Guest post: The Dos and Don’ts of Bringing Your Dog to Work
You already know that owning a pet can make a person less-stressed out, calmer, and less lonely. Now think of the place in your life where you experience the most stressful and frustrating situations… I’ll give you a hint, it has three walls made out of cloth. Yep, it’s a cubicle! Even if you don’t work in the standard office space, though, the place where you spend about 1/3 of your life is still going to get to you at some point or another. Having Rex around can help ease office tensions and make you and your co-workers’ days a little brighter. There are some things to keep in mind before you get your dog into a suit and tie, however.
- Discuss the prospect of bringing your dog into the office widely before you actually do it. Of course, you want to get your boss on board, but you also need to make sure none of your co-workers has a deathly allergy either. Remember to frame the issue when presenting it to your boss as well and to remind him how calming dogs can be.
- Prepare a doggy-goes-to-work kit, so that caring for your dog at the office won’t be a time-consuming hassle. You want your dog to make working more productive, not less. Make sure he’ll have a comfortable place to lay, as well as toys (non-annoying ones), food, water, a leash, and supplies in case he has an accident. Also consider bringing a doggy fence if you need to keep him from going into certain areas of the office, like conference rooms.
- Keep a close watch on your dog at all times. Depending on your office culture, it might not okay to have the dog wandering around.
- Don’t take your dog to work on a day where you won’t be able to take her out for frequent bathroom and walk breaks. My unfortunate co-worker, I’ll call him “Bob,” accidentally brought his lab Bosco into our office one day when we had nearly five straight hours of corporate meetings. When we returned, Bosco had decided to use the potty anyway, on a giant, expensive rug with the company logo.
- Don’t take a dog who has any aggressive behaviors that might be inappropriate in an office environment. Barking, even if it’s intermittent, can be a real annoyance to some and could result in complaints that could get all canines banned from your workplace. Also, if your work requires formal dress, you don’t want your dog to be jumping on people’s pressed slacks and skirts.
- Don’t forget to clean up after your beloved pup. Being a dog owner, you’re probably used to a little dog-related clutter, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay at the office. Collect all his toys and put food and water bowls away before leaving work.
There are loose guidelines to follow, but all in all, it’s simply important to keep the vibe at your own workplace in mind. If you’re mindful of other people’s expectations, you can avoid any potential negative issues surrounding having a dog at work. And, when it all goes well, you’ll get the satisfaction of seeing Pookie bring a smile to your co-workers’ faces, even the one you thought incapable of being in a good mood.