10 Ways to Prep Your Pup to be an Office Dog
For any pup-parent, nothing is more exciting than the idea of bringing your pet to work with you every day. What many dog owners love best about bringing their pups to work is that they no longer have to spend long stretches of time separated from their four legged family members. While this is true, it also means that the office dog to-be will have to learn a new set of rules and behaviors for life in the office. It’s no surprise the Freshpet team has experience with dog-friendly offices, so we’ve put together a list of our top 10 ways to prep your pup to be an office dog.
1. Give your dog a well-deserved spa day
Before your dog’s first day at the office, treat them to a day at the doggy spa. Having them bathed, groomed, and checked for any parasites such as fleas or ticks to ensure that they arrive looking, feeling and smelling fresh.
2. Book a pre-office checkup
If your office has a bring your dog to work policy, it’s likely that more than one owner will be taking advantage of it. With multiple dogs in close quarters, it’s important that they are all up to date on their vaccinations. Knowing this, it’s a good to idea to book a vet visit for your dog to make sure that their vaccinations are up to date and they’re in tip-top shape for their office debut.
3. Brush up on basic commands
Office life can be full of excitement and distractions, which makes it critical that all dogs have excellent on and off leash manners. Before bringing your dog to the office, take some time to brush up on their basic commands, using their favorite Freshpet treat as a reward. Some of the important commands to focus on are: “come”, “stay”, “leave it”, and “go to bed”.
4. Prepare your desk space in advance
Your dog’s first day at the office will likely be a busy one, so it can be beneficial for you to prep your desk space beforehand. Consider setting up a small crate, bed or blanketed area under your desk for your dog. Not only will this give them a quiet space to relax if the office becomes too overwhelming, but it will also give you a place to secure your dog if you are in meetings or out of the office for a period of time.
5. Stock up on your dog’s favorite Freshpet food and treats
If you work a fulltime schedule, there’s a good chance that your dog will be eating at least one meal at the office. You may find it helpful to keep a supply of your dog’s Freshpet food in the office; this way you won’t have to worry about bringing it back and forth from home to work each day. Even if your pup won’t be have a full meal at the office, keep a supply of Freshpet treats on hand for snacks and rewards.
6. Train your dog to hang around your desk
Bringing your pup to work shouldn’t distract you from the job you’re there to do. What many owners find most distracting is trying to keep constant tabs on their dog’s whereabouts. To eliminate this worry, train your dog to stick around your desk. You may need to keep them leashed to begin with, but with consistent training and the temptation of their favorite Freshpet treats your dog will quickly learn the best place to be is around you.
7. Set a daily schedule and stick to it
Dogs are creatures of habit, and having a consistent schedule can make your dog more comfortable in a hectic office environment. By scheduling specific feeding times, walk times, and play times your dog will quickly fall into their new office routine and find comfort in it.
8. Teach your dog to express their needs in a non-disruptive way
Schedules are great ways to provide your dog with daily structure, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be able to stick to it 100% of the time. This is why it’s important that your dog is able to express their needs in a non-disruptive way. For instance, if your dog needs to go outside, try training them to use a small bell to let you know. This will be much more welcomed in an office than barking, especially if there are meetings or phone calls going on.
9. Make sure your dog knows that there is a time and place for play
For new office dogs especially, the fact that you’re together all day may give them the impression that their days are now non-stop playtimes. To avoid distracting you and others in the office, keep a few of your dog’s favorite toys at your desk to keep them amused. If you’re worried about your dog getting bored with their office toys, try rotating them so that there’s always something “new” to keep them entertained.
10. Reward calm behavior
When it comes to offices, a calm dog is best. An overly vocal or hyperactive dog may not be suited to life as an office pet, as it can be stressful for their owner and distracting for those around. To help your dog develop a suitable office demeanor, reward calm behavior with a treat, like our favorite Freshpet Turkey Bacon. When dogs are rewarded for calm behavior they are more likely to display it again in the future. Over time, this will become their default office behavior.
Nothing is more exciting than the prospect of bringing your dog to the office, but without proper preparation, this dream situation can turn into a nightmare. Taking the time to review these 10 tips for prepping your pup for office life will make the transition much easier for both you and your dog.