The most exciting event on your work calendar is almost here — Take Your Dog to Work Day, the singular morning of the year when hitting snooze isn’t at all necessary.
Before inquiring about getting your dog a visitor’s pass for this Friday (June 22), make sure this event is a thing at your office, because you definitely don’t want to be the only one who didn’t get the memo.
If the powers that be are on board, it’s time to start planning. Make sure your dog’s workday is a #win with these do’s and don’ts from Best Friends Animal Society.
Bring supplies! Have a good think about all the things your dog is going to need from 9 to 5. “Bring anything you’ll need to manage your dog during the day like your dog’s leash and collar or harness, your dog’s crate or bed, a water bowl, something to chew on, treats, a frozen Kong stuffed with peanut butter,” says Becca F. Woodruff, Dogtown behavior consultant. “You and your dog will have a better time if you can keep them safely contained, and if your dog has things to keep them occupied while you’re busy working.”
Communicate with your coworkers. If your pup is participating in the morning meeting, and every meeting in between, everyone’s going to need to know about it — especially other coworkers bringing dogs. “Ask them if they’re comfortable with dogs in their work area, or if they have allergies. Ask them if they are bringing a dog, and if so, if there’s anything you need to know about their dog. Communicate with them about your dog’s needs,” she says. “Tell them if your dog is head shy, has a sensitive back, or some other special needs that they need to be cognizant of. Tell them how your dog best meets other people and other dogs, and whether you’re interested in allowing meet and greets for your pooch.”
Take plenty of breaks. In between coffee breaks, take some quality canines breaks. “Getting up and moving is great for you, and it’s great for your dog,” says Woodruff. “You both get a break from the hubbub, and exercise will make you more productive when you get back to work.”
Network for your dog. If networking is like second nature to you, do your dog a solid and plan some out-of-office activities. “If your dog and your coworker’s dog hit it off, make plans for a play date at another time,” Woodruff suggests. “Dog-dog socialization is a wonderful way to enrich your dog’s life.”
Assume other dogs want to greet you or your dog. It’s just a good idea to play it safe and practice proper etiquette when socializing with other pups in the office. “Coming to work may be overwhelming for some of the dogs. Even if you have met the dog in another context, ask before greeting someone else’s dog,” she says. “Similarly, dogs may not want to meet other dogs in such an unfamiliar and potentially hectic environment. Again, ask the owner before allowing your dog to approach.”
Hand out valued items such as food or toys while other dogs are around. You know how it goes, when there’s free stuff in an office, it can be a free for all — especially with furry friends. “Treats and toys are great fun, but they may spark a disagreement between dogs. So make sure that if you’re giving something to your dog, that there are no other dogs nearby,” she says.
Keep your dog at work if they aren’t enjoying themselves. Offices are not for everyone (we should know, we have a serious aversion). “It’s perfectly OK to not have a dog that likes going to the office. If you know that about your dog – leave them at home. If you find that out about your dog while you’re at work, bring them home if you can,” she suggests. “If you can’t, then try to make them as comfortable as possible by providing them with something to lay on, and as much privacy as possible.”
Bring toys with loud squeakers or other noise makers. June 22 is all about dogs but take a moment to think of the cat people in other cubicles or offices. “Nobody wants to hear that while they’re working, and it may cause the other dogs to want to come over and investigate your dog’s toy,” Woodruff says. “As mentioned above, dogs may get into disagreements over valued resources like toys.”
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