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For the Love of Dog

Our Endless Affair with Man's Best Friend

(page 7 of 9)

 Barking 9 to 5 - Dogs in the Workplace

It’s hard to believe—in spite of living in an environment that is so blatantly dog accommodating—but there are some people that don’t love your dog as much as you do. (They could even be allergic. Or, they might not like dogs, if you can imagine that!)

In many offices in the Wood River Valley you are likely to be greeted by humans accompanied by their furry “kids.” And offering a “dog friendly” work environment is often a perk employers use to hook workers.

But, even if the boss is pro dog, it is your responsibility to make your pup’s presence as low impact as possible, with courtesy shown to your co-workers. We did some research and compiled some points to consider before bringing your canine child to work. Some of the following advice might seem obvious, but if it had been, someone wouldn’t have taken the time to write it down! 

• It may take a village to raise a child, but don’t expect your office mates to teach your dog what it should know before coming in to work with you. Potty training is a no-brainer but a protective dog that barks at visitors or blares through conference calls is never okay. Well-behaved dogs are welcome, disruptive dogs are unfair to others, and to the boss that allows you to bring your pet as it may compromise your focus and productivity—exactly what bringing the dog was supposed to accommodate.

• Unless you are working outside, your dog needs to have the same attention to hygiene that you give yourself. Don’t bring a soaking wet, smelly, muddy or mangled mop to the office to stink it up.

• If you have kids, you know not to go anywhere where patience is required without the proper implements for comfort and distraction. Bring bones, beds, toys, food and anything else to allow your dog to settle in comfortably.

• Don’t let dogs roam unattended. You can’t know when a delivery person might encounter your pup, meaning a conflict or, more dangerously, an escape you don’t see.

• If there are a number of office dogs, establish some time for them to play together and blow off steam, if they show an interest. Letting them roll down the hall is not acceptable.

• Unless someone offers, don’t assume an underling should consider your dog part of their job. Walking and potty breaks are for you to do.

• If you have a shared potty space, or an area adjacent to your office that is used for dogs to relieve themselves, clean up after them and put the odorous package in an outside receptacle.

Enjoy the privilege and joy that having your buddy at work can bring by following some basic etiquette. If maintaining these guidelines makes it more stressful, find alternatives for your friend. It doesn’t work for every dog, but if you are lucky enough to have one for whom it does, it’s a perk most don’t have in the modern work world. >>>


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