Taking Fido to Work? Here's What You Should Know
Take Your Dog to Work Day is this Friday, the 24th. The annual tradition was started by Pet Sitters International more than 15 years ago to celebrate the companionship that dogs provide and to promote animal adoptions.
Before You Take Your Dog to Work
If your workplace participates in Take Your Dog to Work Day, you're probably looking forward to bringing your pet or hanging out with some furry friends. While having a cute dog walking around the office all day sounds great in theory, the reality is that it takes some careful planning to make sure that everyone has a good time.
Our firm helps those who have been bitten by dogs, and we know that even the friendliest dogs can act out if they're feeling stressed or overexcited in an unfamiliar situation. Below are some things to consider:
- Make sure your dog is current on all vaccinations.
- Remember to keep your dog on a leash at all times. This will allow you to act quickly if the situation requires you to take control.
- Consider your dog's temperament. You know your dog's demeanor – if aggressive, shy, or anxious, it's probably best to leave your dog at home. Workplaces are filled with new sights and sounds and can put some animals on edge. Know how to read your dog's body language to better understand how your dog might behave.
- Don't force coworkers to interact with your dog. Some people may be fearful of – or just not interested in – dogs. Only people who are comfortable with being around your pet should do so.
- Have an exit plan. Some dogs may become agitated, overly excited, or withdrawn. If this is the case with your dog, it's probably a sign that you should cut the day short. Head home for the day or have a pet sitter take over. Never, ever leave your pet alone in the car while you are at work.
Traveling With Your Dog
If you're driving to work, or anywhere else, you might want to think about buckling your dog up.
Very few states require you to drive with pet restraint systems; however, some states do have laws against pets and distracted driving. Our firm strongly encourages drivers to fasten their dogs securely to prevent distracted driving. If unrestrained, dogs can move around, try to climb on your lap, and take your attention away from the road. If an officer believes that an unrestrained animal is causing you to be distracted or to drive unsafely, they may pull you over.
If you don't think it's necessary to fasten your dog in a travel harness while driving, think about it this way: In Pennsylvania, children younger than age 8 are required to be in safety and booster seats adjusted to their size. That's mainly because children, compared to adults, can face particularly devastating injuries if they aren't in the proper seating position.
Now think about your dog. Like children, dogs are usually smaller than the average height and weight of an adult, and so they can be vulnerable to the same devastating injuries that a child could face.
With a little bit of preparation and by paying attention to what your dog is telling you, you can make Take Your Dog to Work Day a "treat"!