(Re)Introducing Your Dog into the Workplace

(Re)Introducing Your Dog into the Workplace

Some humans have hit the jackpot when it comes to their workplace—their pooch is allowed to accompany them and be their natural serotonin releasers throughout the day. Having a tense neck? Get instant relief after a doggie cuddle in the break room. In need of some zoomies of your own to release because a deadline has you worked up? There’ll be a pooch in the office that will join you and make you look slightly less silly as you two run amok.

In last week's blog we discussed how you can give a good structure when WFH, given that since the pandemic, most pooches around the UK (and the world, for that matter), have been spoiled by having their human around at home all the time.

Some ‘pandemic pups’ don’t even know what it’s like for their human to need to be in a place besides home from 9 to 5. Whether your pooch has been your office buddy in the past or is about to experience their ‘first day of work’, in this blog, we’re giving you some tips on how to reintroduce (or introduce for the first time) your dog into the workplace, including assessing whether it’s a good idea at all.

Go ‘Part-Time’ Before Going ‘Full-Time’

If you haven’t brought your dog to work with you in the past (and even if you have, but it was pre-pandemic), it’s advisable that your pooch accepts a part-time position as your de-paw-ty at the office before going full-time. If your pup is known to get major, long-lasting zoomies when meeting new people (your colleagues), it would be wise that your dog comes to the office on a part-time basis—at least at first, to get them familiar with everyone. Also, it’s important to get your dog used to the commute, especially if it’s long (and you may need to stop for a pee break) or entails you two using public transportation.

Coordinate With Your Colleagues

Is Josh in Marketing bringing his tiny pooch on Wednesdays, who shakes at the sight (or sniff) of another dog? Does Chloe’s puppy, who likes to play on the ruff side, come in on Tuesdays and Fridays? Make sure to be mindful of your fellow colleagues’ pups—for their sake and that of your own four-legged friend. Hopefully, most office pups will be down to schedule an urgent puppy play session that will most definitely involve Zoom(-ing around).

Along with keeping in mind the well-being of everyone’s furry companions, it’s also important to make sure your colleagues are comfortable with your new paw-sonal assistant. If someone is allergic to dogs or feels as though they will be distracted by their presence, it’s important to have these discussions and come to a compromise that makes all parties tail-wagging content.

Make Sure This Is What’s Best For Your Pooch

Unless you work in the restaurant business or in a workplace with hazards, such as heavy equipment, it’s likely safe to bring your pooch to work (though be mindful of things your pooch can easily eat or lick, such as toxic cleaning products that are used or poisonous office plants). If conditions are suitable for your dog, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is best to bring them to work with you. If your pup gets easily nervous in new surroundings, startled by random noises or on-edge around other dogs and people, they may feel more comfortable being left at home, preferably with company. If, on the contrary, your pooch is feeling like putting on their business casual wear and sipping their puppuccino as you two enter the building, first make sure that there are appropriate places where your dog can be a dog—whether that means a designated doggie room on the floor or your personal office space including a canine corner where your dog can comfortably relax, sleep, eat and drink. Don’t forget to use your break time for walkies and pee breaks (oh yeah, for your pooch too)!

Make Sure This Is What’s Best For You

Although like all pawrents, we want what’s best for our dogs, we must also assess how we will feel at work in the company of our furry best-friend. If being in the presence of your pooch will cause you to be less effective at your work—either because they are distracting you or you just can’t resist kissing that face for hours on end—it may be advisable to lay-off your dog. If you do decide to bring your dog to work with you, be prepared to manage your pup-ployee; as cute as your dog may be, they can’t be running from cubicle to cubicle, so you need to keep an eye on them. If you have a well-behaved, calm by nature or trained pooch, you probably don’t have to worry about them stealing and eating Deborah’s doughnut from her desk.

Bring/Keep At Work Doggie Essentials

If the idea of bringing your pooch to work makes their tail wag and your heart happy, you must first ensure that your workplace has some doggie essentials. If your office doesn’t already provide it, make sure that your pooch has access to food, water, toys (for comfort and to keep them busy!) and their favourite bed and blanket for when it’s time to sleep on the job. Before making your pup an offer to be office buddies, it is also fundamental to ensure your pup’s vaccinations are up to date (along with those of fellow workplace pups).

If you, your employer and co-workers are all onboard with onboarding the cutest new addition to the workplace and your pup isn’t stressed by the idea of coming into the office, it’s a win-win to have your pooch with you during your 9 to 5. Not only is your dog’s company at work beneficial to managing your own stress, but your pup is likely to be overjoyed that they haven’t been left home alone, as many suffer from separation anxiety.

It’s wag-nificent when both you and your pooch can feel better during the work week!

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