By Jessa Paschke, Pet Training Specialist
There are many benefits to bringing a pet to work. They can boost morale, relieve stress, build a sense of community and get people out for regular walking breaks – all things that are good for health and collaboration.
Companies are starting to recognize the benefits, too! New research from the CESAR® brand found that 93% of dog owners in pet-friendly workplaces reported positive attitudes about going to work.
So, whether your company has had a pet-friendly program for years or is trying it for the first time, we hope you’ll participate! Check out these tips to plan ahead and make the most of your workday with your best friend by your side…
1. Start off on the right foot…er, paw.
First and foremost, get permission to bring your pet to work. If your workplace doesn’t have a pets-at-work program, advocate for one. Don’t try to sneak a pet into your workplace, as that could put your job and your pet at risk.
Also, talk with the colleagues who work close to you and make sure they’re comfortable having your pet nearby. If they have concerns, look for ways to compromise. Having pets at work is great! But if it hurts your ability to get work done – or that of your coworkers – you’ll need to work through it before you proceed.
2. Consider your pet’s personality.
Make sure your pet enjoys meeting new people, and the other pets that are likely to be at your workplace. If they tend to be anxious in new environments or with unfamiliar people or pets, they might be happier staying at home.
Think about what’s best for them and consider a short trial visit before jumping into a whole week.
3. Make sure you’re ready to bring your pet to work.
To protect your coworkers and their pets, make certain your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. If you aren’t sure, contact your veterinarian ahead of time and get any needed shots. Also, make sure your pet is groomed for success – just like you!
4. Training matters everywhere, and especially in public places.
Before you bring your pet for a visit at your workplace, make sure they follow important behavior cues like “come,” “sit” and “stay.” Check out this article if you need training tips. Good behavior is key to a good visit anywhere you go.
5. Pack smart for a fun and safe workday.
Plan a bag of supplies for your pet’s big day at work. Include dog food for their regular meals, treats and bowls for food and water. Add a couple special toys to help keep them occupied, and a favorite bed or blanket so they can rest comfortably when it’s time for a nap.
6. Take breaks to keep your pet comfortable.
You’ll want to be sure to give your pet bathroom and exercise breaks throughout the workday, and always clean up after them. Bring cleaning supplies, paper towels and doggie waste bags to help. Dispose of waste in designated containers only.
7. Watch out for workplace dangers.
Check your workspace for potential dangers to your pet. Figure out ahead of time where they should and should not go. For example, don’t let them go in designated pet-free zones like cafeterias or production areas. And, keep them away from workplace hazards like heavy equipment and potential pet poisons like cleaners and plants.
8. You’re the boss! Keep your pet close by.
When you bring a pet to work, it’s your responsibility to make sure they stay safe and doesn’t negatively affect anyone else at work. Your employer will probably have you sign a participant pledge to reinforce this.
During the workday, use a gate, leash or crate to keep your pet in your area, cubicle or desk space. Also, arrange in advance for a colleague to watch them if you have a meeting where they can’t tag along.
Bringing a pet to work makes the workday great.
We hope you’ll try the pet-friendly program where you work, or help make the case for one if there’s not one in place. As part of its mission to make the world a dog-friendly place, the CESAR® brand is offering Workplace Grants in 2023 to help businesses make simple changes and welcome dogs into offices.
Plus, the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program’s free PETS WORK AT WORK™ toolkit can help you get started, with information about legal and facilities considerations, tips for designing a pet-friendly office, and a sample workplace pet policy.
Do you bring your pet to work? Or want to? Share your thoughts on social media with #PetsWorkAtWork. We’d love to hear from you!