Is Your Pet Ready For The Office?
Is your pet ready for the office? And, by ready for the office, we don’t mean primped and pampered to make his or her debut on the popular TV show or even binge-watch that classic series.
Pet-friendly workplaces are becoming more common and can be lifesavers for dog and cat parents. No longer do you have to fear Spot getting into the trash or Fluffy digging around in your potted plants while you’re at work and they’re dealing with separation anxiety. In fact, bringing your pet to work can have plenty of benefits for you AND your coworkers.
So, really, is your pet ready to head into the workforce just as you were “encouraged” to do when you turned 16?
What Is Your Office’s Pet Policy?
Not every office can have the cool vibe you see in Silicon Valley. In fact, most employers have very specific rules about pets. Policies can vary greatly depending on the size of the business, day-to-day work duties and owner’s personal preferences. You don’t want to get fired because your organization or your Bill Lumbergh-type boss hates dogs.
Review your company’s pet policy closely to see if there are any restrictions on size, number and/or breeds of dogs or cats. And, even if the policy approves of your pet, make sure to ask your colleagues sitting around you if they mind your dog or cat replacing them as your favorite co-worker. The last thing you want is to bring your dog or cat in and watch your desk mates swell up like Violet Beauregarde because they are highly allergic to pet dander or saliva.
Ensure Your Pet is Pawfessional
Just like you, a pet has to be a model employee in the office. He or she can have fun and be loveable like Mary Poppins but can’t be a major distraction to day-to-day processes. Before even bringing a pet in to meet your coworkers, verify that vaccinations are up to date. Maybe even do a little grooming before showing off a furry loved one. They don’t have to get a Queer Eye-level makeover, but they should at least smell good.
If your dog or cat does have the right stuff, slowly start introducing him/her to your office space by having him/her clock in for a half day once a week. If your furry BFF gets a little anxious like Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, maybe consider bringing him/her to the office on less-busy days first. Just like us, our pets are creatures of habit, so make sure to conduct regular visits to get them used to the space. If you want them in the office more, slowly increase the number of times you bring them in week over week.
And, please, make sure your desk area is ready, too. A bed or cushion should be available so your pet can take his/her regular mid-afternoon nap – and, no, that’s not an excuse for you to nap, too. Do you have toys and treats handy? Our Take Your Dog To Work Kit will help ease your dog or cat into his/her new office responsibilities, which include being super cute from 9 to 5 with lunch breaks excluded. If your pet is small enough, you may want to consider bringing in a soft-sided playpen so he/she stays near you at all times and feels safe.
Eight-hour workdays will fly by when your favorite coworker is by your side. Just be sure to be a responsible pet owner and colleague. Don’t forget to hit the mute button during barking fits on conference calls! You don’t want your boss or teammates barking orders at you to remove your furry friend ASAP.