Kate Joseph and her kelpie Eden at work at the Riverbank Animal Hospital. Kate says there are benefits for animals, their owners and business productivity in having a dog at work.
Kate Joseph and her kelpie Eden at work at the Riverbank Animal Hospital. Kate says there are benefits for animals, their owners and business productivity in having a dog at work. Adam Hourigan

Friday the day to bring your dog to work

NOW is the time to talk the boss into allowing you to bring your dog to work on Friday.

To shine a light on the responsbilities of pet ownership and ecourage animal adoption the RSPCA have called June 26 Take Your Dog to Work Day.

The RSPCA wants people to bring their dogs to work to experience the benefits that having your dog around.

While not popular in Australia, there are famous examples of dog-friendly workplaces among business giants including Amazon and most famously, Google.

The RSPCA website suggest a few tips to make the day runs smoothly.

  • Ensure your dog is identified (microchipped) and vaccinated.
  • Dogs should be well socialised with other dogs and people and should not exhibit biting behaviour.
  • Dogs should be trained using reward-based positive reinforcement.
  • Check with your office to see if bringing your dog to work is appropriate and will not affect the health and welfare of your colleagues. Some work environments may not be appropriate or safe for dogs.

In the Workplace

  • Bring your pet's favourite blanket, bed, food and water bowl and some toys with them so they feel comfortable in the new environment. Having their favourite toy/s with them will also help keep them stay preoccupied while you're working.
  • Dogs should remain at the desk of their owner, or the desk of another designated responsible person. For some dogs, this may mean tethering the dog. This is to ensure your dog doesn't wander or get hurt. If appropriate, the dog may also accompany their owner to other areas in the office such as meeting rooms etc.
  • When you arrive in the morning, let your dog have some free time to meet any other dogs and say hello to your co-workers.
  • Set aside time for toilet breaks and to take your dog for a good walk or walks throughout the day. Walking your dog during your lunch break is not only great exercise for them, but a great opportunity to leave the office and get some fresh air.
  • Be ready to clean up after your dog if they accidentally urinate or defecate in the office. Frequent toilet breaks should minimise any risk of this occurring but if it does occur, never punish the dog, New environments can be exciting and confusing so accidents may occur.
  • If your dog toilets in the office, it is always best to display no reaction. Clean the area thoroughly with a non-ammonia based cleaning product (found at your local vet clinic or pet supplies store) to take away the scent and reduce the likelihood of the dog using the same spot again.
  • Simultaneously increase the frequency of toilet breaks outside and continue to reward your dog whenever they do toilet in the correct place. The reward can be a food treat, pat on the chest or 'good dog' in a pleasant tone of voice to be given immediately after they finish toileting in the correct spot (i.e. within a few seconds). This will reinforce toileting outside and reduce the likelihood of toileting indoors.
  • To help keep your co-workers happy, dogs should not have access to the kitchen area. If they accidentally do enter the kitchen area, call them towards you (using a food treat is helpful) and reward them when they come to you. Prevent access to the area by closing doors.
  • Ensure your dog and their belongings do not become trip hazards in the office and be sure to clean up any debris associated with your dog.
  • Remember to reward your dog's calm behaviour in the office. Rewarding calm behaviour reinforces calmness and makes the dog more likely to behave in this way again in the future.


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