Take Your Dog to Work: Tips & Products
Friday June 22nd is the 13th ever TYDTW Day– That’s right—Take Your Dog to Work Day! I am very fortunate because I get to take my two dogs to work nearly EVERY day. Because of all of this practice, I would like to share with you some advice and products that will make this day great for you AND your dog! Who knows—maybe your pooch’s exemplary behavior will merit them a second invitation.
First off—prepare your pet. If at all possible, take them in to the office over the weekend so that some of the sights and sounds are familiar. Spend a few minutes letting them sniff around with no one there. It will make them much more comfortable when Friday rolls around. Additionally if they will be encountering elevators, escalators (generally pets are not allowed on escalators), stairs etc and these obstacles are new to your dog—try introducing your pooch to them BEFORE the 22nd. Also, on the morning of the 22nd, be sure to take your dog for a vigorous walk before work—it will help to burn off some energy and hopefully avoid any morning “accidents” in the office.
If your dog isn’t used to riding in the car, take them on a few rides before their first trip to work. It’s not fun to arrive to work only to have to clean up doggie vomit on your backseat. And if they are riding in the car—please harness or crate them in and at a minimum, your dog should be confined to the backseat. For little ones, this car carrier is great, your furkid can still look out the window while fully restrained and safe. Distracted driving is dangerous and there’s nothing more harrowing than a tongue up your nose or a small loved one under your brake or gas pedal.
From the moment you arrive at work, your dog should be leashed. Remember, not everyone likes to be greeted by a nose in the crotch or a lick on the leg. If you use a retractable leash at home, leave it there. The workplace is better suited for regular fixed leads like the ones from Up Country. They are easier to tether and you will have a lot more control over your dog. Even if you’re surrounded by dog lovers, it’s always a good idea to ask the person’s permission before you allow your dog to approach them.
Depending on your work space, you might consider bringing a pet gate. I have tried a few options, and I prefer this pet gate by Bindaboo because I can open it with a single hand and it allows easy entrance/exit for people, but not dogs – even if they’re little. It also locks in securely to the door without the need for hardware or damaging the door frame.
One thing you absolutely positively cannot forget—a clean up kit. Bring paper towels, plastic bags and some Nature’s Miracle — a necessity in making your pet welcome. Hopefully you’ll be taking your dog out a few times for potty breaks, but it’s always good to be prepared.
You should also have treats on your person at all times—positive encouragement is the best reward and will result in the best behavior. My girls go wild for Stella and Chewys dog treats, they are the perfect tiny size so that they don’t ruin their dinner, but also provide plenty of incentive for them to behave.
Should you be called away for a meeting can you trust your dog to keep quiet? A great trick is to lightly line a kong with a little peanut butter or spray cheez and you’ll find a less destructive and more entertained dog when you come back. If your dog tends to yip and yap, and you can’t take them into a meeting, entrust a colleague (preferably one that your dog(s) already know) to sit with them. Give your co-worker plenty of treats as well as a spray bottle. A little squirt of water in the muzzle accompanied by a sharp “No!” will let your dog know that this behavior is not acceptable.
A great reference tool is a book called Dogs At Work, it lays out some challenges and solutions to bringing your Fido or Fluffy to work. It also gives best practices and policy solutions to guide you in case your dog’s behavior merits a discussion with your employer about making EVERY day TYDTW day.
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