More and more companies around the world are beginning to let dogs into the workplace as a way to lower stress, boost morale and productivity, and indirectly, give employees an excuse to go out for fresh air every couple of hours for walks. There are a lot of companies that are embracing the idea of dogs at the office, whatever kind of office that may be, but there are a lot of rules and a certain etiquette that needs to be bared in mind when bringing your dog to work, even if they are dog friendly. For some advice on how to bring your dog to work, keep reading.
Make sure your dog has a place to be while you work. Before bringing your dog in for the first time, make sure you have a pillow or a bed set up for him so that when he comes with you he knows that that is his spot and it’s where he is expected to be. This will prevent him from becoming territorial and taking over your cubicle or office floor.
Make sure your dog is well behaved at work. I could never imagine bringing Lucas into a place of work because he is just so unpredictable. As I type in my “dining room office” in my home, he is asleep on a chair because he’s comfortable here, but if I were to move him to a different type of office, he’d be so curious and excited. Dogs in the work place should be non territorial, friendly, and well behaved. A trial run for a dog that may be wild is a good idea to make sure that he will find a place (the bed or pillow you got him) to settle and nap or play on his own. Alert your coworkers to any behaviors your dog may have (because let’s be realistic, no amount of training will ever get my dog to not jump on a newcomer. He’ll just never get it and we have learned to embrace it and give proper warning to people entering our house) so that they know how to act around your dog.
Your dog must be supervised at all times. Even though the office is dog friendly, it is still an office of some kind. There may be items, papers, or wires that are exposed to your dog, so no matter how well behaved they may be, they still need supervision. Some offices require that dogs be enclosed with baby gates or on leashes, as Amazon does, and some places just require that the owner makes sure he has the dog under total supervision so that he is not wandering around the office.
Dogs should be housebroken and have all of his up-to-date vaccinations. It’s really a no-brainer that your dog should be housebroken before bringing them into an office, but just in case you don’t know that, now it’s been said. In addition to that, make sure your dog is up to date on all of their vaccinations and medications so that they aren’t at risk, or do not put other office dogs or humans at risk for any reason.
Exercise together before and during the work day. It is wise to take your dog for a long walk before entering the office so that they are mostly drained of their energy and ready to be quiet and respectful while you are at work. If there are other dogs in the office, have them all meet in a territory outside of the office or any of their homes so that they are all on an equal playing field and let them get to know each other. This will make walks during the work day much more enjoyable for all of the humans and pooches involved.
Make sure your dog is properly stimulated. In a dog friendly work place there will likely be other dogs. Let the dogs play with each other’s toys to foster friendships and make sure that they have something to keep themselves busy while you work. If there are a lot of dogs in the office, schedule puppy play time so that all of the dogs can meet at one time to drain some of their energy and give their humans a break as well.
Owners should be responsible for their own dog. Obviously if everyone is friendly and comfortable with each other and their dogs, it’s okay to ask a coworker to keep an eye while you do something quick, like a bathroom break, but for the most part, you are responsible for your dog. If there is an accident inside, or a “deposit” outside, it needs to be cleaned by the owner right away. You need to know where your pooch is at all times, which should be just a few feet from you, or within eye sight if it’s a larger office.
Having dogs in the work place is the dream, and the fact that a lot of companies are letting this become the norm is so awesome. If you have any other tips for dogs in the workplace, let us know in the comments below!