Research has found that having dogs in the workplace creates a more productive work environment, lowers stress, and effectively decreases employee absenteeism. Maybe convincing your boss to allow canines in the office on a daily basis is an impossible task, but perhaps you could warm them up to it by celebrating "Take Your Dog to Work Day" this Friday.

I first celebrated "Take Your Dog to Work Day" back in 2012 when I brought my dog Brooks to the Q98.5 studios. Some of you may remember this...

 

Shannon Zimmerman, Townsquare Media

 

Brooks is my sweet little cuddle bug who is constantly by my side, so I thought he would be the perfect dog to spend the day at work with. Thought is the key word here.

Most of the morning was quite enjoyable. Brooks sat in my lap and I got plenty of kisses while working. Who wouldn't love that? Life was good until 8 a.m. when the rest of the building shows up for work. You see, the one thing I forgot is that Brooks loves his Mommy so much he feels he constantly needs to protect her. Uh, oh.

The first time someone walked into the studio and startled Brooks, it turned into wild kingdom and sounded like a rabid savage beast had been released. (This all happened on the air too, by the way.)

My Brooks truly is a sweet dog, the fault was not his, it was his Mom's. I did not properly prepare for our special day together. I just got too excited about bringing my best buddy to work with me, and I didn't totally think it through.

"Take Your Dog to Work Day" is a cool thing to participate in, but this is your chance to learn from my mistakes. Here's some tips to follow from Wellness Natural Pet Food to insure a "Take Your Dog to Work Day" success:

  • Come prepared - Make sure you have food, water, treats, a leash and collar.
  • Respect boundaries - Some of your co-workers may be allergic or afraid of dogs. Make sure your dog does not stray from your immediate workplace.
  • Make sure your dog can cope with "cube life" - There's a lot of action in the workplace, so make sure your dog can handle the noises and distractions and that they don't wander.
  • Have a backup plan - Not all dogs will warm up to different surroundings and commotions, not to mention other visiting dogs. Make sure you have a plan of action for handling a savage beast situation.
  • Properly discard of lunches - Dogs like to rummage through trash cans, so make sure you "dog proof" the area your dog will be staying in.
  • Make sure your pet plays well with others - Be mindful of how your dog reacts with other pets and strangers before taking them with you to the office.
  • Make sure your workplace is observing the holiday - Just because "Take Your Dog to Work Day" is a national holiday, it doesn't mean your boss will be cool with it. Have a conversation with your employer about it before your bring your dog. Making it an office event makes it even more enjoyable, and could just be beneficial for morale.