June 26 is Take Your Dog To Work Day – ironically, as a Columbus dog trainer, that is one place I don’t take my dog! That’s because my dog training lessons are all about YOUR dog and YOUR issues.
Take Your Dog to Work Day was originally founded by Pet Sitters International to raise awareness for the high volume of dogs that are homeless and encourage people to adopt a dog from a shelter. According to the ASPCA, 3.9 million dogs are placed in animal shelters every year and 1.2 million dogs are euthanized.
More and more companies are allowing their employees to take their dog to work, because studies have found that dogs in the workplace bring many benefits. For many people, work can be very stressful and intense, and what better way to chill out than to look into the adorable eyes of a dog? What a great way to take a break – petting a dog or taking him for a walk. It’s a great way to boost employee morale and motivation and to lower absenteeism. Plus, dogs often provide some much needed comic relief.
However, not every dog has the right temperament to go to work. First, it’s important he responds to basic commands like Sit, Stay, and Come. Otherwise when you get an office full of dogs that don’t know the basics of obedience training, chaos can ensue!
Here are some other tips to make sure that you and your dog are well prepared for the day. Planning ahead is key:
- Well exercised. Take your dog for a long walk or run before you go into the office. This will make him calmer and less hyper when entering a new environment. When walking through the building, keep your dog on a leash.
- Pet proof. You know those cords hanging from your computer? Or the rest of the apple you just threw in your garbage can? Make sure your office space is pet proof.
- Familiarity. Bring along his favorite blanket, cage, toys, water bowl and food. When you first get to the office, give him time to sniff around and become familiar with his surroundings. Need to attend a meeting that day? Bring a baby gate or playpen to cordon off the area.
- Be respectful. There may be employees that are allergic to dogs or heaven forbid, don’t like dogs. Make sure your dog is not intruding on people who may not be as happy as you that he is there. Know the pet-free areas of the office such as the bathroom, food preparation areas, day care areas, meeting spaces, etc.
- Clean up. Because your dog is in an unfamiliar place there may be some accidents or marking. Come equipped with rug shampoo, poop bags, paper towels and pet odor remover.
- Up-to-date. Make sure all his vaccinations are up-to-date or you could be putting other pooches at risk.
Most of all, have fun! This could be a great opportunity for your dog to socialize with a bigger pack!