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21st Sep 2021

Heading back to the office with a canine in tow? Dogs Trust have issued some helpful advice

Fiona Frawley

After eighteen months of working from home, many office workers can’t bear the thought of being without their furry friend eight hours a day, five days a week.

Many people also became new dog owners during the pandemic, and may be unsure of how to do right by their pup as the gradual return to in-office work commences.

As you probably heard, over the summer Dog’s Trust saw a 212% increase in people looking to surrender their dogs. The welfare charity believe that creating a dog-friendly environment in more workplaces may prevent another surge in surrenders.

Ciara Byrne, Head of Communications at Dog’s Trust said:

So many people became dog owners during the pandemic, and we feel that the more workplaces that welcome dogs, the more dogs will remain in their homes, and we can hopefully avoid another wave of surrender requests. Many people feel that having a dog around can boost productivity and teamwork and what better way to fight off any return-to-work fears than having the comfort of your furry friend with you?

In fairness, bringing your dog to work would surely make the return to the office at least 100 times easier. It’s just a fact. Dog’s Trust have pointed out that many puppies or young dogs that became part of a family over lockdown have never known a home without people in it. Older dogs have probably also grown accustomed to having people around during the day. This is another reason Dog’s Trust are encouraging workplaces to allow employees to bring their dogs to work if it’s possible to do so. They’ve also provided some tips and advice for anyone bringing a dog into the workplace:

  • Ensure that your colleagues are happy for you to bring in a dog.
  • Have something for each dog to chew on, preferable something non-squeaky.
  • Ensure that each dog has an item from home that they are familiar with to help them settle, such as a bed of blanket.
  • Make sure all dogs are toilet trained, that you go outside regularly for toilet breaks and there is a good supply of poo bags available.
  • Make sure there are no doors that dogs can easily escape out of.
  • Be sure your dog is confident around strangers and will enjoy being at work with you.
  • Use a buddy system so a trusted co-worker can watch over your dog if you have to step out temporarily.
  • Make sure dogs always have a fresh supply of water where people can’t trip over it.
  • If there is more than one dog attending the workplace, a short walk together before the working day is encouraged as a nice way to introduce them.
  • Dogs will need a safe space to lie, close to their owners, away from busy areas of the workplace so they can rest peacefully.

If you’re looking to help your dog (and yourself) adjust to life after lockdown, you can order a free pack from Dog’s Trust with a guide on how to get your dog ready and loads more HERE.

Header image via Shutterstock

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