Take Your Dog To Work Day, Friday, June 22, 2012

When you work from home, every day is Take Your Dog To Work Day! Here's Bandit, hard at work ... (c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw

This Friday is Take Your Dog To Work Day! Because I work at home, it’s always Take Your Dog To Work Day. But if you bring your pup to work this week, we want to see your pictures! Post them on our Heavenly Creatures FB page and we’ll share some here on the blog. Or if you take video, upload it to YouTube and share the link in the comments section below.

And before you bring Fido to the office, here are a few things you need to consider to make the day enjoyable for you, your dog and your coworkers:

1) Does Fido really want to come to the office? Just because you think it would be fun to have your dog at work doesn’t mean your dog thinks it’s a grand idea. Some dogs simply don’t like new environments, lots of people, or even other dogs. If your dogs flinches at the sound of your computer printer at home, or barks incessantly whenever he encounters a new sound or person, or is afraid of other animals, Take Your Dog To Work Day is not the time to help him break out of his shell. Not only will he be miserable, you may make his fears worse.

2) Is your office ready for Fido? There are lots of things in an office that can be dangerous for a dog, so before you bring your pup for the day, dog-proof your space. Pick up small items, like paper clips, loose staples, thumbtacks and other tiny bits that your dog can eat or step on. Neaten up loose cords, put away stacks of books or folders than can come tumbling down on a curious dog, and put away the bowl of candy on your desk. And do it on Thursday, before your pup arrives for his big day. It’ll be exciting enough on Friday without adding on a trip to the vet because Rover ate a bag of Hershey kisses meant for the clients!.

3) As celebrity dog trainer Harrison Forbes says in a press release, “Practice Makes Perfect: Before to bringing your dog into the office, practice polite behavior by taking them out to public places. Letting Fido tag along on your next trip to the park, pet store or café patio, will help them become more acclimated to new people, places and animals. This will help them learn proper behavior when greeting people and help them relax in new settings.” And, may I add, don’t wait until Thursday night to do this. If getting Fido acclimated to new people and new surroundings isn’t part of his normal training, then it’s better for everyone involved – Fido, your coworkers, and other dogs – if Fido just stays home.

 4) Let co-workers (and clients!) know your dog is coming to work. Make sure that your co-workers are OK with dogs at work. Not everyone likes dogs, no matter how fluffy or friendly you think yours is. While some of your coworkers who don’t like dogs might be willing to tolerate pups in the workplace one day a year, it doesn’t mean they want to be jumped on, barked at, or slobbered on. Keep Fido in his own area and don’t let him bother the rest of the office – or clients who are there to do actual business.

5) Make sure that Fido is up-to-date with vaccinations and is licensed, as required by the laws in your area. Make sure he’s leashed at all times, and be sure to bring toys, water, a dog bed or favorite blankie, and anything else he might need to be comfortable. Plan ahead where he’ll go outside to potty, and make sure you have poop bags to clean up the  messes.

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