Dogs in the Office
Tips and tricks for a healthy working relationship with your canine colleague
Canine 'Colleagues' have been shown, in numerous studies, to contribute to a pleasant and productive working atmosphere in the office. And it’s not only the humans who benefit. Dog owners can take great pleasure in bringing their dog to work, but likewise, the dog profits, avoiding hours of time at home alone waiting for his owner to return. The office dog does not have to experience this separation at all, which for the animal’s psyche is extremely positive.
Employers are not obligated to permit dogs in the office. If you want to bring your dog in with you, you must first obtain your employer's permission - preferably in writing. It is also advisable to consult with colleagues in advance to avoid conflicts.
Several dogs in the office
If two or more animals are present in the workplace, it is advisable to introduce them to each other beforehand in a neutral place. This can prevent conflicts such as lack of space or territoriality.
If the dogs do not get along, the owners must ensure that the animals do not meet. Room separation or alternating "work shifts" for the dogs - if only one office space is available - would be solutions here.
Dog-friendly office environment
If you’re bringing a dog into work regularly, it makes sense to arrange the office environment in such a way that the basic needs of the animal are met. The dog should have its own place (a basket or a blanket), which should not be in a noisy or busy place.
Fresh water and food should be provided, as should regular walks. With particularly energetic dogs, an extensive walk should take place before the start of the working day – reducing the risk of the animals letting off steam during working hours and distracting their human colleagues.
Rules for the dog in the office:
- Consider in advance whether your dog will really fit into the office environment. Can he behave inconspicuously and quietly for a while or does he often bark?
- Only healthy dogs should be taken to the office.
- Making things clear to colleagues leads to cooperation: Can the dog be stroked by everyone? When would you rather he was not disturbed? What command or discipline rules apply?
- Before starting work the dog needs an extensive walk as well as fixed walk times during the day. Stick to fixed feeding times and do not give him treats indiscriminately – you need to convey this to colleagues. The water bowl should always be available for your dog.
- A dog in the office needs a fixed place to retreat to. Baskets, dog blankets or special dog boxes are ideal. The basket, dog blanket, bowl etc. must be always clean.
- Small play breaks bring variety for the dog as well as for the owners in the office. But concentration and work performance must not suffer in the presence of your animal colleague!
- There will be dates when the dog cannot come with you. In these situations try to work out an alternative arrangement in advance.
- Keep an eye on whether the dog feels comfortable in the office. If he seems under stress due to the number of people and amount of activity and cannot switch off then another solution should be sought - the well-being of the animal must ALWAYS take precedence.
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