By Angela Blue
So, you work for a company that’s lenient on bringing dogs to the office. Consider yourself lucky (and consider nominating your workplace for next year’s Best Places to Work in CoVa BIZ). But before making a cozy bed for Fido next to your desk or stocking your cubicle with treats, consider these five tips for bringing your dog to work.
1. Consider your coworkers. Aside from allergy issues, there’s a disheartening but very vital fact to face—not everyone is a dog lover. Even if there’s no critical health issue, some people are legitimately afraid of dogs. Check with your specific department first to ensure that everyone is cool with canines.
2. Consider your dog. Does your pet have anxiety issues? Or perhaps bad manners like loud barking, rummaging through the trash or, worse, nipping? The minor annoyances that you deal with at home can be major problems at the office, and in any of these cases, it’s best to leave these issues at home.
3. Consider other dogs. If the dog policy is in full effect, it’s likely that your coworkers will bring their pooches, too. Keep in mind that dogs who are pleasant around people can act differently if there’s another dog in the mix. There’s nothing like a pup scuffle to interrupt a workday and cause tension at the office.
4. Examine your productivity. Maybe you have a high-energy dog that loves to run and play, requiring much outside time. Perhaps you’ve got a younger or older dog that needs lots of potty breaks. Or it could be that your coworkers just can’t get enough puppy love, and they’re constantly stopping by your desk to pet and cuddle your pooch. All of these factors can be distracters to your workflow and productivity, so make sure your projects and deadlines won’t suffer because of your four-legged guest.
5. Bring doggie distracters. If you do decide to bring your dog to work, make him or her feel at home. Bring in a comfortable bed for naps, plenty of toys (but not the squeaky kind unless you’re trying to make enemies) and a leash for walks, which can benefit you both.