Taking your dog to work with you can be an absolute dream. But as with the best things in life, planning is essential! Here are our top tips for nailing the office-dog routine and avoiding any hiccups along the way.
The cost of doggy daycare is soaring, and besides – who wants to pay to be separated from their canine companion? Not us! That’s why we’re a dog-friendly office, and our furry friends have taught us a thing or two about how to make it work at work. From dog training for good manners to ensuring they aren’t spoiled with unsuitable dog treats, there’s so much to learn! Here’s everything we know about making a smart office dog of your pupper.
Think it through before you dive in
Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should! Take a long, hard look into the eyes of your canine companion and ask yourself: “Are you really going to be happy in an office full of people while I’m working?”. If the answer is ‘yes’ – great! If you’re not sure, try considering the following things to decide if it’s worth a shot:
- Is your pooch happy chilling on her own while you’re in meetings, for example if a client with allergies comes in?
- Is your dog well socialised? Does he get on with other dogs without barking? Controlled boisterous play between pups is always entertaining, but make sure your doggo understands when it’s appropriate – to keep you both out of trouble!
- Is she brave enough to deal with the strange sights and smells we all become accustomed to in our office lives, such as slamming doors or the weekly fire alarm test?
And of course, you should think about your fluffy friend’s behaviour. Does your dog training cover ‘stay’, ‘settle’ and/or go to ‘place’ (and stay there!) while you’re working, fixing a coffee or trying to get the printer to work for the third time today?
The most suitable office companions have a lot in common: they are adult dogs, they sleep a lot and they are quiet and obedient. That’s not to say puppies can’t make great office dogs – and we’re sure your colleagues will forgive you for trying if it means they get a few days of puppy kisses. Just make sure you’re not counting on your office’s dog-friendly policy to enable you to get a puppy – not all pups are ‘office friendly’!
Be considerate to your colleagues
Most of your coworkers will probably be super excited about their new ‘colleague’, but remember that others might be scared, indifferent or even allergic. Make sure everyone has been consulted and any concerns are taken care of – before you introduce Fido in the Monday meeting.
Keep an eye on your pet over the first few days to ensure they behave themselves – sometimes all the new friends (and potential food sources) can be a little overstimulating! It might take a little getting used to, but if your pooch still doesn’t settle after a week or so they may not be cut out for that 9-5 grind.
What about the other dogs?
Of course, you’re not the only dog-owning employee in the office! Make sure your canine companion is fully vaccinated and flea treated to keep all the doggies safe.
Find out if vaccine records are checked by office management, and while you’re at it you can check that only spayed/neutered dogs are welcome in the office to avoid any unwanted advances (or fights)!
Take a look around
Ensure there is somewhere you can take your fur-pal in your lunch hour and when they need a potty break. Try to secure a quiet corner, for example under your desk, she can relax in while you’re working away. You need to make sure the office is warm/cool enough and doesn’t contain any plants that may be poisonous to your little friend, too.
Doggos thrive on familiarity and routine, so hot-desking isn’t always a good idea, as they may struggle to settle in a new location each day. Some pooches might try to ‘mark out’ their territory (if you catch our drift?).
🐾 Good Boy top tip: watch out for plants in corners; these are an irresistible sign-post and you may find your cheeky chappie cocking his leg to leave his message while you’re not looking.
Before Fido’s first day, imagine the worst commute you’ve had all year. Would he mind being crammed on that train? Would he enjoy the walk if you had to get off the bus a few stops early? Be realistic – can you fit your Bernese Mountain Dog on your pushbike? Yes? Wonderful news! You’re almost good to go….
Practise your lines
Repeat after us: “Please don’t feed him that, it’s not good for him”. You are your dog’s only advocate in the office, so you need to be brave and stand up for his needs – even if that means asking the CEO to put those crisps away! Keep an eye out for well-meaning colleagues trying to win over your pooch with smuggled bits of cheese or cookies, as training doesn’t take very long to undo when such prized items are on offer. People who don’t have dogs often don’t know that onion, garlic, avocado, chocolate, grapes and raisins (and more) are all toxic to our faithful friends. Read more about which common foods are toxic to dogs here.
You’ll also get used to telling passers-by your pooches name, age, breed and quirky habits as new and smiling faces appear expectantly beside your desk each day. Try writing down the essentials on a whiteboard or postcard, in case you’re busy or away from your desk when people come to introduce themselves.
🐾 Good Boy top tip: grab the opportunity to make some new friends and useful contacts while your fur-pal does all the sweet-talking for you!
Don’t forget your day job!
And of course, we wouldn’t be responsible pet-parent advisors if we didn’t tell you to avoid losing hours watching your puppy instead of completing that spreadsheet that Susan in accounts asked for two days ago.
Come prepared for anything
Not all dogs will require quite so much stuff, but if you want your fluffy friend to be happy you’ll probably end up packing a huge bag just for them! Lucky for the doggos at Good Boy HQ, we’ve got lots of bits to keep them entertained while we’re hard at work. Here are our suggested items to make sure you’re ready for almost anything that office life throws your way:
🐾 Lead, harness and a collar with an ID tag
🐾 Poop bags (of course)
🐾 A mat, dog bed or crate
🐾 Food, if you intend to feed Fido at work, although it’s best to avoid this if you can
🐾 Good Boy dog treats for rewarding pawfect behaviour
🐾 A collapsible water bowl (trust us, people won’t like it if you improvise with communal crockery)
🐾 Some disinfectant spray and kitchen roll, just in case of accidents or muddy paws
🐾 A coat if they need one for the commute or break times
🐾 Good Boy chewy twists with chicken, dog chew toys or a food puzzle to distract your canine companion if needed!
It’s probably best to leave your squeaky ball at home; plushies may be the best dog toys for an office environment!
So now you know what you need to make a success of bringing your dog to work with you. What are you waiting for? Start working on your dog training, pack some healthy dog treats and get ready for a whole lot more fun at the office.