Guidelines & Etiquette for Dogs in the Office
Once you’re armed with the stats, and your boss is willing to consider it, the next step is training the office staff! Set up some guidelines and etiquette so everyone has a good experience. Just one unfortunate incident could cause a company to say “forget this!”
Here are some general guidelines and etiquette to share with employees:
- Your dog must be “office ready.” He should be well-trained, socialized, clean, flea-free, healthy, and comfortable around strangers. Don’t bring your dog to work if he’s not comfortable around strangers. Bring him after he’s had some dog training and socialization.
- Provide proper containment and amusement for your dog. A baby or pet gate is ideal for keeping him in the office or cubicle. A leash is a must for walks. Your dog should have plenty of toys to keep him occupied, and of course water and treats.
- Your dog must be comfortable being left alone (not barking and whining) in his space when you need to step out. This may take a little training. Don’t bring your dog to work on days when you’ll have a lot of meetings.
- You are responsible for your own dog, and should not expect a subordinate to take care of him at the office. It is generally acceptable to ask someone to check in on your dog if you have to be out for a while. It becomes a problem when one employee routinely expects another to care for his/her dog.
- Take your dog for a walk every few hours, and clean up afterward. If he has an accident in the office, clean it up immediately. Some companies impose a fine for accidents, and some have a “three strikes you’re out” policy.
- Keep dogs out of eating areas, conference rooms and restrooms. People may be very uncomfortable encountering pets in these places.
- Keep your dog away from anyone who has allergies, fears or dislike of dogs.
- Make your dog’s visit enjoyable to everyone.
When dogs first come to the office, expect it to be a distraction, as people will naturally swarm to pet the pooches. But once the newness wears off, and dogs become more commonplace, the benefits will emerge. The days will go better, as not much can melt away frustration, bad attitudes and disappointments like a best friend with a wet nose and wagging tail.