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Dog Etiquette at The Office

By: Alex Lieber

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Remember when "Casual Friday" meant wearing slacks and a shirt with no tie? The formality of the workplace has given way to a more relaxed, friendly atmosphere – and that change has extended to pets.

More than 21 percent of people reported they have brought their pets to the workplace, according to a survey conducted by the American Animal Hospital Association. That survey was conducted in 1997, before the introduction of "Take Your Pet to Work Day."

But before you celebrate by bringing in Rover, make sure you follow the proper etiquette. Otherwise, you may find yourself called onto the soiled carpet by your boss.

1. Make sure your officemates (not to mention your boss!) is okay with the idea of bringing pets into the office.

2. Establish a written policy regarding pets. It should include:

  • What types of pets are allowed
  • Areas off-limits to pets, especially places where sensitive equipment or products are storied
  • Guidelines for animals that are not spayed or neutered

    3. Designate an employee to keep a daily attendance sheet to keep record of whose pets have been at the office.

    4. Require owners to keep control of their pets at all times.

    5. Determine what behaviors will evict a pet, and agree upon the number of "strikes" a pet will be allowed before eviction.

    6. Make sure all visiting pets are current on vaccinations.

    7. Designate an outdoor area for walking dogs.

    8. Bring along baggies and equipment to clean up after pets.

    9. Designate non-pet areas to accommodate people who don't like pets or have allergies.

    10. Only allow pets that are well socialized to people or other pets. Not all animals get along.

    Remember, the workplace is not a playground for your pet. If he or she begins to distract others from their work, consider banning pets from the workplace.

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