water for your pet, and dishes for him or her to eat out of. You’ll also want to make sure you fit in a potty break now and then so there are no in office potty accidents.
  • Even though your dog is up-to-date on his or her shots, you will also want to avoid office conflict, and keep him or her away from other visiting dogs. It’s still work, not a dog park. If you do run into another dog, be aware of signs of aggression.
  • Treat your dog just like you would at home while he or she is with you at work. You want him or her to remember you are the boss.
  • For business and pet safety, keep your dog on a leash or confined to your own office. You wouldn’t want him or her sleeping in a walkway and tripping a colleague!
  • If you have your dog groomed before the work day it will help keep excess hair from shedding all over the building. This will also help save those that might have allergies.
  • Think about other people at work and don’t take your pet into any areas where others eat or prepare food. No one wants dog hair from someone else’s pet in their food.

If your dog has anxiety issues, or isn’t trained well enough to sit and behave at work, you might want to skip Take Your Dog to Work Day, and take your canine companion on a long walk after work instead.

We hope you have the opportunity to take your dog to work, and hope these tips will help make the day a success. And, if you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to give us a call – we’re always happy to help.