This Friday is Take Your Dog to Work Day.
I think every day should be Take Your Dog to Work Day. That’s partly why I quit my cushy government job to go back to school, start my own business, and work from home with Chester and Gretel snuggled in their beds beside me. Seriously, that is one of the big reasons that I took the leap.
Many across the country aren’t so lucky. They’re stuck in cubicles from 9 – 5 looking longingly at the picture of their pup’s cutest face and dreaming of the moment they walk in the door. I know, I’ve been there.
Some of those office workers ARE lucky though – they get to bring their dog’s to work with them every day. Others are lucky once a year on Take Your Dog to Work Day.
When you and your dog aren’t used to hanging out together in an office environment (with other dogs who are equally as uncomfortable), trouble can ensue and suddenly that “great idea” wasn’t as great as you thought. “It’s an etiquette nightmare waiting to happen,” says Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert, author and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach.
Whitmore offers these seven ‘petiquette’ tips:
- Practice makes perfect. Make sure your dog can interact politely and adapt well to unfamiliar surroundings before you take him to the office so that he can put his best paw forward.
- Be respectful of others. Don’t be surprised if some of your co-workers are allergic or uncomfortable around dogs. Honor their wishes and refrain from introducing your dog to them.
- Don’t allow your dog to wander. Teach your dog to lie down quietly under your desk or at your feet while you work. Keep your dog off the office furniture and don’t allow your dog to jump on people whenever they greet him. An ill-mannered dog can be a nuisance and may not be invited back to the office.
- Proceed with caution. Just like people, some dogs are shy and introverted. So don’t assume all dogs want to meet your dog. Allow the other dogs some time to get to know your dog before you let them play together.
- Ask permission. Even friendly dogs can get excited and play too rough if not carefully supervised. Use your best judgment before you introduce your dog to a new dog. It’s never hurts to ask, “Is your dog friendly?”
- Try not to leave your dog alone for a long period of time. It’s a moot point to take your dog to work if you have to be in meetings all day. Make sure you have plenty of quality time to spend with him.
- Give your dog a break. Even dogs get bored if they are inactive for too long. Be sure to pack plenty of toys for him to play with. Also take your dog outside for a couple of walks during the day. The sunshine and fresh air will be good for both of you.
If everything goes smoothly on Take Your Dog to Work Day, your boss might consider welcoming your pet every day (especially since pets in the workplace has been shown to decrease stress and increase productivity). You never know. What I can guarantee is that, if things go bad, your boss will probably never want to let dogs come to work again.
Who doesn’t want kissies from their pup at work to help make their day more enjoyable?