Want an excuse to take your best friend to work? This Friday 22nd June is International Take Your Dog to Work Day, so if your pooch is feeling a little lonely at home, this is the perfect day for some social interaction! The initial idea behind the day was to encourage pet adoption through local shelters.

Bringing a pet to work (one that’s toilet-trained and friendly to people and other dogs, at least) is said to reduce stress and have a calming effect on the workplace. That is, after the initial ruckus and excitement from the novelty of having a dog in the office!

If your workplace management does agree to bringing your dog to work, we’ve got a few tips for making the most out of the day.

1. Get introductions and photos out of the way early. Bringing a dog to work can create a ‘celebrity’ effect, where there’s a lot of excitement and selfies. To make it easier on the workplace, and the dog, arrange introductions to the team, and then, if they’re not overwhelmed, perhaps some photos and fun before the work day begins.

2. Check with the team that there’s no one with a fear of dogs. If there is, it might be better for the dog to stay at home, or in a larger workplace, find a way for the dog and the person to be less likely to cross paths.

3. Create a quiet place for the dog to rest. This is important for workplace productivity, as well as the dog’s health. Understanding where there’s a safe place to relax and simply enjoy being in a new environment is critical to ensuring work gets done and the dog doesn’t spend the day roaming around the workplace.

4. Check the workplace for safety risks. Dogs can and do end up in places you wouldn’t expect, so do a quick safety review of the workplace before the dog arrives and put away anything they may accidentally eat, damage or break. Plus, make sure they can’t get in areas where there’s traffic, tools or other plant and equipment. We recommend that the dog owner be responsible for their pet wherever possible, rather than disappearing through the workplace with a colleague, to reduce risks of accidents for the dog and staff.

5. Don’t forget bathroom breaks! Adjusting your schedule to manage additional bathroom breaks, play time and interaction is an important part of pet ownership that doesn’t stop when your dog comes to work.

A growing number of businesses are open to the idea of, if not encouraging, a pet-friendly workplace on a long-term basis, not simply for Take Your Dog to Work Day. With the right setup, it can certainly be great for team morale, engagement and recruitment incentives! Our team has Ben’s dog, Molly, join us at work regularly. She’s settled into office-life and brings a new dynamic to our team culture. We love it!