Offices around the world become a whole lot more exciting during Take Your Pet To Work Week! This year the week takes place between 22-26 June, and although most of us probably haven't returned to work as normal yet, we still think this is a fabulous day to celebrate! The purpose behind Take Your Pet To Work Week is to highlight the wonderful companions pets make and to promote adoptions of rescue animals, which we think is a pretty great cause indeed. If you want to get involved with Take Your Pet To Work Week, or just want to take your pet to work for the first time, we thought we'd share some tried and trusted, Hiro + Wolf approved tips to help your pet feel right at home.
Firstly, it is important to make sure you have permission to bring your pet to work. We know this is an obvious one, but you don't want to turn up with Fido only to get turned away by your boss at the door. Be sure to check with management and co-workers to see if anyone is allergic to animals, afraid of or opposed to you bringing your pet to work. If you have a boss who just needs a little convincing it could be easier than you think thanks to numerous surveys which show that having a dog at work can reduce stress and boost performance and job satisfaction. Researchers in the US looked at 75 staff over a week, comparing stress levels, job satisfaction and feelings about support from, and commitment to, the company. Their findings showed that people who took their dogs to work were less stressed as the day went on compared to those who didn’t. It also showed that having dogs around can boost morale and that the employees with access to dogs had higher job satisfaction than industry norms. More than 90 per cent of businesses asked in a Blue Cross survey that allowed dogs at work said they’d seen a positive change in the working environment. One in two businesses noticed a decrease in absenteeism, 56 per cent said their dog had improved work relations, and 67 per cent said it improved staff morale. However, taking a pet to work won’t be suitable for every workplace, particularly those with strict health and safety requirements like restaurants and factories, and you also have to bear in mind that some of your colleagues could be allergic to pets. Think about whether your working environment will suit your pet too, and whether they’ll genuinely enjoy the experience or if they’d be better off at home.
Now that you've got the okay from management, it's time for our top tips!
• Keep your dog under proper control at all times.
For the safety of your dog and your colleagues it is important to make sure your dog does what they are told and doesn't get over-excited. If your dog has poor recall or doesn't listen very well to commands it may be best to work on their training a little more before bringing them to work.
• Check insurance and health and safety implications and make sure that any requirements are followed.
Some workplaces will obviously not allow pets such as some restaurants or doctors surgeries, but your workplace might still have some surprising health and safety requirements that you should be sure to be aware of as ultimately your pet is your responsibility.
• Carry out a simple risk assessment.
A risk assessment is simply deciding what could go wrong and ensuring you’ve taken sufficient precautions to prevent or minimise any risks. If your workplace employs five or more people, the risk assessment must be in writing.
• Check your own insurance and/or pet insurance policies.
It is important to ensure that your insurance provides adequate cover for damage to third party property or injury to third parties (including fellow employees).
• Make sure your dog is housetrained, but be prepared for little accidents.
Try to take your dog out for toilet breaks regularly at first as they get used to their new surroundings. Make sure to come prepared with plenty of poop bags so you don't get caught out. (You can store them stylishly in our Handmade Leather Poo Bag Pouches)
• Your dog should be in good health and not suffering from any sickness.
If your pooch is feeling under the weather it is probably best to leave them at home to recuperate, especially if there are other pets present in your workplace. Who doesn't appreciate a day off?!
• Watch out for signs of stress.
Is your dog panting a lot or licking his lips? Are they flattening their ears and avoiding eye contact? Any sort of unusual behaviour from your dog should be monitored as it could be a sign that they aren't very comfortable in the work environment.
• Make sure there’s a quiet and comfy place for your dog to relax.
It is important your dog has a safe space to retreat to, try making it comfortable for them with a familiar blanket or cushion from home.
• Ensure they have access to food and fresh water.
Try and maintain any meal times your dog is used to and of course make sure they always have water available to them.
• Don’t forget walkies!
We all need a break during the working day, make sure your dog is still getting their daily exercise and working off any energy that may otherwise lead to naughty behaviours.
- Think about personality.
Not all cats will be happy to be cooped up in a working environment, make sure you're thinking about your cats needs and whether they will enjoy the experience.
- Take it slowly.
Try taking your cat to your place of work for short visits so they can become accustomed to the new environment. If you intend for them to wear a harness, make sure you are using it at home for at least a couple of weeks before bringing your cat to work.
- Safety first.
Be sure to check if there are other pets in the office. Cats and dogs may not always like being in such close proximity to one another. Also be sure to check for potential hazards such as toxic plants or areas your cat might get trapped.
- Be sure to keep them entertained.
We know that sitting in the office all day can get pretty boring, so make sure your cat has plenty of toys to keep them occupied.
- Don't forget the basics.
Make sure your feline friend has access to all the necessities including food and fresh water. A scratching post is also a good idea where possible as it could save any destruction of the office furniture! Also, don't forget the litter box so that your cat can do their business in peace.
- Make sure to provide a safe space.
Whether it's a carrier, a bed or a cardboard box, it is important for your cat to have a safe, quiet space to retreat to if they need it.
And of course, cats and dogs alike should be sure to show up in style so why not shop our range of dog bow ties or cat bandanas which are all available with matching collars! So, do you think you will be taking your pet to work from now on? We hope you found these tips helpful! Let us know, is your workplace pet friendly? Be sure to pop by our shops when we reopen for the chance to see Hiro +Wolf hard at work. Napping and accepting belly rubs is work, right?