General Health

Dogs in the Workplace Decrease Stress

In years past, did you ever manage to land a job with your best friend, and you both loved it? Fast forward to today – would you like your four-legged best friend to hang out with you where you work? Check out a new emerging trend – dogs in the workplace.

Amazon is leading the surge in Seattle, a city where dogs outnumber children. As reported in the LA Times, of the 49,000 people employed in Amazon’s premier 12-story Apollo building, 7,000 of their dogs are officially registered to accompany them to work. That’s a dog-person ratio of 1:7! On any given day, you may find 800 pups desk-side.

Not surprisingly, canine-oriented enterprises like doggy daycare and trendy pet-friendly bars flourish in the adjacent neighborhoods.

Research supports the benefits of dogs in the workplace. One Amazon employee remarks – “You can’t focus at work if you know there’s someone at home you have to take care of.” How true. British researchers have noted that dogs in the office result in reduced employee turnover. No doubt, workplace doggies lighten up potentially intense moments with their endless good cheer and wagging tails.

If you’re job seeking and having dogs in the workplace appeals to you, read about “the best dog-friendly companies” by Rover.com.

Should this post stimulate your own hopes of bringing Fluffy to work, remember, your human resources team has the final say (please don’t just invite Rover on your own.) Happily, more companies are giving a “high five”. Paws up!

Dogs in the workplace must be good citizens!

Human/dog good citizenship is critical when inviting pets to the office. Check out why a contract that clearly defines pet-friendly circumstances might be a good idea. These tips offered by PetMD help to create the most successful office experience:

  1. Check with your coworkers and clients. Do they have allergies? Are they afraid of dogs?
  2. Be sure your pet is up to date on vaccines and flea and tick prevention.
  3. Don’t allow your dog to become a distraction by running freely through the office, nosing coworkers or barking.
  4. A well-behaved canine is a must! Skittish, territorial or neurotic pets will create poor impressions with management and coworkers. As we discussed in a previous post, the AKC offers a course called Canine Good Citizen that teaches appropriate behavior for all.
  5. Be sure that Fido is exercised and socialized. It’s a good idea to have dogs get to know each other outside of the office prior to their first day at the job.
  6. Make sure you have all doggie supplies that might be needed during your shift. Water bowls, snacks, favorite toys, and a bed to rest on are all important. Of course, a harness, leash and refuse bags for nature breaks are essential.
  7. Keep your dog safely enclosed in your office or your cubicle. A doggie pen or gate may be appropriate.

NEVER do the following!

  1. Let your pup roam unattended when you’re in a meeting
  2. Leave any type of messes for anyone else to clean up!
  3. Bring in pets that growl or bark or bite!
  4. Force your pet to interact with a coworker or their pet!
  5. Let your dog be “nosey” by scavenging in garbage cans or coworker’s purses!
  6. Ignore the signs should your pup get stressed out. The office environment is not for every person or dog. If your buddy starts whining or acting nervous or upset, it might be time to head home. Just because you love having your four-legged next to you, it may not be best for him.

If you need some ammunition in order to gain agreement from your boss, it’s hard to argue with workplace benefits like increased productivity and reduced stress! Check out these results from a study done by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.

We love bringing our pets to work here at Vital Planet! Whether your office offers a perk like “Pet Friday” or has a more all-access approach, it seems certain that this trend will continue. Dogs Rule!

Healthy Dogs are Happy Dogs in the Workplace!