All Things Dog

Should You Take Your Dog To Work?

A dog can bring smiles and joy to a workplace, and help to eliminate the workday blahs. Feeling uninspired and overworked? A break with an eager-to-please, happy-to-see-you pooch can be very therapeutic. But, if the circumstances aren't right, your fun day out with your dog could backfire.

Before you head out the door with your dog en route to your job, here are a few things to consider:

Know your company's dog policy. Some places of business simply don't permit dogs on the premises. This could be because they violate health codes or because the management feels they may prove a distraction—or a mess. So check your company's policy regarding visiting dogs before you bring him with you.

Consider your dog's personality and training. How well your dog reacts to your work environment will depend on his overall personality and training. Some dogs are fairly mellow and will be able to handle the adjustment easily. However, if your dog is easily excited by new places and new people, he may get nervous and upset—making this adventure one you both won't cherish.

Think of your dog's needs. If you take your dog to work, be sure to bring his food and food bowl, a water bowl, and toys. You may also want to bring his bedding or crate. And, because accidents happen, pack whatever you may need to clean up after your pooch. (An office that isn't accustomed to canine visitors simply may not be supplied with these things.) And speaking of your dog's needs, make sure you have time in your schedule to give him some attention and to take him out for walks.

Be considerate of your co-workers. Okay, your company says it's okay to bring your dog to the office, but that doesn't mean your co-workers are in agreement. Even if they love dogs, they might find his presence too distracting. And if a co-worker is allergic to dogs, your plan may be a no-go from the start. So check with your co-workers and make sure they consent to the visit.

Transport your dog safely. Let's say your company and your co-workers all agree that it's okay for you to bring your dog to work. You still have to get him there. If you drive to work, this may not be a problem because your dog is accustomed to riding in your car. But if you use public transportation, there might be a problem. Check with your local public transportation agencies for their policy. And remember, dogs should always be transported in safe, approved fiberglass carriers.

Get him started part-time. If your dog hasn't been to your workplace before, you may first want to try it out on a part-time basis: bring him in for a half-day and see how he reacts to your workplace. If he seems to be enjoying himself and behaving in an office-appropriate way, you can make his next appearance a full-time job, one that lasts all day.

If all these factors are taken into consideration and you have everyone's permission, your dog is ready for a fun adventure at your job. And you—and your co-workers—will discover the fun and inspiration a canine visitor can add to your workplace.

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