Office dogs

This Friday (21 June) is ‘Bring your Dog to Work Day’, an annual event where many offices open their doors to employees’ four-legged friends.

With studies showing that pets can reduce a person’s stress levels in the workplace and help to boost productivity and job satisfaction, dogs might be our best co-worker. As a result, some offices have even decided to extend their ‘Bring your Dog to Work Day’ to all year round.

But it’s still important that you ensure that your dog is safe and happy in this environment and that you’ve considered the practicalities, whether it be for one day or every day.

Raw and natural food experts, Natures Menu, have provided their top tips for taking your dog to the office.

  1. Before taking your dog to work, make sure he or she can do the following: settle in a strange environment; be welcoming to strangers whilst not being a distraction from normal work duties; be left alone whilst you take comfort breaks; be accepting of other dogs in the workplace.
  2. Pull together a few items such as a water bowl; poo bags; treats and snacks; a comfortable and familiar bed; favourite toys; a lead suitable to secure to a desk or chair and a towel in case you’re caught in the rain on the commute. Also, bring cleaning products to take care of any possible accidents.
  3. Consider if it is suitable to take your dog to work. Will they interfere with your normal work duties and will others find your dog a distraction? Find out if your colleagues are canine-comfortable and identify which are afraid or allergic to canines so you can keep your dog at a safe distance. Remember, there will be an adjustment period.
  4. Exercise your dog before work to help ensure they settle quickly by your desk when you enter the office. Also, consider if you can provide adequate comfort breaks throughout the day for your pooch and don’t forget walkies. Exercise is beneficial to your dog and will also help your state of mind and productivity.
  5. Watch out for signs of stress and remove your pet from the situation if you notice excessive panting, licking of lips, cowering, barking, whining or trying to hide.

Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager for Natures Menu, said, “These days, dogs are increasingly becoming a part of office culture and having them in the workplace can be a fantastic treat. Having your dog in the office is good for the work atmosphere and, as studies have shown, not only does your cortisol level drop when your stroke a dog, you also produce more of the hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel relaxed and happy. The day is a lot of fun for all involved!

“While Bring Your Dog to Work Day is just one day, some dogs go to work every day. Here at Natures Menu we have many sponsored dogs such as Nuka, who is the UK’s first registered assistance Alaskan Malamute dog in the UK; Romeo, the blood donation dog; Tiga and Yogi, who reunite missing pets with their owners; and Scout, the Pets as Therapy’ dog. All of these pooches go to work every day to make a real difference!”

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