Can Dogs And Co-Workers Coexist?

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Here's how you can prepare for bringing your dog to the office. Learn how to help both dogs and workers prepare for mutual working hours.

With so strong need for people to have well-balanced work-home life, people started implementing new practices that can make their office spaces more comfortable and more familiar.

Plus, so many people experience burnout, that it comes as no surprise that people love to have familiar things around them to keep their blood pressure in balance.

So, some love to bring their favorite coffee cup to work, others a familiar pillow, for their neck or back, while some just love having their dogs around them.

‘Take your dog to work day or everyday’ is one of the recent trends that keep on living. Companies across the globe are allowing their employees to bring their dogs to the office, to pump everyone’s spirit.

Some companies understand what getting a dog really means that they offer a pawternity leave for those who are brave enough to welcome a puppy or even a senior dog into their life.

Sure, having a dog to welcome you as soon as you step into an office space is great, but is it for everyone? Should everyone do it? Does having a dog around make everyone feel comfortable and safe? Let’s debunk these questions and much more below.

Should You Allow Dogs In The Office?

There has been a lot of talks about pet-friendly offices in recent years. Various statistics show that animals, and especially dogs, do affect positively how people feel.

Moreover, dogs can increase productivity in the business environment and reduce the stress that people are often exposed to.

Still, should you allow your employees to have their dogs over?

At the end of the day, this is a decision that comes down to a single person – you will either allow it or not, it’s just one of many things that CEOs have to deal with.

However, just like with any other decision, every business owner or manager should think about the pros and cons.

Here are the most common pros and cons of allowing a dog in the office:

Positive Sides Of Having A Dog In-Office:

Various studies have shown that people can enjoy positive things when sharing an office with a dog. Here are the most common ones:

  • Reduced stress
  • Significantly increased productivity
  • Can increase collaboration
  • Can help build stronger relationships
  • Your dog will love being loved all the time and being with you
  • People believe that companies with animals treat people better

What About Negative Sides?

There cannot be positive sides, without negative ones.

After all, dealing with animals isn’t for everyone, and people have the right to choose if a company with animals is for them or not.

Some people love animals, but cannot be near them due to various allergies and so on. Plus, some people prefer to work in areas where only people are based.

After all, it can be tricky to have a conference call if there is a dog who loves to bark on every phone sound and so on.

With no further ado, here are the most common negative sides of having a dog in office:

  • Some people suffer from dog allergies
  • Some people just don’t like animals, are afraid of them, or just feel uncomfortable when around them
  • Animals can distract people and overall decreased productivity
  • Unhygienic moment can happen
  • Some people dislike animals odour
  • There are health and safety risks (from biting)

This is why companies who insisting on office pets need to have a well-structured pet policy.

These policies may vary, but their goal is mutual – they are created to provide a calm office environment.

Below you may find the most common treats a pet policy should contain:

  • As soon as someone’s objects, pet-friendly place stops to exist
  • Only well-behaved dogs can participate: early training and socialization are mandatory
  • Dogs must have working manners
  • Dogs must be healthy and up to date with their vaccination
  • Talk about insurance policies: in case of an accident who is responsible?
  • Have pet free areas
  • Dogs should be keep on a leash all the time
  • Dogs must respect other dogs

Including pets in the workplace can be highly beneficial, as long as it’s done properly.

Now, if your dog is allowed to tag along next to your working desk, there are some things that you should know about first.

Is Your Dog Office-Ready?

So, your company allows dogs inside, and you cannot wait to take your dog with you? If so, you should consider a few things first.

Be honest, answer the following questions, and plan based on your answers:

  • Is your dog up to date on all of his shots and vaccination?
  • Is your dog well-trained?
  • Is your dog well-socialized?
  • Is your dog a people-lover?
  • Is yoru dog scared of new surrounding, places, and people?
  • Is your dog scared of elevators?
  • How active is your dog? Is he more of a couch potato or of a runner?
  • Will yoru dog be a polite canine in your office?
  • Can your dog be entertained with toys?

If there is a company policy for bringing dogs to work, make sure that you follow it through.

Respect rules for maximum results, and prepare your office for your dog.

Prepare Your Office For Your Dog

Preparation is the key to any success, no matter how small or big it might be.

If you want to spend some nice working hours with your dog, you need to prepare your office the best way possible.

In fact, you need to make your office a safe place for your dog, comfortable for your colleagues, and overall a happy place where dogs and people can co-exist.

Here is what you should do:

  • Pet-proof your workspace.
  • Install a doggie gate.
  • Put an ID tag on your dog’s collar.
  • Bring a bed in for your dog to nap on it.
  • Don’t forget to have at work bowls for food and water.
  • Bring toys and provide entertainment time.
  • Introduce your dog slowly to his new environemtn and people.
  • Master the dog-free zones.
  • Always think about safety.
  • Have extra poop bags.
  • Just in case, bring and keep cleaning materials in your office.

Try to make your office similar to your home environment in dog stuff, but don’t overdo it.

Be respectful of others, especially if there are colleagues that don’t feel comfortable around dogs.

Maybe your colleague worker had a bad experience with dogs, maybe went through all dog-bite complications, or simply doesn’t like animals as much as you do, and that should be respected.

Do not let your dog mingle freely if there are people who don’t feel comfortable around dogs.

Always Do What’s Right For Your Office First

Taking your dog to work isn’t something that should be taken lightly.

Just because there is an option to do so, or because it’s a popular thing to do, doesn’t mean that’s the right thing for your office. What may be a perk for one company, may be a real stress for another.

In the end, taking your dog to work or not should be a decision of a community.

One approach that many companies have taken is to offer their employees special days when they can bring their dogs to the office.

This way, employees that prefer not to be around dogs can plan to work remotely on those days – sounds like a win-win situation, right?

Always Think About Legal And Insurance Issues

Your dog might be the sweetest animal alive at home, but simple stress could turn him into a scared animal ready to bite.

Bites happen, even with the most gentle and polite dogs around.

Luckily, bites may vary from breed to breed, and in most cases, they shouldn’t be fatal.

For example, Rottweilers, when scared, will bite small as the first bite, just to give you a warning, and if you don’t move they could make a second and really dangerous bite.

On the other hand, in some breeds like Caucasian Shepherd Dog first bites may be more dangerous.

Doublethink if your dog is for the work environment, due to his size, personality, anxiety levels, and so on.

One dog bite could lead to an extremely expensive lawsuit.

If you own a business and have considered adopting a dog-friendly office policy, make sure that you talk with your lawyer first.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

The Bottom Line

Always make an extra effort to be the best dog owner possible and a responsible colleague.

Being able to take your dog to your office is great and not everyone gets to experience that, so use this opportunity to make a work environment more pleasant by respecting everyone’s space!