For our dogs, spending time in a new environment such as your office can increase socialization skills and get 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 increases productivity, decreases stress levels and even lowers employee absenteeism.
As offices slowly start to reopen, dogs may join their owners for the workday. Before your dog’s first day at the office, it's important to make sure you're properly prepared. The American Kennel Club offers the following tips for people planning to take their dogs to work.
Ask your boss and human resources department beforehand to make sure your building is pet-friendly. 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 addition to your dog being comfortable, your colleagues should be, too.
Dog-proof the space
Before bringing your dog to the office, look around to be sure there is a pet-friendly space for him. Secure all cabinets and trash cans that may contain food. Remove small objects that can be a choking hazard. Be sure to cover exposed electrical cords or outlets to prevent injury or electrocution if chewed.
Be on your best behavior
Your dog should be housebroken, well-trained, well-socialized and safe around strangers before coming to the office with you. If your dog becomes anxious due to changes in the environment or social situations, the attention and noises associated with an office may cause them unnecessary stress.
Be mindful of health and hygiene
Leave your dog at home if they are under the weather. The last thing you want to do is get other dogs visiting the office sick as well. It’s also important to make sure all their vaccines are up to date before bringing them to work. Make sure they are clean and well-groomed before their day at the office. A dirty dog may cause complaints from co-workers.
Bring the necessities with you, including food and water bowls, chew toys, treats, clean-up bags and a leash. Be sure that they always have fresh water available.
Supervise your dog at all times
Be mindful of their behavior and make sure that they’re not getting overwhelmed or nervous throughout the day. If you plan on leaving your workspace for a meeting, make sure to enlist a trusty co-worker who doesn’t mind watching your dog while you’re away.