The Office Courtesy Series: Dogs at work

| March 7, 2017
dogs at work

Make sure your coworkers are okay with your dog taking up a spot in the office. From John O’Nolan.

As offices ease up on the leash, so to speak, lucky employees at dog-friendly offices throughout the country are being invited to bring their best furry friend into work. Doggie beds, treats, and cubicles full of gawking, petting admirers: What’s not to love? Not much — for the canine, that is. But human counterparts and coworkers have to consider the unspoken rules when it comes to bringing dogs to work.

Plenty of companies are instituting dog-friendly policies. Mother Nature Network reports that, as of a 2006 survey, nearly one in five American companies allow dogs at work. Companies including Amazon Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Build-a-Bear Workshop, and Clif Bar all roll out the welcome mat for pets —on a daily basis, not just on Take Your Dog to Work Day (which, in case you were wondering, will next fall on June 20, 2014).

The ASPCA recommends prepping your office prior to your dog’s first day on the job: Tape up any loose cords and wires. Put away plants, breakable objects, and rugs, and store office supplies, such as toxic markers, in desk drawers where they can’t be accessed. “Once you think your workspace’s completely resistant to canine-related havoc, lie on the floor and look around once more to get a dog’s-eye view,” suggests the ASPCA.

Make sure you pack plenty of supplies: food, bowls, treats, her bed and favorite toys, as well as paper towels and cleaner for cleaning up any accidents. Consider bringing in a playpen or gate in the event you and your pet will be separated throughout the day. Double-check that your pup is current on all vaccinations, so as not to put him or your colleagues at risk. And only bring your dog in if she is housebroken.

dogs at work

IF you have a business that receives customers, check to see that htey don’t have severe allergies or phobias. From Juhan Sonin.

Most importantly, avoid rocking the boat by first talking to your coworkers about any potential allergies as well as any of their lurking fears. No matter how small and seemingly innocent your beloved pet appears to you, certain people are nervous around animals. Confirm with your supervisor that your dog meets the company’s policy requirements, if any, and stay on good terms with co-workers by letting them know of your plans.

Co-workers will also be able to tell you about their own dogs’ temperaments — which is important for working, and playing, together. Before letting your dogs loose together, let them meet each other in a neutral setting. Consider setting up separate play areas to give each dog her own territory. Cesar Milian, celebrity dog trainer, recommends giving your dog a place of her own at work, so that she doesn’t become territorial. Milian’s company also recommends making sure that your dog has enough stimulation by letting  her play and share toys with the other dogs at work for 20-30 minutes.

Above all, remember that you are accountable for your own pet (this includes his bathroom breaks) — although your dog may bring joy to the entire office, she’s your responsibility first and foremost.

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Category: Office courtesy

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