Top tips for taking your dog to work with you

Lots of workplaces are becoming more dog friendly. Recent reports have claimed that dogs in the workplace can offer employee benefits such as boosted morale, lowered stress levels and increased social interaction.

Give them a space to relax

If your work space allows, give your dog an area where they are able to relax on their own. Bring a familiar bed from home to make your dog more comfortable. To prevent bites, advise colleagues not to disturb your dog whilst they are sleeping. Teaching them a ‘bed’ cue can also ensure they go to a safe placed when asked. Never use their bed as punishment.

Provide enrichment

Bring lots of enrichment toys to work with you. Offering mental stimulation will prevent your dog becoming bored, and finding their own way to entertain themselves. (Which could put them in danger) Try using paste treats with toys such as Kongs, Lickimats and Flavorit Bones. Snuffle mats are also a great way to get your dog’s nose working and will tire them out whilst you get some work done.

If your dog resource guards their toys, make sure you are providing the toys in a quiet area away from other people and dogs. Remove them from the area when your dog is not using them.

Be mindful

Consider your dogs personal space. Whilst your colleagues may want to interact with your dog, your dog may be anxious or nervous around unfamiliar people. Be aware of signals that your dog is uncomfortable such as lip licking, and showing the whites of the eyes. If your dog shows these signs, try to remove them from the situation. You could try putting a bandana or vest on your dog which alerts people that your dog is nervous. Consider whether it is safe to bring your dog to work at all.

Ensure the workplace is safe

Remove any toxic plants. (If you are unsure what is toxic, remove all plants from reach) Where possible, hide all electrical cords, wires and stationery.

Give your dog breaks

Take your dog out for regular bathroom breaks. If possible, it’s a good idea to teach your dog in advance to go to the toilet on cue. This will ensure you won’t be standing around waiting during your entire lunch break.

Make colleagues aware

Make your colleagues aware the day before that you will be bringing your dog with you. This will give them the chance to speak up if they are allergic or uncomfortable around dogs. If colleagues are aware, they can also be more mindful of keeping doors closed and removing anything from the floor.

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