Taking your dog to work can brighten up even the most stressful workplace!
If you’re lucky enough to work in an environment that permits visits from your pooch, by all means, take advantage. But before you take your dog to work, keep these 10 tips in mind:
- Exercise your dog before work. A walk or some playtime will help burn off excess “steam”.
- Make sure your dog is well socialized and can perform basic commands like “sit, stay and come” at any given moment. “Stay” might be particularly important if you have a meeting to attend and can’t take him.
- Pack up a doggie kit the night before. A small backpack works well. In it, put a couple of your dog’s favorite toys (including a chew toy if he has one), treats, a water dish, a blanket or small bed for your dog to lay on, and poop bags.
- Chances are your dog is properly house-trained, but remember, in a new environment, your dog may not understand all the rules. Know where the closest patch of grass is and take him out for regular bathroom breaks to prevent accidents in the office.
- When you arrive at work, introduce your dog to your coworkers. Try putting him in a sit/stay position and have him “shake hands”. That will win over even the nervous colleagues!
- If there are multiple dogs in the office, introduce them one at a time and don’t forget to ask permission from your co-worker first. If your dog is scared of other dogs or doesn’t care for them, just leave him home.
- Keep your dog close to you during the workday so you can keep an eye on him. If you don’t have an office door, use a lead to secure him. Once everyone is comfortable, you can relax and let him explore a bit but ensure he knows where his bed is for the day.
- Take short doggie breaks throughout the day – 5-10 minutes of playing with a toy or doing tricks for treats helps break up the day for him.
- When you leave your space for a meeting, either secure your dog or take him with you on a short lead. Avoid leaving him in someone else’s care.
Watch your dog for any signs of discomfort. If he begins yawning a lot and licking his lips, you may want to take a break. After playtime or a breath of fresh air, see if he relaxes. If not, try bringing your dog to work for just part of the day in future.