11 Tips to Make “Bring Your Dog to Work” Day a Success - Simply For Dogs
Bring Dog to Work

11 Tips to Make “Bring Your Dog to Work” Day a Success

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Welcome back to the blog where I tell you all about my adventures at the dog park. Seriously, it feels like all I do is tell you that Janice, Leroy, and I met someone at the dog park who got me thinking. These stories always pick up during the summer months, and lately, the dog park’s been just as busy as ever. Maybe my insistence that dogs need more exercise than humans think has been rubbing off! Or it could be the fact that a Starbucks just opened up across the street. Either way…

A couple of days ago, the dog park was hopping when Janice, Leroy, and I showed up. We saw a few regulars, including my friend Al with his new dog Harlow; but I also noticed a woman wearing a very fancy business suit struggling to play with a pretty hyper terrier mix. It was smack dab in the middle of the workday, and she looked like she should have been in an office somewhere. It didn’t take long for Leroy to make friends with her dog, and she looked pretty frazzled while they played. I quickly learned that she’s normally great with the dog, but she took him to “Take Your Dog to Work Day” at the office, and it turned into a disaster. She was trying to get him to calm down a bit before she had to head back to work – with the dog in tow.

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PETMAKER Foldable, Free-Standing Wooden Pet Gate- Light Weight, Indoor Barrier for Small Dogs/Cats by Light Brown, 24 Inch Step Over Doorway Fence
Wahl Dog/Pet Deodorant Spray, Eucalyptus and Spearmint
PetCords Dog and Cat Cord Protector- Protects Your Pets From Chewing Through Insulated Cables up to 10ft, Unscented, Odorless
MidWest Deluxe Bolster Pet Bed for Dogs & Cats
2PET Foldable Dog Crate - Soft, Easy to Fold & Carry Dog Crate for Indoor & Outdoor Use - Comfy Dog Home & Dog Travel Crate - Strong Steel Frame, Washable Fabric Cover, Frontal Zipper Medium Beige
PETMAKER Foldable, Free-Standing Wooden Pet Gate- Light Weight, Indoor Barrier for Small Dogs/Cats by Light Brown, 24 Inch Step Over Doorway Fence
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Wahl Dog/Pet Deodorant Spray, Eucalyptus and Spearmint
Wahl Dog/Pet Deodorant Spray, Eucalyptus and Spearmint
$6.99
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PetCords Dog and Cat Cord Protector- Protects Your Pets From Chewing Through Insulated Cables up to 10ft, Unscented, Odorless
PetCords Dog and Cat Cord Protector- Protects Your Pets From Chewing Through Insulated Cables up to 10ft, Unscented, Odorless
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MidWest Deluxe Bolster Pet Bed for Dogs & Cats
MidWest Deluxe Bolster Pet Bed for Dogs & Cats
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2PET Foldable Dog Crate - Soft, Easy to Fold & Carry Dog Crate for Indoor & Outdoor Use - Comfy Dog Home & Dog Travel Crate - Strong Steel Frame, Washable Fabric Cover, Frontal Zipper Medium Beige
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PETMAKER Foldable, Free-Standing Wooden Pet Gate- Light Weight, Indoor Barrier for Small Dogs/Cats by Light Brown, 24 Inch Step Over Doorway Fence
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Last update on 2018-06-17 at 18:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why Take Your Dog to Work?

This is a newer trend that is really starting to gain traction in certain cities, and it turns out that there is some strong scientific evidence that it could be good for people. Studies have shown that bringing a dog to work can:

  • Improve coworker relations
  • Lower anxiety for both humans and dogs
  • Boost employee creativity
  • Improve the health of employees
  • Make stronger connections with clients and vendors

Those are important changes and I think it’s a unique way to solve some common problems that come with working in an office setting. But you do have to remember that dogs are creatures who react to every situation in unique ways. There’s no guarantee that a dog will behave in an office setting, even if they snooze all day at home. So I started thinking about ways to make this trend work.

1. Be sure that your colleagues are all okay with it

I’m not saying you shouldn’t take advantage of your company’s dog-friendly policies just because your closest coworker hates dogs. But if there are people with allergies, or if someone has a severe phobia of dogs, it’s not a great idea to bring your dog in. Not only will it make a bad environment for your coworker, but it also creates a bad environment for your dog. If your boss allows dogs in the office, but your nearest cubicle mate is allergic, consider asking your boss if you can be temporarily moved if it’s that important to you.

Related Content:

11 Jobs for People Who Want to Work With Dogs
15 Amazing Dog Jobs
7 Signs That You Are Cut Out to Work with Dogs

2. Be sure that your dog is physically fit enough for the office

Most offices that allow dogs in the workplace require that shots be current and that he has a clean bill of health. But in addition to making sure he’s healthy and safe, you also want to consider the physical “readiness” of your dog. For example, is he currently clean and well-groomed? No one wants lingering dog smell or a lot of shed hair all over their office. You might want to bring along some dog deodorant and a few extra lint rollers just in case.

3. Be sure to plan a careful schedule of breaks and feeding times

The next step is to prepare the plan. Your dog will need potty breaks and feeding while at work, but if you have a conference call or a meeting after lunch, it will clash with your plans to feed your dog a couple of hours after noon. So be sure that you have your schedules in sync before you head into work. You need to be able to commit to giving your dog regular breaks and attention, and you need to know what they’ll be doing during any periods where you have to focus for a longer period of time on work. You may need to arrange to have your dog well-exercised and ready for a nice long nap before you clock in for the day.

Bring Dog to Work

4. Prepare your office for dog safety

The last tip for preparation is to ensure that your office is safe for your dog. Look around for any plants that are poisonous for dogs. Make sure your cords are not all over the ground or cover them with a dog cord protector to keep your pup safe. Make sure your dog can’t get to cleaning supplies or office supplies like markers that could be toxic to them. Also, consider what areas your dog should not go into, and be sure you know how you’ll prevent them from doing just that. If the lobby has a busy entrance that could let your dog slip out, for example, then be sure to keep your dog away from the lobby area. If the copy room is filled with boxes on the floor of printer ink, be sure your dog stays out of there.

5. Pack them a briefcase

When you head to work, what do you take with you? Documents you took home to review, your smartphone, your lunch, that presentation you’ve been working on, gym shoes for after work? In other words, you’re bringing along anything you need to get through the day to keep your mind occupied and your body running. Your dog needs the same things. In addition to bringing food, a water dish, and a place where they can stay when they need to be still, you should also consider their mental stimulation. Fun toys filled with treats or even their lunch can keep them busy for quite some time.

6. Bring an “Oops” kit

Your dog needs a few things to get through the day, but that’s not all you should bring. Be sure you also have things like waste bags, a pet-safe disinfectant or cleaner, an extra leash, and anything else you may need to clean up or handle any accidents. If your workplace is large enough, a portable kennel may also be a good idea in case your dog gets anxious or too energetic.

7. Don’t bring your dog to work if he isn’t completely housebroken and basically good mannered

No one expects a dog to be perfect, but they do expect their colleagues to use common sense in a professional space. If you know your dog struggles to behave around new people or finds traffic to be very distracting, then consider how his behavior will distract all your coworkers. Your boss won’t be happy if the stress-relief offered by an office canine turns into procrastination or missed deadlines.

8. Always have a quick exit strategy

Here’s something that my friend in the park didn’t have, and should have before bringing her terrier to work. Always be sure that you have a plan in place to get your dog home right away if they become a distraction or if they are clearly not comfortable. This might be a relative coming to get them, you taking them home on your lunch break, or you clocking out for the rest of the day if need be. Be sure that, if your plan involves you leaving, that you’ve cleared this plan with your boss first.

9. Don’t expect everyone to interact with your pup

It’s okay if some coworkers don’t seem interested in your dog. Maybe they have a big deadline coming up and need to focus; maybe they are a cat person. Whatever the case may be, don’t take your dog around to “introduce him” to everyone, because that can feel like an invasion – and it’s also needless anxiety for the dog. Let those who want to interact with your dog come over to your space, where your dog will be less overwhelmed by all the new sights and smells.

10. Always keep your dog on a leash or confined

Never allow your dog to be roaming free inside the office space without a leash. He should either be confined in a gated area, in a kennel, or on a leash, at all times. This is not just for the safety of your coworkers, but also for his safety. Wouldn’t want anyone to blame him for anything that he didn’t do, just because he happened to be around. If your dog is laying calmly under your desk, he should still have on a leash so that you can grab him if he bolts. You never know what might happen when a delivery arrives, a new sound is heard, or a door is opened somewhere. This is not the place to give your dog the benefit of the doubt.

11. Turn Bring Your Dog to Work Day into a charity event

This last tip is more for those who are trying to convince their bosses to create a “Bring Your Dog to Work Day” event. Instead of just talking up how good it can be for the workers, mention how easy it would be to create a charity event out of it for some good publicity. Have a customer raffle with donations going to a local shelter, or bring in a representative from a local rescue group to speak to your office and your customers about their needs and services. There are many ways to turn this into an event that improves your company’s image, and that’s always a seller for the boss.

Improving Your Work-Life Balance

One of the reasons that I finally left my old career as a call center manager, and started embarking on this new life as a remote employee at home, was to be closer to Janice and Leroy. I wanted to have a little more life in my work-life balance. There are many instances in your life when you may need to blur the lines just a little. For example, bringing your dog to work when the dog is a senior, and nearing the end of their life, can make you both feel closer. You won’t feel as though you’re missing out on their last days just because you have to work all the time.

Another good point to make to a boss is that with your dog with you at the office, it may be easier for you to stay a little later at times. On this side of the equation, you are putting a little more work into your work-life balance – but because your “life” side of the equation is there with you, it’s not so bad. To me, this is a win-win for everyone involved. While I think that there definitely need to be pet policies in place at work, I do think that more offices should consider adding a Bring Your Pet to Work Day event to their calendars, just to give it a try.

Dog’s Products On Amazon

Wahl Dog/Pet Deodorant Spray, Eucalyptus and Spearmint
PetCords Dog and Cat Cord Protector- Protects Your Pets From Chewing Through Insulated Cables up to 10ft, Unscented, Odorless
MidWest Deluxe Bolster Pet Bed for Dogs & Cats
2PET Foldable Dog Crate - Soft, Easy to Fold & Carry Dog Crate for Indoor & Outdoor Use - Comfy Dog Home & Dog Travel Crate - Strong Steel Frame, Washable Fabric Cover, Frontal Zipper Medium Beige
PETMAKER Foldable, Free-Standing Wooden Pet Gate- Light Weight, Indoor Barrier for Small Dogs/Cats by Light Brown, 24 Inch Step Over Doorway Fence
Wahl Dog/Pet Deodorant Spray, Eucalyptus and Spearmint
PetCords Dog and Cat Cord Protector- Protects Your Pets From Chewing Through Insulated Cables up to 10ft, Unscented, Odorless
MidWest Deluxe Bolster Pet Bed for Dogs & Cats
2PET Foldable Dog Crate - Soft, Easy to Fold & Carry Dog Crate for Indoor & Outdoor Use - Comfy Dog Home & Dog Travel Crate - Strong Steel Frame, Washable Fabric Cover, Frontal Zipper Medium Beige
PETMAKER Foldable, Free-Standing Wooden Pet Gate- Light Weight, Indoor Barrier for Small Dogs/Cats by Light Brown, 24 Inch Step Over Doorway Fence
$6.99
$14.25
$19.99
$41.89
$27.99
-
-
-
-
-
Wahl Dog/Pet Deodorant Spray, Eucalyptus and Spearmint
Wahl Dog/Pet Deodorant Spray, Eucalyptus and Spearmint
$6.99
-
PetCords Dog and Cat Cord Protector- Protects Your Pets From Chewing Through Insulated Cables up to 10ft, Unscented, Odorless
PetCords Dog and Cat Cord Protector- Protects Your Pets From Chewing Through Insulated Cables up to 10ft, Unscented, Odorless
$14.25
-
MidWest Deluxe Bolster Pet Bed for Dogs & Cats
MidWest Deluxe Bolster Pet Bed for Dogs & Cats
$19.99
-
2PET Foldable Dog Crate - Soft, Easy to Fold & Carry Dog Crate for Indoor & Outdoor Use - Comfy Dog Home & Dog Travel Crate - Strong Steel Frame, Washable Fabric Cover, Frontal Zipper Medium Beige
2PET Foldable Dog Crate - Soft, Easy to Fold & Carry Dog Crate for Indoor & Outdoor Use - Comfy Dog Home & Dog Travel Crate - Strong Steel Frame, Washable Fabric Cover, Frontal Zipper Medium Beige
$41.89
-
PETMAKER Foldable, Free-Standing Wooden Pet Gate- Light Weight, Indoor Barrier for Small Dogs/Cats by Light Brown, 24 Inch Step Over Doorway Fence
PETMAKER Foldable, Free-Standing Wooden Pet Gate- Light Weight, Indoor Barrier for Small Dogs/Cats by Light Brown, 24 Inch Step Over Doorway Fence
$27.99
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Last update on 2018-06-17 at 18:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Final Word

Eventually, the terrier at the dog park got tired and trotted over to his owner, happy that he’d gotten to play. The owner was a commuter from another nearby town, who carpooled with other employees, or else would have just gone home. As it was, she had no choice: She scooped him up and headed back to her job, having lost more than an hour of productive work time. I doubt she’ll bring that dog back to the office, but you never know. If you’ve struggled to figure out how to bring your dog to the office, keep these 11 tips in mind. You may need to try multiple scheduling options before you get the right schedule for your dog and your coworkers. In any case, you’ll have had a cool experience that not many office workers can say they’ve had!

Related Content:

11 Jobs for People Who Want to Work With Dogs
15 Amazing Dog Jobs
7 Signs That You Are Cut Out to Work with Dogs

Sources:

https://www.fastcompany.com/3037205/your-definitive-argument-for-a-pet-friendly-office

https://www.petsit.com/take-your-dog-to-work-day-7-tips-for-success

http://dogtime.com/dog-health/dog-behavior/19968-dos-and-donts-of-take-your-dog-to-work-day

About the Author Ash