August 26th is National Dog Day. The annual celebration which was founded in 2004 is meant to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and others that bring us comfort, keep us safe, and even save lives. On this day, and on other days throughout the year, many of you may bring your four-legged pal to work with you rather than leave him or her behind for the day. But while you may feel comfortable punching in every day, the office experience can be a scary one for your pooch. This can lead to anxiety and even those dreaded accidents, but there are ways to keep Fido feeling relaxed:
Give your dog some safe digs
Grab your pooch’s favorite bed or blanket before you head out the door and then place it in a safe spot in your office. The dog will feel better having a place of its own and will help ensure your dog doesn’t get territorial which it may do if it needs to find its own place to rest. If you are going to be away from your pet during the day at all due to meetings, etc., you may want to think about bringing a play pen or crate to keep your dog cozy and contained until you get back.
Dog-proof your space
No matter where your dog sets up shop, you will want to make sure the space has been pooch-proofed. Tape up loose electrical cords and wires, hide any toxic supplies, and remove any dangerous plants. Also make sure any breakables or things you don’t want touched (or licked) are out of reach.
Stay up to date
You’ll definitely want to make sure your four-legged friend’s vaccinations are up to date before the first day at the office so that his/her health and the health of other animals is not put at risk. And don’t forget that doggies deserve a sick day too, so if your furry co-worker is feeling under the weather let ‘em stay home covered up under the covers for the day.
Tip: No matter how much you try to protect your pet’s health, accidents can still happen. That’s why you’ll want to keep both the poison control number and the number for your vet and the closest emergency vet on hand just in case something happens.
Be sure your pooch is potty trained
Before you even consider bringing your dog to work it is critical that he or she is fully housebroken. Nothing is worse than an animal that makes any space its own personal powder room (or an owner who tries to laugh it off). If you’re not fully confident they can make it through the day without a mess you may want to keep them home until you’ve had time to do a little more training. Even the best-behaved bowwow can have an accident, though, especially in a new place and around new people, so be sure to keep paper towels and pet-odor remover handy in case. You can help reduce the risk of ruh-rohs by taking your pooch outside every few hours.
When you head to the office make sure you bring everything you will need to keep your dog happy and occupied throughout the day; bring a doggy daypack full of food, treats and toys. Dog experts suggest a way to stimulate dogs and grow relationships with them and other dogs is to let them exchange toys or share one another’s for 20 to 30 minutes. This lets them get to know the scent of the other dog. Also be sure to bring food and water bowls and a sturdy collar with an ID tag and leash so you can bring your bud outside for some exercise.
Okay it with your co-workers
Make sure to speak with your co-workers before your hound even enters the halls of your office. Some may be afraid of dogs, others may be allergic, and some may just not like dogs. So you will want to discuss with them how to proceed with bringing your dog to the office to avoid any hard feelings. You may also want to make sure to keep your dog contained to your area so they don’t sneak away by those who may not welcome them, and always keep a close eye on your pooch; your animal is your responsibility, no one else’s.
Relax at the end of the day
At the end of the day you may be beat, so understand that your dog may feel the same way. That’s why it’s important to reward your pooch for a work day well done. Spend some time pampering your pal with a brushing or a good cuddle and then take some time to relax; you’ll likely both be dog tired.
Bringing your dog to work has been shown to boost morale and even increase productivity, so by following these steps you can make the day enjoyable for you, your pet, and your co-workers. If you are looking for other ways to celebrate National Dog Day, click here for some ideas.
Do you bring your dog to work? Do you know people who do? What do you feel are the pros and cons of allowing workers to bring their pooches to the office? Let us know!