June 20 is national Take Your Dog to Work Day in the United States, and thousands of dog owners will make the most of this opportunity on Friday.
A survey conducted by The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association in 2006 revealed that taking pets to work can lower stress, increase productivity, create a more co-operative working environment, increase the amount of overtime worked and reduce employee absenteeism – no wonder 17% of employers already allow their employees to bring their pets to work with them on a regular basis!
If you are lucky enough to take your dog to work on Friday, here a few tips to help make the day successful, and ensure your dog is asked again next year:
Once you’ve confirmed with your boss that he/she is happy for you to bring your dog into work, confirm with your co-workers that they are happy with the idea too.
If your dog has been well socialized and is used to meeting new people and dogs, then the day is likely to go well for you both. Should your dog have a nervous disposition, doesn’t like a change in routine, or you are going to be leaving your office a great deal during the day, consider whether its fair to subject your dog to what will be a stressful day for him.
On Thursday evening, before you leave the office, work out where your dog will spend the day – perhaps a corner in your office or under your desk – and make sure the area is free from electric cables, plants and any small objects your dog may pick up and chew. If you have your own office, consider taking a baby gate with you so your dog can have the run of your office.
On Friday morning, take your dog out for a good long walk or have a play in the garden to get rid of some of his surplus energy before you get to work – your co-workers will be more appreciative of a subdued dog than one who comes bouncing into the office eager to meet everyone!
Take your dog’s bed, travel crate or favorite blanket with you together with a few chew toys and his water bowl so you can create a safe haven for your dog. A stuffed kong is a good distraction, though avoid food treats if your dog is going to be around lots of other dogs as you don’t want to start any food rivalry! Also make sure you have a couple of towels, clean up bags and disinfectant just in case your dog has an accident.
During the day take your dog out for toilet breaks and try to give him a short walk during your lunch break or a game in a local dog park.
We all love our dogs but not everyone in your office will feel the same way. Don’t force your dog on people; the dog lovers in the office will soon search you out and come pay a visit.
If your dog looks uncomfortable, isn’t settled in your office or is overly boisterous, the best thing you can do is to take him home. Whatever you do, don’t leave your dog in your car until you finish work for the day.
The official Take Your Dog to Work site has some more information on how to make the day successful.
If you are taking part in Take Your Dog to Work day, have a great day!