Bringing Your Dog to Work: What You Need to Know

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Ever thought about bringing your dog to work? Well, the good news is, it’s becoming more common to see companies that have dog-friendly policies. Giants like Google, Etsy, and Amazon have been using their canine-friendly policies to help give them an edge in the recruitment process. Smaller businesses have now begun to follow suit.

Later, I’ll share some tips on how you make bringing your dog to work a roaring success. First though, before you decide to take your furry friend to your workplace, it’s worth considering the advantages and limitations the move could have. It’s crucial to make sure that the work environment you intend to introduce your dog to is one they will enjoy and will not stress them out.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Benefits of bringing your dog to work

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Here are a few upsides of bringing your four-legged friend to work. It illustrates how having a pet-friendly policy could help you and your pet and even boost your productivity and wellbeing, as well as that of your co-workers.

Improves your mental health

There is loads of evidence supporting the idea that having a pet can improve our physical and mental health. They can provide companionship, decrease stress, offer support, and prompt us to get out into the fresh air and exercise, which can be fantastic for our general health. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, the upsides of having a dog were emphasised as many reported that their pet helped them stave off feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Happier, healthier workforce  

Having your dog at work can reduce stress and improve job satisfaction. The benefits of increased morale can include your colleagues as well. What’s more, the effect can be immediate. Dogs help bring people together, which can improve relations in the workplace. It can also help people spend their breaks more productively, getting exercise by playing with the dogs or staying in a good mood by indulging in cuddles. Taking the dogs out for walks on breaks can also help maintain a good work-life balance and help you incorporate some exercise into your workday.

Improved performance  

Dogs can also help promote a calmer atmosphere that’s less full of anxiety and can also help lower blood pressure. There is also some evidence that having dogs in the workplace can help boost productivity but this has yet to be tested with dogs in actual workplaces. Nevertheless, as employees don’t have to leave work to care for their dogs, people working at dog-friendly workplaces take less sick leave and can work more hours, too.

Attracts notable talent and people are less likely to leave

For some, having a pet policy in place that allows them to take their pets to work is a vital, must-have perk. It’s a benefit that can attract excellent candidates and can be as enticing as generous parental leave or flexitime. That means that if you find an organisation with a dog-friendly policy, you’re unlikely to leave in a hurry. In that way, such companies are likely to have higher staff retention levels.

Can save you money

If you usually hire a dog walker to take your dog out for you, or even if you hire a dog-sitter for the day when you have a long shift, being able to bring your pet to work can help you save money.

Next, let’s look at some of the disadvantages of having a pet-friendly policy at work.

Drawbacks of bringing your dog to work

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Here are some issues you might encounter if you implement a pet-friendly policy at work.

Allergies  

About 8% of people in the UK are allergic to dogs and some others may be uncomfortable around them. Make sure your dog feels comfortable around people and other animals before deciding to introduce them into your workplace.

Distractions and disruptions

You should consider what may happen if your dog doesn’t get along with another. If they fight, it could be disruptive or even dangerous. Typical dog behaviour, like barking or winging snoring may be distracting when you’re attempting to work. It could even damage relationships between co-workers, clients, and customers. This would have a detrimental effect on worker efficiency rather than improving it.

Dogs may demand too much of your time

If you’re in the middle of a full-on busy day at work, it may be difficult for you to find the time needed to take your dog out or give it some attention. This may be especially true if you’re struggling to hit a deadline.

Insurance issues

If you want to introduce a pet-friendly policy at your company, it would be worth consulting a lawyer to discuss any problems that might arise. It is worth noting that people who have experience working with and around dogs tend to benefit more from it than those who don’t have that experience.

Things introducing a pet-friendly workplace may entail

Here’s a list of some of the things you may have to do if you want to introduce a dog-friendly policy at work.

  • A questionnaire to get the opinion of your employees.
  • A list of criteria dogs must meet to be considered suitable for the workplace.
  • A risk assessment of all the areas in your workplace to figure out if they are safe for dogs.
  • Appoint someone responsible to implement and enforce the new policy.
  • Implement a trial period in case any unforeseen issues arise.

Before we wrap things up, let’s have a look at how you can make working alongside your beloved pooch a success.

6 tips to make bringing your dog to work a success

Here’s some advice to help you make this new adventure work out for all involved, owners, animals, and co-workers.

Get permission  

This one may be obvious, but you shouldn’t try to sneak your pet into work. Always ask permission. If your company doesn’t have a pet-friendly policy, advocate for one.

Make sure your dog is well-trained

Before you bring your dog to work, make sure that he or she can obey some simple commands like, “sit,” “come “, and “stay.” Good behaviour is the basis for any successful visit, not just one to work.

Pack smart for the workday

Plan well for the day. Take some dog treats and a bowl for their water. Take your dog’s favourite toy to keep them occupied, and a blanket for when they are ready for a nap.

Keep your dog comfortable

Be sure to take your dogs out for regular exercise and walks through your workday. Bring whatever you need to clean up after your dog. If you take care to keep your dog comfortable, they are more likely to be contented and well-behaved.

Be vigilant about dangers

Before you do bring your dog to work, work out if there are places where your pet shouldn’t go. This may include the canteen, productions areas, and the toilets. Keep your dog away from any potentially poisonous or harmful cleaning products and plants too.

Keep your dog close

It’s your responsibility to make sure your pet is safe and doesn’t interrupt or prevent anyone else from doing their work. You may want to think about using a gate to keep your dog within your area or cubicle. When you have meetings, arrange for your colleagues to which your dog while you’re away.

The wrap-up

Bringing your dog to work can be wonderful and help reduce stress and may lead to having a happier, healthier more productive, and more engaged workforce. Just remember to ask permission, come prepared, and consider others before you start bringing your four-legged friend into the work environment. If you train your dog well and do the thing right, having a furry companion with you throughout the workday may help boost the morale and productivity of your whole team.

Published by Lizzie

Lizzie here. I'm a freelance copywriter and editor based in the UK. I'm also passionate about volunteering and hold a MA in History from the University of Warwick. I've written for a multitude of fantastic websites and companies, including a legal automation software company, a dog training site and more. Check out my reviews on Fiverr and Upwork for more info!

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