Thanksgiving Tips for Pet Parents

Thanksgiving is nearly here and it’s time to prepare for the big day. Hale Pet Door has some tips to help make it a stress-free holiday for you and your pets.

  • Prepare a dish just for your pet to enjoy during the festivities

Many foods that we eat as humans are toxic to dogs and cats. Fatty foods are hard to digest, chocolate and grapes are toxic, and bird bones are terribly dangerous. It’s a good idea to plan ahead about the foods you will allow your best buddy to eat. It’s ok to let your dog have some fun foods without compromising his health. You may want to put aside some foods that you know are safe and flavorful, while you are cooking, for you to share during dinner. For dogs, things like fully cooked turkey cubes, pumpkin, small amounts of potatoes, sweet potatoes and veggies, or carrot bites can be perfect. Skip turkey skin, meat with bones still in it and stuffing. For your cat, pumpkin, turkey cubes and squash are great choices.

  • Plan a safe drive if your heading out of town

If your plans include a long drive with your pet, plan ahead to keep you and your buddy safe and stress free. Think about pet car-harnesses or crates, it’s important to keep them safe and comfortable while you’re driving. It’s nice to give them a blanket for cuddling and a toy or chew to keep next to them while on the road. Plan for frequent potty breaks at pet friendly rest stops and always offer fresh water to your pets during breaks. As always, make sure that your pet is up to date on vaccinations, has its tags and is microchipped in case of emergency.

  • Keep your pet safe from running away when friends and family come in and out.

It’s important to remember that having family and friends around that are not used to your household door routines can put your pets at risk. Some pets may be scared of strangers and make it easier to panic and run; other pets are always waiting for the opportunity to take off. If you use pet gates it’s important to have them up and secure. It is also ok to keep your dog on a leash even in your house. Just make sure that someone responsible is always in charge of your pooch. As always make sure that your pets are up to date on vaccinations, have their ID tags on and are microchipped in case of escape.

  • Protect your pets from getting into someone’s luggage

When there are friends and family over it usually involves bags and cluttered guest rooms. Please remind each guest to keep their purses and bags out of the reach of your pets. There are many things that can be very harmful to animals in personal belongings; medicine, gum, candy and choking hazards are all accidents waiting to happen if a pet finds their way into it.

  • Animal proof your garbage cans

Pets are masters at waiting until they have the perfect opportunity to get into the trash. Not only is this super annoying, but it’s really dangerous. Anytime of year it is a hazard, but during the holidays the risk multiplies. Turkey bones, turkey skin, raw dough and raw food are all potentially deadly items that will likely be in the garbage. Be sure that your kitchen bin has a secure lid and that it is emptied regularly before it overflows. Remember to not leave your pets alone with a full trash container and don’t neglect to secure the outdoor bin as well.

  • Protect pets from potentially dangerous decorative plants

Whether you are visiting family or they are visiting you, it’s likely that there will be some festive plants around. Many of these can be toxic, such as: amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, hydrangeas, Sweet William, some ferns and more. Be sure to keep these out of reach of your pets, even if it’s in the flower beds outside.

    • Keep anxious pets comfortable when strangers are around

We all have those loud and exuberant friends and relatives; while they are the life of our party, they may be terrifying to you pet. If you know your best friend is nervous in social situations, then make sure they have a comfortable and safe place to retreat to. It’s a nice idea to have a comfortable blanket and favorite toy in their safe place. This way they can enjoy the festivities when they feel comfortable or be happily alone if needed.

HALE PET DOOR wants you and your family to have a wonderful holiday! Please be safe, hug the people and animals that you love and remember to take those treasured photos!

HALE PET DOOR offers pet doors for all doors and windows and is always a beautiful addition to your home and your pets’ life. Find out more at www.halepetdoor.com

Hale Pet Door Road Trip Tips

Ready to take your pooch on a road trip?

Here are some tips to make your trip amazing.

First things first, plan your route. Look for routes with plenty of rest areas or toll plazas. Many rest stops and plazas have some walking trails and even dog friendly parks to stretch your legs.

Make pet friendly accommodations. Many hotels and motels have pet friendly rooms available. Be sure to reserve these in advance so that you don’t end up without a place to stop when you’re ready to call it a night.

Stop by your veterinarian’s office before your trip. Make sure that your pup is up to date on vaccinations, that their microchip is current, and that flea and tick prevention are on board. Request a copy of your pet’s vaccination record and keep this with you on your trip. In case of emergency, you may need these records at another veterinarian’s office, or to board your pet if another member of the family becomes ill or injured.

shutterstock_97846694Bring the essentials. Pack travel bowls for food and water, as well as bottles of clean drinking water for Fido. Remember to bring toys and treats, so you have something to reward good behavior with, or to keep him busy in the car. Don’t forget a comfortable collar or harness with up to date tags. Be sure that the pet tag includes a current cell phone number.

Protect your dog and your upholstery. Many veterinarians recommend using dog slings, seat belts and pet hammocks while in the car. These keep your pet safer in the event of a crash and keep your pet from wandering around the car and causing distractions. Put a liner or blanket under your pet’s seat to protect your upholstery. If you’re using a pet crate, then be sure it’s plenty roomy and add a comfy blanket or towel along with a beloved toy.

Give yourself plenty of time and take many breaks. Puppies will need to use the bathroom every hour or two; older dogs can stop every three to four hours. Be sure to give yourself and your pet plenty of exercise on your breaks. Get out and walk or run with your dog where you find trails and play tug of war or roll around in the grass. A tired pup is usually a well-behaved pup for the next leg of your journey. Before you get back in your vehicle, offer fresh water and maybe some food or a treat, check your dog’s coat and paws to be sure he didn’t pick up any burrs or pests.

Finally, have a great time! Road trips are often the most cherished of memories. Get out and see the sights, take lots of pictures and enjoy the adventure.

HALE PET DOOR wants every family to enjoy their pets when away or at home. Log onto www.halepetdoor.com to browse a selection of beautiful pet doors for all sized pets and for any door or wall or other location in your home, office, or even the motorhome or RV you take on your road trip.

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Tips for a Happy (and safe) Halloween for you and your pet

1. Only dress up your pets if you know they like it

Many pet parents love to dress up their pooch or kitty to join in with the festivities. If this is you, make sure that your pet is onboard with this idea. If your pet is happy to adorn a costume, skip the mask and make sure that the costume is not constricting or unsafe. Be sure that your pet can see and move unrestricted, as well as the costume is appropriate for the temperature.

2. Keep dogs and cats safe when opening the door

If you’re going to be opening the door to trick-or-treaters, keep any unsocial pets in a separate room and any “runner” personalities on a leash even in the house. It is just too easy for our little ones to run out of the door during the festivities creating a potential disaster. It may be best to designate one person to be responsible for the pet during trick-or-treat arrivals and make that person aware every time the door is opened.

3. Don’t leave you pets in the yard on the evening of Halloween

There can be pranksters that may tease or scare your furry kids, as well as noise and antics going on in the neighborhood that can be a stressor for them. Best to keep them indoors if you are away, in a place that is familiar and comforting.

4. Keep lit pumpkins out of reach

This one is a no-brainer but easy to overlook. Be extra careful with any lit jack-o-lanterns. This can be tempting for dogs and curious cats. It is too easy for them to knock it over and get burned or start a fire. If you have a dog it’s best to keep them out of reach and for cats the best placement may be outside.

5. Be sure your pets do not get into the candy

Keep your candy stashes away from your dog or cat. Chocolate is poisonous to many animals and the wrappers can be harmful if swallowed. Make sure that your kids and guests know where the appropriate place for their stash is and where to dispose of the wrappers. If you’re worried about your pets missing out, it may be nice to keep a treat that is designated just for them. If you like, you can allow your kids or guests to offer this to your little guy too.

6. Plan ahead before you take your pet trick-or-treating

If you’re taking your dog trick-or-treating make sure that you have doggie baggies for cleanup and plenty of fresh water to drink with a travel bowl for the walk. Be sure to have up to date tags on your pooch and a person that is always dedicated to minding the leash. If your dog is tiny or elderly it may be a good idea to take a stroller, carrier or wagon with you. This way when your little guy putters out he can ride in style and enjoy the festivities from a comfortable spot.

7. Stay safe

This year comes with concerns that many of us haven’t had to deal with before. Just as you will likely need to talk to your kids about safe practice and social distancing, it is important to make a plan to avoid unnecessary contact through your pet. Prepare to politely ask that others do not handle or pet your dog to avoid raising the risk of COVID-19 exposure. While the jury is out about transmission to animals, there is a risk of contamination through touch transfer.

We hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday with your families, both the human members and the furry variety!

How to adopt the right dog

Choosing the Right Shelter Dog

The moment has arrived, your family has decided that it is time to add a furry member to the family. Here are some tips to help make the right choice when it comes to picking a pup that will thrive in your home.

First, congratulations on making such a great decision and thank you for choosing a responsible and life-saving option. Shelters all over the world are overfull and there are just so many pets that need a hero to walk in and choose them.

  1. Look into the shelters that are available in your area. Once you have narrowed down the shelters that you are interested in visiting, call and ask about the criteria that they use when assessing the pet’s temperament. You will want to be assured that you will know the animal’s history. This will give you needed information such as aggression and whether they have interacted with other pets or children and how they reacted to those encounters.
  2. Sit down with your family and talk about the accommodations you will expect your new dog to adapt to. Will you be bringing your new friend home to a small apartment or a large house with a yard? How old are the children in your home? What pets do you already have and how are they likely to react to a newcomer? Also assess how much exercise will be consistently provided. Remember, when you bring a pet into your home you need to consider the changes that your family may encounter for the next decade or two. Such as, new babies, kids growing up and moving out, travel, etc.
  3. Decide what age dog will fit your lifestyle the best. Puppies will require much more patience and training. The young adult dog will likely be potty trained and have grown out of the slipper chewing stage while still being full of energy. The senior dog will likely be better behaved and have less energy. This option is often the best choice for many different families, and adopting a senior is just such a wonderful thing to do for an older animal in need of a loving home.
  4. Once you have determined the space and energy your family has to give a pet, it’s time to do some research into breeds that fit into your lifestyle. When choosing shelter dogs, often the “mutt” is going to be the perfect fit. However, you can usually talk to the employees at the shelter and get a good idea of the contributing breeds of the animal.

  5. When visiting the shelter for the first time, it is recommended to leave the children at home. Kids have a way of falling in love at first sight. It is just so easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment and take home a pet before you know if it is the right fit. Instead, consider a trip to the shelter without the kids and narrowing it down to the best candidates. You can then get the kids and bring them in for the final decision.
  6. Spend plenty of time with your potential new family member. Ask the shelter for the opportunity to walk the pup on a leash and play in the grass a bit with the kids if you have them. Getting out of the chaotic noise of the shelter will likely help the pups natural personality shine through.
  7. Finally, do not feel rushed. If you do not feel it’s a perfect fit for you then come back and visit your potential pet the next day. Give you and your family plenty of time to make the right choice. You certainly want to give your new pet the right home and security that he is with you for the long haul.

Thank you for being such a responsible pet parent and giving a home to a dog in need! Please always spread to word to always rescue, not buy, and to have all pets neutered and spayed.

October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month

It’s October again and this month is always very special to us! October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month! There are so many wonderful reasons to adopt a shelter dog. Here are just a few of our favorites:

Dogs of all ages are available

Of course puppies are adorable, but they are also a ton of work! Think potty training, chewed shoes, chomped charger cables, torn up rugs, and countless other casualties that come along with adopting a cute pup. Sometimes a young dog is exactly what one is looking for, but a lot of times, the benefits of adopting an older dog far outweigh those of bringing home a puppy. Imagine having already skipped the house training and chewing stages straight to the sweet adult dog phase. Plus, you’ll get to see exactly what their personality is like! Total win!

Do your part to end animal overpopulation

The truth is, there just simply does not seem to be enough loving homes to go around for all the homeless pets. But with your support, more pets can get the medical treatment they need, including getting spayed or neutered, and more pets can find loving homes. Your adoption fees go to helping more animals so you know you’re doing your part.

There are all types of breeds

Maybe you have a breed in mind, maybe you don’t. But there are all types of dogs available for adoption; some purebred, some mutts. There are even small organizations that specialize in particular breeds. So, whatever you’re searching for, there is a doggy out there that’s exactly what you’re looking for.

You are supporting amazing organizations

These non-profit organizations are unfortunately a very needed part of communities. With your financial support, you’re helping fund these important rescues that are housing, feeding, and providing medical care for pets in need.

With your help it’s a win-win-win situation

At Hale Pet Door we are very proud of our Rescue Rewards programs and the hundreds of thousands of dollars we have donated to pet rescues and humane societies across the country and around the world. When you adopt a pet and purchase one of our pet doors, you not only wind up with a loving new family member but you also help support pet rescues. When checking out enter the name of the rescue where you adopted your pet and we will give you 10% off the price of your pet door AND we will donate an additional 10% to that rescue. For more information about our rescue rewards program, please visit the Pet Rescue section on our website.

How to Encourage Positive Behavior in Your Dog

Did you know that positive reinforcement can be one of the most effective ways of training your dog? It can be an easy habit to always scold your dog when he misbehaves, but in actuality, focusing more on rewarding good behavior can have a much greater impact. Here are a few tips to help encourage great behavior from your pooch!

Always reward immediately

Part of the idea of positive reinforcement is to give your dog immediate positive attention as soon as they do what you want. That way, he will feel encouraged to do it again. Praise him, talk to him happily with excitement, and give him lots of pets. And of course, when appropriate, reward with a training treat.

Ignore bad behavior

One of the other pieces of the puzzle is to reward good behavior, but ignore the behavior you don’t want. Dogs crave attention from you, and if doing a certain behavior results in you ignoring him, he’ll quickly learn to do the things that you respond to instead.

Make it a game

Have fun with your dog. Remember, your excitement and enthusiasm is contagious. Your dog will pick up on it and will want to play with you. You and your pooch can engage in fun exercise and activities together, while you’re training him simultaneously.

Keep it short and sweet

A dog’s attention span is not super long – so if you make your training sessions too lengthy, he’ll likely lose focus and you’ll both get frustrated. Instead, keep it fun and short. Be excited to work with him and stay calm and focused yourself. That way you’ll both be able to spend some quality time together while you work on the training.

Be patient

Don’t forget, learning new things isn’t easy for anyone, so be patient with your little guy! He’s doing the best he can and only wants to please you. So be sure to give him lots of encouragement when he makes the right choices, but also show him love and forgiveness when he makes mistakes. It won’t take long at all for him to start figuring out what it is that you’re wanting!

Stay consistent!

Positive reinforcement isn’t just for training sessions. You need to be using it regularly, every single day, throughout the day, every time he does what you ask. Example, if you ask him to come, and he comes right to you on the first command, that deserves a big scratch behind the ear and a “good boy!” If you ask him to stay by the door instead of bolting, and he does, don’t forget to praise him! It’s these little things that will really help reinforce his good behavior and will keep everything fresh in his mind!

Tips to Help your Pets De-stress During Quarantine

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Most families have been impacted greatly by the coronavirus pandemic and all of the associated changes. It’s easy to forget that our pets have been impacted as well.

Pets are wonderful at adjusting to their human’s routines, however, experts warn that it is difficult for many pets to adjust to their pet parents being around so much more than before. It may be easy to assume that dogs will want their human around as much as possible while cats want their alone time. However, experts note that this need for personal space is much more specific to your pet’s individual personality. Here are some tips to help recognize the signs of stress and help your best friend navigate these uncharted waters.

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Watch for changes in level of activity. Many animals will display restlessness and pace back and forth. Other pets may stay in one place and seem very lethargic. Both of these extremes may indicate anxiousness and can easily be misinterpreted as a need for more attention rather than less.

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Keep your ears open. Listen for higher pitch and more frequent barking from your dog or vocalization from your cat. These can be your pet displaying signs of distress or hypervigilance due to anxiety.

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Keep an eye on body language and aggression. Some animals may feel stiffer to the touch or develop new obsessive behaviors, tics or spasms. For example they may over groom, bite themselves or lick their lips repeatedly. Some pets may show more aggression towards their owners in the form of nips or bites even when being handled or treated the same way as normal.

If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, don’t despair. This is a normal reaction to shifts in your pet’s family life. There are ways you can make this time a bit easier for your furry friend, however. Here are some tips to help your little one out.

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Give your pet their own space. If they have a corner of your home that they spend time in, just let them choose to come out and mingle as they please. Remember, your pet is used to having 8 or 10 hours a day of down time while the family is at work and school. They may be happy to have a place where no one will interact with them until they are ready.

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Stick to a routine. Your dog and cat thrive on routine. Things like when the family wakes up and scurries around, when the smell of food cooking fills the home, the hour before bed that the family sits together in front of the television or when they are walked and played with. Just like people, animals feel confident and comfortable when they know what to expect from day to day.

Finally, slowly reintroduce the change back to your regular routine. If you have been working from home and know that you’ll be going back soon, take a few steps to help your pet get ready too. Reinstitute the daily waking and feeding schedule that is their normal during the work week. Also, start leaving your pet at home for some errands and outings before you are gone for the entire day. This will help your pet to not be shocked when the door closes without them in tow.

Remember, pets and humans are great at adapting and overcoming changes and obstacles. Enjoy your family and your pets during this trying and unexpected time

Important Things You Need to Know Before Leaving Your Dog in a Hot Car

It can be tempting for all of us to leave our dog in the car from time to time. You’re simply trying to make a couple quick errands and need to run into the grocery store to grab a few things. Ten minutes tops. Or maybe trying to mail a package. Perhaps you just finished up an epic game of catch at the dog park, and now your pooch is riding shotgun. With just a couple small errands to do on the way home, you hate the thought of having to drop your dog off at home before making them. And although it can feel like a hassle to do just that, a beautiful, warm day could easily turn deadly for a dog locked in a car.

Hundreds of dogs die each year from being left in a hot car. Unfortunately, some owners with very good intentions simply do not understand how dangerous it can be to leave your dog in a car. Our hope is that if more people spread the word about the dangers of leaving dogs in cars, it will help educate owners and save a dog’s life. Here are some important things you need to know before leaving your dog in a hot car.

Did you know that cracking the windows does not help keep your dog cool? According to a study by San Francisco University, cracking windows had very little effect on the rising temperature inside the car. On a 70 degree day, the temperature inside the car can rise to 99 degrees within 20 minutes. On a 90 degree day, that temperature can reach almost 120 degrees in that same time. Scary, huh?

Although all dog breeds are susceptible to heat stroke, or hyperthermia, it’s important to note that some breeds are even more sensitive due to the shape of their skull. Breeds like Pugs, Boston Terriers, and Bulldogs could suffer from heat stroke even faster than other breeds. When dogs are hot, they pant to help regulate their body temperature. But once panting becomes ineffective against the heat and their body temperature rises too drastically, heat stroke will occur. Once heat stroke has begun to set in, the dog’s health will quickly deteriorate and it can happen extremely fast. Unfortunately, if a dog’s body heat rises too much, permanent organ damage and death can happen. According to an article by Earnest Ward, DVM with the VCA Animal Hospital,The prognosis depends on how high the body temperature elevated, how long the hyperthermia persisted and what the physical condition of the pet was prior to the heat stroke.”

Some obvious signs of heat stroke include excessive drooling, feeling warm to the touch, and a dry nose. If your dog is showing signs of heat stroke, it’s important to get him moved to a cooler environment immediately. An air conditioned room is ideal. You can apply room temperature water to his body, but do not use ice as this will lower his body temperature too quickly. Finally, make sure to get him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. When it comes to hyperthermia, time is of the essence.

So, remember during these warm summer months, it may be convenient at times to let your pooch tag along on your errands, but don’t be tempted. It’s not worth risking your dog’s health to save a little time. Keep your dog happy and healthy by leaving him home when you have stops to make.

 

 

 

 

Water Safety Tips for Dogs

Summer is finally here and you and your pup are ready to hit the water together for some quality fun in the sun time! But before you and Fido dive in – there’s a few things you need to know to keep your pup safe this summer.

shutterstock_193662557Don’t forget the sunscreen!

This may surprise you, but dogs are vulnerable to getting sunburns, too! Especially those with lighter colored coats. There are even some amazing sunblock brands out there that are made specifically for dogs! So remember to throw a bottle in your bag before you head out the door.

Are you sure your dog can swim?

Before you even venture out into the water, it’s pretty important to know whether or not your dog can even swim. Some breeds flourish in the water. Other breeds not only don’t enjoy being in the water, but really struggle to swim well at all. So before you take your pooch for dip, let him explore some shallow areas first to see if it’s something he’ll enjoy or not.

Invest in a life vest

Whether your dog is a seasoned swimmer or a little nervous to even be near the water, a life vest is a smart item to purchase. No matter if you’re taking your dog out on a boat, or going to play fetch in the nearby river, a vest can be a valuable safety tool to keep your four legged swimmer safe no matter what happens. Just make sure that you measure him and pick out a vest that will fit him appropriately.

shutterstock_533592607Don’t forget that dog’s are not allowed everywhere

As much as we adore our little fur babys, they’re not always allowed everywhere we go. Some places are just not safe places for dogs to play. So be sure to check before you head out with your dog.

shutterstock_594205211Be on the lookout for blue-green algae

You may have heard about it on the news. There is a bacteria known as cyanobacteria that’s usually found in still waters like ponds and lakes. Although it’s not always easy to spot, you can often see it as a blue or green film sitting on the water. Sometimes it will look like brown or green flakes sitting on the shore. Unfortunately this bacteria is often fatal to dogs, so if you see anything unusual in the water, keep your dog away.

Bring fresh water for your pooch to drink

Although your pooch may be tempted to drink from the water he’s playing in, it’s not always a good idea. If it’s fresh water, it’s probably fine, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring some bottles of water along for the trip just in case you encounter some water that looks a little less than safe. And if you’ll be hanging out around the ocean, you’ll most definitely want to bring water as drinking ocean water can make your dog very sick. Don’t forget the collapsable bowls!

Don’t forget to rinse!

After your dog is all finished playing in the water, don’t forget to give him a good rinse to get any bacteria, chlorine, or debris out of his coat. If he decides to groom himself, you don’t want him to ingest anything harmful off his skin and coat. Giving your dog a wash will also help keep his skin from feeling irritated from the water, sand, and debris he may have encountered. And don’t forget to clean his ears – especially those breeds with floppy ears!

Have fun this summer and be safe!

Why Taking Your Dog to Work is Awesome

You may have heard of Take Your Child to Work Day, but how about Take Your Dog to Work Day? These days, more and more employers are allowing dogs to be brought to the workplace. What a great way to boost morale at your job! Best. Lunchbreak. Ever.

 

Here are only a few of the reasons why bringing your dog to work is awesome.

Destressing

It’s no secret that dogs do a fantastic job of reducing our stress. In fact, there have been studies done about just that. You see therapy dogs in hospitals helping those who are dealing with illnesses, and even support dogs assisting their humans who suffer from PTSD. The benefits of having a furry friend in our lives seem to be just endless. And if dogs are just that brilliant at helping us reduce our stress levels, then imagine how beneficial they would be hanging out with us at the office!

Getting to know coworkers

Have trouble breaking the ice with your officemates? Have no fear. A sweet and fluffy dog is sure to bring you and your cubicle neighbor together in no time! I mean, who can resist stopping to scratch the ear of any adorable canine? Bringing your dog with you to work is a great way to get to know some of the other people you work alongside every day! How about organizing a doggy meet and greet?

Get your body moving during your workday

For those of us who have jobs that entail sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen hour after hour, a dog in our office may be just the ticket to get our bodies moving! It’s tempting to spend our lunch hour sitting and eating at our desk, but what better motivation could there be to get up and walk, than a dog? Take an easy and healthy lunch with you and go outside with your pooch. Go take a little walk and find a quiet bench to spend some quality pup time together (just make sure you find a spot where dogs are allowed!). Maybe invite some coworkers to do the same!

Less time worrying about Fido

Like so many of us, you probably spend a good chunk of your day worrying about how your dog is doing all alone at home. So why not take that stress off your shoulders by having him right there by your side all day? And imagine how much happier he is having you in his sights? You’ll both be so much happier knowing exactly what the other one is doing at all times during the workday.

Way more fun meetings

I mean, come on. Let’s not kid ourselves here. How much more fun would those board meetings be if they were full of dogs? Discussing next quarter projections would be so much better if they included ears to scratch and bellies to rub! You’d never feel put out to attend another meeting ever again. Just as we mentioned before, dogs are fantastic at reducing our stress, so this is perfect! Having our pups with us at work is simply a must!