Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Held every June, international ‘Take Your Dog to Work’ day is a great way to help bring joy to the office. On this day, employers are encouraged to open their businesses to playful pooches as a simple (and effective!) way to help boost morale in the workplace. The day highlights the powerful and positive impact our dogs can have on our mental health, and also promotes the benefits of pet ownership.
Bringing the dog to the office needs to be a positive experience for everyone (including the dog), so there are some simple measures pet owners can take to ensure the visit is a success!
It’s important to remember that not everyone will appreciate a slobbery wet kiss or playful paws on their work attire. In fact, some of your co-workers could even be allergic to pets so it is important that you consider how bringing your dog to the workplace may impact your overall work environment. Before the day, be sure to check that bringing your dog to work is permitted and that your workplace is safe for pets. Some work environments simply aren’t suitable for our furry friends.
Is your dog in pawfect condition?
Is your dog workplace-ready? Before taking your dog to the office, make sure your dog is:
- Up to date on their vaccinations and has overall good health
- Is microchipped (and that your contact details are correct on the microchip register)
- Is happy to receive cuddles and attention from strangers. A nervous or shy dog might be best left at home.
- Is dog-social. If you’re bringing the pooch, there’s a chance your colleagues may too. Ensure everyone has a great day by only bringing social dogs out for a visit.
- Is crate-trained or is happy to stay on a mat or bed nearby. Excitable and energetic dogs may not want to stay at the office desk for prolonged periods of time and could annoy your colleagues.
- Is toilet-trained. While it is important that your dog is given sufficient pee-breaks, your dog should still be toilet-trained before visiting the office.
Does your dog have a safe place in the office?
Will your dog have a safe, and contained place to stay throughout the day? Many common items in the workplace can be hazardous for pets so make sure your dog can’t reach cables, cords or other items that might be unsafe. It is also important to ensure your dog (and their belongings) do not become trip hazards in the office for others too.
Make sure you have a suitable place designated for your dog to stay throughout the day. A suitable spot nearby where you can supervise your pet is best. Remember! This day is all about celebrating the amazing relationship we have with our dogs, so do everything you can to make the visit a positive experience for everyone. Allowing your dog to roam is likely to upset your colleagues, so it is your responsibility to make sure they can’t get up to mischief or cause mayhem. Restricting your dog’s access will also prevent them from escaping or getting lost.
If you are required to attend a meeting, make every effort to take your dog with you or leave the dog supervised with another designated person in your absence. And just in case, make sure you know the location of the closest veterinary hospital in case of any emergencies,.
Reward your dog for good behaviour
Have you attended your local dog training club? If so, it is likely that your dog will be trained using reward-based positive reinforcement. These important skills will help make the office visit so much easier as your dog will understand good behaviour and be appropriately rewarded for it. In the office, be sure to have lots of yummy treats available so that you can continue to reward your dog’s calm behaviour. throughout the day. The more yummy treats for a job well done, is likely to reinforce the same calm behaviour again.
Have a dog-bag ready
As important as it is for you to have your handbag of essentials, so too is it important to make sure you have a ‘dog bag’ ready for your pooch’s day at the office. Make sure you take:
- A dog crate that is a suitable size for your pet. If your dog is not crate-trained, be sure to take a comfy mat or bed for them to lay on.
- A water bowl
- Their favourite toy – food puzzles are a great way to keep your dog entertained!
- Lots of yummy treats
- Poop-bags to pick up their mess
- A suitable lead, harness and collar. Make sure your dog also has the appropriate gear to travel safely in the car.
Look after your best mate
On arrival, take some time to allow your dog to sniff and explore this new environment. Depending on your dog, new smells, noises and places can be overwhelming and it is important that you allow your dog some time to stretch their legs, have a toilet break and desensitise to the new environment before going inside. Some younger dogs can be excitable so taking a few moments to lower their arousal levels and relax could be beneficial.
Before getting settled, let your dog meet your co-workers and the other dogs that may be in the office (if appropriate). Letting your dog have some free time to be social and engage in others will help you settle your dog when it’s time to calm down.
Ensure you set aside lots of toilet breaks and moments to allow your dog to go for walks throughout the day. Having your dog at the office is a good excuse to finally go on that walk during your lunchtime break and frequent toilet breaks should reduce the possibility of accidents inside.