Monday, September 20, 2021

Kenneth Fox

With many dog owners set to return to offices from today, Dogs Trust, an Irish dog welfare charity is offering their top tips to keep your canine colleagues happy.

As part of their Dog Friendly Ireland initiative, Dogs Trust would hope to see more workplaces allowing employees to bring their dogs to work, where appropriate to do so.

Ciara Byrne, head of communications at Dogs Trust Ireland explains: “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?”

She said pet ownership has been associated with a number of positive health benefits, some of which include fewer visits to the doctor, lower cholesterol, lower blood-pressure and improved heart health meaning the potential for healthier and happier employees.

They have a number of ways to create a space that will be safe and secure for dogs, while also ensuring that humans and dogs alike are happy and comfortable.

Some of their tips include:

  1. Ensure that your colleagues are happy for you to bring in a dog.
  2. Have something for each dog to chew on, preferable something non-squeaky.
  3. Ensure that each dog has an item from home that they are familiar with to help them settle, such as a bed of blanket.
  4. 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.
  5. Make sure there are no doors that dogs can easily escape out of.
  6. Be sure your dog is confident around strangers and will enjoy being at work with you.
  7. Use a buddy system, so a trusted co-worker can watch over your dog if you have to step out temporarily.
  8. Make sure dogs always have a fresh supply of water where people cannot trip over it.
  9. 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.
  10. Dogs will need a safe space to lie, close to their owners, away from busy areas of the workplace, so they can rest peacefully.

Ms Byrne added “We understand it is not possible to bring every dog to work, some may not enjoy it and some workplaces may be unsuitable. For those dog owners, we would recommend walking your dog before you go to work, breaking up their day by going home at lunch or asking a friend or dog walker if this is not possible.”

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