Take Your Dog To Work Day 2013
According to TakeYourDog.com, the tradition was first started by Pet Sitters International in 1999 as a way to encourage dog adoptions. Take Your Dog To Work Day was created to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. This annual event asks pet lovers to celebrate the humane-canine bond and promote pet adoption by encouraging their employers to support TYDTWDay by opening their workplace to employees’ four-legged friends on this one special day.
Before you jump in with great enthusiasm, there are a few things you need to do to make sure your dog’s work day is as enjoyable for him or her and for your co-workers as it will be for you.
People first, then dogs
First, check with your boss and your co-workers to make sure no one is allergic or deathly afraid of dogs. Most people think puppies are cute, but your 190-pound monster may be a bit intimidating to the little old lady who works in the next cubicle. And even though you won’t be forcing anyone to pet your dog if they’re allergic, let’s face it: all dogs shed at least a little, and they produce other allergens that can make someone really sick. No one wants that.
You will also want to check with your work mates to see if anyone else plans on bringing in their own dog. If either dog has issues with other dogs, you may have to work out a plan where one of you brings your dog in the morning, the other after lunch.
Dog-proof your office
There’s nothing many dogs like better than a full garbage can, so make sure you empty everyone’s garbage the night before the big day. It would be really gross if your dog dumped the old banana peels, dirty tissues, and lunch detritus, and you had to pick it up.
Spend a few minutes looking at your work site from dog level. If you have a very small dog, this may involve crawling around on your hands and knees to see what he or she sees. Look for things that might interest your dog like plants that might be poisonous, cords to chew on, or small tools that may resemble chew toys.
Depending on your dog’s size, you may be able to simply put these dangerous things up out of reach. However, if you have a big dog, you might need to put things in the closet or storage room like you do at your house when the in-laws are dropping by on short notice.
Spend some time thinking about that powerful tail. What does your company have displayed on tail-level tables? It would be a real shame if your dog was the one who broke the company’s JD Powers and Associates awards from the last 20 years.
Evaluate your dog’s temperament
Make sure your dog is able to handle the noise and commotion of your work site.
If you’re in an office, think about how your dog reacts to the ringing phone at home before you decide having him or her in the office would be a great idea.
Do customers call on you at your work site? If so, better consider how the dog reacts to strangers. The last thing you need is for your dog to knock down or bite a potential client. (Your boss would just love that, wouldn’t she?)
If you work outdoors, take time to think how your dog acts while you are on walks. Does he or she stay with you and come immediately when called? If you have a wanderer or a dog who pulls constantly on the leash, you probably won’t get much work done with the dog in tow. (Another thing your boss may not think is wonderful.)
Plan your day
First, figure out how you will get your dog to and from work. Public transportation isn’t known for its pet-friendly policies, and it’s not a great idea to let your dog run alongside your bike during rush hour. So, that leaves the family car. Do you have a dog restraint / seat belt to keep the dog out of your lap? Will you crate the dog during the trip? There’s no point in bringing the dog to work if doing so will endanger his or her life on the trip to and from.
Next, think about your schedule for June 25th. Do you have client meetings? What will you do with the dog while you are on an interminable conference call? Do you have to give a presentation off-site? Where will you eat your lunch? All of these considerations may give you pause when you look at the specific “official” day of this event.
If your schedule holds nothing out of the ordinary, you will still have to make special plans to include your dog in your work day. Be sure to schedule breaks for some outside time. Chances are your dog sleeps all day at home while you’re gone, but the added stimulation of being at your work site plus the excitement of spending time with you may mean he or she has to take more frequent potty breaks.
Figure out ahead of time what you will do if your dog thinks your work site is for the birds. Will you be able to take a break to take the dog home? Don’t let your only alternative be putting the dog out in the car for the rest of the workday. Even with your windows cracked, it will be much too hot for your dog to survive more than a few minutes inside a car.
Make sure your dog is in good health
You get stressed out at work; what makes you think your dog won’t? Even though most dogs react to new environments by thinking everything’s a wonderful adventure, there may be some things at your work site that will cause your dog stress. Make sure the dog is fit enough to handle the pressure.
Check your dog’s vaccine status to make sure he or she is properly protected against diseases. Giving the boss’ daughter rabies might not be the best career choice in the world.
Hygeine and good manners are always important
Before you take your dog to the job site, make sure he or she is looking good. Give the dog a good brushing to reduce the amount of fur that will end up being left at work. Clip toenails to make it less likely the dog will scratch someone. Brush your dog’s teeth to get rid of that nasty dog breath so your partners won’t pass out as soon as the dog walks in.
Spend a few minutes each day between now and June 25th to review your dog’s obedience training. Some of his or her skills may be a little rusty, and you’ll want to make sure the dog doesn’t embarass you if the corporate vice president happens to swing by for a visit. Make sure your dog has mastered come, sit, down, stay, and leave it before you attempt a workplace visit.
The Big Day: June 25, 2010
So, you’ve prepared both your work mates and your workplace, and you’ve gotten your dog in tip-top shape as far as health, hygiene, and manners. You’ve properly planned for transportation, potty breaks, and emergencies. The big day has arrived; now what?
Take Your Dog to Work day will likely be a very exciting time for your dog. He or she will be going to a new place, meeting new people, and finding out why you’re not home all day.
However, after about the first hour, the dog may figure out what we’ve known all along: work’s just not all that exciting. So, you will need to bring something to entertain your dog to keep him or her from getting into mischief.
Bring along the dog’s favorite toys, some treats to reward his or her good behavior, and possibly a crate if the dog might need some “me” time.
Don’t forget that the added excitement could lead to mishaps. Bring along some paper towels, poop bags, and carpet cleaner, just in case.
Remember the whole point of Take Your Dog to Work Day is to encourage dog adoption, so make sure both you and your dog are good ambassadors for the cause.
Let us know, have you ever taken your dog to work? Are you planning to participate in Take Your Dog To Work day?