Five Tips for Taking Your Dog to Work
By: Jeff Noce, Voyce President
Walk down the halls of Voyce headquarters on any given day and you’ll be greeted by an assortment of canine coworkers. Not surprisingly, we love dogs around here and we’re only too happy to welcome them into our offices. Like many other companies, we’ve found that their presence reduces stress, improves morale and generates laughter and camaraderie.
Since implementing this policy, we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to having pups in the office. I wanted to share a few things to keep in mind if your employer is willing to experiment with the idea. Who knows? If it goes well, maybe it will become a permanent perk.
Is your dog ready for the office?
No matter how much you may love the idea of taking your dog to the office, it’s important to consider whether your dog will love it. Most work places are buzzing with activity; will your dog be able to handle the stimulation? Will he be afraid or over sensitized? If your dog is reactive, extremely fearful or has ever shown signs of reactivity or aggression, do him (and your coworkers) a favor by leaving him at home.
Is the office ready for your dog?
It’s almost certain that there will be some interruption to the daily routine. However, since things still need to get done, try to keep distractions to a minimum. If this is a test run for your employer to decide if the arrangement will work on a more permanent basis, this is especially important.
Dogs that are highly energetic, easily aroused, jump on people or bark at the slightest provocation may not be a good fit for the office environment.
Never allow your dog to wander the hallways alone or approach others without permission. It might be hard to imagine, but some people aren’t completely comfortable around dogs. They may be afraid, allergic or just uninterested. Be sure to ask permission before allowing your dog to approach someone else.
As I’ve discussed in previous posts, dogs don’t always generalize well from one location to the next. While your male dog may not mark his territory in your home, he might think it’s okay to do so in your office. And of course, there are all sorts of new and interesting things in an office that might tempt even the most well-behaved dog to indulge his chewing instincts.
Make time to pet proof your space the day before. Then keep an eye on your pup and interrupt him if he starts to engage in any unwanted or destructive activity. Give him plenty of breaks and make sure you clean up any messes he might make.
Know when it’s quitting time
Long hours at the office can sometimes be challenging even for humans, much less a dog who’s unaccustomed to the environment. It’s up to you to watch him for signs of agitation, stress or anxiety (i.e., whining, lip licking, pacing, panting, etc.). Make sure you have a plan in place in case your dog needs to make an early exit. If you are unable to leave work, arrange in advance for a friend or family member to pick him up if necessary.
I’d like to hear from you! If you have questions you’d like me to address on this blog regarding pet health or behavior, send an email to email@example.com.