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Training Thursday - Take Your Dog To Work Day

Friday is National Take Your Dog to Work Day - Are you planning to take your dog to work?

This Friday, the 24th, is Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDWD), an annual event created by Pet Sitters International (PSI). Aside from giving you and your co-workers some canine companionship for the day and enjoyable stress relief, TYDWD is also a great opportunity to stretch your dog's training skills and provide socialization for younger dogs in particular.

If you're planning to bring your dog, or dogs, to work tomorrow, PSI provides some tips to help your "dog day" at the office be a successful one:

  • Make sure that everyone you work with is ok with having a dog in the workplace. Some people may have allergies, or be nervous around dogs and may not appreciate having your dog there. Likewise other co-workers may decide to bring their dogs as well and you want to ensure that their dogs are friendly toward other animals.

  • Once you've decided to bring your dog, take a look at your work environment to make sure it's safe for your dog. If you know your dog is likely to try to find things to chew, look for any wires hanging down from phones or computers and tuck them away from a dog's reach. Put away in drawers any items on your desk that your dog might ingest, such as pencils, pens, or even medication you might keep around. Plants are also another concern as many house plants found in offices can be toxic to pets.

  • Just as you make sure you're "presentable" for work every day, make sure that your dog is as well. A good grooming appointment beforehand is recommended and if there are going to be other dogs in the office, you should make sure that both your dog and the other dogs are up to date on vaccinations.

  • Does your dog really want to go to work with you? While many people would love to have their dog with them all day, some dogs that are fearful or anxious may find this to be very stressful, and dogs that aren't keen on strangers shouldn't be taken to the office. More active dogs may quickly become bored and become a distraction for you and your co-workers. And if your dog isn't properly house-trained, bringing him or her to an office isn't recommended.

  • How's your dog's basic manners training? If you're taking him or her to the office, your dog should at least know behaviors such as sit, stay and greeting people politely without jumping on them. Having your dog meet lots of new people and reinforcing good behavior such as four-on-the-floor is also a terrific training opportunity.

  • Have everything you need ready to go on Friday morningPSI recommends a "doggie bag" with common dog supplies such as bowls, treats, a favorite toy, leash and collar, dog waste bags and some paper towels and disinfectant cleaner. If your dog is crate trained and you have a crate you can bring to the office, this makes coming and going from your desk much easier. Another option is a baby gate you can use to keep the dog in your office while you go out to make copies, grab some coffee, etc.

  • If you have permission to bring your dog from your boss and coworkers, be aware of people who may not be as enthusiastic about dogs as you are, either because they have allergies or because they simply aren't dog people. Have your dog be a "good ambassador" for canines on his or her best behavior and respect the wishes of any co-workers who would prefer not to meet your dog.

  • Finally, always be aware of how your dog is doing during the day. If you notice your dog becoming stressed, or less social because they are worn out, take them back home if you're able to, or if that's not possible, allow them to find a quiet place to rest, such as in a crate or under your desk.

PSI has many other tips on their website for how to celebrate TYDTWD that you can review and share with your co-workers. And above all, have fun on Friday with your dog!

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