Important pet safety tips for Take Your Dog to Work Day

Take Your Dog To Work Day

As we all transition back to work in the traditional sense, we’re able to enjoy some of the exciting parts of being in an office. Benefits include: snacks, chats and, most importantly, Take Your Dog to Work Day.

While we support the idea of bringing your dog along for a day of work, we want to highlight some tips that will help you keep the outing as responsible and safe for your dog as possible.

Prepare your dog for the day

Before you spring a surprise visit on your coworkers, there are quite a few boxes to tick. As outlined by RSPCA Australia, you should:

  • Check with your employer that bringing in a dog to the office is allowed
  • Confirm no one in your office is allergic to dogs
  • Ensure your dog is healthy and won’t spread infections
  • Ensure your dog is microchipped and vaccinated

It’s also important that your dog is socialised with other animals and humans before making their way into your workspace – this is important for everyone’s safety, including other animals who may be stopping by.


As you’ll likely have to drive to the office, ensure that your dog has a car harness and is comfortable sitting in your vehicle while you brave the traffic.

Teach your coworkers about how to interact with dogs

When you walk your pooch in to meet your coworkers, we have no doubt they’ll squeal and tell him he’s the cutest doggo they’ve ever seen. Naturally, it will be a whole thing.

But this kind of commotion can be quite stressful for our furry mates. Give your coworkers a heads up about how to approach your dog – crouch down, let him come to you, pat him on the chest – and try not to startle with too many loud noises.

While we don’t want to be the fun police, we also want to make sure your pup is as comfortable as can be!

Make their experience safe

Set up a bowl of fresh water in a place your dog can freely and readily access at all times. As the day goes on, take your dog out for regular breaks outside so they can expend some energy and go to the toilet. 

In general, it’s a good idea to check over the office space to ensure there are no rogue wires or escape routes.

Monitor them for signs of stress or fear

As the day goes on, keep an eye on your dog to ensure they’re comfortable and not displaying any signs of anxiety. Body language is your dog’s way of telling you that they’re not having a good time, so keep an eye out for flat ears, a hidden tail or excessive panting.

Generally, you can tell if your dog is uncomfortable if they are exhibiting ‘fearful behaviours’. Fearful behaviours can typically be categorised into the following groups, known as the 4 F’s:

  • Fiddle: displays uncertainty and internal conflict and encompasses displacement behaviours, which are normal behaviours displayed out of context. These include yawning, lip licking and ground sniffing.
  • Freeze: displays uncertainty and internal conflict. It is the act of an animal becoming stiff in the body and can be seen before an animal acts upon the situation. It can lead to an animal shutting down.
  • Flight: is the act of an animal physically removing himself from the situation.
  • Fight: is when an animal believes he has no other recourse but to act aggressively through the use of threatening behaviours such as growling, baring teeth, lunging and biting.

If your dog is displaying any of the 4 F’s, we’d advise for you to take them for a walk or even take them home a little earlier. For more information on your dog’s mental health, head here.

To learn more about communicating with your dog, head here.

Make the visit short, if possible

Finally, a quick visit’s a good visit, right? If at all possible, ask your boss if you and your dog can do a half day in the office and another half day at home. That way, your pup won’t be so overwhelmed by the new and unfamiliar environment.

For more safety information about Take Your Dog To Work Day, please visit RSPCA Australia’s knowledgebase here.