Take Your Dog to Work

Preparing Your Dog
If your company welcomes dogs on June 25, do some homework before you pack your briefcase and leash. These tips should help your dog feel comfortable in your workplace and help you avoid any mishaps:

  • Consider your dog’s temperament: Your dog should be well-behaved, friendly, relaxed and gentle, recommends Deb Bennetts of Best Friends Pet Care in Norwalk, Conn., where as many as a dozen dogs show up for work. "Behaviors you think are cute may not go over well with co-workers," she suggests.
  • Make a brief visit first: A "dress rehearsal" for the big day will help your dog prepare, advises Joan Mayer, a dog trainer in Ventura, Calif.
  • Teach your dog how to meet and greet: Train your dog to keep all four paws on the floor or to sit when meeting new people. "Both the guardian and the others meeting the dog can give treats for nice behaviors," says Mayer.
  • Think like your dog: You might not notice the phones ringing all day in your office, but the noise could bother your furry friend. Consider your work environment and how your dog might respond. Practice appropriate behaviors, such as sitting and waiting at doors, elevators and office entryways, advises Mayer.

What You’ll Need for the Big Day
You wouldn’t leave for work without your work-related tools, whether you wear a hard hat or carry a briefcase. Your dog’s day at work will go smoother if you take these along as well:

  • A well-exercised dog: Burn that excess energy with a brisk walk or a game of fetch before you go to work.
  • Your dog’s bed: Bring a familiar blanket or bed, and set it up in a calm corner where your dog can relax. You can try a crate, if your dog is accustomed to crates and your workplace has room.
  • A baby or pet gate: You may need to restrict your dog to a certain area in the workplace or to define some spaces as off-limit areas.
  • A heavy-duty water bowl: Be sure to bring a mat to place under the bowl as well, to avoid spills.
  • Treats: Letting your co-workers dispense treats is a good way for your dog to make friends.
  • Toys and food puzzles: Your pooch needs something to occupy its time while you’re working.
  • Doggie waste bags and wet wipes: You should only bring a trained dog into the office, but just in case of an accident, bring backup waste bags and wet wipes.

Celebrating the Day
If your company doesn’t allow dogs on June 25th, you can still celebrate the day by bringing photos of your pet to share or by setting up a fundraiser for local shelters or dog adoption organizations. If your dog is allowed, your preparation for the day could go a long way toward encouraging the acceptance of dogs in public places.

"Thinking and planning ahead is the key when exposing your dog to situations that might be outside its norm," says Mayer. "If we can make this type of special occasion successful for everyone, then maybe it’ll turn into something even bigger."