You’ve heard of the phrase “working like a dog”. Well, on June 26 you can actually celebrate “Take Your Dog to Work Day” by taking your dog to visit your office. Many companies now allow dogs everyday – according to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, about 1.4 million owners take some 2.3 million dogs to work every day. It’s no longer an oddity to walk into an office with dogs – in many work environments, it’s a reality. Research has shown that having dogs in the work place actually lowers stress, provides comic relief and increases productivity.
Pet Sitters International (PSI) started the event in 1999 to “celebrate the great companions dogs make and encourage their adoptions.”
Here are some tips to make sure the day is as paw-sitive as possible:
- Clear it with the higher ups. Does your company have a policy on bringing dogs to work? You might want to put out a quick memo/policy, so all employees can take advantage of the day. For instance, are there certain parts of the building where the dogs won’t be allowed? Be aware of any employees that are allergic to dogs.
- Basic commands. Hopefully, your dog responds to basic commands like “sit”, “stay” and “kennel up”. It’s best to keep your dog leashed at all times when not gated or crated safely in your workspace to maintain control of his whereabouts. Don’t assume all dogs are obedient and friendly or that your dog won’t run.
- Exercise your dog before you bring him or her to the office so he’s not hyper.
- Bring your own water bowls and food bowls.
- Keep a dog bed/crate in your office with toys. Bringing your dog’s bedding will help him relax and feel more at home. While it may be a good idea to bring a long a chew toy, remove them if another dog enters the vicinity so there’s no scuffles. This will also make your dog less territorial and reduce any separation anxiety.
- Take your dog on a tour. Your dog is going to be interested in all the sights and smells of a new environment. If you are by his side, he is less likely to run off, hot on the trace of a new scent.
- Clear your work space of any cables and cords. Many of us have computers and other technological gadgets that need to be plugged in. You don’t want your dog to use them as a chew toy!
- Respect your colleagues work space. Believe it or not, not everyone likes dogs! Let others approach your dog, not the other way around.
- Clean up after your dog. Even though your dog doesn’t generally have accidents, marking with numerous dogs in the office can become a problem. Have carpet cleaning and odor minimizing supplies on hand.
Bringing your best friend to work has so many benefits, and with a little preparation, it can be a wonderful way to celebrate the value of pets in the workplace. You don’t want to get dogged by your colleagues for poor pooch etiquette!
Jeri Wagner is a canine behavioral therapist and master trainer. Jeri uses a natural training system leveraging the same communication methods – body language and voice control – that dogs follow as part of their instinctive pack mentality. Training takes place in the home where the problems generally occur. Jeri trains in western Montgomery county and northern Chester County. For more information, call 1-877-500 BARK (2275) or visit www.barkbusters.com.
© Copyright 2015 Bark Busters USA All Rights Reserved