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Bringing your dog to work best practices

So in June for Bring your Dog to Work Day we need to be aware of all the hazards that are around in the workplace that you need to look out for that you might not usually think about when you haven’t got your dog with you.

It’s about constantly risk assessing and making sure the office is a safe environment before you even think about putting your dog in the car to bring them into the office that morning.

So, the night before when you’re closing up in the office just have a scan around and make sure there’s no chocolate on the side, there are no poisonous plants that your dog might be able to consume, there are no electric wires dangling, or, especially if you have a younger dog, make sure they’re not going to have access to anything they can chew and potentially electrocute themselves.
So, a common office hazard that you wouldn’t usually think about when you’re risk assessing is your standard office chair.

So the office chairs that have got wheels on or “spinny chairs” as my children like to call them are actually a hazard for your dog because quite often when they do settle in the office they will fall asleep just behind you and then you’ll be engrossed in your work and will need to jump up and get something from the printer and you push your chair back and your dog is fast asleep behind your chair.

Make sure you are aware where your dog is at all times, whether it’s asleep or awake and to make sure there are no dangers to your dog.

When it comes to the morning and you’re bringing your dog into work, allow for some extra time to get into the office that morning and make sure that you are travelling safely with your dog. Highway Code 57 says that all dogs should be restrained suitably in a vehicle when they travel. So, whether that is in a seatbelt harness, a dog crate or behind a dog guard, you know your own individual dogs and how they settle best in the car so it’s about using what’s appropriate for your dog but also making sure that you remain safe in the vehicle whilst driving and your dog remains safe as well.

So, having them loose on the back seat isn’t an option.
Once you’ve got them into work you need to make sure you’ve allowed plenty of time to start desensitising them to the workplace and desensitising them to thinks like stairs and lifts. This will make sure they have a positive association with them so that they’re not at risk of injuring themselves by scurrying upstairs or downstairs excitedly and hurting their legs or going into the lift and panicking and getting trapped in the door.

So, if you have stairs and lifts in your offices then you need to make sure you are desensitizing your dogs before Bring your Dog to Work Day rather than just expecting your dog to get used to them in the morning.

When you take your dog in on the 26th of June, allow plenty of time to get your dog settled and make sure that they’ve had a good walk or mental stimulation in the morning. Some dogs will be better suited to have lots of exercise to tire them out whereas other dogs will need more mental stimulation to tire them out.

Maybe think about taking some sort of interactive game with you to work and some treats or something they can focus on when you’re busy. They’ll want your attention while you’re working so if you can use something to distract them and to tire them out to stop them from getting into mischief in the workplace and causing them some first aid disaster then it’s going to be a much calmer environment for all.

If there are other people bringing their dog into the office as well, see if you can meet them beforehand and get together to get them used to each other before the day they are in the office together.
Because if you can imagine you have got 5 people that are trying to work with 5 dogs that have never met each other it can obviously end up with personality clashes that could be ending in dog fights or it could be with dogs that get on really well together and just want to play play play which can mean you get absolutely no work done whatsoever.

About Jo Middleton

Dog first aid trainer and founder of Dog First Aid Franchise Ltd – an organisation with a veterinary team boasting over 50 years experience.