Work Goes To The Dogs – 5 Tips To Make Your Dog A Star!

by Mary Haight on June 25, 2009

Work goes to the dogs Friday during the 10th Annual “Take Your Dog To Work” day!  What better way to work than with your dog by your side? The good news is businesses are becoming more savvy about the benefits of allowing well-mannered pets to come into the workplace.3497466346_c25ae487bb_mshiztzus

A survey of small businesses by the American Pet Products Association found that 20% of those asked have pet-friendly policies.   It’s an inexpensive “perk” that keeps stress levels down as more work is shared by fewer employees.  Dogs home alone for too many hours are no longer a worry and even employees who do not have pets benefit from working with happier, more relaxed colleagues. Your dog also has a chance to meet and greet some new friends–another plus!

If you love to have praise heaped on your dog, here are 5 tips to make your dog a star:

1. Make sure your dog is clean. Nothing brings the “ooo”s and “ahh”s on like a freshly groomed dog. The dogs notice the difference too!

2. Don’t allow the dog to use the offices as a personal potty. Walk them often–new places and people get dogs excited.  Make sure you have a clean-up and odor remover if you’re not sure if these special cleaning products will be available at work.

3. Don’t assume everyone’s dog loves being approached and petted without a proper introduction, Always ask, just as you would on the street. The way you act reflects on your dog (how about that?).

4. In that same vein, don’t leave for a meeting, no matter how short, and tie your dog to your chair. Have someone dog sit.  They’re in a strange place and you don’t want your dog to be confused by your absence, all possible barking and whining aside.

5. Don’t let your dog off leash to roam the office and interrupt others.

A dogs in the workplace program can play a real role in creating that elusive  “quality of life” culture that is  a precondition for creative productivity.   In the spirit of promoting this program and helping companies formulate a successful pet friendly policy, California dog trainer Liz Palika and HSUS’ Jennifer Fearing put together a useful book Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces . ($21.95)  Fearing was responsible for the HSUS dog-welcoming policy instituted at their offices two years ago.  And they have had zero incidents since inception with 50 dogs, cats and rabbits participating (mostly dogs!).

This guide does much of the work for the company where this kind of policy makes sense; it provides a blueprint for success from policies to procedures and sanctions.

If you are one of the 80% or so of the people who can’t enjoy this program this year, get the book and work on your boss.  When the dogs in the workplace  program is properly instituted, it’s a real boon to everyone. Who doesn’t love a happy, laughing dog, and happy employees?


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