Can you bring your dog with you to work? Increasingly, corporate workplaces are adopting dog-friendly policies. Dog-friendly workplaces are a perk that many job hunters are looking for, especially after having worked from home during the pandemic. If your work is dog friendly, bringing your dog to the office can be fun. They can even boost employee morale and increase feelings of job satisfaction. However, it's important to consider if taking your dog to work with will be a good fit — for you and your dog.
Consider whether your dog’s personality is office-ready
The first thing to consider is your dog's personality and temperament. How does your dog feel about being around other dogs? How does your dog feel about meeting other people? For social dogs, accompanying their parents to work can be ideal.
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For dogs who often have dogs they dislike, or who are generally nervous, uncomfortable, or reactive to dogs and people — a day at the office can be a nightmare. Putting your dog in a high-stress situation can also exacerbate or increase their challenging behaviors. Your dog's comfort and needs should always come first.
Assess your daily work schedule and your dog's needs
When considering bringing your dog to work with you, it's also important to think about what your daily work life looks like. Make sure that you'll have time in the day to focus on your dog and make sure their needs are getting met. If you spend most of your day on the phone or in meetings that might be hard to balance. Consider if having your dog at work will be fun, or if will it be a stressful distraction — that could negatively impact your job performance.
Decide if the office is appropriate for your dog
If your office allows dogs, then it's important to ask questions about the office environment and how it works with them. Each dog-friendly workplace will do things a little bit differently. Some companies treat the office a bit like a dog park or doggie daycare where dogs are all running loose through the office space. This may sound fun, but it can be stressful or even dangerous for dogs. This can lead to challenges for both dogs and employees.
Other offices have dogs hang out on dog beds in their parents' workspace regardless of whether it's a cubicle or office. In these offices, the dogs are usually behind a baby gate to keep them from mingling. Some offices even have built-in designated playtime for social dogs during the day.
Before bringing your dog to work, try to observe any other dogs in the office. Pay attention to their interactions and body language. See how the office dogs interact with each other. Be honest with yourself if this is something your dog will be comfortable with.
Also, ask if your office has a pet-friendly policy for dogs in the workplace. Learn about the rules regarding a worst-case scenario such as a conflict or fight between dogs in the workplace. It's best to be prepared to know what the company rules and expectations are around this. Dogs are autonomous beings and sometimes conflicts happen.
Ask about dog amenities at pet-friendly workplaces
If your office is going dog friendly, don't forget to ask about any of the dog-specific amenities they might be offering. Some pet-friendly offices are beginning to offer amenities for the canines of their employees. This is happening often in large corporations, where dog-specific benefits aren't unusual. From pet health insurance and group dog training to on-site dog parks.
Corporate America is increasingly looking at ways to cater to dog owners. If you are looking for a new job and the employer says they are a dog-friendly office, don't be afraid to ask what kind of perks or amenities they are offering.
Consider whether you can focus at work with your dog in the office
Another factor to keep in mind when thinking about bringing your dog to work with you is your work style. Consider your preferences for how you work and how your dog might benefit or interfere. Do you need quiet and a lack of distraction to get your job done?
If you are someone who struggles to regain focus after being interrupted, then bringing your dog to work might be a challenge. You might find that as much as you love your dog, having them in the office makes it difficult to concentrate and get your work done.
On the other hand, if you're someone who doesn't struggle with focus, having your dog at work might be a welcome addition to the workday. You might find that having your dog at work with you is the perfect way to de-stress after a frustrating meeting.
Participate in a take-your-dog-to-work day
National Take Your Dog To Work Day is the Friday following Father's Day. On this day, many offices that aren't historically dog-friendly workplaces are open to employees bringing their dogs. If you have a dog-friendly office then bringing your dog with you can be a fun way to liven up your workday.
If you decide to bring your dog to work, try to pick a low-stress day as a trial period. This can help your dog adjust to the new environments in the office. If possible, try to make it a half day at work to start to make sure your dog doesn't get overwhelmed.
Give your dog a quiet place to be like a dog bed in your office. Be sure to have lots of treats and reward good behavior. Also, be sure to bring poop bags for any potty accidents. Watch your dog's stress levels while at work. If they seem stressed, take your dog out for potty breaks or bring them home. If you or your dog aren't enjoying the process, that's ok! Not every dog is going to enjoy being an office dog.
It's a personal decision to bring your dog to work with you. Always take your dog's comfort into account. Make sure they are safe and comfortable in the workplace around other dogs and coworkers. Consider what your job responsibilities are. Think about how having your dog at the office might interfere with or benefit your work day. Having dogs in the office can also be a big boost to employee morale, and can make the work environment more fun. A pet-friendly office can also increase feelings of job satisfaction. For owners of social dogs, a well-organized and dog-friendly office can be a big benefit — and a lot of fun.