work like a dog: advice for taking your pet to the office

Posted by Dr. Jules Benson on Jun 26 2009


At Petplan we have always been a pet friendly office and encourage team members to bring their pets in regularly. Every day there are at least half a dozen dogs playing fetch in the corridors, snoozing on one of the many Crypton beds, or devouring healthy low cal treats from one of the treat jars that can be found at pretty much every desk.

However there are considerations with having a pet friendly policy.

First of all, office environments are not usually laid out with pets in mind (unless you are Petplan of course. In our case the offices were laid out around the pets)!

Here are a few hazards that you will want be mindful of to ensure that work is a fun and safe place for your pet:

Human food (including the ubiquitous candy that seems to mushroom in just about every office environment I have ever worked in). Dogs that are regulars to the office are often spoiled and people can’t help but share their lunches with the best four legged beggars. However in addition to piling on the pounds this practice can also be dangerous. Though dogs are omnivores certain foods can be poisonous to them such as grapes, onions and chocolate. For a full list of dangerous foods visit the ASPCA Poison Control website.

Foreign Objects Tacks, pins, paperclips, erasers, ink; a veritable feast for dogs with peculiar tastes. If you have a dog that will not refrain from eating everything within reach make sure to puppy proof your office before you bring them in.

Straying Office environments can be conducive to straying. With people coming and going the danger of your pet straying is very real. If your pet has a tendency to stray make sure that they are contained to an area where they cannot escape unnoticed. If you are going to bring them into the office make sure that they are tagged and micro chipped.

Other Dogs Believe it or not one of the greatest hazards to your pet are other dogs in the office especially ones that are nervous with being in a foreign environment. Make sure to introduce each new dog to the office carefully. Allow the dogs space to interact and if hackles are raised don’t force the issue. Keep the dogs separate for a few hours and try again later when the excitement of being in a new environment has worn off.

To ensure your pet’s comfort throughout the day don’t forget to bring their favorite toy, food and water and a bed. With a little forward planning you can ensure that your pet enjoys their day at work. Who knows they may enjoy it so much that they want to come in every day!