As a Bark Busters trainer, I often take my dog to work if I am using him to teach other dogs the concept of socialization. I am lucky, because I get to spend a lot of time with my canine companion.
Studies have shown that dogs decrease stress in the workplace. They make employees more creative, more productive, and nicer to each other. It used to be that "Take Your Dog to Work" was just one day of the year. Now it has been extended to a full week. Pet Sitters International (PSI) started the event in 1999 to "celebrate the great companions dogs make and encourage their adoptions."
In fact, 12% of all companies realize the benefits of dogs in the workplace, and allow their employees to bring dogs to work every day! Amazon goes so far as to provide free dog biscuits and dog-friendly water fountains. P&G's Iams and Eukanuba pet-food divisions not only give their employees free dog food, but even have a dog in management -- a Petit Basset Griffon VendÃ©en named Griffin currently serves as the VP of Canine Communications.
If you are going to take your dog to work, here are some suggestions to make the experience positive:
- Keep your dog on a leash in public areas - don't assume all dogs are well mannered and friendly
- Bring your own water and food bowls
- Bring a dog blanket or toys so your dog feels at home
- Use a baby gate or crate to keep your dog confined to your area
- Take the stairs - your dog or other employees might not be comfortable in a combined space on the elevator
- Prepare your work area by removing all cords, trash and valuable paperwork
- Clean up after your dog
- Realize that all dogs are NOT designed to be in the workplace
- Assume all your colleagues love dogs as well
- Leave your dog alone with other dogs at work
- Force your dog to make friends with other dogs
- Bring your dog if he is sick or has a contagious illness
And the most important rule - have fun!