Maybe your office doesn’t have a dog policy, but there’s no rule against it, either. Of course, you can’t just show up with Fido in tow and announce that he’s the new intern. You need your boss and co-workers to approve of your plan first. Here are some tips to getting your dog on the “approved visitors” list.
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Is Your Dog Ready for Office Life?
First things first, your pooch has to be ready for prime time. Start with the basics: health and well-being. You’ll want to make sure your dog is up-to-date on all of their vaccinations and treatments. It’s not polite to bring fleas and other hop-alongs into someone else’s space, so make sure you take precautions before Fido makes his debut.
On the other side, make sure you’ve mastered all of the basics of dog etiquette. The dog should know (and respond to) basic commands like sit, stay, and “drop that TPS report.” If your pooch doesn’t react well to new environments or people, or likes to bark or snap, he may not be the right one for a work buddy. If it’s just a matter of brushing up on some commands, try a semester of obedience training before bringing him by the office.
Is Your Office Ready for Your Dog?
We know you’re ready, but are your co-workers into dogs at the office? Take a poll of the ones you sit around. You might not know that someone you sit right next to has a major dog allergy, and probably wouldn’t be able to deal with your furry friend hanging out all day. If someone responds with negative feedback because they’re worried about things like accidents or barking, talk to them about what you’re going to do if an accident happens (i.e., clean it up right away) and how well-behaved your dog is. Yes, there might be an occasional bark, but yours isn’t a misbehaving pooch (thanks to all that training you’re doing, right?).
Do you have a “dog zone” ready for your pooch? Yep, you’ll need lots of things to keep your dog comfortable and entertained. Try something like a treat puzzle that can take some time to figure out. You’ll also want to stock up on “poop bags” for walks and perhaps your own cleaning supplies, maybe with an enzyme to clean up smells and stains. You’ll want to make sure to have things that are good for Fido to eat, and you’ll get rid of things that he shouldn’t eat (like plants that could be toxic or human food like chocolate or coffee).
Finally, Is Your Boss Ready for Your Dog?
You can bring some good talking points to the table when you’re advocating for having your pet at work. First, talk about how studies have shown that interacting with dogs can lower stress and blood pressure, as well as improve human interactions. It also is a natural incentive for more exercise when you’re walking the pet, or taking a quick break from spreadsheets to give someone tummy rubs (that isn’t Alan in Accounting).
Are they not convinced? You can suggest a trial period with the dog. Maybe a week or two, so everyone can first get over the initial distraction of the bestest furry buddy ever and get back into a routine where having a dog around is normal. Also, you can volunteer to start a committee to come up with rules of conduct for dogs in the office. If there are a certain number of infractions, pooches can be left at home permanently.
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