Featuring Jen Larson, KPA-CTP & Courtney Emken
Concept by Courtney Emken

Bringing your dog to work with you is an awesome idea IF your workplace is “Dog-Friendly”, and you are making sure your dog stays “Workplace-Friendly”. In order to make taking your dog to work relaxing for you, your dog, and your coworkers—we have these tips to keep in mind.


– ♪ Hey ♪

– Alright, we are back with Jen. And today we’re gonna talk about workplace bringing your dog to work with you and for a lot of people that’s becoming a reality, which is really great. I mean, it’s probably really relaxing for people to bring their dogs with them, but it might not be so relaxing for the people that you work with.

– Mhm.

– And so in order to make it as successful as possible, I think we should maybe talk about some of the things that we can recommend for people to be responsible, if they’re gonna be in that workplace setting.

– So the first thing that I would think about is how to keep your dog comfortable in you workspace. So that would depend on your workspace. If you’re in a cubicle right next to other people there might be certain things that you need to do, rather than if you were in an office with a door shut. So things that could keep your dog comfortable would be to give them their own little space. So if they’re crate-trained and they’re happy in their crate, you could bring their crate along so they can go in and out. Giving them some sort of little bed or a blanket or a mat to rest on, a water bowl, maybe a little lunch. I would definitely recommend some enrichment items. So maybe a bone to chew on, a peanut butter kong. Something like that to give them something to do during the day while you’re busy working.

– And you don’t really wanna have any chewable items that are loud or noisy because even though the dog may totally dig it, they’re gonna really annoy the co-workers. There are some people that just don’t like that kind of lip-smacking noise the dogs make when they chew bones.

– So that’s a great point. Just making sure your dog isn’t interfering with your co-workers ability to do their job successfully. So, making sure that you’re keeping noise to a minimum. If it’s a dog friendly workplace and there are other dogs in the environment, making sure that your dog is interacting appropriately with them. Minimizing any opportunities for dangerous incidents to take place.

– Speaking of bringing your dog to work.

– Noodle.

– I brought Noodle with us today. He wanted to keep us company so we figured he’d be quieter if he was in my lap. So, one of the things that I think is really important for people to know is that you definitely don’t wanna do this with a puppy, right. You wanna make sure it’s a dog that’s old enough and has maybe been through some training that you feel confident bringing them to work and they’re not gonna have accidents and they’re not gonna be demand-barking and things like that, right.

– Well, I think that probably depends on the puppy and it depends on the workplace. I know some workplaces require that the dog is above three months of age or something like that in order to be in the working environment. But I have some other clients that actually do bring their puppies to work. Because it’s a good way to house-train them. So doing lot’s of frequent potty breaks while they’re at the office actually helps them learn how to go outside.

– But you make a great point and that’s something I hadn’t thought of. One thing I think, that’s also important for us to think about is that not every dog is great at the workplace. I know a lot of other business owners who think it’s just a fantastic job to take their dog to work. And they do it for a couple of months and then their dog starts to get reactive, they start growling at the UPS delivery guy, and they start barking at customers and they’re like what’s wrong, I thought I could take my dog to work and everything will be cool. And it’s really not great to do it every day, right? I mean, some dogs just can’t handle that much stimulation.

– Yeah, that’s a great point. I actually have several clients who have been bringing their dogs to work regularly and started to see some reactivity developing and I believe that that’s because there aren’t really positive emotional associations being performed when a dog, when someone opens your office door and they come in suddenly, it might startle your dog. So unless you’re doing some purposeful stuff like having people that come into your office, maybe toss some treats and make it a good experience for your dog. You might accidentally start to have the dog begin to form some negative emotional associations. So feeling fearful every time the door opens, or being startled frequently. And that’s often where we see the development of some reactivity or sometimes resource guarding, where they start to guard the room that they’re in or guard the cubicle that they’re working out of.

– I think we also just wanna make sure that anybody who’s taking their dog to work, is really paying a lot of attention to their dog’s body language, and knowing when it’s time to take their dog outside for a potty break, or just give them a break from people in general. Maybe you’ve been sitting a long time and you don’t realize how much time your dog’s just been laying in the same spot. They just need to get up and move their legs. We just need to be a hundred percent responsible with our pets when we’re taking them to work.

– Mhm.