Taking your dog to work is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. The presence of a pet in the workplace can offer numerous benefits, from boosting morale to fostering a more collaborative and friendly environment. However, to ensure that bringing your furry friend to the office is a positive experience for everyone involved-you, your dog, and your colleagues-certain steps and considerations are essential.
1. Taking Your Dog to Work
First things first. Before pet parents even start bringing the dog to their friendly office, it’s important to make sure that they’re content during car rides. Some dogs may already be happy to go on a ride, whereas other dogs may not be as experienced. Start with short trips to build their comfort level, gradually increasing the duration as they become more accustomed to the journey.
Ensure your dog has a safe and secure spot in the car, such as a well-ventilated crate or a harness attached to the seat belt. This provides them with a sense of security and reduces the risk of distraction while driving.
It’s also important to think about your dog’s needs during the car ride. For longer commutes, bringing water, a chew toy, and a comfortable blanket can help make the trip more enjoyable for them. Plan for potential dog friendly stops along the way for bathroom breaks and to stretch their legs, especially if you’re dealing with a longer drive.
2. Trained for a Dog Friendly Workplace
Before bringing your dog to the workplace, it’s essential to ensure they are well-trained. This means your dog should exhibit good behavior, understand basic commands, and be able to follow them consistently. Only then is your dog ready to give office life a try. Dog friendly offices expect your dog to mind their manners.
Training your dog in manners such as not jumping on people, barking excessively, or begging for food is crucial. They should respond reliably to commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, and ‘leave it’. Other training tips include:
- Train your dog to indicate when they need to go outside, as this can help prevent any accidents inside the office.
- If there are times when you have to leave your dog in your office, they should be trained to stay calmly without resorting to barking, whining, or causing mischief.
- Crate training your dog or setting up a dog gate to create a secure and cozy area for them to relax is helpful when bringing dogs to the office.
3. Check Socialization Skills Before Taking Your Dog to Work
Expanding on dog manners, proper socialization and the dog’s personality are equally important. Your dog should be comfortable and calm around different people and in new environments. This helps promote good behavior in the workplace and your pet’s personality being enjoyable may shine onto the rest of the office space.
Also, it’s beneficial to practice office-like scenarios at home or in similar settings, so your dog can adjust more easily to the office environment. Pet friendly workplaces expect you to only bring your dog if they are friendly with others, while being understanding that people will be busy during their work periods.
4. Bring a Dog Bed When Taking Your Dog to Work
Bringing your dog to work involves ensuring they have a comfortable space, so don’t forget to take their dog bed with you. If your workplace allows it, it’s a great idea to have a dog bed permanently in the office. This not only adds convenience but also provides a dedicated, familiar area for your dog to unwind and feel secure.
Expanding on this, having a designated spot for your dog helps in minimizing disruptions both for you and your colleagues. It can also reduce the dog’s anxiety in a new environment by offering a sense of familiarity and safety. Consider bringing other comfort items such as their favorite toy or blanket to further enhance their comfort. Your scent, and the smell of home, promotes calmness.
Furthermore, having a dog bed in the office can aid in setting boundaries, teaching your dog where they can relax and where they shouldn’t wander. It’s also a sign of respect to your colleagues, showing that you are mindful of maintaining a professional and organized workspace while accommodating your pet’s needs.
5. Dog Proof Your Workplace to Make It Dog Friendly
Before you bring your dog to your workplace for a visit, it’s important to dog-proof the area. This means creating a safe and secure environment for your pet. Start by ensuring that all hazardous materials, such as cleaning supplies or small objects that could be swallowed, are out of reach. Check for any exposed electrical cords or sharp edges that could pose a danger to an exploring dog.
Consider the layout of your workspace. Create a clear, safe area where your dog can move around without causing disruption or getting hurt. It might also be a good idea to block off areas where you don’t want your dog to go, like certain rooms or coworker’s spaces.
Think about other factors that might affect your dog, including:
- Is there a quiet space for them to retreat to if the office space gets too noisy or overwhelming?
- Are there any office plants that could be toxic to dogs?
Preparing for these details in advance can make the experience more enjoyable and stress-free for both you and your dog, as well as your colleagues.
6. Keep Plenty of Water and Dog Food
Make sure to pack smart. Bring sufficient food and water to keep your dog well-fed and hydrated throughout the work day. It’s a good idea to check with your supervisor if it’s permissible to leave your dog’s food and water bowls near your desk. This would save you the hassle of carrying them back and forth every day.
Having a designated spot for your dog’s food and water ensures they have constant access to nourishment and hydration, which is especially important in a new environment that might be more stressful for them. It also helps in establishing a routine and a sense of familiarity for your dog.
Additionally, consider the type of bowls you use. Non-spill water bowls can prevent messes. If your dog isn’t overly energetic, you can also consider a refillable dog water bowl or a fountain to keep the water fresh.
7. Grab Puzzle Toys and Treats for Office Life
Bringing puzzle toys along when you take your dog to work is an excellent idea. These toys offer valuable mental stimulation and keep your dog engaged and helping reduce the effects of normal environmental stress.
Puzzle toys not only entertain your dog but also provide cognitive challenges which helps animals maintain a normal and relaxed disposition. They can also be used for behavioral problem management, reducing the chance of excessive barking or chewing caused by the change in environment. These toys can be a form of quiet entertainment, ensuring your dog’s activities don’t interrupt the workplace.
Before you bring your dog to work, you can use these toys to gradually increase the duration of your dog’s focus and independent play, which is beneficial if you need to concentrate on your work for extended periods. Consider rotating different types of puzzle toys to keep your dog’s interest piqued and provide variety in their daily routine at work.
8. Watch Out for Workplace Hazards
Workplace hazards need to be addressed to keep your furry friend happy and healthy. Just as you would ensure a safe environment for your four legged pal at home, it’s crucial to create a secure and hazard-free space for your dog in the workplace. This involves identifying and mitigating potential risks that could harm your dog or cause unwanted behavior.
The following can all be hazards to your dog while they’re at work with you:
- Electrical cords: Dogs might chew on exposed wires, posing a risk of electric shock or damage to office equipment.
- Small office supplies: Items like paper clips, staples, rubber bands, and pens can be hazardous.
- Trash cans: Dogs may rummage through trash cans, potentially ingesting harmful substances.
- Open windows or balconies: These can pose a fall risk, especially in high-rise buildings.
Take a look at your workplace from your dog’s point of view. Then, rearrange everything accordingly. If there’s something that can’t be moved, think of some way to prevent your dog from getting harmed by it.
So go ahead, get down on your hands and knees and see your office from your pup’s point of view—then remove or limit their access to anything that could get them into trouble. It may sound silly, but this simple technique can reveal everything you need to know.
9. Be Ready for Distractions in Your Dog Friendly Office
Bringing your dog to work requires preparation for potential distractions, as not every day will be smooth, and some days may present more challenges than others. The unpredictable nature of dogs means their behavior can change from one day to the next. They may become excited or nervous in response to unfamiliar people, unusual sounds, or other pets in the workplace, potentially causing disruptions.
To mitigate these issues, it’s advisable to have a plan in place. This could include setting up a quiet, comfortable area where your dog can relax away from the hustle and bustle of the office. Providing engaging toys or puzzles, as discussed above, can also keep them occupied and help reduce effects of normally induced environmental stress.
It’s equally important to be mindful of your colleagues’ feelings towards dogs. Not everyone is comfortable around pets, and behaviors like barking or sudden movements can be disruptive. By proactively managing your dog’s behavior, you can swiftly handle any problems that arise, ensuring a peaceful coexistence with your co-workers.
Regular training and socialization can help your dog adapt to the office environment and behave appropriately. Familiarizing them with the office setting in gradual, short visits before a full workday can also be beneficial. Keeping a routine for bathroom breaks and exercise provide help for restless animals.
CBD Products to Promote Emotional Balance
Earth Buddy has several products with full spectrum CBD for dogs you can use to promote a sense of relaxation and mental alertness during the work day. They can also help maintain contentment during separation, travel, motion sickness and tension caused by changes in your pet’s daily routine.
- Full spectrum CBD Oil for Dogs: An oil-based tincture that utilizes MCT oil-includes not only CBD (cannabidiol), but also significant quantities of CBG (cannabigerol), CBC (cannabichromene) and other bioactive cannabis phytomolecules.
- Hemp hearts: Often used for dogs that refuse the tincture, the hemp hearts contain full-spectrum hemp extract, MCT Oil from coconuts, and the pumpkin hemp hearts also contain cinnamon, turmeric & black pepper that help maintain optimal health.
- Beef & pumpkin CBD soft chews: These limited ingredient, grain-free calming chews are a delicious option you can offer 30 minutes before arriving at work.
- Quick calm: A water-based CBD solution to promote calmness in dogs faster than oil-based- contains full-spectrum CBD including cannabinoids and terpenes.
Always Have a Plan B
It’s important to have a plan in place for the possibility that your dog might not adapt well to the workplace. This could be due to various reasons, such as their behavior not being suitable for an office environment or if they suddenly fall ill. In such cases, you should be prepared to take them back home.
Understanding and acknowledging that not every dog is suitable for an office setting is crucial. Some furry friends may find the environment too stressful or may not be able to maintain the calm demeanor required. In such scenarios, having a backup plan, like a friend or a pet sitter who can pick up your dog, or the flexibility to leave work yourself to bring your dog home, is essential.
Additionally, it’s important to monitor your dog’s health closely. If they show signs of illness, it’s better for their well-being, and for the comfort of your colleagues, to remove them from the office environment. Always prioritize the health and safety of your dog, as well as the well-being and comfort of your co-workers.
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