Monthly Archives: January 2020

Three Secrets to Safe & Effective Exercise for Your Dog

It’s no secret that exercising your dog can lead to a happier and healthier pup – not to mention a quieter house and a happier you. The complication is that exercising your dog takes time and sometimes we struggle to find time to exercise ourselves. However, without safe and effective exercise, your dog can gain weight, risk costly injury, and tear apart the house in response to pent up energy. Consider how you exercise your dog now: perhaps you play tug with your Chihuahua in the living room, jog or play fetch with your active retriever, or ask your senior mixed breed to sit in the kitchen — all of these activities can exercise your dog both physically and mentally. Let’s further explore how you can make the most of your time with your dog while safely and effectively gaining the benefits of exercise.

Here are three secrets to safely and effectively exercising your dog through activities and games that you probably already play.

1. Discuss with your veterinarian

Before beginning any exercise (even training class!), it’s important to get a full health check with your local veterinarian. Let your vet know which activities you are thinking about pursuing, and ask which activities would be most appropriate for your dog’s age, musculoskeletal structure, and preferences. Remember, just like with children, jumping from high places or playing on hard surfaces can be detrimental to joints. Be sure to ask how long the activities should last, how intense they should be, and about any necessary equipment or weather precautions. Just because your dog wants to fetch constantly, doesn’t necessarily mean that this high impact, sustained exercise is healthy. Describe the activity and environment to your vet in detail, and be sure to get clearance before enjoying with your pup.

2. Explore variation

After speaking with your veterinarian about appropriate activities for your dog, plan to vary the types of activities each day. If your veterinarian approved some shorter distance jogs for your pup, perhaps the next day you could spread his food in the backyard as a scavenger hunt. Varying high intensity with low intensity workouts is just as stimulating for your pup, and the variation will keep him engaged. You can also vary exercises within the activity itself. For example, if you frequently throw a ball or disc for your dog until she lies down and pants, consider asking for tricks between different types of throws. By varying distances and body movements you can help your dog regulate her arousal and stay safe.

3. Remember warms up & cool down

Before beginning any activity, it’s important to set up your dog for success. Dogs have the same basic musculoskeletal components as people, and therefore they can sustain similar injuries from rigorous use or clumsy accidents. However, dogs are more athletic compared to humans (even your couch potato probably has a higher VO2max than you!), and they can exert a lot of energy at playtime. It’s important to warm up and cool down your dog’s muscles before use. Consider the type of exercise and what body parts are involved, and plan for a warm up. For example, if you’re about to open the back door for your dog to dash out with his powerful hind legs, take a couple walking laps around the living room first. Ask for a few repetitions of sit and put a treat in front of his nose to lure him in a few circles before opening the door. Much like a short jog, squats, and plyometrics before a sprint, these exercises can help protect your dog’s soft tissue before dashing off. The easiest part is that the same exercises can be performed in reverse for a quick cool down.

Using these three secrets, you can safely and effectively exercise your dog in the same amount of time and help you and your pup enjoy the benefits. Through warms ups/cool downs and varying your dog’s activities you can tire your pup out in no time at all. Talking to your veterinarian about the type, duration, and intensity of activity can also tailor the exercise to your dog and avoid costly injury. 

Many caretakers believe that their dog needs to sprint in order to get tired, when in reality sniffing, training, or a combination can be just as taxing. Check out the table below for more ideas! Challenge yourself this week to change one thing about your dog’s exercise routine, and see if you enjoy a calmer, healthier dog!

 

Activity

Variation

Warm up/cool down

Hide a treat/toy in the house

High/low places, obstacles, multiple rooms

Walk laps, sits, crawls

Sniffy walk

Hide treats, change route

Walk laps, sits

Tug

Side to side, stop/go, 2 tugs

Jog laps, play bow, weight shift

Fetch

Short/long distances, walking breaks, sit/down/spin/beg/back

Jog laps, downs, circles

Jog

Walk/run, canicross, sniff breaks

Sniff, walk laps, sits

 

 

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A New Lady Friend

In Their Voices
woman and dog

When I was 15 months old, I graduated from Guide Dog school. I couldn’t believe I had finished five months of intense training and passed an endless week of exams. It hadn’t been easy to ignore food smells from sidewalk cafés, overlook feline provocation along the route and keep my composure when a Jack Russell sniffed my butt while we waited at the traffic light.

I overheard the trainers talking about my new family. She was vision-impaired and had a small boy-child. He’d better not pull my fur with his sticky fingers. Paws crossed, let’s hope he’s as welltrained as me. He’s three years old and hasn’t even started school— can you believe that?

I knew it was a special morning because my trainer groomed me from head to tail.

“Hey, laddy, you’re going to a new home. Got to make you look smart for your new lady friend.”

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Three Secrets to Safe & Effective Exercise for Your Dog

It’s no secret that exercising your dog can lead to a happier and healthier pup – not to mention a quieter house and a happier you. The complication is that exercising your dog takes time and sometimes we struggle to find time to exercise ourselves. However, without safe and effective exercise, your dog can gain weight, risk costly injury, and tear apart the house in response to pent up energy. Consider how you exercise your dog now: perhaps you play tug with your Chihuahua in the living room, jog or play fetch with your active retriever, or ask your senior mixed breed to sit in the kitchen — all of these activities can exercise your dog both physically and mentally. Let’s further explore how you can make the most of your time with your dog while safely and effectively gaining the benefits of exercise.

Here are three secrets to safely and effectively exercising your dog through activities and games that you probably already play.

1. Discuss with your veterinarian

Before beginning any exercise (even training class!), it’s important to get a full health check with your local veterinarian. Let your vet know which activities you are thinking about pursuing, and ask which activities would be most appropriate for your dog’s age, musculoskeletal structure, and preferences. Remember, just like with children, jumping from high places or playing on hard surfaces can be detrimental to joints. Be sure to ask how long the activities should last, how intense they should be, and about any necessary equipment or weather precautions. Just because your dog wants to fetch constantly, doesn’t necessarily mean that this high impact, sustained exercise is healthy. Describe the activity and environment to your vet in detail, and be sure to get clearance before enjoying with your pup.

2. Explore variation

After speaking with your veterinarian about appropriate activities for your dog, plan to vary the types of activities each day. If your veterinarian approved some shorter distance jogs for your pup, perhaps the next day you could spread his food in the backyard as a scavenger hunt. Varying high intensity with low intensity workouts is just as stimulating for your pup, and the variation will keep him engaged. You can also vary exercises within the activity itself. For example, if you frequently throw a ball or disc for your dog until she lies down and pants, consider asking for tricks between different types of throws. By varying distances and body movements you can help your dog regulate her arousal and stay safe.

3. Remember warms up & cool down

Before beginning any activity, it’s important to set up your dog for success. Dogs have the same basic musculoskeletal components as people, and therefore they can sustain similar injuries from rigorous use or clumsy accidents. However, dogs are more athletic compared to humans (even your couch potato probably has a higher VO2max than you!), and they can exert a lot of energy at playtime. It’s important to warm up and cool down your dog’s muscles before use. Consider the type of exercise and what body parts are involved, and plan for a warm up. For example, if you’re about to open the back door for your dog to dash out with his powerful hind legs, take a couple walking laps around the living room first. Ask for a few repetitions of sit and put a treat in front of his nose to lure him in a few circles before opening the door. Much like a short jog, squats, and plyometrics before a sprint, these exercises can help protect your dog’s soft tissue before dashing off. The easiest part is that the same exercises can be performed in reverse for a quick cool down.

Using these three secrets, you can safely and effectively exercise your dog in the same amount of time and help you and your pup enjoy the benefits. Through warms ups/cool downs and varying your dog’s activities you can tire your pup out in no time at all. Talking to your veterinarian about the type, duration, and intensity of activity can also tailor the exercise to your dog and avoid costly injury. 

Many caretakers believe that their dog needs to sprint in order to get tired, when in reality sniffing, training, or a combination can be just as taxing. Check out the table below for more ideas! Challenge yourself this week to change one thing about your dog’s exercise routine, and see if you enjoy a calmer, healthier dog!

 

Activity

Variation

Warm up/cool down

Hide a treat/toy in the house

High/low places, obstacles, multiple rooms

Walk laps, sits, crawls

Sniffy walk

Hide treats, change route

Walk laps, sits

Tug

Side to side, stop/go, 2 tugs

Jog laps, play bow, weight shift

Fetch

Short/long distances, walking breaks, sit/down/spin/beg/back

Jog laps, downs, circles

Jog

Walk/run, canicross, sniff breaks

Sniff, walk laps, sits

 

 

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Can You Put a Price Tag on Your Dog’s Life?

Readers, dog owners, can I ask
you a question? Or, actually, a few related questions:

If you had to put a dollar
figure on it, what would your dog’s life be worth to you? How would you justify
that figure?

And, for those of you who have actually HAD TO put a dollar figure on your dog’s life in a lawsuit, or who received compensation after your dog’s life was taken by another – whether through negligence or cruelty or whatever: How much compensation were you able to receive?

Another dog lost his life unnecessarily

I’m asking these questions as I
ponder the story of a friend’s pup, who was killed as he lay, on leash, at a
public park, by two off-leash dogs, in front of my friend, his nine-year-old
daughter, her friend, and other children and parents. I just can’t fully fathom
the emotional damage done to my friend and especially his daughter, who had
just completed a “puppy kindergarten” training class with her beloved dog. My
friend’s daughter, an active, athletic girl, has told her dad she doesn’t want
to play at the park anymore, it hurts too much. Is there a price you can put on
this pain?

The owner of the attacking dog had released his dogs to run off-leash, in violation of the local leash laws. In my mind, that makes him liable for a bit more in damages, should a suit find him responsible for the loss of my friend’s pup and damages for the bites my friend sustained as he tried to save his pup from the aggressors. But the owner of those dogs stayed at the scene and took responsibility for the dogs, and, in fact, surrendered the dog most responsible for the puppy’s death to the responding animal control officer and requested that the dog be euthanized. Should that act reduce his legal liability?

What does the law say about this?

It’s my understanding that, in this country, dogs are legal property, and their loss is not treated or compensated-for as the loss of a human family member would be. But, as I sit here looking at photos my friend sent me of his happy daughter and her puppy at Christmas, and of the slain puppy and his attackers at the park a few weeks later, waiting for an animal control officer to arrive, I just can’t square the price of a puppy’s purchase with the loss my friend’s family has suffered.

I don’t even know if my friend
will pursue a lawsuit or settlement, and of course there is no way of knowing
how a judge might rule on such a case, or whether the marauding dogs’ owner
feels any responsibility or has a homeowner’s insurance policy or some other
way to attempt to compensate my friend for his family’s loss and suffering. I’m
just so sad, thinking about it. What is a dog’s life actually worth today?

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Three Secrets to Safe & Effective Exercise for Your Dog

It’s no secret that exercising your dog can lead to a happier and healthier pup – not to mention a quieter house and a happier you. The complication is that exercising your dog takes time and sometimes we struggle to find time to exercise ourselves. However, without safe and effective exercise, your dog can gain weight, risk costly injury, and tear apart the house in response to pent up energy. Consider how you exercise your dog now: perhaps you play tug with your Chihuahua in the living room, jog or play fetch with your active retriever, or ask your senior mixed breed to sit in the kitchen — all of these activities can exercise your dog both physically and mentally. Let’s further explore how you can make the most of your time with your dog while safely and effectively gaining the benefits of exercise.

Here are three secrets to safely and effectively exercising your dog through activities and games that you probably already play.

1. Discuss with your veterinarian

Before beginning any exercise (even training class!), it’s important to get a full health check with your local veterinarian. Let your vet know which activities you are thinking about pursuing, and ask which activities would be most appropriate for your dog’s age, musculoskeletal structure, and preferences. Remember, just like with children, jumping from high places or playing on hard surfaces can be detrimental to joints. Be sure to ask how long the activities should last, how intense they should be, and about any necessary equipment or weather precautions. Just because your dog wants to fetch constantly, doesn’t necessarily mean that this high impact, sustained exercise is healthy. Describe the activity and environment to your vet in detail, and be sure to get clearance before enjoying with your pup.

2. Explore variation

After speaking with your veterinarian about appropriate activities for your dog, plan to vary the types of activities each day. If your veterinarian approved some shorter distance jogs for your pup, perhaps the next day you could spread his food in the backyard as a scavenger hunt. Varying high intensity with low intensity workouts is just as stimulating for your pup, and the variation will keep him engaged. You can also vary exercises within the activity itself. For example, if you frequently throw a ball or disc for your dog until she lies down and pants, consider asking for tricks between different types of throws. By varying distances and body movements you can help your dog regulate her arousal and stay safe.

3. Remember warms up & cool down

Before beginning any activity, it’s important to set up your dog for success. Dogs have the same basic musculoskeletal components as people, and therefore they can sustain similar injuries from rigorous use or clumsy accidents. However, dogs are more athletic compared to humans (even your couch potato probably has a higher VO2max than you!), and they can exert a lot of energy at playtime. It’s important to warm up and cool down your dog’s muscles before use. Consider the type of exercise and what body parts are involved, and plan for a warm up. For example, if you’re about to open the back door for your dog to dash out with his powerful hind legs, take a couple walking laps around the living room first. Ask for a few repetitions of sit and put a treat in front of his nose to lure him in a few circles before opening the door. Much like a short jog, squats, and plyometrics before a sprint, these exercises can help protect your dog’s soft tissue before dashing off. The easiest part is that the same exercises can be performed in reverse for a quick cool down.

Using these three secrets, you can safely and effectively exercise your dog in the same amount of time and help you and your pup enjoy the benefits. Through warms ups/cool downs and varying your dog’s activities you can tire your pup out in no time at all. Talking to your veterinarian about the type, duration, and intensity of activity can also tailor the exercise to your dog and avoid costly injury. 

Many caretakers believe that their dog needs to sprint in order to get tired, when in reality sniffing, training, or a combination can be just as taxing. Check out the table below for more ideas! Challenge yourself this week to change one thing about your dog’s exercise routine, and see if you enjoy a calmer, healthier dog!

 

Activity

Variation

Warm up/cool down

Hide a treat/toy in the house

High/low places, obstacles, multiple rooms

Walk laps, sits, crawls

Sniffy walk

Hide treats, change route

Walk laps, sits

Tug

Side to side, stop/go, 2 tugs

Jog laps, play bow, weight shift

Fetch

Short/long distances, walking breaks, sit/down/spin/beg/back

Jog laps, downs, circles

Jog

Walk/run, canicross, sniff breaks

Sniff, walk laps, sits

 

 

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Understanding the “Guaranteed Analysis (GA)”

The guaranteed analysis (GA) is a highly regulated part of a pet food label, and the facts printed there are subject to surveillance and enforcement. State feed control officials may sample and test the product at any point in its production and sale; they often do visit stores and pull product from the shelf to […]

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Dogs in the Workplace Company Profile: On-Site LaserMedic

On-Site LaserMedic is a dog-friendly laser printer repair company in Chatsworth, California. Roxanna Sanchez, the organization’s chief operating officer, has been bringing her dogs to work for 15 years and is responsible for overseeing office-dog privileges for On-Site’s 23-person staff. Currently, four employees, including Sanchez, bring their dogs to work.

“The dogs brings happiness and a sense of calmness to the office,” Sanchez says. “Our customer service center can get bombarded with challenges throughout the day, and the dogs are good for the soul.”

Sanchez helps set up employees for success with their dogs in the office by reminding them to create an environment where the dog will be comfortable. This makes it less likely the employee will be distracted by a dog who is uncomfortable and acts out in order to get his needs met. Should an employee’s pet present a challenge, she’ll request that the dog take a break from the office; she’ll also refer the team to area trainers and is willing to reevaluate the dog at a later time. For some dogs, a little extra training makes all the difference. For others, including one of Sanchez’ own prior dogs, coming to the office just isn’t the right choice for the dog.

“I had a Rottweiler who came to the office with me all the time as a young puppy. She loved it,” says Sanchez. “But as she matured, she became suspicious of certain people and certain things, and I realized she wasn’t comfortable at work. I stopped bringing her.”

Throughout her 19-year history with On-Site, Sanchez has successfully introduced nine of her own pet dogs to the workplace, one or two at a time. She currently rotates between Myka, a 12-year-old Havanese; Bree, a 4-year-old, mid-sized mixed breed; and Ruuk, a 2-year-old, 10-pound mixed breed.

“We’re very fortunate to have a professional family atmosphere where our dogs are welcomed and appreciated,” she said. “So long as you set and hold employees to clear expectations, we’ve found dogs in the workplace to be a great asset to the organization.”

Related Article

Dogs in the Workplace

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Dogs in the Workplace

As the saying goes, “Life is better when I’m with my dog.” I can cite a long list of ways that he makes my days brighter – even my work days! From petting his soft fur or listening to his quiet snoring, to how he makes me laugh as he playfully brandishes his toys in hopes of a game of tug and getting me away from and computer every few hours for a walk around the block. See, I’m lucky. My dog Saber accompanies me to the office several days each week at the guide dog school where I oversee the puppy-raising program. 

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute reports pets in the workplace can make employers more attractive to prospective employees, increase employee engagement and retention, improve relationships between employees and supervisors, and lower absenteeism. There’s also potential health benefits: stress management, a calming effect, and often an improvement in work-life balance. 

It’s definitely nice to reach down and scratch my dog’s ears when I’m feeling overwhelmed with project deadlines. Stepping outside into the designated employee pet play yard helps ensure I don’t sit at my desk and work through lunch every day. Sometimes we spend my break walking around the block. Mostly, as an apartment dweller, I appreciate knowing he’s not stuck inside at home when I’m working long days. It’s a very nice job perk.

Despite the reported advantages, the Society for Human Resource Management reports less than 10 percent of U.S. employers welcome personal pets in the workplace on a regular basis. 

While the benefits are notable, pets (for the purposes of this article, we’ll limit our thoughts to dogs, specifically) in the workplace can be tricky. Some office cultures might support an anything-goes mentality where people don’t bat an eye at a rambunctious indoor dog park unfolding in the lobby. However, the attitude of “love me, love my dog” does not generally bode well for harmonious happenings during the daily grind. Bringing personal pets to the workplace, especially an office environment, is a privilege that might be more widely considered by employers if they felt it was less likely to be disruptive. 

If you’re hoping to lobby for Fido to join you at work, or your company is considering implementing a pets-at-work policy, consider the following:

1. ESTABLISH BASIC HEALTH AND BEHAVIOR GUIDELINES. It should go without saying workplace dogs should be disease- and parasite-free, clean and well-groomed, and appropriately vaccinated.

Take Your Dog to Work Day

Established in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, Take Your Dog to Work Day celebrates the companionship of dogs, encourages adoption, and educates colleagues who don’t have dogs about the joys of the human-animal bond – perhaps they’ll adopt canine companions of their own! 

Participating in this year’s event, held nationwide on June 26, 2020, is a great way to introduce the idea of dogs in the workplace on a more regular basis. Pet Sitters International offers a free online toolkit that includes tips for promoting the idea to management, step-by-step planning instructions, a sample “dogs at work” policy, and even a customizable press release. This may well help generate positive media coverage about the organization’s involvement in the celebration of our canine companions turned canine colleagues for the day! For more information, visit www.petsit.com. 

In the office, the priority should be healthy workplace productivity. Ill-behaved dogs can be a nuisance almost anywhere, but the stakes are much higher when we’re at work. To keep everyone safe, at a minimum, potential canine colleagues should be of sound temperament, well-socialized to people, and should not have a history of aggressive behavior or biting. Excessive barking, jumping up on people, getting into the trash, marking or repeated housetraining accidents, and inappropriate chewing are all behaviors that should not be tolerated in the workplace.

While the definition of “well-trained” will always be subjective, requiring office-candidate dogs to successfully pass the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test is one way to set a minimum behavior standard. Even better, ask employees to attain the mid-level Community Canine title, a similar, 10-part evaluation, but with elements performed in real-life settings such as busy sidewalks or local parks rather than a training facility. 

Attaining these titles requires owners to invest time in training their dogs, and trained dogs are much more likely to be comfortable and behave appropriately in different settings. Plus, owners who participate in dog training programs are more likely to understand dog behavior and dog body language, and are therefore likely better equipped to prevent or address challenges that might arise when bringing their dogs to work.

2.MANAGEMENT MATTERS. It’s always important to set dogs up for success. This is especially true when asking them to cohabitate with colleagues who might not be used to sharing their space with dogs. In our opinion, letting office dogs “free range” throughout the office is a recipe for trouble, as it’s impossible to interrupt or redirect your dog’s unwanted behavior when you have no idea where he is or what he’s doing. 

Dogs who are lucky enough to “work” at dog-related businesses may enjoy greater freedom in the office. At Three Dog Bakery’s corporate headquarters, a special dog-containment “airlock” was installed so office dogs couldn’t accidentally leave the building with an inattentive visitor.

Employees with a private office can use a baby gate in the doorway to keep their dogs from cruising the halls without them. If the workplace set-up and dog’s level of training allows, a crate, x-pen or chew-proof tether can be used when owners are unable to supervise the dog, or when the dog needs a little imposed down-time. Make sure the dog has a cozy bed, and use favorite chew items or food puzzles to encourage the dog to spend time on his bed. An office dog doesn’t need to be on-the-go all the time. Dogs home alone spend much of their day quietly lounging; dogs at work can, too. 

3. TAKE PROACTIVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR DOG. “Love me, love my dog” might fly when seeking a life-partner, but it’s a selfish mentality when sharing workspace with others. If you’re lucky enough to be granted permission to bring your dog to work, go the extra mile to make sure your dog is never a nuisance to others. 

Respect colleagues’ wishes to decline interaction. Some people are afraid of dogs. Some cultures view dogs as “dirty” animals that should strictly live outside. Some people live with varying degrees of dog-related allergies. And some people are just “cat people” or otherwise choose to be pet-free. Be sensitive and respectful to these differences. Personally, I like to aim for the standard of a well-trained service dog in a restaurant, that is, for most people to not even realize the dog is there, because it’s quietly tucked at its handler’s feet.

That’s not to say office dogs should never been seen or heard, but in an age where fake service dogs are rampant and many dog owners feel entitled to regularly bring questionably or clearly untrained dogs into otherwise non-pet-friendly establishments, it’s more important than ever for responsible dog owners to go the extra mile to show how welcoming dogs need not become problematic for others.

Keep your dog well-groomed to reduce shedding. Have lint rollers and hand sanitizer handy for any colleagues or visitors who might welcome interaction but are surprised by the “magical fibers of love” now clinging to their pants or who might want to clean their hands. Immediately address barking or rambunctious play, especially when colleagues are within earshot and on the phone, in a meeting, or on a deadline. If your dog is overly solicitous of attention from others, direct him to “go lie down,” so colleagues can work in peace (see “Useful Matters,” WDJ January 2020, for tips on teaching your dog to be happy on his mat.) In general, be considerate of others. 

It goes without saying that dogs in offices with more than one canine colleague must be exquisitely comfortable

Give your dog ample opportunities to relieve in approved areas and clean up after him. Keep cleaning products on hand for unexpected accidents or moments of illness. Leave the toy with the 16 squeakers and the animal-product chew stick – the one that smells like warm death when soggy after a good chewing – at home. 

And whatever you do, if your dog ever happens to counter-surf someone’s unattended lunch from their desk, immediately offer to replace it, no excuses! (Years ago, my first dog, a Whippet with a weakness for all things “carbs” might’ve given me an opportunity or two to practice this last tip.)

What About Allergy Issues?

Allergic reactions to dogs come from the body’s over-reaction to harmless proteins in the dog’s urine, saliva, or dander. If employee allergies are a concern, establishing dog-free zones, especially in common areas, can help. Consider providing in-room air purifiers or checking to see if building maintenance uses, or can add, a HEPA filter to the central air and heating unit. Frequent vacuuming and the use of anti-allergen sprays, along with surface dusting with a damp cloth versus dry dusting can help reduce allergen levels in the environment. There are also various sprays and pet wipes designed to help neutralize allergies. 

If employees report mild allergies, the above efforts might lead to a workable arrangement where both the dog-owning and allergy-suffering employees can be made comfortable. If an employee suffers from severe, disabling allergies, by law, they must be accommodated. If that’s the case, it might be more realistic to find other ways for interested staff members to celebrate their shared love of dogs, such as monthly pet photo contests, or collecting donations for a local animal welfare organization.

4. REMEMBER, IT’S AN OFFICE, NOT A DOG PARK. Many people enjoy sharing their lives with multiple dogs, but when it comes to dogs in the workplace, there can easily be too much of a good thing. If you have more than one dog, consider rotating which dog accompanies you to the office each day. Even where I work, at a dog-related organization, where everyone’s workspace has been designed to safely manage dogs, and half of the dog-owning employees are trainers, staff are limited to bringing only two personal dogs to work each day. 

5. ADVOCATE FOR YOUR DOG. Not all dogs are good candidates for the workplace, even if they aren’t outwardly aggressive. Shy or fearful dogs might prefer the stability of staying home versus the sometimes unpredictable nature of the workplace and its accompanying sense of “stranger danger.” If your dog gets car sick, he might not appreciate starting and ending each day in the car. If your dog is generally indifferent to other dogs, he might not enjoy sharing relatively close quarters with your cubicle-mate’s social butterfly of a Labrador. 

It’s important to carefully consider your dog’s temperament and overall personality. Maybe he’s not right for the workplace at all. Or maybe it’s best to limit office visits to a couple of days each week. 

Even if your dog is perfectly suited for life in the office, it’s still important to set some boundaries. If colleagues have the opportunity to interact with your dog, don’t be afraid to request that they follow certain rules. They might not care if your dog jumps on them, but if you care, insist they ask your dog to sit before petting. They might want to shower your dog with Scooby Snacks all throughout the day. If that doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to set some guidelines. Be nice about it, but it’s perfectly okay to ask that your ground rules be followed.

BE PROACTIVE

Welcoming dogs into the workplace can be a great way to boost employee morale, but it’s not without its challenges, and it’s not right for every organization. Careful planning and clear expectations can go a long way in setting up people – and their pets – for success when implementing a canine colleague policy. 

Related Article

Dogs in the Workplace Company Profile: On-Site LaserMedic

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Hard to Hear: The Facts of Canine Ear Infections

dog with ear infection

While ear infections are pesky conditions that affect many species, dogs are especially at risk for ear infections because of the shape of their ear canals.

Dr. Lori Teller, a clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, says that diagnosis and treatment should always be handled by a veterinarian, but dog owners should still be informed on the nature of this condition to keep their furry friend in tip-top shape.

“There are multiple causes of ear infections (otitis externa), including allergies (most common), ear mites, a foreign body (this can include polyps or neoplasia), excess hair in the ear canal, anatomic changes in the ear canal, excess moisture in the ear canal, injury, immune-mediated diseases, endocrine disease, and excessive cleaning,” Teller said. “Any of these causes allow for bacteria and/or yeast to overgrow in the ear, leading to the infection.”

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What Traits Draw You To Dogs?

There are often patterns in the dogs we choose

Picture a lean, healthy dog that reminds you of a Golden Retriever but has a black coat. It is full of vigor and bounciness with very shiny fur. Add one or more random white splotches on the chest, feet or tip of the tail. Imagine that this dog is playful, athletic and that it has warm amber eyes. That picture in your head is a dog I’m sure to be drawn to. What can I say? I don’t know why this type is so appealing to me, but again and again dogs like this pull me in, even though I love all sorts of dogs. It’s not unusual for people to be drawn to a certain look, type of behavior or a combination of both, in a way that goes beyond just favoring a particular breed.

I used to work with a trainer who couldn’t resist a foxy dog. Pomeranians, American Eskimos, Finnish Spitzes, Keeshounds and Shiba Inus were among her favorites. A furry-faced dog with prick ears, a pointy muzzle and a thick coat got to her every time.

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