Over half of all U.S. households have at least one canine companion, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). As of 2019, APPA also shows only 9% of workplaces allow dogs to tag along; these include some big names like Amazon, Google, Ben & Jerry’s, and even Build-A-Bear. With larger companies allowing dogs, more and more pet-owners are working towards dog-friendly workplaces.
Are there any health benefits to having dogs in the workplace?
Over the past few years, lots of pet owners and business owners have been making their workplaces more dog-friendly. Those places have been shown to have more trust and collaboration among co-workers who bond over their shared interests and shared concerns over dogs. On top of that, they’ve shown lower stress levels among employees, better moods, and even increased productivity. Studies from the Research Center for Human/Animal Interactions have found simply petting dogs can lower blood pressure, decrease stress, and release oxytocin.
Not only do dogs in the workplace provide some great mental health benefits, they’re starting to show some physical health benefits as well! Dogs in the workplace provide a great excuse for employees, and their dogs, to get some exercise and what might be a well needed break. Having a dog available in the workplace, even if it’s not your dog, is a great way to make sure to take a break and stretch your legs by taking a furry friend for a potty-break or a quick walk around the block. It’s a great way to get some good exercise and a quick boost of serotonin and dopamine and can really pump you back up to get you through the rest of the workday.
Creating a workplace to keep pets and pet-owners happy
While pet-friendly workplaces are wonderful, they can be difficult to manage if business owners and pet-owners aren’t prepared for all the eventualities of having dogs in the workplace. While simply having dogs around their owners can provide a positive boost for the pet-owner and other employees, that may not be enough for the pets themselves.
Pet-owners should make sure their dog is friendly and knows all the basic commands to make office integration smoother and to prevent unnecessary issues. Be sure to provide your dog with a comfy bed for them to chill at while you do your work. Treats should be kept on-hand for positive reinforcement for the new environment and adjusting to working alongside you. Don’t forget to bring a few favorite toys (without squeakers!) for them to enjoy! If your workplace doesn’t provide cleaning supplies, ask your employer to provide some because it will make cleaning much easier. Accidents happen, but cleaning them up is no big deal with the right supplies right away.
Pet-friendly workplaces are slowly becoming more common and it’s easy to see why. They’ve been shown to improve production while also providing the dogs a chance to get out of the house. If you’re a pet-owner with a dog, it’s definitely worth it to check out your workplace’s policy and see if you can’t bring your own canine companion to work!
TomTom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!
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