If you work in a dog-friendly office, then congratulations—you must be super stoked! But don't start wagging your tail just yet. You should approach bringing your pooch to work with care and compassion towards your fellow human and animal coworkers. While a dog-friendly work culture is certainly aspirational for any dog owner, there is etiquette and much to keep in mind before your first "bring your dog to work day."
Here are some tips we've compiled to start your bork-day off right!
Check with your coworkers
Even if your office is "dog-friendly," you may want to check with your immediate coworkers before bringing your dog in to work for the first time. If you work in close quarters and someone has a fear of dogs or an allergy, you don't want to create a hostile work environment for them by bringing in your furry friend. Plus, giving everyone the heads up is just the polite and considerate thing to do!
Keep your dog fresh and clean
Even though dogs are man's best friend, you cannot say the same for the smell of dogs, especially in a professional setting. Be sure to keep your dog well-groomed and smelling fresh when bringing him into the office. Chances are he will be getting lots of pets and belly rubs, and you want him to feel confident when coming into work!
How’s your schedule looking, hooman?
If you have a lot of meetings on your calendar for the day, it may be a good idea to leave your friend at home or at doggie daycare. It isn't particularly fair to have your dog hanging out by the water cooler or running throughout the office to distract others while you impress your boss with your fancy presentation. However, do your best to bone up on the rules and your general office culture. If your office culture says otherwise, then by all means, bring your buddy into the boardroom to be Chief Executive Pupper!
Take regular bathroom breaks
Make sure you are fair to both your furry friend and coworkers by keeping your pooch on a consistent walk and potty break schedule. No one wants to run into a fun surprise on the floor of your office. Just in case, be sure to have poop bags on hand for any accidents that may arise.
No biting, barking, or battling
Before you bring your dog to your workplace, determine if he is properly socialized and can handle being around other humans and dogs. This means no biting, barking, or unfriendly ruff housing with other office canines. This is only fair to your other coworkers who may bring their dogs, or who want a productive work environment without additional distractions.
Bring all (or a few) of the things your dog enjoys at home so he feels comfortable by your side at the office. This may include a few of his favorite toys, a blanket, his leash, treats, a chew, and a bowl for water. Your pup will be so pleased to have all of his favorites with him—and to be with you, of course!
What if my office is dog-friendly and I’m allergic to dogs?
According to employment attorney Donna Ballman, If you are allergic in a dog-friendly office environment, your allergy could qualify as a disability under the ADA. In this scenario, you could ask for a reasonable accommodation for your allergy from your employer, such as a separate office workspace (if it is a larger office), some type of regular office cleaning service, work from home days, or even working on another floor. Have a conversation with your employer and see what options they may come up with. In the meantime? Lots of antihistamines.