If you are anything like me, you’re obsessed with your furry friend. I welcomed my dog Jax into my family in July, 2016. It was a decision that my boyfriend and I made together after months and months of deliberating.
He wanted a large breed; I wanted a small one. He was set on getting a masculine male dog, whereas I was open to male or female. He wanted an older dog, while I was set on getting a puppy. We finally agreed on our pup, Jax: a male King Cavrin (Cairn Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix) puppy.
When we first brought Jax home, he was a mere eight weeks old. He was a puppy in every sense of the word — teething on furniture and shoes, sleeping for long periods of time and awake for short bursts of energy, having innocent accidents on the rug, and a clumsy mess while learning how to walk on a leash, up and down stairs, and the like. I brought him with me just about everywhere I could, but at the time I wasn’t working at a dog-friendly workplace.
Fast forward to this summer when Jax is now more than a year old. He is a completely different dog — no longer teething, now house-trained, now well-mannered, and as loving and friendly as ever.
Over our time together, Jax has become my furry companion. He sleeps in the same bed as my boyfriend and me. He joins us on car rides. And as of recently he comes with me to work.
This summer I started a brand-new career in marketing for a luxury real estate company with a dog-friendly office. My colleagues and I often bring our dogs to work, which means Jax and I now have a new routine. He hops in my car every weekday morning, ready for a fun day at the office.
In the few months that he has been coming to work with me, here are the five benefits I have learned about taking my dog to work:
1. My dog reminds me to take breaks.
Having my dog with me in the office constantly reminds me to get up, stretch, and walk outside. Like all dogs, Jax needs frequent pee breaks throughout the day to relieve himself and to avoid accidents. During these brief breaks in the day, I get the opportunity to stand up, walk around, and get my blood flowing. I work at a desk and am guilty of letting hours pass by before I realize I need to move.
In the past, I’ve had terrible bouts of swelling in my feet from sitting for too long, a sign of extremely poor circulation. Taking my dog on these brief breaks reminds me to exercise at the office. In a way, my dog is my reminder to keep moving!
2. I have a mid-day break buddy.
At my new job, my colleagues and I don’t take lunch breaks together very often. In fact, almost every work day I find myself alone during my lunch block, which has been a difficult adjustment for me. Now that I bring Jax to work with me, though, I have a break buddy.
Jax and I take long walks in downtown Portland, visit the boats docked by the water, and get our steps in. Sometimes we walk two miles together during my lunch break. This helps us both get some much needed exercise.
For Jax, he gets to smell new smells, find new places to pee (dogs love to mark their scent!), release some of his pent up energy, and stay healthy. For me, walking with Jax helps me stretch my legs, get my blood flowing, burn some calories, and gives me a dose of some Vitamin D and fresh air. It’s a win-win for the both of us!
3. I have a buddy in the workplace.
I don’t know about your office culture, but mine is very quiet. Most days I work alone with only intermittent phone calls, visitors, and the like.
Having Jax with me all day is a form of companionship. He is quiet enough that he doesn’t distract me from my work, while also being a welcomed work buddy to help me feel like I’m not alone. I’m a very social person, so having my dog with me during my work days has helped me feel comforted. It’s nice to have a non-distracting work BFF.
4. I no longer feel guilty about leaving my dog at home.
I used to feel awful when I had to leave Jax home alone all day everyday during the workweek. At my former workplace, pets weren’t permitted. It was so gut-wrenching to watch my dog stare at me through the front window, watching me drive away.
I felt guilty about him being by himself all day because Jax is also extremely social; he loves humans and other dogs so much. With my new job, he now hops in my car every morning and comes with me to work. Before I even step outside, his tail aggressively wags and he has the end of his leash in his mouth. It cracks me up that at the sight of my briefcase, Jax is ready to join me.
We both benefit from having more time together during the workweek. We’ve become a lot closer, and I get the sense that he is much happier.
5. I can save money on doggy daycare.
I’ll be honest; I’ve never actually invested in doggy daycare. I’m in my mid-twenties, which means I spend my paycheck on bills like student loans, rent, groceries, and gasoline. I don’t have the extra funds to send Jax to doggy daycare, but if I did, I imagine it would be a costly expense.
By having the option to bring Jax to work, I don’t have to even consider spending money on doggy daycare. Plus, I save myself commuting time at the start and end of each work day by not having to make the extra commute to drop him off and pick him up from doggy daycare. Luckily, daycare for Jax is not something I have to concern myself with.
Having permission from my employer to bring my dog with me to work is a huge blessing. It’s made so many changes in my day-to-day routine. I am constantly with Jax, we both get our steps in during breaks, and I no longer feel guilty about him spending hours by himself at home while my boyfriend and I are at work all day, every work day.
I’ve also found that Jax seems to be getting the stimulation that he needs by being with me at work. He doesn’t spend his entire day sleeping. He plays at work with my colleagues’ dogs, he gets exercise during our walks, and is becoming more and more comfortable with the outside world.
It’s good for him to see cars and traffic, meet strangers, and listen to the sounds of city life. He is becoming more and more aware that life exists outside of our house. Maybe I give too much credit to a dog, but I really believe that bringing Jax to work has matured him and made him more aware of his surroundings. All in all, I love my dog and I am thankful we get to spend more time together now than ever before.
Do you bring your dog to work? What’s that like? Share your experiences in the comments!