Take Your Pet to Work Day is June 22
Question: I often work late and feel guilty about leaving my dog at home. How can I persuade my boss to allow me to occasionally bring him to work?
Answer: As a start, you might let your boss know that June 22 is Take Your Pet to Work Day, an annual event encouraging businesses to welcome employees' pets into the workplace.
A 2006 American Pet Products Manufacturers Association survey found that one in five companies allows pets in the workplace. If your employer has concerns about lost productivity, that same survey found that 96 percent of employers agree that animal companions enhance a positive atmosphere among co-workers, and 73 percent believe that pets at work improve productivity.
Q: Are their guidelines to ensure my dog is "office ready?"
A: Having your dog at work should be enjoyable for everyone. One bad experience can mean a change of heart by your employer or colleagues, so preparation is key.
A dog that is an ideal candidate for the workplace will share many of the positive attributes of your co-workers. It should be socialized with good manners, well-trained and nicely groomed. Dogs that have separation anxiety and are not comfortable around strangers are better off at home.
Your dog should be properly contained during the workday. A pet gate or crate will keep it in your workspace. Bring his favorite toys to keep him occupied, as well as water and treats, towels and clean-up materials should an accident occur.
A nice long walk before your workday and a short walk every few hours on the job can prevent accidents and help keep your dog calm and relaxed.
Q: What if I can't bring my dog to work?
A: Consider asking a trusted family member or friend to look in on your dog or take him for a walk on days when you know you'll be working late. Another popular alternative is pet day care or hiring a pet nanny.
The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line. Or, write "Pet Ohana," Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.