Some people love the idea. Some people grumble about it. Regardless of how you feel about pets in the workplace, it’s back! Tomorrow, June 25th, is the official “Take Your Dog to Work Day.”
If your employer permits animals in the office, but you’re on the fence about introducing FiFi to your coworkers, consider that spending time in new places can help socialize your dog and get her more comfortable with new experiences. Pets also tend to have a calming effect on (most) humans. Studies show that having pets in the workplace can help create a more productive work environment, lower stress levels and aid in reducing employee absenteeism. A recent CNN survey revealed that 75% of people said they would work longer hours if they were able to bring their pet to the office.
Here are a few common-sense pointers to help ensure a positive experience for everyone involved during this annual event:
Pet proof your cubicle: Before your dog visits, remove all small, chewable items that could be a potential choking hazard as well as anything with sharp edges. It’s also wise to cover exposed electrical cords or outlets. If you don’t want to keep your dog on a leash, put up a baby gate at your office door to keep her from wandering off.
Create a happy home away from home: Make your dog comfortable by bringing in a cozy bed or favorite blanket where she can chill out. Also be sure to pack bowls, food, poo bags and a few treats to reward good behavior.
Keep boredom at bay: Give your pup a chew toy or other “job” to keep her occupied while you’re working. It’s also a good idea to designate a surrogate office pet parent to look after your pup in the event that you are stuck in a lengthy meeting.
Be realistic: You should only take your dog to work if she is healthy, up-to-date on her vaccines, well-trained, well-socialized and, of course, housebroken. If you already know that your dog can become skittish or aggressive in new situations, it may be best for her to sit this event out.
Practice good canine hygiene: No one likes a dirty dog. Be sure your pooch is clean and well-groomed before her corporate debut.
Be a responsible owner: Some of your cubicle mates may be allergic to or afraid of dogs, so never assume that everyone is happy to see your prized pup prancing down the hallway. Keep her on leash in common areas and always make your dog sit politely to greet other people and their dogs.
Have a “plan b” in place: Just in case your pooch doesn’t dig the office scene, arrange (ahead of time) to take her to a reputable dog sitter or daycare place nearby where she can safely and happily spend the rest of the day until you are ready to retrieve her.
Are you planning to bring your favorite canine comrade to work tomorrow? We’re planning to set Nigel up with a webcam to stream live video from the office tomorrow – watch for a special post!