Metrolife: Pets welcome at some co-working spaces 

Nirja Raju with pet Tokyo.

Being a pet parent is not easy, especially if you are a working professional. You are constantly worrying about how your pet is doing at home and how soon you can head home. 

But co-working spaces, like WeWork, are making it easier for pet parents. They provide space for the pet to run around and take walks while their parents are busy working.

Collin Pereira, assistant manager of Embassy Leisure, brings Panda, his neighbour’s St Bernard, to work once in a while. “I usually take her for evenings walks and take care of her full-time when my neighbour goes on business trips.”

The one-year-old Panda is friendly with other humans and pets. Collin says taking her to office is not difficult.

“My team and I have a cabin. Panda finds a corner for herself when we are working. If I do head for a meeting, I make sure I’m not gone for too long,” he says. 

Nagarjuna Hedge, a community manager at The Bohemian House, has his hands full with 11-month-old Labrador Marlee. He says, “She’s a hyper one but she has a huge space to run around. If I’m not around because of my meetings, there will be someone from the team who will take care of her.”

He is grateful that there are pet-friendly workspaces available as he says this is the best care he could give her.

Nirja Raju, writer and brand strategist, says not too many people understand how uncomfortable their pet can get when at a new place. 

She brings her rescue dog Tokyo to a co-working space in Koramangala once a week. “The environment here is relaxed and people who come to work also understand it’s a pet-friendly place. But Tokyo does get stressed when there are too many people, so I don’t bring him with me on such days.”

Nirja has a three-metre leash so that Tokyo can be guarded and free at the same time. She says, “Even if you are a pet-friendly place, there will be people who are scared of dogs. I don’t want to cause any trouble because of Tokyo, so the leash helps. He also has enough place to run around on the terrace.”

Akshay Kingar, CEO of Appsfly.io, also works out of WeWork Koramangala. He takes his beagle Herb to work when there’s no one else to take care of him at home.

“Herb is curious about the different smells he is surrounded by. He has enough places in the building to explore, and quietly spends the whole day with me.” 

However, he says that co-working spaces might not be the best place for all kinds of dogs. “There will be dogs that don’t get along with other dogs. It’s important for the pet parent to understand and do what is necessary,” he says. 

Things to remember  

  • You cannot control the environment, so stick to one area as much as possible. 
  • Don’t take your pet to work on days when you have many meetings planned. 
  • People will want to pet your dog but you, as a pet parent, need to draw boundaries. 
  • Dogs need to sleep at least 16 hours a day and they don’t get to do that when you take them with you. 
  • Keep your dogs on a leash as you don’t know how they or other dogs around will react.
  • Carry your pets’ water bowl, towels, toys and poop bags.
  • Take frequent breaks and go for a walk with your pet. 
  • If you want your pets to get along with other pets, don’t have their first meeting at the co-working space. 

Sindoor Pangal, 
Dog behaviour consultant

 

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