June 25th is National Take Your Dog to Work Day, and if you're like thousands of other Americans, you're bringing Fido along with you to the office. Having a canine companion in the workplace isn't only exciting — it's proven to boost employee morale. Studies show that having a pet on the job increases productivity, reduces workload stress, and promotes employee interaction.
That being said, there are some etiquette rules you should follow when taking your dog to work. Let's discuss the 5 etiquette rules to ensure your doggy workday goes according to plan.
First things first: you should check in with your coworkers to make sure they're okay with Fido being in the office. Allergies and fears of dogs are very valid concerns. The last thing you want is to have your coworker break out in hives or run for the hills upon seeing your fur-baby. If you get the green light to bring your pup in, don't force your dog on any of your coworkers. If they want to pet your pup, they will.
Be sure to talk to your supervisor about corporate pet policy too. Even if it's not in your handbook, it's a good idea to check with your superiors just in case it violates the building's lease terms. Don't be afraid to bring it up to them. You might be surprised at how open to the idea your higher-ups might be.
There are a few things you need to do to prepare your dog before bringing them on the job. First and foremost, it's crucial that you socialize your dog. Undersocialization can cause a slew of issues in the workplace, including disruptive barking, fearfulness, and, in extreme circumstances, aggression. Take your pup to the park and focus on getting Fido comfortable around other humans before bringing them into the workplace.
Secondly, make sure your dog is fully vaccinated. Your dog could be carrying an illness or parasites you don't know about and spread it to other dogs in the workplace. Likewise, don't bring your pooch to work if you suspect they are feeling unwell or if they have fleas, ticks, or other parasites.
Before bringing your pup on the job, a full grooming session is in order, including bathing and brushing. Think of it as a doggy dress code. Your boss wouldn't want you coming in dirty and smelly, and that goes for your dog too.
Last but not least, your dog should be well-trained before bringing them into the workforce — this means leash trained, housebroken, and taught to control their barking. Make sure your dog has dependable recall and that they don't jump up on people either.
It's a good idea to bring along a backpack with supplies your pup will need during their "workday". Besides the basics like food and water bowls, bring some cleaning supplies in case a spill or an accident happens. At the very least, you should bring:
- Water bowl
- Poo bags
- Paper towels
Some pet parents prefer to bring along a crate too. Crates have several advantages in the workplace — they contain the dog, give them a space to rest, and allow them to get away from workplace commotion.
Bathroom breaks are so important when taking your dog to work. An accident on the job could mean the difference between your dog getting the boot or becoming a regular in the workplace. Take Fido to potty on all your breaks to ensure they aren't holding it for too long.
Give your pup lots of treats and praise when they relieve themselves during your designated breaks — this will not only positively reinforce the behavior, but it will also train their bodies to know when to expect a bathroom break.
In the words of the famous dog whisperer Cesar Millan, “A tired dog is a good dog.” Wearing out your fur-baby with a walk beforehand can help your pup put their best paw forward on the job. Not only will a walk give your dog an opportunity to relieve themselves, but it will also expend some of their energy and make them better behaved.
We hope your National Take Your Dog to Work Day goes as well as "pawssible". Remember, ask your supervisors and coworkers in advance if it's okay to bring Fido to work. Come prepared with all Fido's necessities, and take advantage of your breaks to let Fido relieve themselves. Don't forget to make sure Fido is job-ready too. Most of all, have fun and enjoy your workday!