Going to the Dogs

First, it was Take You Child to Work Day, a practice that many companies still encourage for those with families.

More recently, Take Your Dog to Work Day has become a popular employee perk. An official version of the day was created in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, which designated the Friday following Father’s Day as the time to introduce Fido to your co-workers. The idea behind the event is to demonstrate the close bond between pet and owner, which could encourage non-pet owning colleagues to consider adopting a dog that needs a home.

Since dogs sometimes have a little trouble getting along from the get-go, especially in smaller, unfamiliar spaces, here are a few tips for making your employees’ dog days successful.

  • Attraction vs. Promotion – Not everyone is a dog lover. Those that are will find their way to your pet, one way or another. Others may wish to concentrate on their work, or simply keep their distance for personal reasons.

  • It’s Why They Call It Work – No matter how tempting it may be to shower your pet with affection throughout the day, remember to concentrate on why both of you are there. If not, it’s possible that the company could consider Take Your Dog to Work Day as being counter-productive, which could result in the event being nixed for next year.

  • Pack and Prepare – Bring along plenty of water and treats for your dog, as all the extra attention will likely result in a) increased thirst; and, b) tendencies on the part of co-workers to give the animal some people food as an expression of affection.

  • Advance Check for Allergies – Some of your co-workers, especially those who work in close proximity to your desk or office, may experience severe allergic reactions at a mere whiff of pet dander. The best way to avoid such a situation is to ask around before your pooch visits for the day. If necessary, you could offer to trade workspaces with a colleague so as to avoid any adverse reactions.

Creature Comforts – Bring a favorite bed or blanket where your dog can take a break and rest.  If necessary, consider bringing a crate. Once everyone has done the rounds of meeting and greeting all those canines, the actual business of work will be close at hand, and your animal will appreciate having his or her own space as a retreat from the action.

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