Today is International Take Your Dog to Work Day when employers are asked to open their doors to pet dogs to promote the benefits of pet ownership and encourage animal adoption.
Research has found the presence of pets in the workplace has a beneficial effect; they make the job more satisfying and participating workplaces report that pets help lower the impact of stress during the work day.
If you are bringing your pooch to work, however, it is important to ensure their presence does not adversely affect the health, welfare or working environment of other staff and visitors, or of the animal.
Here are some tips from the RSPCA ACT to ensure a happy experience for all:
- Check with your office to see if bringing your dog to work is appropriate and allowed. Some work environments may not be appropriate or safe for dogs. Cables, cords and rubbish bins can be hazardous for pets, so ensure dogs in the office cannot access these.
- Consult with your workplace about associated policies and requirements.
- Ensure your dog is healthy and up to date with vaccinations.
- Supervise your dog and make sure they will not be able to escape and get lost by accident. Ensure your dog can be identified by updating their microchip and collar identification.
- Place their bed beside your desk. Dogs should stay at the desk of their owner, or the desk of another designated person, so the dog is directly supervised. This is to ensure your dog doesn’t wander as they may get hurt. Some workplaces set up temporary penned areas, for example, by using baby gates around the owner’s work desk area. These can work well as they allow the dog space to move around but in a secure and safe way.
- Before arriving at the office, try taking your dog for exercise so they are not too excited when they get to the office and are more likely to settle and be calmer. When you arrive in the morning, let your dog have some free time to meet any other dogs and say hello to your co-workers.
- Set aside time for sufficient toilet breaks and to take your dog for a good walk or walks throughout the day. Walking your dog during your lunch break is not only great exercise for them, but a great opportunity to leave the office and get some fresh air.
- Be a responsible pet owner and know your dog’s limits. If a pet is not comfortable in an environment surrounded by people, maybe it’s best to leave them at home and enjoy the licks and cuddles on your return home.