On June 23rd this year, tens of thousands of dogs will be flooding the corporate world as delighted owners take their dogs to work. Through studies done over many years, findings say that having dogs at work can actually boost creativity and communication among colleagues, and relieve stress levels. Pet Sitters International took the results of those studies to heart when they created their annual Take Your Dog To Work Day®, now in its 18th year.
Many workers who have to leave their furbabies at home welcome this special day and look forward to having their four legged coworkers by their sides. If you’re among those who are considering taking Fido to work with you, keep these guidelines in mind, or else this may be the last time your company allows dogs to accompany their owners.
1. Make sure your coworkers are okay with it.
If your immediate neighbors at work are afraid of dogs or allergic to them, you can try changing offices or cubicles for the day. Don’t assume because you like having your dog at your feet means that everyone else does, too.
2. Get down on your hands and knees and look at your office from your dog’s point of view.
What do you see that you need to get out of his reach? Poisonous plants and electrical cords may be especially attractive to your pup, and permanent markers can make him very sick if he chews on them. Office supplies should be locked up in a drawer for your dog's visit.
3. Consider Fido’s suitability for the workplace.
Get him groomed the day before so he smells fresh and sheds less. Brush his teeth so his breath isn’t a turn-off, too. Will your coworkers think he’s a beautiful pup or a filthy beast? First impressions matter, even if you have four legs.
4. Consider your dog’s attitude.
If he gets irritable, aggressive, or overly shy in the company of strangers, perhaps he’s better off left at home.
5. Pack a doggie bag.
You alone are responsible for Fido’s comfort while he’s there with you at work. Bring food, treats, bowls, toys, his leash, some paper towels, clean-up bags and some pet-safe disinfectant. Be sure to clean up immediately after your dog.
6. Bring a dog gate.
If you have to be in and out of your work area, consider bringing a dog gate /crate where he can be confined when you’re not in his immediate vicinity. If he’s anxious when you’re out of his sight, perhaps bringing him to work isn’t such a good idea.
7. Check if there’s a designated area for taking your dog to relieve himself.
Even if there is, be responsible and clean up after him, or your company may not be willing to participate next year. If there’s no designated area, choose a place out of the way of traffic. And again, clean up afterward.
8. Have an exit strategy.
Especially if this is the first time to bring Fido to work, be careful to watch him for signs of stress. If he is anxious or showing apprehension about his surroundings, be ready to take him home.
9. Provide a comfy place for Fido to rest.
His own bed is ideal, as it will make him feel more comfortable to have a familiar place to lie down.
1. Don’t force co-workers to interact with your dog.
The dog lovers in your company will find you and those who are afraid, allergic, or simply don’t like dogs won’t feel pushed into a situation that makes them uncomfortable.
2. Don’t let your dog roam.
Most companies that allow dogs at work have strict rules about where the dogs are allowed and may require you to keep him on a leash.
3. Don't accept random food.
Don’t allow other people to give your dog food, unless it’s something you have brought for him. Upset stomachs don’t go over well at work!
4. Don’t neglect your work.
Your boss was kind enough to allow Fido to accompany you to work. Don’t make him regret that decision!
Some companies are so dog-friendly (like Amazon and Google) that they allow their employees to bring their dogs to work every day. If you’d like to see that kind of culture develop in your own workplace, be sure that when you celebrate “Take Your Dog To Work Day,” it is a positive experience for all involved.