Take Your Dog to Work Day is held on a Friday in June each year and we think this is a great opportunity for you to have access to instant stress relief at work, educate fellow co-workers on responsible pet ownership, and to experience something that will strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Here are some tips on how to make it happen, or at least give it the old college try.
- Get permission first. Check with your supervisor or manager to make sure that it is okay to bring your pet in with you. Also make sure to check in with co-workers to ensure there isn’t anyone who is particularly fearful of dogs or allergic to them.
- Know your pet. Consider your dog’s temperament, training level, health, and housebreaking status. All of these factors can play a part in how successful your day will be.
- If your pup gets anxious when it leaves the house, spending the entire work day where he/she will be out of their comfort zone may be too much to ask of them.
- He/she should be well trained and able to heed commands in public (we all know the ones that do exceptionally well at commands at home, yet somehow forget them the second they step outside of your door).
- Make sure your pet is up to date on all of their vaccines and is free of any fleas or ticks. A flea outbreak in the office would be hard to blame on someone else after bringing Fido in.
- Lastly, ensure your pet is housebroken. Again … the piddle spot on the floor will be difficult to pass off on someone else.
- Preparation. Once you’ve decided your pet is a good candidate to join you, it is time
to prepare! Pack a food and water dish, however many meals you will need, treats (consider using pieces of their kibble instead of fattening treats), pet waste bags, a leash, and a pet-safe cleaning agent (just in case). Also check your work space for hazards. Crouch down on the floor and see the world through your dog’s eyes. Think: paper clips, staples, pens, wires, and anything else that is within reach.
- A safe haven. Make sure you will be able to provide a safe place for your pet to hang out. Bring a dog bed from home or a portable crate. Just like at home, they should have a spot that is just for them so they can relax and decompress. Something to consider with crates: if your pet can be territorial of this space, make sure any visitors do not reach their hands in to the crate pet your dog. Have he/she come out of the crate and sit, and then the visitor can fawn over them.
- Plan out your day. Your dog’s routine will be out of whack, so make sure you are able to provide him/her with meals and walks at about the same time they would receive them on a regular day. Frequent potty breaks will keep your office’s floors free of accidents, and also gives you and your pet a time to take in some fresh air. Go on a walk and get in some exercise on your lunch break together. Even better, invite a co-worker and talk about how amazing your dog is the entire time (because let’s be honest … they are).
- Lastly, be ready with arrangements in case things don’t work out despite your best laid plans. Be prepared to have to take your pup back home or have someone pick him/her up if needed. It is a miracle we make it through the workday sometimes, so expecting your furry friend to do the same out of the blue may be “ruff” on them. Remember that they have perfected the art of doing nothing at home while we are at work. We have to be careful not to spoil those efforts.
Hopefully this experience will allow your pet to have a new found appreciation for all that you do to provide a roof over their head, food in their belly, and the best veterinary care available (shameless plug).
Who are we kidding, this may perpetuate their misconception that all we do is play on the computer all day, blab on the phone, and drink inordinate amounts of coffee. At any rate, we hope you and your pup have a great time on Take Your Dog to Work Day and that this experience is rewarding for both of you!