A Dog’s Day at Work
It gets hot in Arizona, like really hot. As early as June, temperatures can exceed 100 degrees. This leaves us pet owners with two choices. The first, and likely the most common, you leave your pup at home with the curtains closed and the air conditioning cranking. This can waste money, electricity, and leave your dog bummed from not being able to see the outside world all day. Then there’s the second, much more fun option, of bringing our dog to work with you. Before you start laughing, it's much more common than you may think. There are also several very compelling reasons to give this unconventional arrangement a go. Suit and tie for the dogs are, of course, optional but so dang adorable.
Let’s first begin with the reasons you may want to consider bringing your dog to work. First, there is a financial incentive. Running the air conditioning all day when you aren’t home can be expensive, especially when you are battling temperatures as high as these. However, if you have a dog at home, you cannot remedy this by turning up the thermostat because that would be unsafe. Leaving the windows open, in hopes of channeling a passing breeze, when you aren’t home is also another unsafe and ineffective solution. If you were to bring your furry friend to work with you, that would allow you to save all the money and energy that you would otherwise be spending on cooling your home during work hours.
There are several other less quantifiable benefits to taking your pet to the office with you. Peace of mind. You can relax knowing your dog isn’t going stir-crazy home alone and is adequately cool. Your pup will also be able to relax just by being with the person they trust most in the world. Stimulation. Taking your dog out into an environment that is new to them can be stimulating. They will be smelling, seeing, and loving all the things. This is a much better scenario than sitting on the couch in a dark living room just waiting for your return. Finally, there is the fun factor. You will be able to spend the day with your dog! I mean how cool, is that? You will be able to introduce your work friends to your best friend. You will be able to reach down and pet your pup anytime you want. The whole situation is just so… perfect!
Once you’ve made the decision to bring your dog to work with you (and you’ve gotten the all-clear from your supervisors) there are a few things to consider. The basics. First, safety. Whenever you are leaving the home with your pet for an extended period of time, it is very important that you bring your pet first aid kit. Grab it off the shelf, toss it in the car, and hope you won’t need it. Second, dog supplies. You will want to be sure to bring a small container of food and several bottles of water with you for the dog; they sell little collapsible bowls that are perfect for feeding and watering on the go, but any clean container will work fine. Don’t forget poop bags for when your dog receives a call from nature. You are bringing your dog to a place that wasn’t built to service dogs so don’t count on things to be there when you need them.
Preparing the space. Before bringing your pet to work with you the first time, it’s a good idea to prepare a space for them. First, clear the area of anything dangerous to them. Small objects, dangling cords, sharp objects, chemicals or chocolate candy dishes can all pose a safety hazard to curious canines. Second, make them a space just for them. If you work in a private office, for example, you could place a dog bed in a corner with a few toys in it and a water bowl nearby. Having dog-friendly objects and a space just for them can help your pup know what they are meant to do while you are responding to all those emails.
A few final tips. Take frequent breaks to take your dog outside for a stroll. This will help your dog get some activity and additional stimulation while also providing ample time for potty breaks keeping the accidents to a minimum. Distract distract distract. It can be as simple as having a new toy or bone on standby. If your dog is starting to get restless towards the end of the day, breaking out a new toy may be able to keep them occupied until it's time for the evening commute. Snuggles. If your dog is stressed from the new situation or just uber cuddly they may only want to sit on your lap. Let them. If you are able to comfortably and safely cuddle them while working, it can help keep you both relaxed and buzzing through your workday.
There are a few things for which you can be absolutely sure. It is hot here in the southwestern United States. Dogs hate being cooped up inside all day. And bringing your pup to work with you can be a fun and rewarding experience. Just make sure to plan ahead, be respectful of both your dog and your coworkers, and accept that there may be an adjustment period while the two of you get used to the arrangement. It can be intimidating in the beginning but when it is all said and done, no one regrets spending more time with their dog.