If your employer is kind enough to let you bring your dog to work with you, you are very lucky. It is not common place for employers to permit animals in the office, they can be noisy, distracting, cause allergies, or be a general insurance risk to the business, . However some businesses are more open about sharing our love for our pets with others and allow you to bring your dog to work with you.
It is a practise that I would encourage. Dogs in the workplace have to make the experience of work much more fun! It’s not a small idea, Ben & Jerry’s and Google allow employees to bring their pets to work. There is some scientific evidence that supports lower stress in workplaces where dogs are allowed to be with their owners in the office.
Along with the stress lowering factors, having your dogs with you in the office is a great way to engage your co-workers on a non-work-related level. They are a great conversation starter and can be a huge boost to your social life. The idea of “doggy dates” has to be born from the idea of taking dogs into the workplace. Your dog will also get to engage with other dogs on a daily basis. This is great for socialising your dog and gaining a better relationship with your dog.
Consider Group Training
If you get a group of co-workers to all put in a few dollars for a group training session this can be a great activity during your lunch break. Training is a great way to forge a stronger bond with your dog through fun activities. The exposure to a professional dog trainer will give you to opportunity to ask questions about issues you are facing with a community of dogs and get professional advise on how to mitigate any problems or deal with certain situations.
Illness and Disease
Just like you wouldn’t come to work with the flu, you shouldn’t bring a sick or immunised dog into the workplace. If your office does allow dogs, make sure that all of the dogs attending have up to date vaccinations, and regular flea and tick treatments. You will also want to know what the situation is for keeping your office clean and cleaning up and messes, along with responsibilities for damages your dog may cause.
Sharing Toys, Food and Water
I’m not sure I would generally recommend sharing dog toys around the office. Apart from the obvious way of spreading parasites, it can also cause fights. Just like little kids, dogs don’t like others playing with their things. Ball obsessed dogs may also be a risk while around other ball obsessed dogs. These situations you should deal with open eyes and common sense. If your dog looks too obsessed, or under stress remove them from that situation to a more positive one. You want to keep your dog happy or they will resist coming to work with you. Keep a dedicated water and food bowel for your dog. Just to help prevent the spread of any disease or intestinal worms or worse.
What if your dog gets too hyperactive?
Dogs can only focus on one thing at a time. If your dog is getting too boisterous it would be a great time for a time out. Lock the door to your office and give them a chew toy or something to play with to redirect their attention. Alternatively you can offer them a treat such as a kong filled with peanut butter. Something like that will keep your dog occupied for long enough to change into a more relaxed mode. Don’t worry about people saying that you are rewarding hyperactive behaviour, you are actually rewarding the calmer behaviour of sitting quietly working on a puzzle (how to get the peanut butter out of the kong)
So that’s my thoughts to far on dogs in the workplace. I am sure I will think of more to put up in a part two someday. Until then, enjoy working with your dogs, you lucky devils!