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Take Your Dog to Work Day {How to Make Sure Your Dog’s a Boss}

Take Your Dog To Work Day (TYDTWDay®) is a day when many businesses permit employees to bring their dog to work for the day. This day not only celebrates the important role our dogs play in our lives but also helps promote pet adoption.

Take Your Dog to Work Day

When is Take Your Dog to Work Day?

Founded by Pet Sitters International (PSI) in 1999, this pet holiday invites dogs to join the rat race on the Friday following Father’s Day. The annual event brings a sense of play to the work day for pet parents, and also promotes the option of pet adoption by shining a spotlight on the joy that dogs bring to a person’s life.

Tips from Pet Sitters

Tips from pet sitters for how to have a successful Take Your Dog to Work Day

Just like bringing a child to the workplace, bringing your dog to a work site that may typically not be pet-friendly involves a little pre-planning. If you plan to take your dog to work with you tomorrow, Pet Sitters International has some handy tips to make the day special for you and your pooch.

  1. Dogs should be kept on a leash, unless in the employee’s office or cubicle. Even the best-behaved dogs may not understand that not everyone loves puppy kisses or a pouncing pooch. Respect co-worker’s space by keeping your dog leashed when outside of your office or cubicle. Co-workers who want to pet your dog will likely come to you.
  2. Employees should use a baby gate to prevent dogs from leaving their office unsupervised. In the middle of an important sales call or during a visit from a business partner is not the best time for Fido to dash out of your office. Give your dog space to roam in your office while avoiding an unplanned escape by using a baby gate.
  3. Specific areas, such as bathrooms or employee dining halls, should be designated as dog-free. Even on TYDTWDay, there will be limitations to where your dog can roam. Work with management and co-workers to decide which areas of the office will be dog-free.
  4. Have a back-up plan for taking the dog home if he is not comfortable in the work environment. While most dogs love spending a day at the office, it may be that your dog is not ready to enter the workforce. Have a back-up plan, such as a spouse, friend or professional pet sitter who can take care of your pet if he needs to leave the office.

Tips from a Pro

For the day when the workplace becomes the “woofplace,” we’ve got guest tips from celebrity dog trainer, animal behaviorist and radio host Harrison Forbes to help get you and your four-legged co-worker ready for the big day.

Practice Makes Perfect: Before to bringing your dog into the office, practice polite behavior by taking them out to public places. Letting Fido tag along on your next trip to the park, pet store or café patio, will help them become more acclimated to new people, places and animals. This will help them learn proper behavior when greeting people and help them relax in new settings.

Plan, Prepare and Protect: Plan ahead and check with your co-workers to make sure everyone is allergy-free and comfortable with dogs. Also, prepare your work space by hiding electrical cords, and setting out a dog bed and water bowl. Most importantly, make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines and protected from fleas and ticks that can be passed from other four-legged office mates. Use a monthly topical treatment like PetArmor®, which is the fipronil-based preventative that offers the same protection as Frontline® at about half the cost.

Walk This Way: Learn leash manners before stepping foot into the building. A trick to combat leash pulling is to stop walking or stop and walk in the opposite direction. When the dog stops and the leash becomes loose, start walking again. Repeat this exercise until your dog learns to walk with you instead of pulling ahead. This can be a long and frustrating process, but it will be effective in the long-term.

Sit and Stay: Condition your dog to sit and stay on command. This is the proper way to greet co-workers, and will help ensure your work day is productive. Teach “sit” and “down” by practicing ahead of time out in public, and offering a small treat for every successful command. Keep training sessions short and gradually build up to an hour. Once at work, encourage your dog to sit or lie down in its bed while in you’re working in your office.

Getting to Know You: Avoid office disputes by asking permission before you allow your dog to greet another dog, and don’t force your dog to become ‘friends’ with another dog; let them meet in their own time. Try to keep a loose leash when introducing your dog to another. Pulling tightly on the leash may cause your dog to become nervous and to growl or snap.

Tips from Dog Trainers

Taking your dog to your office means some pre-planning on your part. After you check with your employer and get the OK, what can you do to make the day enjoyable for you and your dog?

Bark Busters, the world’s largest dog training company, released some handy tips for making the most of this important day:

  • Recognize that this can be a stressful experience for your dog. It is a new environment, which in itself can cause apprehension. Bring along his dog pillow or blanket so he has something familiar to comfort him.
  • Bring a leash to walk your dog from the car to the office. The leash will also help you control him in the office.
  • Bring food or treats and a water bowl so your canine friend can stay well hydrated.
  • Help your dog pass the time by bringing along dog toys, such as the Buster Cube® or KONG®
  • Don’t leave your dog alone with other dogs. If you must leave for a meeting, isolate your dog in a closed office or have a dog-familiar friend sit in until you return.
  • Other dogs might not be as well behaved as your dog. Watch for any signs of dog aggressiveness, such as growling, staring, raised hackles, and stiff body posture. Diffuse potential conflict by removing your dog from the area.
  • Don’t try to force unfamiliar dogs to “become friends.”
  • Check with your supervisor to get an okay to leave work early if your dog can’t handle the new environment. If he becomes too stressed, overexcited or inhibited, it’s best to just take him home. Do not opt to leave him in your vehicle while you continue to work.
  • If a dog scuffle occurs, don’t lunge in and try to break it up by hand (you could get bitten accidentally). Use your dog’s blanket to throw over the heads of the fighting dogs. This will confuse the combatants long enough for you to defuse the situation.

Tips for Participating Businesses

For those who want to employ tips for incorporating a pal with paws into the work place for the day, PSI offers a free downloadable action pack filled with advice for convincing the company’s ‘top dog’ that there are benefits to having Bowser at a place of business. The guide includes instructions for planning productive Take Your Dog to Work Day celebrations, such as holding a fundraiser for an area shelter or rescue organization, or conducting a Pet Fair complete with talks from local pet professionals.

A planning guide for potential participants, the Action Pack addresses common management concerns, provides step-by-step instructions for planning an office event and includes a sample “dogs at work” policy and event participation forms.

“Dogs show us how to better ourselves,” said pet expert and TYDTWDay ambassador Arden Moore. “Having a canine extraordinaire (CEO) in your life can teach you valuable lessons about succeeding at home and in the workplace.”

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Take Your Dog to Work Day
This post originally appeared on DogTipper.com and is the sole property of DogTipper.com.