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How to prepare for bringing your dog to work

man carrying dog

If there’s one thing to make the workday go by faster, it is having your best four-legged friend by your side. With the COVID-19 pandemic, employees have become accustomed to being with their pets all day and companies are learning more about the benefits of pet-friendly offices.  

As people start returning to offices, Better Cities for Pets says that 89% of pet parents report that it is important for them to continue spending time with their pets during the workday. But not every dog is well-suited for a 9-5 office schedule. How can pet parents set their pups up for success if they want to bring their dog to work? 

Table of contents 

Pros of bringing your dog to work 

More research is being done about the benefits of having a pet-friendly workspace. We know that dog ownership is good for us on an individual level, and it turns out that these positive outcomes translate to entire companies, too. Some of these benefits include: 

  • Support employee physical and mental health – Having a dog is a great way to be active. Bringing your dog to work means that you will have opportunities to take a break from your desk, get fresh air, and stretch and exercise. Dogs also help lighten the mood and reduce stress! Better Cities for Pets notes that 75% of pet owners expressed concern about their own personal stress over returning to work without their dog. 
  • Reduce pet care costs – If you typically send your dog to daycare or hire a dog walker, bringing your pet to work is a huge money saver. 
  • Dog stress, socialization, and activity – Dogs are social creatures. Compared to staying at home alone all day, being in the office is a great way for dogs to socialize and get stimulation, as well as avoid any separation-related stress. This is not the case with every dog, however, so pet parents should consider whether the office is the most comfortable space for their individual dog. 
  • Boost employee morale, job satisfaction, and performance – Happy employees also means better retention and lower levels of employee absenteeism, improving overall productivity. 
  • Strengthen office sense of community – Pets can be a point of common interest and can get co-workers talking to each other in a friendly way. Encouraging social interaction helps support both employees and business. 
  • Attract and keep top talent – Like generous maternity benefits or retirement plans, a dog-friendly office can be very enticing to potential hires. Once they’ve found a company that allows them to spend time with their beloved pet, it is not likely they will want to give that perk up anytime soon.   

Cons of dog-friendly offices 

Bringing your dog into the office is not always a smooth process and may not be the best decision for everyone. Some potential negative aspects of having dogs in the office include: 

  • Allergies and phobias – Be considerate of your co-workers. Pet fur and dander allergies are fairly common and can make sufferers miserable. Others may be uncomfortable around dogs, making their workplace one of stress and anxiety.  
  • Disruptions and distractions – There is always a chance for barking, enthusiastic play, and even aggression when dogs are in the office. And they don’t care if you have a meeting or are deep in focus—they need attention and potty breaks. This can all be annoying, disruptive, and potentially dangerous. 
  • Time requirements – It may be difficult to find time to give your dog the potty breaks they need when you are running to meetings or trying to meet a deadline.  
  • Stress for owner and dog – Your bustling office is very different from your quiet living room, which may cause your dog more stress than excitement. And when your dog is stressed, you’re likely to be stressed, too.  

So, you’re considering bringing your dog to work 

Now that you better understand the benefits and potential disadvantages of bringing your dog to work, there are some questions you should ask yourself to determine if your dog is office ready. 

  1. Does your company allow dogs in the office? This should be your first consideration! It is a simple yes or no, and if you are not sure, ask your boss or someone from Human Resources before showing up with a new four-legged employee. Some offices will have requirements for identification, health records, supervisor permission, and may have restrictions on dog size and breed. 
  2. Is your dog ready for the office? Before going into the office, your dog should be up to date on all of their vaccines and had a recent bath. They should also be thoroughly potty trained and know basic commands like “sit” and “drop it,” which can keep them safe and make them pleasant co-workers. Before bringing your dog to work for a full day, try only a few hours at a time and get them on an office-friendly meal, potty, and exercise schedule. 
    Working with you in an office will require your dog to be on their best behavior. Not only should they be able to stay quiet and largely entertain themselves while you work, but their time at work will be easier for everyone if they are relaxed rather than full of energy or anxiously pacing or even showing aggressive behavior. Be sure to monitor your dog for signs of stress, fear, and aggression, and do not have them in the office if they are not comfortable. 
  3. How does your dog do around new people and other dogs? Just because your office is dog-friendly does not mean that anything goes. Your office dog should be comfortable meeting strangers without jumping, barking, or getting too excited or scared. Practice your dog’s social skills by bringing them with you on errands and meeting with friends and their dogs in a controlled environment. 
  4. What should you pack for your dog’s workday? Just like you pack a bag every day for work, your dog will have a bag full of office essentials, too. Be sure to pack food if they will be eating at the office, as well as treats, bowls, a bed or blanket that smells like home, and plenty of toys. Interactive puzzles and treat-dispensing toys like a Kong are great to keep them occupied while you’re working. Be sure, however, that all toys are quiet so as not to disturb your colleagues. 
  5. Where will your dog’s workspace be? It is important to have a plan for where your dog will spend their time while you are at the office. Do you have your own office with a door? You should always supervise your dog while they are with you at work, and depending on your office, you may need to keep them at your side at all times. If you work in a more communal space, consider keeping them on a leash or in a penned area around your desk. If they can’t come to a meeting with you, see if a colleague can keep an eye on them while you are away from your desk. 
  6. Is your work schedule dog-friendly? Your dog will need breaks from the office to go potty and get some fresh air and exercise. A workday schedule that is packed with meetings and tight deadlines is not conducive to an office dog.   
  7. Are your colleagues dog lovers, too? Talk with your co-workers in advance about their comfortability and any questions or concerns they may have about your dog being in the office. Have transparent conversations about phobias, allergies, expectations, and whether they plan to bring any pets into the office, too.  
  8. Is your office safe for pets? Office buildings often have areas that may not be safe or appropriate for dogs, like cafeterias or manufacturing facilities. You should also be aware of potential hazards such as poisons in cleaning products, toxic indoor plants, dangerous electrical cords, and garbage cans. Keep these items out of your dog’s reach, which may require some redecorating before your pup arrives to the office. 

If your pup isn’t an office dog 

Not every dog is cut out for the 9-5 office life. If your company requires you to be in-person every day, you will have to plan for your dog to spend their days elsewhere. 

It is your responsibility to meet your dog’s basic needs for food, water, bathroom breaks, physical and mental stimulation, and social interaction, even while you are away at work. Leave your dog with plenty of water and toys, and consider doggy daycare or a midday dog walker. 

Dog-friendly offices can be particularly attractive for owners of pets who suffer separation-related stress. If your dog shows signs of separation stress, Fear Free Pets recommends pet parents use desensitization and counterconditioning to change their dog’s fearful, nervous, or aggressive reaction to a pleasant, relaxed one instead. Separation stress is a significant issue that cannot be addressed overnight and may require the help of an animal behaviorist, certified trainer, and family and friends. 

How can ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA help your office dog? 

New spaces, smells, and strangers can be overwhelming and stressful. Fortunately, ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA products can offer support for your dog’s general and situational stress, helping them calmly settle into office life. We recommend starting your dog on our chews or soft gels a few days ahead of their first office visit and continuing to give them the appropriate dose twice daily.  

If your dog is highly stressed about going to work with you, ElleVet’s Calm & Comfort situational use chews provide maximum support for dogs with acute stress. Give your dog the appropriate dose of Calm & Comfort an hour and a half before you leave in the morning to calm them without sedating them, which can help reduce their stress response over time. 

For any questions about ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA products or how CBD can help your canine friend live their best life, give us a call (844-673-7287) or send us an email ([email protected]). We are here to help. 

Bottom line on bringing your dog to work 

Ultimately, deciding whether or not to bring your dog to the office depends on a number of different factors. It’s important to weigh every pro and con before you show up with your canine companion in tow. Be sure to talk openly with your company and colleagues about dogs in the office and help set your dog up for success by packing the essentials and giving your dog a comfy spot to hang out.