It has been said time and time again that the presence of animals helps to alleviate stress and benefit your overall mood. This can also be true in the workplace. As demonstrated by multiple studies, having a pet in the workplace not only lowers stress levels and encourages a productive work environment, but also helps to boost morale. In honor of Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 20th, here are some basic guidelines to keep this a fun and safe day at the office.
“There is a huge body of evidence that shows having pets around is a natural relaxant,” said Dr. Mark Stickney, Clinical Associate Professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “There is definitely a benefit to having a less stressful work environment.”
However, the increased productivity and decreased stress levels is entirely dependent on the obedience and behavior of your dog. An untrained dog that will wreak havoc on the office is not a suitable choice for this highly anticipated day.
“First of all, make sure you know what your office policy is on bringing your pet to work,” said Stickney. “With that being said, the quickest way to end Take Your Dog to Work Day is to bring in a dog that can’t behave itself and will be a nuisance all day long.”
If you do have an obedient, well-behaved dog that won’t disrupt your work day, there are still some basic guidelines to follow before letting him tag along. For instance, prior to bringing Fido with you to work, it is vital that you doggy proof your office and properly notify your fellow coworkers of his visit.
“Even if Take Your Dog to Work Day is celebrated at your workplace, it is still a good idea to let your immediate supervisor know that you will be bringing your pet that day,” said Stickney. “If you have an office, you will want to leave a note on your door explaining that there is a dog inside to avoid any unpleasantly surprised visitors or escapes through the open door.”
Additionally, make sure that Fido has non-squeaky chew toys to occupy him, plenty of food and water, a leash, and ways to dispose of any accidents he leaves in the office.
“If you have a puppy or avid chewer, you will also need to make sure that all computer wires and other various cords are someplace where your dog can’t get to them,” said Stickney. “You wouldn’t want your pet to be the reason for a system-wide shut down.”
Ensuring that they are up to date on their vaccinations and are completely flea-free is a must. It is also recommended that you bring a copy of the paperwork proving this to work with you that day, should any concern arise.
“Often times, dogs that are well behaved at home will become nervous when placed in an unfamiliar environment,” said Stickney. “It is imperative that they are up to date on their rabies vaccines in the case that they bite someone out of fear.”
Just keep in mind that while you may love your dog’s slobbery kisses and welcoming leaps onto your lap, a fellow co-worker may not be as big of a fan. Be mindful of others’ space and privacy on this day, and always make sure Fido is on a leash to prevent any complaints or accidents.
As long as it is in line with your company’s policy, your dog is well trained and properly socialized, and you follow some of these basic guidelines, Take Your Dog to Work Day can be a fun experience for all involved.
Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be viewed on the Web at vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk. Suggestions for future topics may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.