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10 Tips for Take Your Dog to Work Day

Adult woman sitting at a desk in an office environment. She has her hands on a yellow lab sitting on the floor next to her and smiling down at it

A furry office mate? Don’t worry, it’s a good thing!

During national Take your Dog to Work Day on June 24, 2016, employees all over the country will bring their furry friends along to the office.

Here at Leader Dogs for the Blind we are surrounded by dogs and have a dog-friendly office space at all times, so we can share some of our experience to ensure your pet’s visit isn’t just fun for you, but enjoyable for your colleagues and safe for your dog, too.

If you’re thinking about participating, consider the following tips:

  1. Be sure to check with your employer that your place of work is participating in Take Your Dog to Work Day.
  2. Consider if your dog will be comfortable with your co-workers and their dogs. Carefully consider your work surroundings. If people wear hats or masks at your place of employment, your dog could be afraid. You know him best, so if you don’t think he’ll be up for it, don’t bring him in.
  3. Think of your dog’s safety first. Pay attention to what your dog is “saying” by watching how he is behaving. Is he relaxed, whining/anxious or are his ears perked? Monitor his behavior and act quickly to make sure he is safe and comfortable.
  4. Environment is everything. You want your dog to be comfortable, whether that means bringing in a crate, a dog bed, or having him on a leash while you hold it all day – make sure he feels at home. At Leader Dog, we often use leashes that are three feet in length and attach them to the wall so our pets have a small range to explore.
  5. When dogs are introduced to one another in the office, keep them on-leash in case there is tension. After a few introductions, if things are going well, feel free to take them off leash.
  6. If you leave for a meeting or break, consider putting a sign on your office door, telling people that if they go in they’ll be greeted by your buddy. You can also determine whether a baby gate is a useful alternative for you.
  7. Stimulation is key. By keeping your furry friend busy he’ll be happier to stay by your side at work. Toys are a great solution, make sure to bring several to work with you! At Leader Dog, we are big advocates of Kongs, and we often put peanut butter in the middle of them so that the dogs are engaged in an activity as opposed to lying around.
  8. Bring water and treats along so that your dog is hydrated and feels rewarded.
  9. Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with a tag that is up to date with your contact information in case of an emergency.
  10. Scout out where you will take your dog to relieve himself prior to bringing him into work. In fact, if you’re able to, bring your dog in on a day where your office is closed (prior to Take Your Dog to Work Day) so that he can familiarize himself with your workplace and where he’s supposed to go to the bathroom. This can help him be calmer when the office is full and buzzing.

With these tips in hand, we hope you enjoy Take Your Dog to Work Day!

By Denise Atler, Leader Dog Guide Dog Mobility Instructor