Dogs — loyal, lovable and, in some cases, our best friends.
And on Friday (June 24) some of us will get to bring our four-legged pals to work with us.
It’s National Take Your Dog to Work Day. The unofficial holiday, always held on the first Friday after Father’s Day, was started by Pet Sitters International as a way to encourage pet adoption. It’s also a day to celebrate the human-animal bond and put a spotlight on a dog’s special ability to lower stress in the workforce.
Even so, not everyone will get to celebrate this day with their pet dogs.
A survey by Wellness Natural Pet Food found that while just under half of Americans (48 percent) wish that they could bring their pets to work, only 12 percent of those surveyed said their pets are allowed in their workplace. Another survey by the American Pet Products Association found only 3 percent of dog owners bring their dog to the workplace regularly.
Meanwhile, Spend Management Experts, an Atlanta-based supply-chain consulting firm, welcomes dogs into the workplace every day. John Haber, CEO of Spend Management Experts, said in an email, “At Spend Management Experts, our pets are members of the family. Dogs return the love and support back to us, so having our dogs in the office creates a therapeutic environment for employees as well.”
Haber said up to four dogs accompany their owners to work at the Buckhead office on any given day. Regulars at the office include Sadie, a mix rescue, Maggie, an Airedale, and two dogs named Bella — one a lab and one a German shepherd mix.
Haber said the pet perk is well-received, with employees not having to leave furry companions home alone during the day.
So the AJC asked for do’s and don’ts on bringing your dog to the workplace, and the staff at Spend Management Experts offered the following tips:
When you first bring a new dog into the office, communicate to nearby co-workers what is reasonable for your dog in regard to treats and commands.
Many dogs have specific dietary restrictions and can be on strict feeding schedules, so be sure to ask the dog’s owner before feeding their dog.
Have materials on hand for accidents and any pet messes. We recommend storing disinfectant wipes, a vacuum and a lint roller in the office.
Make sure all dogs are healthy and happy. Annual vaccines and checkups are required for all dogs that come into the office.
Forget to take a break and go for a walk. Schedule time on your calendar to step away from your desk and take your pooch outside. If, for some reason, you get pulled into a meeting or a call runs overtime, make sure there’s a designated backup who can take care of your pup.
Leave your dog unattended without designating a responsible party to make sure your dog’s needs are taken care of while you’re unavailable.
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MORE TIPS ON TAKING YOUR DOG TO WORK
The American Kennel Club offers the following tips for those planning to take their dog to work Friday:
Scope out the scene. Before you bring your dog to the office, take a look around and pet-proof your personal workspace. Keep all cabinets and trash cans secure. Remove anything smaller than a tennis ball or items with sharp edges that are within your dog’s reach and could be of risk. Cover exposed electrical cords or outlets to prevent your dog from chewing them and getting hurt.
Ask the important questions. Find out if your co-workers are allergic to or afraid of dogs. In addition to your dog being comfortable, you want to make sure those around him or her are comfortable, too.
Be on your best behavior. Your dog should be well-trained and housebroken before being brought to the office. Make sure he or she is socialized and reliable around strangers. If your dog is unnerved by changes in environment or social situations, the attention and strange noises associated with an office may cause your dog undue stress.
Health is wealth. If you would stay home from work because of a malady, so should your dog. Leave your dog at home if he or she is suffering from a contagious illness. It is also very important to make sure all of his or her vaccinations are up to date.
Dress to impress. Make sure your dog is clean and well-groomed before you take him or her to work. A dirty dog might cause complaints from co-workers.
Be prepared. Bring the necessities with you, including a water bowl, a few quiet chew toys, treats, cleanup bags for any messes, and a leash.
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