Dogs have been man’s best friend forever! They have lived and worked alongside us from hunting and tracking to keeping us safe at night. However, in this modern day and age, this relationship has long been abandoned with more and more dogs being left to sit at home all day while we go about our daily business. That’s why Pet Sitter International set aside June 22nd, as an International Take Your Dog to Work Day, not only to revive this old relationship, but also to promote the benefits of pet ownership and encourage animal adoption.
Why should I bring my dog to the office?
Bringing dogs to the office can be beneficial to people’s physical and mental health. Various research studies, both in Australia and the U.S. indicate that pets in the workplace can have positive effects for the organization, employees and their furry friends.
The ability for staff to bring their dogs to the office gives them with a way to relieve the daily stress of work, increase productivity and provide a change of pace in the day to day office environment. This, in turn, results in happier, more content employees. Companies that embrace this trend benefit from improved staff performance by boosting their willingness to work overtime and decreasing employee absenteeism.
Still, even with permission from your bosses, it is crucial that dog parents prepare well in advance before bringing their pet to the office. This will help prevent any unnecessary incidences.
How to prepare to bring your dog to the office
Consider your dog’s personality
Before bringing your dog to the office, keep his personality in mind. Is he overly friendly, shy, or suspicious of strangers? Bear in mind how he behaves around groups of new people before bringing him to the office. If your dog growls at strangers, gets aggressive and territorial, then you should consider working with a trainer before the D-day or leaving him at home but get some training under the belt so that he’s ready for next year.
Pet-proof the office
Before bringing your dog to the office, cover all cables within dog reach. Chewing wires and cables is not only dangerous for your dog, but may also cause unnecessary disruptions to the smooth running of the office.
Prepare a doggie bag
The doggie bag should include dog food, treats, toys, bowls (for water and food), paper towels, a leash, pet-safe disinfectant and clean up bags. You will need to keep healthy treats and water on hand throughout the day, especially since he is more likely to get thirsty from all the attention of your co-workers and excitement of being in a new place.
Set up a place for your dog
Even when in the office, your goal is to make your dog feel safe and not territorial. Letting the dog find his own safe place in the office might make him territorial. So take a dog bed or pillow before bringing your pet to the office and set it at a place where he will feel comfortable, safe, and not interfere with your colleagues’ personal space.
Make sure your dog is healthy and up to date on vaccinations
Your dog needs to be healthy and up to date with his vaccination. This is because unlike your home, the office is not a controlled environment, and there will most likely be other dogs running around so you wouldn’t want your pet to infect others or get an infection from others. Maybe this is a good excuse to take your dog to the vet for a quick health check! Make sure your dog is bathed, flea free and groomed before letting him join you at work.
Plan the day
A potty break during an important meeting is in all probability not the best timing. So at every opportunity give your dog a break outside. It’s also best not to have “external” meetings on the day as you will need to keep an eye out at all times. Feed your dog before you go to the office (if he is usually fed in the morning) so that feeding will not be necessary. Most important start the day off with some exercise – consider taking a 30-minute power walk before going to the office. This will help wear him down enough to be calm throughout the day.
Consider your colleagues
Remember not everyone is a crazy dog person, and a sure fire way to put them off is when a dog takes over “personal space”. Be mindful of your colleagues and whether or not they have a desire to interact with your dog. If not, keep your dog away. Also consider any colleagues who may have an allergy – again give them space!
Celebrating this special day with your furry friend can be a fun, exciting and an educational day for everyone in your office. Just make sure to prepare well for the day to avoid any unnecessary dramas or disappointment.