The office etiquette your dog should be following

dog in office

POV: It comes as no surprise that dogs can reduce the amount of stress and anxiety we feel, boost morale and generally make everything just that little bit better. If you’ve been thinking about including your pup in your working day, we’ve put together the ultimate list of do’s and don’ts… you could say we’ve got you covered when it comes to dog etiquette in the workplace. We collaborated with our friends at Shared Space to come up with a few tips on how a dog friendly office can be productive, efficient and a happy place for everyone.

Searching for a dog-friendly workspace? Sharedspace has compiled a list of top Dog Friendly Office & Coworking Spaces, so you can find a dream workspace for you and your best friend.

Do: Make sure your dog is accepting of strangers

How is your dog’s behaviour when meeting new people, dogs or children? Depending on the type of office you work in, there may be frequent visitors who come with children in tow, or other dogs who come to work each day. If your dog isn’t comfortable with strangers or other dogs, you may want to look into daycare or pack walks before asking them to interact on this level.

Don’t: Bring a scared or anxious dog into an office environment

Offices and busy settings can be extremely stressful and unsettling for many dogs. Put yourself in their paws for a bit and really consider whether your dog is of the right temperament to actually enjoy their day at work. Offices are often areas of high stress for humans alone and dogs are particularly intuitive – they have an incredible way of sensing human emotions and reading facial expressions. If you have a particularly bossy boss, your four legged friend may also be walking on eggshells and experiencing stress all day long.

Do they know how to fully relax? Do they jump at the slightest sound or fast movement? Anxious dogs are sometimes much happier in a familiar environment, so if your dog is of the flighty type, consider leaving them at home where they can happily chill out.

Do: Ask your coworkers

Don’t assume everyone is a dog person. It’s hard to imagine but many people are allergic, have a fear of dogs, or simply don’t like them. Be sure to ask your coworkers before bringing in your cuddly St Bernard, as some may not see his size or drool factor in the same adoring light as you (and us!)

dog friendly office

Don’t: Keep an untidy work space

Like us, you may be a bit partial to plants in the workplace. It’s important to remember that many indoor plants are toxic for dogs, so take this into consideration before bringing in your four legged friend. You’ll need to be mindful of cleaning up your work space so you’re not holding on to open snacks or tripping over loose cords. Tidy everything up and ensure there’s nothing that your dog could find tempting to chew on when you’re concentrating on your inbox.

Do: Wash your dog frequently

It’s true, we don’t always notice when our beloved dog is a bit whiffy, but we can assure you others do! Make sure you’re bathing your dog frequently if he’s going to be coming into an office space. Perhaps make a routine of a Sunday spa day before the working week, so he’s spruced up and ready to mingle! On that note, be ultra attentive to fleaing and worming routines – no one will appreciate picking up bites on their ankles, no matter how much of a dog lover they are! Here’s a list of dog shampoo’s everyone’s talking about.

Don’t: Forget bathroom breaks

Keep an eye on your dog and get to know their routine. Bear in mind that they may need to visit the grass more often than usual due to the excitement of being in the office with you. They may also be distracted or unsure of where to go when nature calls, so be aware of tell-tale signs like intense eye contact, ground sniffing and circling. Take it back to toilet training days and take your dog to the same place for toilet breaks each time, so they know what to do when they get there and will perform in a timely manner.

dog going to work

Do: Bring supplies

Our dogs all have “work bags” that come to work each day with them. Inside we stock items such as fresh bowls, some food (in case we end up working late), harness/collar and leash, treats and toys, oh and poop bags. We love long lasting chews that keep the dogs happy and busy during the day, such as these Venison Chews from Tu Meke Friend and quiet chew toys without squeakers – even the doggiest of people can agree a constant squeaker can get slightly exhausting!

Don’t: Get distracted

We know, it can be hard to stay productive when there are dogs in the office requiring play time, cuddles and attention. Set boundaries, deadlines and schedules so you stay on task throughout the day. Remember, having the opportunity to bring your dog to work is a privilege and the powers that be can always rethink the policy if it’s not working well for the business!

Do: Create a safe space for your dog

Know your dog’s preferences – are they crate trained or do they enjoy having their own space? Consider popping up a small baby gate on your cubicle to keep your dog from wandering the whole office, or if they enjoy crate time, pop a small crate under your desk. Whatever you do, make sure your dog has a spot where they feel safe and comfortable, so they don’t feel overwhelmed by foot traffic and general office bustle.

Do: Get a routine established

Dogs are creatures of habit and love a routine. Try to keep your start, break and finish times as regular as possible so your dog becomes comfortable and gets to know what’s expected of him while you’re in the office. New surroundings or changes to routine can be extremely stimulating for dogs and cause hyperactivity or stress, so the more you can do to create familiarity, the better!

Don’t: Leave your dog alone

If you need to step away from your desk, make sure you don’t leave your dog alone. He may whine, bark or become destructive – none of which are office appropriate behaviours! It’s a great idea to ask a colleague to be your “dog buddy” to watch your pup if you need to whip into a meeting or go to the bathroom. Having the same person each time will instill a sense of familiarity and comfort in your dog, so when you need to duck out, it becomes no big deal for them!

dog in office

Do: Provide plenty of water

Make sure you put out a fresh bowl of water for your dog each morning when you arrive. We like to use good, solid bowls that won’t easily tip over, while it’s also a great idea to get a pet placemat for keeping the ground dry in case of any splashes.

Don’t: Forget to exercise your dog before work

We highly recommend giving your dog a good amount of exercise before work, which will help relax them and run off excess energy. Dog behaviourists recommend a 30 minute walk or run before arriving at the office, so if morning exercise isn’t usually your thing, bear in mind it will be an extra step to your working day. We love to get our dogs out on a sunny lunchtime break as well! It’s a great excuse to step away from your desk and go for a stroll around the block or the local park!

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