Our Pet PR Team are lucky to be able to bring their dogs to the office. According to an article in the *Guardian Newspaper only about 8% of employees are allowed to take their dogs to work. However, huge corporations such as Nestlé are joining the pack when it comes to businesses allowing employees to bring their dogs to work.
Research has shown that workers reported feeling significantly less stressed throughout the day than those who did not bring a dog to work. Our UK Pet PR team know personal experience that even during the stress of press deadline, our office dogs make us laugh when we should be pulling our hair out and give us all a good excuse to grab 20 minutes in our lunch hour for a game of ball/ a cuddle or to get some fresh air and some exercise by taking them out for a walk.
With the recent Bring Your Dog To Work Day, and as a UK Pet PR agency we are lucky to be able to bring our dogs to work every day (We know, how lucky are we?!!) So what tips do we have for anyone planning to bring their dog to work for a day or even going forward regularly to ensure it’s a positive and non-stressful experience for you, your pooch, boss and colleagues?
Here is our advice.
Respect Is Needed
We are all animal lovers here at MirrorMePR but don’t forget that not everyone may feel the same joy at your dog jumping up to greet them or hanging around their desk dribbling while they are eating their lunch at their desks. Be respectful and ensure that your dog has manners and isn’t allowed to wander around the office if all the office staff aren’t feeling the same love for your dog!
Our dogs are trained to sit on their beds while we are working but this can be difficult if we have a new dog visiting via a client or member of staff, so when we introduce them to our pack – we do it outside. Either they meet outside on a lead and we go for a short walk or they meet in our office back yard, so that they can get to know each other, have a mad 10 minutes of rough and tumble and chase before coming back into the confines of the office and obstacles (such as people actually trying to work!)
One rule we have in the office is that staff are welcome to take their dogs to work, but they must give them a good walk before they bring them in and they must clean up after their dogs (after all we want to enjoy time outside on our patio and grass area in the summer too)
For the younger dogs, we might take them for a quick walk at lunchtime but we find they very quickly settle into a routine and understand that office time is chill out time (for them, not us!) and sleep!
Say Hello Not Goodbye
If your dog cannot be trusted not to dash to the office door when a courier rings the bell, then keep him tied to your desk. The last thing any postie, courier or visitor wants is a dog launching themselves at them or trying to squeeze through the door while you or a colleague are trying to sign for a delivery.
Basic manners are crucial in the office dog, especially in a busy or noisy environment. Barking in our books is only acceptable if the office door buzzer goes, but as soon as we say enough, the dogs have to know their job of alerting us is done and they need to be quiet. If you work in an office whereby couriers are arriving all the time, then this won’t be helpful, so if you are planning on bringing your dog into work on a regular basis, you need to do some serious training if this is learned behaviour at home!
Jump For Joy Is A No Go
Jumping up at people, however small the dog will not be appreciated. Especially by anyone wearing tights or on bare legs (it hurts!) so teach your dog to sit for greeting and for excitable temperaments, we ask visitors to ignore them when they are in hyper go-go mode until they calm down, then we make a fuss and reward the behaviour we like.
With our regular dogs, they are all respectful of each other when it comes to food and their treats. However, we would never leave them with chews with a new dog in the office. However placid the temperament of the dog, it may turn on another dog when threatened by it sniffing around their chew, so be aware.
Not To Be Sniffed At
We keep dog towels in the office so that if any of the dogs get wet during a lunchtime walk, we can dry them off. There is nothing worse than the smell of wet dog, no matter how much you love dogs! We also ask staff to ensure that their dogs are also kept up to date with flea and worming treatments, which is of particular importance if you have a multi-dog environment! Another request we have is that if their dog seems a bit under the weather not to bring him or her into the office – if it’s catching, we don’t want the other dogs getting ill.
Lunch Is Served
If you are bringing your dog into work for just one day, make sure you have packed a bag for him too when you leave in the morning. Alongside poo bags, a soft bed and his food, think about bringing in some healthy dog chews so that he can snack on while on his bed and also his own food and water bowls (using the office crockery as a substitute won’t go down well!)
When it comes to his water bowl, water and electricity as you know don’t go together, so make sure you don’t put it under your desk near all those computer cables. Put his bowl somewhere where it won’t get knocked over easily and if your dog can’t gain access to it, then offer at regular intervals, especially in hot weather.
If your dog’s food is wet and particularly smelly, your work colleagues probably won’t want him tucking into lunch when they are trying to eat or prepare theirs in the kitchen so try and feed outside if possible or at least after everyone has taken their lunch.
When your dog is on his bed, ask your colleagues to respect his space and not to stroke or play with the dog. You want your dog to have a nice quiet spot where he can relax and unwind.
It’s also important to remember that your dog will need toilet breaks just like you do! So to avoid accidents, be aware that he or she will need to pop out for the loo regularly and time your meetings and work schedule around these.
Finally, remember that your dog is your responsibility so don’t expect other people to look after your dog for you, feed it, water it or pick up his or her mess. Being a dog owner is a huge responsibility as we all know and bringing your dog into your workplace is again another big responsibility, so ensure you can cope with work and a dog in the mix!
Our UK Pet PR Team urge you to follow these tips… you never know, your dog might be lucky enough to be invited back next year or even change your bosses’ mind when it comes to changing to a dog-friendly office too!