Next Friday, June 26, 2009, is Take Your Dog to Work Day! This annual event was first organized ten years ago, and has since gone international. Check to see if your workplace is participating, or might be open to the idea next year. Not only is this a fun way to get to know your colleagues better, but it also provides a great opportunity for dogs to practice polite pet behavior!
If you do plan on taking your dog to work (on this holiday, or on any day, really,) consider following these tips to help ensure a positive experience:
1. Puppy-proof your workspace ahead of time (tape up loose electrical cords, put away tempting markers & office supplies, remove plants & breakables, etc.)
2. Be sure to bring treats, bowl, water, a leash, paper towels and an enzyme cleaner to clean up any accidents. Also bring a cozy dog bed, blanket or towel for your pup to lounge on and a few favorite toys to keep her occupied.
3. Most dogs can’t resist the delicious smells that linger around the trashcan. It's a good idea to empty your trash beforehand, and situate the trashcan in another room for the day.
4. Brush up on your obedience commands a few days in advance so you can dazzle everyone with your puppy's skills and polite greeting behavior (remember to discourage jumping up by placing your dog in a sit-stay when new friends approach.)
5. Take your dog for a nice long walk before work to burn off any excess energy, and be sure to take breaks throughout the day for potty & outside play.
6. During the day, keep your dog with you (in your office, cubicle, etc.) Some of your coworkers might only be tolerating a doggy day in an effort to be a team player, and might not appreciate a curious little visitor popping in and out to say hello. When you and your dog leave your individual workspace, be thoughtful and keep your dog on-leash.
7. Remember that even very well-socialized dogs can become stressed in new situations, so be prepared for the possibility that your pup might not enjoy the day as much as you do (have a phone number of a friend on hand in case you need someone to take your dog home early.)