National Take Your Dog to Work Day is Friday, June 24, when dog owners across the country are encouraged—with their employer's blessing—to bring their four-legged family members to work instead of leaving them behind at home. While they might be a distraction when it comes to being productive, having your canine companion at work can be a great ice breaker with colleagues you don't often interact with. It sets the stage for a relaxed and fun work day. However, National Take Your Dog to Work Day has some expectations and etiquette to ensure this fun day has no adverse consequences.
Being unprepared to have your dog at work can quickly make it a negative experience. Since everyone in the office still needs to get things done, you must ensure your dog is calm, quiet, and distracted when you and your colleagues need to focus.
Pack the following items for your dog for a day at the office:
- Food and water
- Favorite toys
- Poop bags
While your dog might be the most well-behaved pet you know, that doesn't mean their good behavior will continue in an unfamiliar environment around unfamiliar people. Watch your dog closely in the office, ensuring they're not jumping on co-workers, getting into trash cans, or chewing on electrical cords. It's wise to restrict them to a small area of the office, so they don't become overwhelmed and start acting out if they feel anxious. Your dog is likely to be a little uneasy in a new environment, so stay close to them to provide comfort and familiarity.
Schedule Outside Time
While your dog will need a few trips outside to eliminate as they would at home, put aside some extra time in your work schedule to bring them out for exercise/playtime. Time spent outdoors will help them get the nervous energy out and get them tired for an in-office nap so you and your peers can focus on work. Outdoor time will also help break up the day for them, adding variety to an 8-hour day in an office.
Create a Cozy Spot
Dogs are den animals, which means they love their private sanctuaries where they can rest and feel secure. This is especially important in an unfamiliar office environment where they're likely to feel uneasy. To create a cozy spot in your office, bring a familiar blanket from home and tuck it under your desk where they have some room to curl up. Place their toys near the blanket so their most prized possessions are close. Creating this space in the immediate area where you're working will give them peace of mind knowing you're close while they rest or sleep.
Keep Your Dog's Personality in Mind
Assessing whether participating in National Take Your Dog to Work Day is a good idea for your dog is essential. If your dog is even-tempered, social, good with other dogs, and comfortable in new environments, they are ideal for this special day.
Avoid taking your dog to work if they tend to exhibit these personality traits:
- Persistent bark when they see strangers
- Anxious in new environments
- Anxious around other dogs
- Aggressive when stressed
- Territorial or protective of you
As pet owners across the country enjoy National Take Your Dog to Work Day, etiquette isn't just about your dog's behavior and how you care for them in the office. Be sure to ask colleagues in advance, especially those who work in your immediate area, if they have pet allergies that might make them uncomfortable around your dog. If your office is free of pet allergies, taking your dog to work could boost morale and decrease stress for everyone in the office. Contact us to learn more about preparing your dog for a successful day with you at work or if they're overdue for their yearly wellness exam!