Bringing your dog to work with you can be frustrating, but if you’re lucky enough to be employed in a dog-friendly capacity, having your best friend with you throughout the day can be one of the most rewarding experiences. This is certainly something you should take advantage of if given the opportunity, and your furry friend could even help coworkers come out of their shell, put a smile on their face, and create an overall better experience for everyone at work.
We chatted with dog owners of a variety of breeds, to gather the top tips that can make the entire process of bringing your pooch to work a whole lot easier!
Check with your coworkers first
Even if you work in a dog-friendly office, you should always check with your coworkers prior to bringing in your pup, especially if there are other dogs in your office. This is a great time to gauge enthusiasm and make note of who to give a wide breadth.
Be prepared for the environment
Before getting to work, exercise or walks are great – especially for pups or nervous dogs. After you’ve received the OK from your coworkers, pack up a bag with all the necessities needed for your dog, such as:
- Spill proof water bowls (yourself and your coworkers will thank you)
- Chew toys or treat puzzles to keep your dog stimulated so they do not distract coworkers
- Don’t forget POOP BAGS!
Create a safe “work space” for your dog
No matter how dog-friendly your workplace, it was probably built strictly for two leggers! To further avoid any issues, make sure your office environment is safe for your dog. Remove any plants that could be poisonous, make sure electric cords are hidden, and all human food is out of reach. Bringing a bed from home is a great way to provide a safe space for your dog where he can feel comfortable settling down. Another tip is to keep your dog on a short least for the first few visits, this can help your pal get comfortable with the surroundings before settling in.
Always have a Plan B
It’s important to have an exit strategy in place, just in case! Whether it’s a kennel in a spare room or a friend who can pick up your dog, make sure you have a plan to keep your dog safe and happy in the event they become too boisterous, agitated, or get sick.
Enjoy their company!
Although the process of bringing your dog to the work may be stressful (initially), remember to enjoy it! In the end, bringing your dog to work should be a happy experience for the both of you. Dealing with a crazy client/customer? Hug your dog. Bad phone call with your boss? Hug your dog. Feeling drained or hitting the dreaded “afternoon wall?” Hug your dog. They’re happy to be there, so don’t forget how happy and lucky you are for them to be there, too! Here are the tips and stories from two FirstMate team members who really enjoy bringing their pets to work!
Hi, I am Melissa Morin and I have been with FirstMate for just over two years. One of the best parts of working for FirstMate is the fact that I get to bring my furchild to work with me each day! Trevor is a six year old Pomeranian Cross who is spoiled every day at our Canadian Prairie accounts. I’ve had Trevor since he was 3 months old, he came from a situation where his owners brought him home but couldn’t make it work with their other dog. It was love at first bark! Trevor’s favorite formula is the FirstMate Grain Free Australian Lamb mixed with any of the canned formulas. Over the past two years, we have learned a lot about how to act in a store setting. Here are a few tips when bringing your pup into a store or social setting:
- Start in puppyhood – I found it very beneficial bringing Trevor around other dogs, kids and other people at an early age. It helped a lot in getting him used to different situations and also helped me learn what his body language is telling me.
- Short leash – Trevor does not have free reign in public places. I find that keeping him on a shorter leash is helpful with control, as well as, keeps him from running up to other dogs who may be unsure or uncomfortable.
- Always ask permission – It is important to check with other dog owners before allowing your dog to say hello. Not all dogs are comfortable with other dogs, or may be nervous in public places so it is always good to ask. In our experience, most dogs that you see in store or parks are usually friendly, but again, it is best to ask.
- Pay attention to your dog’s body language – Trevor is very submissive and doesn’t usually stand up to other dogs so I have learned to read his body language to know when he is uncomfortable. Typically he won’t make eye contact, he will back away or just stare at me with his ears down as if to say ‘Mom, I’m not into this’.“
Throughout your day, month, year… we have ups and downs. Who else can really get as excited as you? (or more) Who always wants to be there for you when your down? In sales there are a lot of ups and downs and having my best friend with me throughout the day helps me love what I do. If you have to deal with a tough customer and the next thing you see is your dogs wacky face, it reminds you that everything is going to be ok. Dealing with all levels of people involved in retail, we come across all types of personalities. I’ve seen my dog Smokey help numerous people come out of there shell and become relaxed, creating a better experience for everyone in the work environment. From city to city its pretty amazing watching your co-worker put smiles so many faces. Especially mine.
- Exercise or walks before you enter a controlled environment – especially for pups or nervous dogs
- Spill proof water bowls – water should always be available especially for long trips
- Chew toys or treat puzzles are great to keep your dog simulated so they do not distract co workers
- Brighten up everyone’s day with your furry friend. Animals have a beautiful way of breaking up stress and putting a smile on your face.
Do you take your #FirstMate to work? Let us know in the comments if you have any stories or helpful tips of your own, and be sure to share any photos of you and your furry friend working together with us on Instagram using #FirstMate!