Having dogs in your office is a proven way to improve satisfaction at work. You get some stress relief while at work when you take a break to pet and play with your dog, and your dog can have more freedom and excitement than if she had to stay home alone all day.
If your workplace allows dogs in the office, some advanced planning can help you make your dog’s visit successful, ensure good behavior, and avoid hurting your productivity.
Training Your Dog to Behave at Work
Before you bring your dog into the office, you should take a few days to prepare first. This includes reading up on any policies or talking to supervisors or HR to learn what rules are in place for bringing dogs to the office.
You should also bring your dog up to date on any vaccinations to cut down on the risks of illness from other dogs in the office and to avoid picking up anything if the two of you are walking around your office for potty breaks.
When you are ready to bring your dog into the office, all of the following can help set you both up for a calm and productive day:
- Set Up Your Office - Many office spaces are not naturally dog friendly. At your workplace, you should take the same steps to secure the area as you do at home. This may mean getting trash cans with lids, keeping food secured, and removing cords that dogs could yank on.
- Plan for a Short Day - The first few times you take your dog to work, it can be helpful to have short days. This introduces your dog to the new environment without requiring her to sit there for 8 hours the first time.
- Have a Bed or Crate - You will want to have a familiar spot where your dog can rest. Much of the day will probably be spent sleeping and these can make a dog feel more restful. A crate can be helpful for securing your dog to keep her from wandering through the office or if you need to step out for a meeting.
- Bring Toys - A few toys can keep your dog distracted if she starts to get restless. You will likely want to avoid any squeaky or rustly toys so that you do not annoy your coworkers. Puzzle toys can often be ideal since they last longer and offer good mental stimulation.
- Take Breaks - Try to take a break every 2 hours or so to give both you and your dog a chance to stretch. You can walk a lap around your office or head outside for a few minutes. This will keep your dog calmer when you are back in the office - and may also help your productivity.
If your dog is not suited for spending all day at work with you in your office - many dogs aren’t - you can still make sure he is entertained throughout the day. A dog walker is a great way to be sure that your dog has a midday walk, a moment to play, and some attention to hold him over until you get home in the evening.