For your dog, spending time in a new environment such as your office can increase socialization skills, getting them used to new people, smells and experiences. There is also a calming, soothing effect that dogs can have on humans. Studies have shown that having dogs in the workplace creates an increase in productivity, decreases stress levels and even lowers employee absenteeism. However, before your dog’s first day at the office, it is important to make sure you are properly prepared.
The American Kennel Club offers the following tips for those planning to take their dogs to work this year.
— Analyze the surroundings. Before bringing your dog to the office, take a look around to be sure there is a pet-friendly space for him. Secure all cabinets and any trash cans that may contain food. Remove any small objects from your dog’s reach that could be a choking hazard. Be sure to cover exposed electrical cords or outlets to prevent injury or electrocution if chewed.
— Get permission. Ask for permission from your boss and H.R. department beforehand to make sure your building is pet-friendly. You should also ask if any of your co-workers are allergic to or afraid of dogs. Give them a heads-up that your dog will be joining you in the office. In addition to your dog being comfortable, you want to make sure your colleagues are comfortable, too.
— Be on your best behavior. Your dog should be well-trained and housebroken before coming to the office with you. He should also be well-socialized and safe around strangers. If your dog becomes anxious over changes in environment or social situations, the attention and noises associated with an office may cause him unnecessary stress.
— Be mindful of health and hygiene. Leave your dog at home if he is under the weather. The last thing you want to do is have him get other dogs visiting the office sick as well. It is also very important to make sure all of his vaccines are up to date before bringing him to work with you. Make sure he is clean and well-groomed before his day at the office. A dirty dog may cause complaints from co-workers.
— Be prepared. Bring the necessities with you, such as food and water bowls, chew toys, treats, cleanup bags and a dog leash. Also, be sure that he has fresh water available at all times.
— Be a responsible dog owner. Supervise your dog at all times. Be mindful of his behavior, and make sure to check that he is not getting overwhelmed or nervous throughout the day. If you plan on leaving your workspace for a meeting, make sure to have a trusty co-worker on hand who doesn’t mind watching your dog while you’re away.