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Dog Friendly Workplaces Make Employees Happy and Healthy

By Edited Oct 21, 2015 4 18

Dog Friendly Workplaces Good for Business

Dogs friendly workplaces benefit employees.  Studies show pet friendly workplaces make employees happy and healthier.  Pet friendly workplaces are a growing phenomenon.  Amazon, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, and Google include dog friendly campuses or workplaces as employee perks. The White House, House of Representatives, and Senate are dog friendly workplaces. President Obama and family own a Portuguese Water Dog, Bo, a gift from Senator Kennedy.

Bo and President Obama Lowering Stress at the White House

Dog Friendly Workplaces

Approximately one in five companies in the United States pet friendly.  Dog and pet friendly workplaces are no longer limited to the Vet's office, pet stores, feed stores, or the old cat roaming the aisles in the used book store. Web design companies, multimedia companies, warehouses, and small offices are particularly open to dogs in the workplace.

Many workers like the ability to bring their dogs to work because they think their work output increases.  Studies back this concept showing positive health benefits and a morale boost for employees and customers.

Health Benefits of Dog Friendly Workplaces on Employees

Dog friendly workplaces can improve physical and mental health. The positive health effects of animal companionship is well documented.  Studies show that blood pressure lowers when people are around dogs. Work is often a stressful place. Stress causes health problems. Businesses may drastically improve employee productivity, lower stress levels, and improve employee morale by letting dogs come to work.  When people have their most loyal companion at their side they feel better, and when this occurs at work it is a win-win for everyone.  

Dog Friendly Workplaces and Exercise - Making Healthier Employees

Dogs have a profound impact on workplace health, happiness, and morale.  Americans are facing a health and obesity crisis.  Employers should consider dog friendly workplaces for the healing and health benefits.  Sedentary employees and those who work through lunch without eating are more inclined to walk their dog at lunch, an excellent time to get in a small amount of exercise.  A quick walk with the dog boosts energy leading to healthy and happy employees.  Pet friendly employers can use pet waste stations and property signs like a No Dog Poop sign to remind owners to clean up.

Dogs don't work in every business model.  Weigh the pros and cons of dog friendly workplaces.    Fragrance-free workplaces are aware of chemical sensitivity so they many not allow pets. Employees cannot wear perfume, cologne, scented lotion, or other fragrances and scented products in fragrance-free workplaces. Allergies are a major consideration for pets at work.  Sneezing, sniffing, runny nose, and watery eyes can counter productivity for those with dog allergies. Hypoallergenic dog breeds are excellent choices for pet friendly workplaces.  The Portuguese Water Dog is a hypoallergenic breed. 

Dogs Supplies for Employees at Pet Friendly Workplaces

Dog supplies are essential.  Dogs need basic supplies, such as a dog leash, dog pooper scooper, waste bags, food, water, toys, and a familiar blanket or an orthopedic dog bed.  Make sure the pooch is comfortable at work.  The K9 Carry All is an awesome, convenient travel carrier for dog supplies.  The K9 Carryall (pictured below) is a round carrier that holds a bamboo dog mat, two bowls for food and water, plus a leash that doubles as a carrying case or handle for the K9 Carryall.  The travel dog supply kit is perfect for any pet owner and also makes a great gift.  The K9 Carryall is on sale at Amazon.

K9 Carryall - Contains Dog Supplies for On to Go
K9 Travel Dog Supplies

The belief in the power of dog friendly workplaces is strong enough that many dog owners seek employment at dog friendly workplaces.  The website DogFriendly.com has information on everything dog friendly, including a dog friendly employer list for the U.S., Canada, and England, plus pet friendly lodging, and more.

Dog Friendly Workplaces

The Positive Health Benefits of Dogs and Pet Therapy

Dr. Andrew Weil encourages dog friendly workplaces.  State laws and work environment dictate whether animals in the workplace are allowed. Restaurants are not likely candidates as customers and health code inspectors wont approve.  Dr. Weil's recommendation is based on studies showing improvement in employee compatibility when dogs are in the workplace.

Dogs are a therapeutic tool used because of their positive health benefits. Long-term care facilities use pet therapy with excellent results.  As patients interact with the pets they are happy, plus it decreases blood pressure decreases, reduces stress, and simply makes them feel happy. Pet therapy also has positive results with incarcerated youth and adults because interacting with the dog is the first time they feel unconditional love and attention.

Annual Take Your Dog to Work Day - Dogs at Work for a Good Cause

June 24, 2011 is the 13th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day. Pet Sitters International (PSI) started the event in 1999 to celebrate dog companionship and promote dog adoption. Dog lovers worldwide rally on Take Your Dog to Work Day. Businesses can support TYDTWDay by allowing dogs in the workplace to promote adoption and better treatment of dogs in shelters.

Companies gain positive recognition when they register with PSI as a Take Your Dog to Work Day  workplace. Encourage a dog friendly workplace by getting involved in June's Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Dog and Pet Friendly Workplaces - Considerations for Employers

Business owners need to encourage a healthy and happy workplace because happy employees live longer, work harder, and have infectious attitudes that encourage others.  Workplaces with struggling morale need to start thinking outside the box.  Pet friendly workplaces successfully improve employee productivity, health, compatibility, and morale, something employers want.  Dogs are also great ice breakers when it is time to meet a client or new customer.

Do not dismiss the positive health effects dogs have on people.  Dogs decrease stress. Dog friendly workplaces make employers and employees healthy and happy. Reduced work-related stress ripples through a person's life, making them healthier friends, parents, partners, and community members.  Pass it on.

* Pet Sitters International -  Take Your Dog to Work Day is the last Friday in June.  Contact PSI for information about participating, sponsoring, or other ways to get involved

Copyright 2011. Do not copy or alter without express written permission of the author, jpwriter.  



Feb 25, 2011 11:17pm
I wish pets were allowed at my workplace. For now, I'll have to get my fur-face fix at home!
Apr 2, 2011 10:59pm
I am a dog lover, so of course this article caught my eye. A couple of companies that I deal with are dog friendly workplaces. Dogs add so much to our lives that it only seems natural that "Dog Friendly Workplaces Make Employees Happy and Healthy." I think this would be a great Feature Article and will be nominating it.
May 15, 2011 12:32am
thank you!
Apr 2, 2011 11:11pm
My 7 year old beagle sisters love this article.(`;
May 15, 2011 2:26pm
My dog friendly place of work is at home. She does get bossy though and makes me take out for lots of walks. But that is good for me too
May 18, 2011 9:02am
I work at a high school, so dogs are normally not allowed. However, we had a wonderful Seeing Eye dog for a blind student for a couple of years, and it was wonderful. All the students were so respectful and well-behaved around the dog. Wish we had them around more often!
May 19, 2011 8:33am
If only they allowed dogs at my school!
May 22, 2011 9:37pm
I loved this article and I love animals dearly. Congratulations on the Feature!
May 23, 2011 4:59pm
As a dog lover I have to agree. I work in a hospital and believe it or think dog visits should be encouraged. Many elderly patients miss their pets. There are PAT dogs as well that offer a great service
May 27, 2011 2:19am
This comment has been deleted.
May 31, 2011 7:15am
Great... probably works in the western world but not in Africa... I bet if a dog was found in an office it would suffer the dire consequences...
May 31, 2011 7:02pm
We have animals in our workplace all the time. I work in a nursing home and the residents just love spending time with furry friends! This is a wonderful article!
Jun 1, 2011 12:06am
Sadly in Africa this idea would be unacceptable.I know a couple of offices with a rat problem here. Cats would be put on the pay roster as a full time job.
Jun 12, 2011 5:07am
Yes, I imagine cultural differences make a tremendous difference in what is acceptable, and even simply helpful, at work. Thanks for the comments.
Jun 16, 2011 7:52am
In theory, I agree with this, but in practice, some employees may not get along well with dogs, or even be frightened of them. While many people have dogs who are well-behaved, other people seem to let their dogs get away with just about anything, and this makes for a very bad experience for other employees.

I have a friend who has a lovely, well-behaved, adorable dog. But I wouldn't let her bring her dog, who would never even be noticed, to my workplace, because I would worry about possible health conditions. I would have to at least look into taking out a rider on my insurance policy, as an employer.
Nov 16, 2011 8:44pm
Nice article. I would love to work in a place that allows pets. But, I think it could be difficult if you have employees that have pet allergies.
Nov 30, 2011 8:25pm
i wish i worked in a dog friendly workplace! my little maltese has some separation anxiety and you can see him start to get sad every morning when we get ready for work. and i think for more pet friendly workplaces to exist there would have to be some mandatory training for everyone involved. not a trade off at all when you think of how much quality work you can get out of happy employees!
Mar 20, 2012 4:19pm
Great article! Years ago I worked for a small office that allowed us to bring our dogs in daily. I never had a happier dog, or a happier me for that matter!
May 11, 2013 11:54am
I love taking my dog to the office - that;s one advantage of running your own business. :-)
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