Why Every Workplace Should Have an Office Dog

How to Build a Case for Bringing Your Dog to Work

While many COVID restrictions are loosening this summer, there are a few downsides, including a return to office life. Many people are required to go back into the office soon and are worried about leaving their dogs home alone. What about bringing your dog to work? Why not make a case for an office dog?

Not every office is pet-friendly. We are pretty spoiled here at Outward Hound. For us, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day. Our dogs roam the hallways just as much as people do. Dogs are an essential part of our company’s culture and have been since the very beginning.

We have the pleasure of watching our dogs as they play, nap, and interact with other pups around our office, which allows us to pay special attention to their habits and find new ways to fulfill their playing, feeding, and chewing needs. We couldn’t imagine an office without office doggies.

Aside from being a great source of some really authentic R&D, studies have shown that having our 4-legged friends in the office is immensely beneficial in several other ways.

dog by human at desk working

Top 5 benefits of a dog-friendly workplace

If your employer is iffy about allowing dogs at work, show them this post. How could they say no after seeing all the potential perks?

1. Dogs Improve Employees’ Health

dog on a walk wearing a dog pack

As seen in studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, owning a pet can increase the opportunity for exercise and socialization. In this way, having dogs in the office gives people a valid excuse to get up out of the chair and go for walk! Plus, a pooch in the room can serve as a great icebreaker in getting to know new colleagues.

Not only do dogs motivate you to get up and move, but they are great for your mental health as well. The basic act of petting a dog lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. Who wouldn’t welcome a chance to have a lower stress level?

2. Boosts Creativity

The mental health benefits for dog owners keep on coming! A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that compared to sitting, walking is a great way to boost creative thinking by as much as 60%.

You can try to convince your company that taking the dog outside for a break during the workday will boost productivity!

Which leads us to …

3. Increases Productivity & Employee Morale

dog in an office with two coworkers

Very few people would opt to stay at work longer than they have to, but having a dog with them, it aids the drive to complete projects and tasks.

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, companies that allow pets in the workspace not only have employees who are more willing to put in the extra work, but also show a lower rate of employee absenteeism!

4. Encourages Camaraderie & Socialization

Whether you are new to a company or are a seasoned vet, nothing is easier than getting to know your co-workers than stopping by their desk to give their pooch a belly rub.

This simple act encourages workplace friendships and helps to break the ice for new introductions. Your furry friend helps you make new friends with team members in a dog-friendly office!

5. Promotes a Work/Life Balance 

Dogs are a constant reminder of the home life and family that each employee shares. When medical emergencies arise or a new puppy is born into the family, there is a common understanding of the need to spend some time away from the office.

Creating a Safe Office Environment

benefits of a dog friendly workplace

So you don’t want to leave your dog home alone when you go to work and daycare is expensive. If your office is considering allowing pets at work, talk to human resources about how to integrate them into the office smoothly.

Before introducing your dog to this new environment, consider your coworkers. Even if your dog displays perfectly good behavior, some people can be afraid of dogs. Consider getting a baby gate in your office to keep them from wandering into said co-workers space.

Pet owners must also take their individual dogs into consideration. What are your dog’s stress levels? Will they behave well in a work environment and adapt OK to office life? Not every dog can be an office dog, especially if they are fearful.

Don’t forget to bring your dog’s favorite toys, chews, and treats in order to make them feel comfortable in the office.

Dog Lover’s Office Etiquette

office dog

If your office dogs adopt a dog-friendly policy, follow the rules! Some areas of the office might be sectioned off as pet-free zones, so you’ll need to make sure your dog doesn’t wander there.

Don’t forget to give your dog frequent potty breaks when you first bring them in in order to avoid any accidents. If they do make an oop-sie, clean up the poop for the sake of your coworkers’ noses. You don’t want HR to take away the pet-friendly policy!

And whenever you bring your dog anywhere where other dogs are present, make sure they are up-to-date on all vaccinations and are neutered or spayed.

Office Dog Benefits

To recap, remember to:

  1. Talk to your manager or HR about how to integrate pets into the office smoothly
  2. Get a baby gate, comfy bed, chews, treats, and toys for your cubicle/desk area
  3. Make sure your pet is up to date on all of its vaccinations
  4. Follow the rules and be respectful of your coworkers’ space

Did you bring your dog to work today? Share it with us by tagging your photos with #outwardhound on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

Editor’s note: This article has been updated as of May 2022 in order to provide the most pup-to-date information.