You’re pretty fortunate if you’re in a position to take your dog to work. However, with offices becoming more and more relaxed almost by the day, it’s something that’s certainly not unheard of in offices around the world. There’s a first time for everything, and if the invitation to bring your dog to work catches you by surprise, you’ll be even more shocked by some of the logistics. The good news is that it’s not too tricky to pull off, and you’ll be perfectly positioned to bring your canine companion with you to the office with the following 10 tips.
1. Start off with Transportation
Your first consideration should be how you get your dog to work. If you typically take the train or bus in and it’s usually crowded, you need to think carefully about whether you’ll be able to get your dog to the office under these conditions successfully. If you have the option to drive, then that might well be the best idea on this day, and if that’s not an option, then an Uber or a taxi could get the job done in the way you’d like.
2. Bring a Bed
Your dog will very likely act like this is the best day of its life upon arrival at work, but the chances are that it will soon tire itself out and need a break. If your pooch often sleeps throughout the day, then you need to ensure that there’s somewhere comfortable for them. This usually means bringing their bed with you, as it takes away any sense of unfamiliarity with their surroundings and enables them to sleep in peace.
3. Don’t Forget the Toys and Treats
Ideally, you don’t want the first day you bring your dog to work to be the last, so you don’t want them to associate the workplace with boredom. This will be unfamiliar to them, so some of their favourite toys will not only give them something to do but also make them feel right at home.
When you choose a toy, remember that you’re in a shared space. Hopefully, most of your colleagues will instantly fall for your dog, but they’ll be less inclined to welcome them back if all they hear throughout the working day is the squeaking of toys. Go for the silent ones where possible and ensure that your dog doesn’t get too excited or aggressive while they play.
With treats, they’re mainly there to reward your dog for good behaviour. There are plenty of reasons why they might feel the need to play up in the office, but you can overcome this pretty quickly with whatever behavioural system has worked with you in the past.
4. Don’t Assume Everyone is a Dog Lover
As mentioned, you’re in a shared space now and this might be unfamiliar to both you and your dog. You need to be ready to make snap decisions on who will and won’t want to play with your dog. The opportunity to play with a dog will be the highlight of the day for some colleagues, but some will prefer to get on with their work and may even have a fear of dogs. Don’t be offended if someone stays away and never forget that the dog’s behaviour is always your responsibility.
5. Know Where the Water’s Coming From
Dogs need water and, unlike you who can pop out for a drink whenever you like, they rely on someone else to keep it coming. Most offices have adequate facilities to ensure that a bowl remains regularly topped off, but that’s not always the case. If you need to think about how and where to get a drink for your dog, then it’s probably best to bring your own.
6. Give Them Toilet Breaks
This is one of the best things about bringing a dog to work for anyone that would rather be out of the office than in it. Dogs need regular toilet breaks and this, once again, falls on your shoulders. The last thing anyone needs is for them to give up on waiting and go on the office carpet, so ensure you take regular breaks to pop outside and allow them to go if they need to.
7. Don’t Expect Peak Productivity
The trend of bringing pets to work is a relatively new one, and there’s no doubt that managers in days gone by were concerned at the productivity hit that dogs can cause – both from you and your colleagues. The fact is that when your dog needs attention, they take priority over what you’re working on. So, if you’ve got a deadline fast approaching or an important meeting, today is perhaps not the day to bring your companion to work.
8. Be Ready to Take Action
All the planning in the world won’t take account of everything. Your dog might be more scared or excited than you thought they would be, or they might have a barking fit that gets in the way of work. Have somewhere in mind before you go into work to tackle these issues as they arise. That could mean slinking off to a separate room or going on a long walk over lunch to tire them out. What works best is down to you – just ensure you’re ready to do it!
9. Have a Trusted Colleague Nearby
Random occurrences extend to your own day too, and something might come up that requires you to divert your attention away from your dog for a few minutes. That’s not a massive issue if you have someone close by that you’re happy to ask to look after your dog for a few minutes while you get things sorted.
10. Take Advantage of the Opportunity
We’re not necessarily saying to use your dog as an excuse, but remember that the option is usually open! If you need a break, take one and blame the dog, even if their behaviour is impeccable! If you need to get out of doing something or to put something off, they can be the reason that nobody can dispute.