By STAFF REPORTER
It’s international Take Your Dog to Work Day on Tuesday, 21 June. Celebrated by dog-lovers annually since 1999, the original goal was to create awareness of the bond between humans and dogs and encourage adoption.
There are benefits to allowing dogs in the workplace, like stress relief. However, a few things need to be in place to make the office comfortable for you, your dog, and your colleagues.
We’re not sure how many Makhandan canines will be at work tomorrow, but animal rights organisation Four Paws put these handy hints together for dog lovers and their colleagues.
Follow this A-to-Z guide to set up a dog-friendly workplace:
Allergy: Send out a notice beforehand to remind colleagues who might be allergic to dogs to bring their allergy medication.
Bed: Be sure to put your dog’s bed into the washing machine before the Big Day to make sure it smells fresh next to your desk.
Chocolate: Ask colleagues with a sweet tooth to clean out their treats on their desks so that all chocolates can be put in a safe place. Chocolate is toxic to dogs.
Dog-zone: Create a dog zone close to your desk where you can keep your mutt’s toys, water and food bowl, and his dog bed.
Elevators and escalators: These are spots where dogs can easily be injured. Your furry friend should not be exposed to the danger of escalators. Instead, take the stairs. Also, be aware of elevator dangers when stepping in or stepping out. The dog should be kept very close to you on a short leash.
Flea and tick treatment: Make sure your dog’s possessions, like his dog bed, are free from fleas and ticks.
Good behaviour: It would benefit all if your dog understood at least three commands: sit, stay, and come.
Hazards: Clear the floor from office stationery like paper clips that dogs can choke on.
ID on collar: Circulate an e-mail beforehand with your cellphone number, the dog’s name, and where you work in the building. This should be the same as the information on his collar or ID tag.
Junk: It is an excellent time to clean the office out and get junk that might be dangerous to your K9, such as old boxes, out of the way. Fasten electrical and computer cables to the wall.
Keep to a certain space: If you have a removable dog gate at home, install it at your office door to keep your dog from roaming.
Lids of garbage bins: These should be tight fitting to deter your furry friend from a sniffing inspection.
Meeting place: Agree beforehand with other colleagues to bring dogs where you can meet and introduce possible future friends.
Noise: Do a noise check on the office beforehand to curb dog noise anxiety.
Office protocols: Familiarise yourself with company policy for bringing animals to work.
Potty breaks and poop bags: Be sure to take your dog for walks at regular intervals. Make sure you take poop bags and a poop scoop along to clean up behind your dog.
Quarrels: To prevent conflict, socialise your dog beforehand at a doggy date with a friend’s dog.
Respect: Respect colleagues who are afraid of dogs and maybe arrange just a visit to the office for an hour in an outside area.
Space: It is essential to check with the company’s landlord that bringing a dog to the office is not against your lease and the office space you are in.
Toys: Squeaky sound toys are popular with dogs but might be unpopular at the office. Instead, bring one that can be quietly chewed.
U-turn: Put a “Dog-in-the-office’ sign on your door in case a colleague might prefer to make a U-turn at the door and instead phone you.
Vaccination: Check that your dog’s vaccinations are in place. Double-check that your dog has been vaccinated against kennel cough.
Walkies: Plan a route for a neighbourhood walk-around which takes in plenty of open green space.
X-it: Agree on an exit plan beforehand in case you and your colleagues need to take the dogs outside in an emergency.
Yapping: Make sure that you know how to calm your dog down should a yapping spurt happen in the office.
Zone: Name a pet-free zone, like a meeting room, where colleagues would not be distracted by dogs.