This Friday, offices everywhere will be going to the dogs in celebration of the thirteenth annual Take Your Dog to Work Day. According to a 2008 American Pet Products Association national poll, nearly 20% of Americans report that their workplaces permit pets. Studies have shown that having dogs in the workplace increases productivity, improves morale and teamwork, and actually decreases employee absenteeism. It has certainly worked that way at Karen Pryor Clickertraining, where our four-legged office friends include a boston terrier, a Lab, a hound-pointer mix, a border collie, a German spotted poodle, a Belgian malinois, and a mastiff!
To help make your dog's office debut more productive, the American Kennel Club offers the following tips:
Survey the scene. Before bringing your dog to the office, take a look around and pet-proof your space. Secure all cabinets and trash cans that contain food. Remove anything smaller than a tennis ball or any items within your pet's reach that have sharp edges or could be a choking hazard. Cover any exposed electrical cords or outlets to prevent burns and electrocution from chewing.
Behavior. You should take only well-trained and housebroken dogs to work with you. Make sure your dog is socialized and safe around strangers. If your dog is unnerved by changes in environment or social situations, the attention and strange noises associated with an office could cause your dog undue stress.
Health. You would stay home from work if you were sick and so should your dog. If your pup has a contagious condition, it is best if he stays at home. It is also very important to make sure any pet visitor is up-to-date on all vaccinations.
Hygiene. Just as you care for your own hygiene before heading for work, make sure your dog is clean and well-groomed before you take him to the office. A dirty dog could cause co-workers to complain.
Bring the necessities. Make sure you bring with you all necessities for your dog, such as bowls, food, quiet chew toys, treats, clean-up bags, and a leash.
Supervise! Keep an eye on your dog at all times. Be mindful of those who might be afraid of your dog and people who are allergic to pets. At KPCT, we find it helpful to have baby gates at the entrances of our office doors to keep dogs safely confined.
Does your office permit pets at work? Let us know!