National Take Your Dog to Work Day takes place yearly in June to highlight the fact that dogs make excellent companions and encourages the adoption of homeless dogs. This holiday was first celebrated in 1999 and is promoted by Pet Sitters International. This special day is set aside to encourage employers to open their workplace to employees' four-legged friends.
Who wouldn't want to take their dog to work? After all, there are plenty of studies highlighting the benefits of allowing pets in the workplace including stress relief, increased productivity and improved employee morale. There are things to consider, however, before bringing your pup to the office.
It's probably not a great idea to show up with your pet unannounced unless your office is already Fido friendly. Clarify any expectations with your supervisor and coworkers to make sure your dog is welcome. Fellow employees with allergies will appreciate notice to arrange for dander-free areas or to stock up on allergy medications.
It's time to take an honest look at your precious pup. Not all dogs are suitable for office life. Shy or unsocialized dogs may even be aggressive in new situation. While coming to work could be good to help your dog branch out, it's best to expose your dog to other situations as a trial before putting yourselves in an awkward or even dangerous position.
Is your pet like a pogostick? Make sure he goes on a long walk or jog before work to ensure he is calm enough to be a good companion at work. Use your lunch hour for an additional walk.
Elderly dogs can be especially nice office companions as they are likely to be mellow and sleep.
Think about the things that will make your dog's time at the office a pleasurable time. A bed, favored toys, treats and chewies will make the day smooth for everyone. Chew toys are particularly important for working out any stress your pup might be feeling about being in an unusual environment. Bring bowls for food and water, and a leash for outings. A crate might be a good idea to give your dog his own space and a safe place to be contained if you need to go somewhere.
Nothing will get your dog in trouble faster than a mess. Make sure your trash is emptied of food scraps to keep your dog from being tempted to go scavenging. Bring those little doggie doo-doo bags to ensure your pup's visit is remembered for all the right reasons. Paper towels and cleaning products should also be included in your pet's office survival kit, just in case! A lint roller will be helpful to remove any dog hair.
A cute dog is likely to be invited back. Consider putting your pup in an adorable outfit. Not only will dressing up your dog increase the fun factor, but dog clothing also keeps shedding and dander to a minimum, which allergy sufferers will appreciate. Even a simple bandana or neck tie will make your dog seem more friendly and even appropriately attired.
Does your dog know any tricks? Show them off during break time to be an ice breaker and enhance the mood of the office.
Who knows? The day could be so fun that your dog could be invited back regularly! Ideally, you may even inspire a coworker to provide a home to a pet that needs to be adopted.
Do you take your dog to work? How canine friendly is your office? Does having dogs at work make office life better or more complicated?
Photo courtesy of RowdyKittens.