We all know that having a pet contributes to an abundance of health benefits – physical, mental and emotional. A pet’s ability to reduce stress levels and increase morale are just a couple of reasons why more and more companies are becoming pet-friendly. And for those who can’t take their dog to work regularly, there is a holiday dedicated to you! Take Your Dog to Work Day is annually celebrated the Friday following Father’s Day and was created by Pet Sitters International (PSI) to celebrate the great companions that dogs make and encourage their adoptions.

Whether you are participating in this year’s Take Your Dog to Work Day or are planning to make your workplace pet-friendly, here are some tried and true tips to consider.

Do these 3 things before taking your dog to the office to ensure you are set-up for success.

1. Get your dog ready for the big day.

  • Ensure your dog is clean (recently groomed), healthy and vaccines are up to date.
  • You may also consider a test-run. Take your dog to the office after hours to become familiar with the area.
  • Mindee Jones, Pet Pros Facebook fan, suggests having your dog practice laying at your feet for periods of time to get them ready for a day at the office.

2. Get yourself ready for the big day.

  • No pressure here, but the outcome of the day is not only reliant on your dog but also on you. So be as prepared as possible. Gather these supplies and bring them to the office ahead of time.
    • Leash
    • Food
    • Water bowl
    • Treats
    • Favorite toys
      • Puzzle toys and treats balls like these are great to keep your dog entertained.
      • Leave the loud, squeaky toys at home.
    • Bed or blanket
    • Dog doo bags
    • Roller (if your dog sheds)

3. Get your office ready for the big day.

  • Physically get your office ready by disposing of any food, finding a new home for plants and removing or organizing any loose wires.
  • Scout out the place and know ahead of time where you can walk your dog.
  • Lastly, get your office-mates ready by ensuring everyone is on-board and there are no surprises. Get step-by-step instructions for planning your dog-day event, tips for winning over your boss and a sample “dogs at work” policy here.

Once the big day is here, keep these things in mind!

Exercise
If possible, take your dog for a walk or play fetch before going into to the office. If you are organizing a TYDWD at your office, consider a group walk to start the day as it is a great way to introduce the pups to one another. Or plan a doggie play time during the day to help keep them stimulated.

Designate a safe place
Give your dog a place to feel safe and a private, quiet place to relax and nap. They are not used to 8-hour work days!

Pet Pros Facebook fan, Sallie Dicken Myton takes her dog to work daily and suggests making sure they have water at all times and a bed or blanket where they can lay and have their own space.

Supervise

Your dog is your employee for the day. Be prepared to supervise him at all times and use a baby gate (or other barrier) to keep him in your office. Come up with a plan for when you need to do things like use the bathroom. (He is not the only one that will need potty breaks.)

Be mindful
Remember that not everyone loves dogs. Be cognizant of your coworkers and keep your dog on a leash unless he is secured in your office. Also, be mindful of your pooch. Not all dogs are cut out for the office environment. If he doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself – run him home on your lunch break.

Most importantly – have fun! Taking your dog to work is not only a great way to socialize your dog but is also helps you be more social at work. Whether it’s an excuse to introduce yourself to someone you don’t know all that well or a new topic of conversation, dogs have been known to improve workplace relations. (One more selling point for the boss!) A “shake”, smile and wagging tail go a long way at making friends.

If you do take your dog to work, we would LOVE to see pictures – share them on our Facebook page.

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