A growing number of employees, especially millennials, is taking their dogs to work because there are more companies today offering pet-friendly working environment. Pets are actually good for the mental health of the employees but it's necessary to train your dog for the office so that everybody is happy. Otherwise, your furry friend will overstay its welcome pretty quickly. Here's what you can do:
Before you start packing your dog for your office, be honest with yourself about your pet. Is your dog too territorial to share space with other dogs? Do they prefer peace and quiet for sleeping instead of a busy office? How adaptable are they to changing conditions in a modern working environment? If you are in a doubt, don't put your dog under the stress of getting them used to the office (and yourself, too).
Before you bring the dog to work, acclimate them at home - buy an office-only dog bed and a few toys which will be kept in their spot. Let your dog smell the items and sleep with them before you take them to the office. In the beginning, keep your dog only a few hours in the office, either in the morning so that you can leave them home during the lunch break or in the afternoon. Just make sure it's the during the slowest hours in the office. It will give them optimum conditions to get to know your coworkers, other dogs and new smells.
A healthy dog is a happy dog, so make sure they get enough exercise before or after your work, eat healthy food and have regular visits to the vet. Flea and tick medications and vaccinations need to be up to date. The toys and the bed need to be washed regularly, and so should the dog. You can't expect your coworkers to spend time in the same room with a smelly dog, can you? In case there are more dogs in the office or your dog wanders out, get one of unique dog name tags that will help identify your dog.
Your dog could behave differently than you've expected, so tackle the issue when and if it arises. It's possible your dog will be annoyed by the sound of the elevator button or afraid of one of the dogs in the office. The important thing is for you to be consistent and patient, just like you would if there were issues with behavior at home. Try to be flexible - maybe it will suit your dog better to be alone in the office every other day, so you could come up with a schedule with other colleagues with dogs.
There will have to be some adjustments when it comes to other colleagues, too, especially in the beginning. Some people find it difficult to work with a dog that's barking and whining nearby or simply playing with a dog. If a colleague approaches you with a dog-related issue, try to be open-minded. Everybody needs to be comfortable in the office, so only with an honest conversation without any blame-placing will you be able to come up with a solution that works for everybody.
Toilet breaks need to be more frequent if your dog is in the office with you to avoid "accidents". Not only will it make it more comfortable for the dog to be in the office but it will also be a good exercise for the two of you. Whenever possible, take a short break and take your dog out for a walk - some fresh air will do good for you.
Your pooch feels best when you're close to them most of the time, so it could be a good thing for both of you to be together in the office if possible. If it turns out your dog isn't happy even after the adaptation process, it's better to give up the whole idea.
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