With studies showing that pets can reduce a person’s stress levels in the workplace and help to boost productivity and job satisfaction, dogs might be a man or woman’s best co-worker.
As 21st June marks Bring your Dog to Work Day, Natures Menu – the raw and natural pet food experts – provides its top tips on how to make taking your dog into the office a ‘pawsitive’ success.
It can be tempting to get excited at the thought of bringing your furry friend to the office, but it is important to ensure you think about the practicalities.
- While office life isn’t suitable for every dog, it can be a perk if you can make it work for both your pooch and employer. Before deciding to take your dog to work, make sure you consider whether he or she is able to do the following: settle in a strange environment; be welcoming to strangers whilst not being a distraction from normal work duties; be left alone whilst you take comfort breaks: be able to accept other, strange dogs in the same area. If your dog is used to being in a crate during the day, you’ll also have to consider whether you implement this in your working environment.
- If you’ve decided to take your dog to work, pull together a few items such as a water bowl; poo bags; treats and snacks; a comfortable and familiar bed; favourite toys, a lead suitable to secure to a desk or chair and a towel should you get caught in rain on your daily commute. Also, make sure you bring some cleaning supplies to take care of possible accidents. And finally – introduce your four-legged friend to everyone (unless an individual expressly opts out!).
- Consider if it is suitable to take your dog to work. Will a dog interfere with your normal work duties and will other staff members find your furry friend a distraction? There will be an adjustment period, especially when there are multiple dogs in the office. Remember that some people will find it hard to work near dogs who are barking or playing with noisy toys. Find out whether your colleagues are canine-comfortable and identify which workers are afraid of canines or allergic and then keep your dog at a safe distance.
- Exercise your dog before work to help ensure they settle quickly by your desk when you enter the office. It is also worth considering whether you can provide adequate comfort breaks throughout the day for your pooch and don’t forget walkies. Not only is exercise beneficial for your dog, the walk will also help with your state of mind and productivity for the rest of the day.
- Watch out for signs of stress and remove your pet from the situation if you notice excessive panting; licking of lips; cowering; barking; whining or trying to hide. These all indicate that your dog is suffering from stress, which can impact your pet’s health.
Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager for Natures Menu, said: “These days, dogs are increasingly becoming a part of office culture and having them in the workplace can be a fantastic treat. Having your dog in the office is good for the work atmosphere and, as studies have shown, not only does your cortisol level drop when your stroke a dog, you also produce more of the hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel relaxed and happy. The day is a lot of fun for all involved!
“While Bring Your Dog to Work Day is just one day, some dogs go to work every day. Here at Natures Menu we have many sponsored dogs such as Nuka, who is the UK’s first registered assistance Alaskan Malamute dog in the UK; Romeo, the blood donation dog; Tiga and Yogi, who reunite missing pets with their owners; and Scout, the Pets as Therapy’ dog. All of these pooches go to work every day to make a real difference!”