Pets in the Workplace

pets in the workplace, take your dog to work day

Whether it’s a dog, cat, or fish, having a pet in the workplace is not only therapeutic, studies show that they can relieve stress too. Here are some Mindful Work tips to create a relaxing, work environment that includes animals too.

Though pets are beloved members of most American homes, few businesses allow them in the workplace. According to an American Pet Products Manufacturers Association survey, only 17 percent of U.S. employers allow animals in the workplace. This is unfortunate considering that a Dogster and Simply Hired survey showed that 66 percent of participants would work longer hours if they could bring their dog. And 55 percent said they would commute a greater distance if they could bring their four-legged friend.

Fortunately, more businesses are coming around. Major companies like Amazon, Ben and Jerry’s, Build-A-Bear Headquarters, and Google allow their employees to bring their dogs to work due to the numerous benefits. Studies have found that having dogs in the workplace not only benefits the dog owners but all employees in general. These animals increase trust, morale, communication, and productivity among employees. With dogs in the office, employees were more likely to be satisfied and committed to their jobs.

Studies show that bringing your pets to work can lower stress levels throughout the day. The people who didn’t bring a dog experienced a drastically high spike in their stress hormone (or cortisol) levels. Having a dog around the office can also give your health a boost, because of the frequent dog walks. The breaks are great for your mental health and experts say that the walks are good for your heart and waistline.

Take Your Dog to Work Day is this Friday. Thinking about participating? Consider these five Mindful tips:
  1. Rules and regulations. Before you bring your pet be sure to read up on the office policies and discuss it with your boss. Sometimes, rules against pets are set by the building landlords and management company. Be sure that you’re following all the rules.
  2. Be Mindful of neighbors. Before you bring in your pet, be sure to talk to your coworkers. Make sure that they’re okay with the idea since they could have allergies or be uncomfortable with animals.
  3. Pet-proof. Just because your office allows pets doesn’t mean that it’s a safe environment for them. Beware of exposed wires and boxes or objects on the floor that they can get into.
  4. A second home. Make your office comfortable for your pets with treats, water, chew toys, and a soft place to rest. The more comfortable they are the better they will behave.
  5. Beware of messes. To keep the number of accidents to a minimum, be sure to keep an eye on your pets and take them on frequent bathroom breaks.