This year, June 26th is a special day for most – it’s national Take Your Dog to Work Day! For us, it’s an exciting day because the rest of the world gets to experience what we do on a daily basis. It never gets old. We love bringing our dogs to work. We love watching our clients ooze sweetness with our pups as the stress of their day melts away.
Dogs have a way of bringing out the best in people. Pet Sitters International recognized that and created this special day to encourage adoptions from local shelters, rescue groups and humane societies. Dog ownership is an enriching experience, but it goes without saying it’s also a heavy responsibility. Same thing goes for a pet-friendly office program.
There’s a difference between occasionally bringing pets to work and having an official pet-friendly program. We encourage companies of all sizes to create a program that benefits the two and four legged kind and we offer these tips for success:
- Establish a few pet-free zones to avoid unexpected allergy problems or visitors who may be afraid of dogs.
- When you first bring your dog to work they may seem over-excited or possibly timid. Don’t worry if it takes a little time for your dog to get used to their new surroundings.
- Be sure to arrive a little early and allow your dog time to settle in before the busy day starts. If your dog is a new visitor, instruct your colleagues to let your dog approach them, not the other way around. Many dogs consider face petting, staring and hugging to be offensive.
- When introducing new dogs to resident office dogs always do your introductions on the outside of the building then walk the dogs in together. This helps ease any territorial issues. If time allows, a brisk walk around the block is best.
- If two or more dogs are sharing the same office space, consider removing all toys (especially bones) so there are no “possession” issues. Dogs often claim ownership of their belongings which could spark aggressive behavior.
- Keep all human food out of reach and never give a coworker’s dog any food without their permission. Many dogs have allergies and certain foods could be harmful or even fatal.
- Keep pets safe and out of trouble with simple updates like covered trash cans and good wire management.
- Consider making a supplies list. Baby gates are an inexpensive tool to separate dogs or block them from entering pet-free zones. Water and food bowls are a must, preferably ones your dog is accustomed to, and of course plenty of food and treats.
- Take the time to educate your coworkers on the training commands you’ve established with your dog. This makes communicating with each dog more effective.
- While your colleagues are probably happy to watch over Fido if you have to step out, your dog is your responsibility and should never be left unattended.
Enjoy the benefits of a pet-friendly workplace by creating a program that keeps our dogs and humans happy and safe.
Check out R+M’s pack.