Take Your Dog to Work Day is Friday, June 23. America loves their pets so this has become an increasingly popular event since it started in 1999. Employers benefit from the opportunity to celebrate dogs’ special abilities to reduce stress in the workplace and increase job satisfaction, skills confirmed in a study published in 2012 by Virginia Commonwealth University.

Most dogs want to be wherever their owner is and while taking your dog to work might sound like a good idea, proper planning is necessary so you don’t put your dog and others at risk. Your plan should include how you will keep the dog relaxed and in an area where he or she will not be a distraction. Don’t let the day go to the dogs. Remember, everyone has work to do.

A bad behaved or sick dog is the worst distraction and can cause unnecessary stress on the dog. It’s best to leave him at home if he is likely to get into mischief or be sick. Even a well-behaved dog could become a problem if he is not properly taken care of. Therefore, plan for breaks and provide for all the dog’s needs – food and water dishes, toys, treats, a bed, poop bags, and anything else your dog might need.

Don’t let your dog wander around on its own. He’ll be your responsibility so don’t assume someone else will watch him if you have meetings.

Even people who don’t bring in their pets enjoy the opportunity to interact with other people’s dogs. But they will come to you. Recognize that some of your fellow employees might be afraid or allergic. For this reason, it’s best to have everyone’s buy-in before you bring your dog to work.

Prepare the workplace in advance. It won’t do to have to move around furniture to fit a dog bed or have chords visible for him to chew on. With the right preparation everyone, including the dog, can have fun at work!