The dream of every pet owner is to be able to bring their pet to work. Therefore, whatever happens throughout the day, they can simply look at their adoring pooch and feel their anxiety melt away.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), researchers found that dogs may offer a higher level of social support than spouses.
Yet, that doesn’t mean that you should just waltz Fluffy right into your next board meeting.
Here are eight tips to help prepare your dog, yourself, and your coworkers for a k9 invasion at your place of business.
1. Speak with Your Boss and Coworkers
The best way to find success taking your dog to work is by speaking to your boss and coworkers beforehand. Nobody likes surprises, and everyone should be able to maintain a safe environment, including your dog.
So, make sure there are no allergies, or objections to having your dog in the workplace before bringing them in.
2. Ensure Your Dog is Trained and Social
Pets have their own personalities and it is imperative that your dog’s personality is well-suited for being in the workplace. At home, your dog might be sweet and listen well, but the workplace is unpredictable, especially for a dog. There are a lot of new people and strange situations that your pet may not be accustomed to.
Therefore, you should ensure that your dog is trained and social.
This sounds like it should be easy to decide. However, there are a few situations that might prohibit your dog from coming to work that you may not consider.
Here are a few questions that might make you reconsider whether you should bring your dog to work:
• Is dog over-protective?
• Is your dog overly-affectionate?
• Does your dog like people?
• Is your dog a barker?
• Does your dog like children?
• Does your dog like other dogs?
While attributes like being protective and affectionate are good, having too much of either could compromise workplace safety and production.
3. Pet-Proof Your Workspace
If you’ve gotten a green-light on everything up until this point, that’s great! Now, it’s time to think specifically about the safety of your pet. Spend a day at work, without your dog, making sure there isn’t anything harmful at your workspace.
Make sure all the food is removed from where the dog can find it and remove any poisonous plants.
Basically, you are going to want to keep your workspace like you would keep your home.
Plus, giving yourself a day will help you find daily hazards do that you might overlook on a quick sweep.
4. Get Your Pet a Work Bag Full of Supplies
Eight hours, (or more) of sitting quietly waiting for you to finish work is a long time for a dog. So, it’s important that your pet has everything they need to keep them entertained and taken care of throughout the day.
Here is a list of the basics that your Pet’s Work Bag should include:
• Collar, Leash, and Tags/License
• Copy of License and Updated Shots
• Bowls for and Food and Water
• Medications Your Dog Must Take
• Toys and Treats
• Plush Pet Bed
While there might be other items that you bring to make your pet’s workday bearable, these are the basic items.
5. Make Sure Your Pet’s Shots are Up to Date
Your pet should already be up to date with shots, but if you’re bringing them to work, this is imperative.
Regardless of the temperament or the type of the dog, they are still animals. Animals are always unpredictable and therefore, there is no way to keep accidents from occurring. Hopefully, this will never be an issue with your dog.
Yet, if it is, you want to prove that the dog is in good health and legal.
Not only do you want to be able to prove it, you want to have their documentation on hand.
That is why documents are a basic requirement for your dog’s work bag.
6. Plan a Potty and Feeding Schedule for Your Dog
Pets respond well to having a routine. Regardless of whether you’re at work or at home, your dog wants to know exactly what they should expect. This helps them feel safe in their environment, which makes a better workday for you.
The best way to do this is to plot out a schedule before going to work with your dog. Give them potty, feeding and exercise breaks throughout the day.
Therefore, they know how their day is supposed to play out.
(Plus, this will help break up the monotony of your day as well.)
7. Prepare for the Worst
Even if your dog is the most well-behaved pet on the planet, there might be a day that they are off. Everyone has bad days, even your dog.
So, it’s best to be prepared for this if it happens, instead of scrambling to find a solution amidst the chaos.
Before bringing your dog to work, come up with an exit strategy. The best solution is to be able to run your dog home, where they feel safest. However, if that isn’t possible, make sure there is a doggy daycare, or pet-sitter nearby.
That way, you can simply drop them off if you need to and get back to work without it ruining your day.
Also, don’t push your dog’s limits. If your pet seems to be off, or irritable drop them off at their safe place. It’s only one day and playing it safe is better than tempting your dog and possibly loosing the ability to bring them back.
8. Respect Boundaries
When you bring your dog to work, it is imperative that you respect boundaries. Never try to force an interaction between your pet and a coworker, regardless of how long they’ve known one another.
Just because you love having your dog at work, doesn’t mean your coworkers want a communal office pet.
If your coworker doesn’t want to have anything to do with your dog, respect that. If they are busy and can’t give your dog their usual attention, respect that as well.
Respect the wishes of the people around you, as well as your dog. If the dog isn’t a fan of someone you work with, don’t force your dog to interact with them.
In summation, if you use these eight tips to prep your dog for the workplace, the experience should be a rewarding one.