Paws up if you know that June 22 is National Take Your Dog To Work Day. If your place of employment will open its doors to your dog and you want to take your dog to work. Will it be a success? Is your dog “office ready”?
We’re not talking about whether he can pull off wearing a suit and tie (lol), but instead:
- Will he get along with your co-workers?
- Will he play nicely with the other dogs in the workplace?
- Will you be able to concentrate on your work or will you be trying to entertain Fido all day?
- Will he “stress poo” in the elevator?
- Is he a stress-barker who will give the other dogs anxiety?
If your dog is accustomed to spending his days on the couch with his other fur siblings watching the world from the comfort and safety of the house, he may not appreciate heading off to spend a day with you in the office. You need to know your dog’s temperament and his ability to adjust to change. Some dogs simply are better off at home in a familiar surrounding rather than being at the office place with other dogs who are stressed out.
A stressed dog, surrounded by other dogs who are nervous can lead to barking and fightings as well as “marking their territory.”
Here are some tips for Take Your Dog To Work Day success:
Ask if your workplace is participating. There could be office policy against dogs in the workplace -- even on Take Your Dog To Work Day. If you can bring your dog to work, ask your co-workers if they mind if you bring your dog. You may have co-workers who are allergic to dogs or who are afraid of dogs. Find that out first.
Don’t force your dog on your co-workers. Sure, you love your dog more than you can explain, but that doesn’t mean your co-workers will want your St. Bernard to slobber on their keyboard or their shoes. Let your co-workers know you will be bringing Fido with you and they can stop by your cubicle to meet him if they’re so inclined.
Know your dog’s personality. If your dog is not accustomed to other dogs, it could be problematic. A dog who is not socialized is one who may bark, mark his territory or lunge at another dog. If your dog is nervous when she’s not in her familiar location at home, she may be better served to stay there. Just plan to show off photos of her, but let her spend a quiet day at home. If you know your dog doesn’t play well with others, that will not change just because you’re in the office -- in fact, being in close quarters with other dogs can lead to fights and potential injuries. If you know your dog isn’t fond of other dogs, please for his sake, leave him home.
Know where you will take your dog so he can relieve himself. If your office space is on an upper level of an office building and you will need to ride an elevator to get outside, do you know where your dog can relieve himself once you get out there? Have a plan before you bring him to work.
Bring toys and a water dish. If your dog doesn’t typically eat during the day time, don’t bring him food; keep him on his regular schedule. Do bring a water dish and keep it by your desk. Bring a toy or blanket from home so your dog can play and so he can lay down on a familiar surface.
Have an exit strategy. If you have never taken your dog to work and aren’t at all certain how she will behave, you need to have an exit strategy if it’s not working out. In many instances, bosses maybe flexible and let you take your dog home if it’s not working out. If this isn’t the case or if it simply doesn’t make sense to leave work and make that trip, you need to have someone you can call to come and pick her up. Or, better yet, make certain you socialize her before Take Your Dog To Work Day rolls around; this way you can know whether she will enjoy her day at the office.
Know yourself. We know pet owner anxiety can be higher when your dog is stressed. If you are worried about how your dog will react at work, he will sense your stress and that will lead to his having anxiety. If you’re worried it will be a stressful situation for you, please leave your dog at home. Spend a little extra time when you get home giving him belly rubs and tell him about your day at the office. Sure, he may smell other dogs on you, but that’s okay -- it’s only one day!
Are you taking your dog to work? Share a photo of the two of you at the office on our Facebook page!
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