Friday, June 21st is Take Your Dog to Work Day in the United States. Sixty-three percent of pet owners surveyed consider their pets to be a part of their family, so it’s no wonder why Americans are embracing this new trend! In addition to allowing service and therapy dogs at workplaces, companies such as Google, Amazon, and Etsy already allow employees to bring their companion dogs to work. Here are some guidelines to consider whether you are a pet-friendly employer or a dog-loving employee.
Make sure no one objects. Pets can be a distraction, however welcome. After all, who can resist petting that cute face and wagging tail? Be aware that coworkers may be allergic to dogs in general or to your dog’s particular breed. Also, be sensitive to cultural objections to certain animals present in the workplace.
Verify insurance and/or landlord approval. If you’re an employer considering a pet-friendly workplace, it’s important to verify building policies and prohibitions and update insurance coverages to prevent any future issues.
Create a pet policy. A comprehensive policy with clear and concise rules should be developed. Decide on how often pets will be allowed in the workplace, as well as temperament and vaccination requirements. Set up a pet calendar to limit the number of pet-friendly workdays or number of pets allowed each day. It can be helpful to schedule large dogs and small dogs to different days, or schedule pets who get along on the same day to minimize disruptions.
Establish pet-free zones. Remember that since everyone may not love Fido as much as you do it’s important to maintain pet-free areas in the workplace. Kitchens, break rooms, or places where food is served should be off limits to visiting canines.
Prepare the work environment. Dogs in the workplace can get into just as much trouble as dogs at home! Hide electrical cords or anything chewable that might seem interesting to a bored dog. Utilize baby gates or tethers to ensure canine guests stay within cubicles or approved spaces.
Supervision. Pets should be supervised by their owners. Animals who are hyper or exhibit behavioral issues should be left at home, as well as pets who are sick.
Have supplies on hand. Make sure there’s a ready supply of resources to make you and your dog’s workday a happy one. If you bring your dog to work, also bring poop bags, wipes, and a fur-remover brush for clean-up, and toys and treats for entertainment. A leash is essential.
Most of all, have fun! Studies have shown the positive results dogs have on stress, productivity, and morale in the workplace. Dogs seem to have a calming effect not just on the owner, but coworkers as well.
Help make your office a better place by celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 21st!