Take Your Dog To Work Day is on Friday, June 22 – are you and your pup ready? As someone who gets to bring her dog to work every day, I know I’m spoiled. Pet Sitters International has been promoting Take Your Dog To Work Day since 1999 to raise awareness of how much dogs bring to our lives and to encourage adoption.
But before you bring Fido into your office, there are some things you should prepare for and keep in mind:
Ask permission. This is the first step, and the most important. Ask HR if you can bring your dog to work, and ask your coworkers if they’re allergic or afraid of dogs.
Make your dog a good canine coworker. Has your pup had his shots? A bath? Is he potty trained? You love your dog, but not everyone else does. Make sure people will want to be around your dog.
Follow the rules. Portland advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy permits employees to bring their dogs to work, as long as they’re non-agressive, potty trained, and on a 6′ leash. You can work on acclimating your dog to a stimulating workplace by bringing him to coffee shops or other dog-friendly places where he can get used to being around new people.
Over-pack for dog’s day out. Be sure to bring any food your dog may need to stay on his regular feeding schedule, a water bowl, special treats, poop bags, toys or rawhides to keep him occupied, and a leash to tether him to your desk or other immovable object if you have to leave him unattended. Don’t tie him to a rolling office chair – I’ve seen an eighty pound Rhodesian Ridgeback drag one across an office and down stairs in pursuit of his master!
Some people just aren’t dog people. If your coworkers seem afraid or avoidant of your dog, don’t press the issue. Be considerate of peoples’ time and space – you are at work, after all.
Keep temptations out of reach. Candy jars and low, uncovered trash cans are not uncommon in offices. It’s not your coworkers’ responsibility to keep your dog out of their lunch, so take the time to dog-proof your work space beforehand.
Have an escape hatch. Your dog may get bored during your work day. Make sure you have open time in your schedule to take him to a nearby park or grassy area for a game of fetch or potty time.