It may be a dog-eat-dog world where you work. But having your dog around you at the office may make it a warmer and friendlier place to be for a day, a week or on a steady basis.
If you plan to take your furry buddy to work with you, here are our Bil-Jac top tips for a successful visit.
1. Make sure your employer is participating.
Seems like a no-brainer, but you don’t want to go strutting into the workplace with your fur buddy only to find out she’s not welcome. Awkward…
2. Pet-proof your personal area.
Make sure your trash can is enclosed or place it on a higher surface. Pick up anything that has sharp edges or is small enough that it could pose a choking hazard. Cover cords and outlets if your dog is prone to chewing. The goal is to make your space safe for your best friend.
3. Only take your dog if she does well around strangers.
Not all dogs do well around other people, or other canines. If your dog gets stressed out by changes in her environment, a workplace full of new people and animals may not be the best place for her.
4. Make sure your dog is clean and healthy.
Only take your dog to the office if she is up to date on all of her vaccines and is showing no signs of illness. Keeping her well-groomed and brushed will make her more welcome among your coworkers.
5. Take along everything you’ll need.
Your “doggy bag” should contain:
- A leash—most employers require dogs to be leashed at all times, unless they are behind a baby gate. Depending on your office policies, she may need to be with you at all times, not wandering the office alone. You’ll also need the leash for taking her out to do her business.
- Waste bags—Speaking of going outside, you’ll also want to have plastic bags along so you can clean up after her.
- Food, treats, bowls. Only take along food and a food bowl if your dog must eat during the time you’ll be there. And feed her behind a closed door so as not to cause problems with the other visiting dogs. Be sure to have a water bowl available at all times. Also, have treats on hand for rewarding her good behavior.
- Quiet chew toys. You need to pack a few things to keep your dog quietly occupied while you work. In fact, bring anything from home that can soothe your dog and keep her calm and quiet.
- Paper towels and pet stain remover. Just in case. Even a house-trained dog may have an “accident” in a new situation, so be prepared.
6. Remember that not all of your coworkers may be dog-friendly.
Hard as it is to believe, not everyone loves dogs. Don’t “push” your dog on others who seem skittish or who have told you they don’t care for dogs.
7. Have a “Plan B.”
You may want to just try a few hours at the office to start and see how your dog does. If you live close you could take her home or have a friend pick her up. Have a backup plan in case your dog isn’t able to acclimate to the environment. Sometimes a short walk down a quiet hallway or a brief trip outdoors can help. But if your dog just won’t settle in, be kind to her, and the people you work with, and take her home.
8. Remember, you are responsible for your dog.
Again, your dog should be with you at all times. She should not be out roaming the workplace and potentially bothering other workers or their pets. If your employer allows you to bring your dogs in, you want them to allow it in the future, too!
If the company you work for doesn’t currently participate in this event, you may want to consider lobbying them to do so. It has been shown that having dogs at work is a great morale booster. In fact, when handled properly, bringing your dog to the office can actually increase productivity, improve camaraderie among coworkers, encourage staff to work longer hours and help reduce stress.
Do you take your dog to the workplace with you? Send us your photos and stories – we’d love to hear about it!