“Office Petiquette” for Take Your Dog to Work Day

Take your dog to work day. Sounds like the greatest day at the office EVER, right? Here are six “office petiquette” tips to ensure you and your canine companion have a successful day on the job together.

  1. Yes, this may sound super basic, but ask your employer if it is okay to participate in take your dog to work day. Some offices never allow pets, even on this ever so important holiday. So, please make sure your pup is welcome to join you at the office. Business owners: if you’re planning to participate, educate your staff about safe dog interactions before the big day. We have some great tips to help prep your employees!

Okay, before we move on to the rest of the tips, let’s take a quick moment for a reality check. This is an experience that should be positive for both you AND your dog, so read and honestly answer the following questions:

  • Is your dog nervous in new places?
  • Does your dog interact well with strangers?
  • Does your dog bark at other dogs he sees while on a walk?
  • Has your dog had positive interactions with new dogs in the past two months?
  • Does your dog have any issues with housetraining?
  • Is your dog extremely energetic?
  • Do you have several meetings scheduled, leaving your dog alone in your office for hours?

Do you see where we are going here? If your dog is uncomfortable being in new places, meeting new people or interacting with new dogs, or if you’re just not sure how your dog will react in this situation, it’s probably best to skip this year. Consider enrolling your pup in a positive reinforcement training class so you can be all set to go for next year.

If you have a friendly, social dog keep reading for the rest of the tips!

  1. Pack up everything your dog will need for the day—food, water, leash, bed, treats, toys, baby gate and anything else that will make your pup comfortable and safe in this new environment. Another great thing to bring along is a stuffed Kong, bully stick, cow hoof or other long-lasting chew to keep your pup occupied while you work.
  2. Set some ground rules for your coworkers about interacting with your dog, especially as it relates to greetings and food:
    • Treats: put a sticky note on your door informing coworkers about any restrictions for food or treats. The last thing you want is your pup to have an upset tummy. If he’s on a special diet, provide appropriate treats. If he’s on a diet to get that summer bod, put up sign letting people know he’s not allowed any treats.
    • Greeting: ask your coworkers to kneel or sit and give your dog the choice to approach. This will help them have better interactions with new people, reducing overall stress!
  3. Your dog is going to need some walks and breaks throughout the day, so make sure your schedule allows for that extra time away from your desk.
  4. If you notice signs of stress such as panting (when not hot or having exercised), carrying ears or tail low, avoiding people or showing a lack of friendly signals, your dog is likely not enjoying himself.
  5. Backup Plan. Have a backup plan in place in case your dog is exhibiting signs of stress or is being too much of a distraction in the workplace. If your office has a door, it may be as simple as keeping that closed. You can also just take your pup home or have a friend or family member on standby to pick him up for you.

We hope these tips help make your dog’s time at the office fun and positive. Who knows, if all goes well, maybe your employer will make every day take your dog to work day!