National Bring Your Dog To Work Day: Vet shares expert tips

Is there anything better than having a furry companion to melt the stress away during your working day? Pets are an integral part of the family. Cute, lovable and entertaining, they never fail to spark joy and bring a smile to our faces!

Workplace solutions specialist, Adam Butler, CEO of Officeology, said: “Over a quarter of the UK population owns a dog. That is a significant proportion of the workforce. Allowing dogs in the office can be a very enticing benefit that boosts employee retention and happiness!

“In fact, studies have shown that dogs offer social support and reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace. Other research goes as far as to suggest that office pets can help increase productivity.”

Adam Butler spoke with Dr Linda Simon, Vet at Pooch and Mutt, and here are their top tips if you plan to bring your dog to the office regularly:

1. Get your dog used to the office environment from puppyhood

Dr Linda suggests that the best time to introduce your dog to the office is before 16 weeks of age. She says, “at this time, dogs are learning what is ‘normal’, and it is important we introduce them to the office so they view it as somewhere calm and familiar.” If your office is carpeted and you are toilet training, this may become a challenge. Bring along puppy pads, and you’ll have to let your dog out regularly.

2. To begin with, keep visits short and sweet

If your dog has not been exposed to the office and/or has been poorly socialised, you may have your work cut out for you. It’s sensible to bring them in when you are not working for several visits, so they can get used to the office while having your full attention.

Keep visits short and sweet and try to make them a pleasant experience. This may mean having co-workers offer treats, so they know what is expected of them when at work.

3. Reward your dog when they are being calm and quiet

We want office dogs to know how to relax. Teaching a ‘settle’ command early on is imperative. Your dog should have a bed or blanket they always have with them where they know to ‘settle’ when you give the command.

To train your dog to use it, have them beside you and the bed on a short lead. Whenever they sit or lay on it, quietly drop treats. Over time, gradually reward more relaxed behaviours -perhaps when they lie fully down or stretch out. Increase the time they need to stay on it before rewarding and build this up over several sessions.

4. Perform a risk assessment before bringing your dog into the office

Offices can be hazardous places for pets. Ensure co-workers are not leaving food or drinks unattended on the floor. Toxic plants, such as sago palms and daffodils, must not be kept in the same room as the dog. Beware of munching on wires or chewing through furniture. If your dog is a chewer, you’ll need to have eyes on them 24/7 at first. It can be worth crating mischievous dogs, at least in their younger years.

5. But what dog breeds are the best to have in the office?

When it comes to an office-friendly dog, there is not a one and only winner breed, but rather some specific traits. What we want is a “low energy and not too needy” dog, Dr Linda explains, “depending on your work environment (and proximity to co-workers!), you may also want a small enough dog that doesn’t shed or drool too much.”

If you think your dog would enjoy staying with you in the office why not give it a try this national bring your dog to the office day (June 23rd)?

Find more tips from Adam Butler and Dr Linda Simon here: