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More workplaces are becoming pet-friendly as employers recognize the positive effects of a dog’s presence in the office. And it turns out that having a dog in the workplace can be beneficial for (almost) everyone; it’s not limited to the pet parent. Here are the reasons why you should bring (or keep bringing) your dog to work.
Reduced stress: Studies show that interacting with a pet helps reduce stress. Having a four-legged friend nearby throughout the day can help alleviate job-related stress resulting in a more pleasant day at work.
Encourages social interaction: Forget those cheesy team-building exercises; dogs provide social support and act as a natural ice breaker and give you a reason to chat with your coworkers about one of your greatest passions: your best pal.
Improved health: There are several health benefits associated with pet ownership, and good health translates to a well-functioning employee. Studied health benefits include reduced blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and lower triglycerides.
Increased productivity: Taking the occasional break to give some pets to your dog (or your coworker’s) can actually boost your productivity at work. Research has found that taking regular breaks results in better work performance.
Staying longer at work: Your boss will appreciate that you aren’t in such a rush to get out the door to get to your pet at the end of the workday. Because your dog has been hanging out with you at the office all day, you know they’ve already gotten plenty of attention and potty breaks.
Peace of mind: Having your pet nearby all day long reduces worries of wondering what they are up to while they are home alone, whether they can hold it until you get back from work, and whether they are chewing up your favorite pair of shoes out of boredom.
Saving money: Pet parents who usually drop their dog off at daycare or hire a dog walker will save money by bringing their dog into the office. Plus, not needing to replace that pair of shoes means additional savings!
Increased job satisfaction: On top of all the benefits mentioned above, simply knowing that your employer cares about your pet can help increase positive feelings toward your workplace.
What to consider when allowing pets at work
Rolling out the welcome mat to all four-legged friends won’t automatically result in happy harmony. It’s a good idea to write up a pet policy to address expectations and consequences for possible scenarios. When writing your policy, consider the following:
- Minimum age for pets allowed at work
- Maximum number of dogs one employee can bring
- Maximum number of dogs allowed each day
- Are they required to be potty-trained?
- Vaccination requirements
- Flea/tick preventive requirements
- Hygiene requirements
- Tolerance level for barking, indoor accidents, chewing/damage to property
- Consequences for undesirable behaviors
- Considerations for those who are fearful of dogs or have allergies