Finally, all of your professional dreams have come true! You work in a dog-friendly office so your beloved pup can sit patiently by your side while you’re on conference calls and lay at your feet while you type away on your computer. Or—reality time—he poops in the conference room while you’re on that call and drinks your coworker’s matcha latte when you step away from your desk (both have actually happened at Ollie HQ.) As we know all too well, just because you can bring your dog to work doesn’t mean he’s ready for a 9 to 5. So we asked our go-to trainer, Rachel Cohen Maso of Brooklyn Dogtime, to share her expert tips for a little job orientation of the canine kind.
Assess your so-called dog-friendly office
It’s awesome if HR (or lack thereof) has decided pups are welcome. But consider the reality of your workspace: Do you have a schedule that’s flexible enough so you can take him out for walks? Is there an area where he can comfortably rest? Is there also enough space for him to roam around? And most importantly, is your boss a dog lover with a good sense of humor? Because no matter how well trained your pup is, there’s bound to be a "matcha tea incident".
Assess your dog’s office-friendliness
We totally agree that your dog is the best (because ours are the best too.) But if the one exception to his sweetness is hostility to delivery people and you get a lot of deliveries at your office then…he may not belong there. So be realistic about your pup’s personality: Issues like aggression and being territorial aside, if your dog likes to chill on the couch most of the day (and we don’t blame him) maybe he’d rather stay there. That said, if your pup is Mr. Personality and pretty patient, he’ll probably fit right in.
Find a place for your pup to post up
Ideally carve out a space underneath or next to your desk with a bed or something comfy for him to rest on so he has a quiet place to relax throughout the day. If you think you need to tether your dog, practice at home first to see how he reacts when you walk away (because barking is a surefire way to get banned from the office!) To increase you dog’s tolerance on the tether, practice walking away for short intervals, dropping some treats before you step away.
Wear your pup out beforehand
You know how you like to get your exercise out of the way before you go to the office? So does your dog. Try to get as much of that energy out before you clock in by going for a run together or playing an extra long game of fetch. That way you can both focus on the important things at work (for him, that means napping.)
Bring all the distractions
Just as you wouldn’t take a two-year-old to a restaurant without bringing a boatload of toys to keep him entertained, you shouldn’t bring your pup to work without packing the canine equivalent—excluding any annoying squeaky toys. Treat puzzles are great to keep them busy when you’re in back-to-back meetings. Also make sure you have a big bowl of water, which your pup can have all to himself, and bring his favorite bone and chews to keep him occupied (and not gnawing on the office furniture.)
Double-check the whole house-trained situation
Many humans think their dogs are completely house-trained, and they are—at home. Being in a new and stimulating environment can be very overwhelming for a dog, causing them to lose that hard-won bladder control. Plus, offices that host lots of pups are likely to have scents that may entice him to mark his territory. And if other dogs have had an accident, your pup might get the impression your entire office is one big bathroom. So keep some enzyme cleaner handy and give him some extra bathroom breaks just in case!
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.
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