These days, it has become increasingly popular for businesses to allow furry companions into the workplace. And for good reason! Studies have shown that the addition of dogs to the office can relieve stress, promote positive interactions, and increase performance. Plus, it cuts down on the time you have to leave your pet at home alone.
This also means you no longer have to begrudgingly drag yourself away from those precious puppy dog eyes that always beg for you to not go to work. However, it also means that you’ve got to get Fido into tip-top shape so that they behave themselves amongst your coworkers. Due to the coronavirus, many of us find ourselves working from home. This makes it the perfect time to start working with your dog to get them properly trained so that they can join you in the office once life finally returns back to normal. With enough patience and motivation, you and your dog can enjoy office life together.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started!
Start With the Commute
Before you even get to the office, there is the important matter of transportation. While some dogs really enjoy the chance to take a ride in the car or on public transportation, there are many who become quite stressed. When heading out with your pet anywhere, there are important pet travel safety measures you should be utilizing. Making them as comfortable as possible with blankets and toys from home, lots of treats and water, as well as properly sized carriers can go a long way for your pet during your commute. There can also be a lot of loud, unfamiliar scents and sounds when riding on the subway or bus so it’s worth bringing along dog pheromones in the form of a collar or spray. The pheromones will help your dog relax and hopefully enjoy the ride a bit more.
If you tend to regularly drive yourself to work, then take the opportunity to get out of the house for a bit and do some practice runs with your dog. Some dogs can actually suffer from motion sickness while riding in the car. The last thing you want while on the drive to work is a very sick pup in the back. To help with motion sickness, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends a few things:
- Keep your AC on in the car so that your pup stays comfortable.
- Let your dog enjoy some fresh air and smell the good smells by rolling the windows down.
- Always give your dog access to fresh water but limit their food intake before the trip to minimize bathroom breaks.
- Consult your vet about potentially giving your dog anti-anxiety medications if car rides stress them out.
- Play with your dog for twenty to thirty minutes before the trip to get some excess energy out.
- Spraying dog pheromones inside your vehicle or giving them a pheromone collar can also have a calming effect.
Pay close attention to your dog and check for drooling and whining as these are signs of stress or anxiety. Whether your dog had a bad experience riding in a car or is simply unsure of it, you can reinforce positive associations by going slowly, letting your dog explore the outside and inside thoroughly, and of course, supplying them with plenty of delicious treats and praise.
Even Fido Has to Follow the Rules
After you get your pup ready for the journey to work, it’s time to start making them a model coworker. As discussed earlier, having dogs in the office has shown to improve the overall happiness levels of workers and get people interacting more, which encourages a better sense of camaraderie throughout the office. However, it’s imperative that your dog is able to behave themselves while at the office and doesn’t wreak havoc as everyone tries to get their work done. If you have a puppy or recently adopted, waiting until they know basic commands like sit and come, as well as being able to hold their bladder longer than 30 minutes, will make it easier for you and your dog during your time in office.
After you’ve mastered the basics, the University of Southern California suggests that you ensure you continue also:
- Maintaining good hygiene: Just as you get ready for your day at work by showering, brushing your hair and teeth, and putting on fresh clothes, your pets should also be clean and free of contagions and fleas or ticks.
- Confirming vaccinations are up to date: A quick call to your vet to make sure your dog has all the right shots will keep your dog and other pets safe.
- Introducing new pets slowly: If you have an energetic or destructive pet, short visits are best. This prevents them from getting bored and doing something they shouldn’t and will also ensure you don’t waste time at work trying to keep them entertained. Moreover, if there are other pets at the office as well, your dog needs to slowly become familiar with them to avoid aggressive altercations or stress.
You want your dog to have a fun, happy experience coming to work with you. It will take some patience, but if you put in the time and effort with your dog, they’ll be the best coworker you could ever hope for.
Dogs have such contagious positive energy and attitude. It’s easy to see why they seem to improve the mood of any room they walk into. However, you owe it to your coworkers, your dog, and yourself to be a responsible pet owner so it’s worth utilizing this time that you’re stuck at home. By making sure your dog is office-ready, you can enjoy the many perks that come with spending time with your best friend.