If you’ve been working from home since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve likely enjoyed the time spent with your furry coworker—although your cat may have other ideas about your constant presence. Pets are an excellent way to break up a boring Zoom meeting, offer stress relief, create ice-breakers, help form coworker bonds, and get you up and moving during your otherwise sedentary job. As you head back to the office, losing all the benefits of a four-legged coworker will be tough. But, if your office is pet-friendly, ensure your furry pal earns Employee of the Month by following these 10 tips.
#1: Consider your pet’s personality before offering them a job
Is your furry pal a homebody who enjoys a small circle of close friends and family? If so, they may be happier staying behind while you head to the office, especially if they are not a fan of interacting with strange pets or people. However, if your four-legged friend is a social butterfly who has never met a stranger, they’d likely enjoy spending each day at work with you.
#2: Brush up on your pet’s manners before heading to the office
Nobody enjoys the loud coworker who can’t hold a quiet phone conversation, and leaves their moldy lunch in the fridge for weeks on end. Ensure your furry pal receives top marks in manners by brushing up on basic obedience, like “Sit,” “Down,” and “Stay.” Teach your pup to refrain from jumping on people, and to leave others’ snacks and lunches alone. If your pet is naturally vocal, yipping and barking at anything that moves, your pooch is likely better off staying at home rather than commuting to the office.
#3: Pack plenty of distractions for your pet
A bored pet is likely to get into mischief. Keep your furry pal entertained while you work with long-lasting treats, food puzzles, and interactive toys. Stuffed rubber Kongs are an excellent way to hold your pet’s attention. Freeze a Kong filled with your pet’s favorite soft foods for a snack that will keep your four-legged friend occupied, while you tackle that stack of reports piling up on your desk.
#4: Always clean up after your pet
Coworkers who fail to clean up after themselves are the bane of the office community. Ensure your pet doesn’t make a mess that someone else finds by promptly cleaning up waste, and disposing it properly. Come armed with waste bags and cleaning supplies, in case of an accident.
#5: Ensure your pet does not disturb your coworkers
If your neighbor a few cubicles down is allergic to dogs, don’t let your pooch wander freely around the office. Although it’s hard to believe, not everyone loves pets, and some coworkers may not appreciate slobbery kisses or white fur decorating their black business casual attire. Keep your pet in your space, unless your coworkers invite your pooch to join them.
#6: Create a safe office space for your pet
You may need to leave your office or cubicle for a meeting, which means your pet will be alone and unsupervised. Put a damper on mischief by creating a haven where your four-legged friend can relax while you’re gone, or use as a safe retreat from overzealous animal lovers. If your area does not have the room for a large dog crate, provide a cozy bed or soft blanket, and several favorite toys.
#7: Exercise your pet during breaks or lunch
Many office jobs are primarily sedentary, which can lead to a variety of health issues. Sneak in a few minutes of exercise per break, or block out some time during lunch to cavort with your furry pal. The exercise will not only do you good by increasing your metabolism, and decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol, but will also make your pet happier and more relaxed while hanging out in the office with you.
#8: Ensure your pet is current on vaccinations and parasite prevention
Pet-friendly offices likely have more than one four-legged coworker visiting the premises. Keep your pet and others safe from infectious diseases and parasite transmission by staying up-to-date on their vaccinations and parasite preventive. You do not want to be the source of your office building’s flea infestation.
#9: Have a backup plan for your pet
If you know you’re going to be stuck in meetings all day, or engaged in off-site duties, have a backup plan for your pet. Perhaps a two-legged coworker would be delighted to have your four-legged pal hang out in their office, or you may need to schedule a doggy daycare visit. If you’ll be gone for long hours and your pet must stay home alone, hire a dog walker or pet-care attendant to check on your furry pal throughout the day.
#10: Enjoy the benefits of a four-legged coworker
Pet-friendly workplaces offer excellent benefits, simply by allowing four-legged coworkers. Pets are known to reduce stress and blood pressure, provide conversation starters, improve relationships, and boost productivity, by increasing employee morale.
If there’s a fight by the water cooler, or a tussle in the break room, your pet may get caught in the middle, and need emergency care. Hopefully, all your furry coworkers are the best of friends, and our animal emergency services won’t be needed, but we’re always here for you and your four-legged companion—call us for assistance.