Take Your Dog to Work Day is this Friday, June 26th. Before you get too excited about bringing your dog to work, there are a few things you need to know. Read these dog tips, and think it through before you decide to bring Scooby to the office.
Most businesses have strict guidelines about bringing your dog into work. If these rules aren’t followed, it could result in having to bring your dog home or having an awkward meeting with your boss. If your job doesn’t recognize this seventeen year old holiday, consider talking to your boss and coworkers about the benefits of spending the day with your dog, such as increased productivity, lowered blood pressure, and improved mood. I spoke with Kelly Pakula, Director of Communications at Zynga, about bringing her French Bulldog, Goose, to work with her everyday. “Being able to bring Goose into the office definitely increases my productivity,” said Pakula. “Having her in the office is also a nice reminder to take a 10-15 minute break every once in a while to take her out and get some fresh air. It’s a nice way to reset before I move on to the next project or meeting.” Pet Sitters International, who created the event in 1999, even created a handy dandy action pack that walks you through all parts of this holiday.
- Dog owners need to be aware that not everyone wants to be around their fluffy companions. Be sure to talk to your coworkers to make sure that they’re comfortable with your dog being around all day. Pakula agrees that it’s important to be “extremely mindful of everyone’s comfort level with dogs at work. To that end, Goose and all other dogs at the office are always on leashes, even when at desks, and we regularly get the carpets cleaned to make sure there are no issues with allergies.”
- Make sure to keep your dog on a leash or in your office the entire time they’re at work with you. I know if I brought my dog to work, she would head straight to the food in the break room if I didn’t keep her under close supervision.
- Bring everything your dog will need for the day. Be sure to have a water bowl, leash, collar, and things to keep your dog busy. She’ll probably want her favorite toys when she’s feeling energetic and her bed when she’s feeling tired. Having these things in the office will keep her from distracting you when you’re working on an important project.
- Figure out a back-up plan. Your dog may become possessive, overly energetic, or feel the need to eat everything in sight. Make sure you have someone who could come pick up the dog in case something goes wrong. It’s always good to have a dog walker come and take your dog out for an hour or so, letting your dog have some fresh air so they’re not feeling cooped up all day.
- Focus on the greater good. Take Your Pet to Work Day was created to shed light on the dogs who are in need of forever homes. Make sure your coworkers are aware of the plight of homeless pets. There are shelters all over the country full of adorable pets who would love to have a caring owner. Consider reaching out to local shelters when planning Take Your Pet to Work Day.
- Have fun! If you’re stressed the entire day about how Fido will behave, he’ll pick up on that and become anxious or unruly. (However, studies have shown that owners who bring their pups to work tend to be more mellow, so I’m sure you won’t have a problem there.) Be sure to relax and enjoy this extra time spent with your pup. But remember: be productive at work so you can celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day next year!
Not a dog owner? Have no fear! The entire week of June 22-26 is Take Your Pet to Work Week, with special days for bringing your cat, lizard, or hamster to work with you. Talk to your boss about these so no pet owner is left out of the fun.