Working in a veterinary clinic, every day is like Take Your Dog to Work Day! But, what about other workplace settings?

As the bond between humans and animals gets stronger (millennials are increasingly opting for fur “children” over the human variety), more businesses are implementing dog-friendly policies. If you’re lucky enough to work in an office that’s ideal for dogs, it’s important that you determine if your dog is ideal for the office before he becomes your canine colleague. Dogs in the workplace should be:

  • Up to date on vaccines — Some diseases carried by dogs can be transmitted to humans, including internal and external parasites, viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Protect yourself, your colleagues, and your dog by ensuring he’s properly vaccinated.
  • Spayed/neutered — We wouldn’t want to add to the unwanted pet population, would we?
  • Well-trained — Dogs in the workplace should understand basic commands, like come, stay, sit, and down. They should also be house (or…office?) trained and have good manners (no begging for your colleague’s lunch or jumping on furniture). Be sure your dog does well on a leash and is generally nonreactive in a variety of situations.
  • Properly exercised — Some dogs have an abundance of energy that must be expelled through regular exercise. Don’t bring your pup into the office and expect him to nap while you work if he hasn’t had his daily walk.
  • Thoroughly socialized — If your dog isn’t accustomed to being around other dogs or humans, it’s probably best he stays home.
  • Friendly and laid back — No one gets along with everyone they encounter, but your dog should have a generally friendly disposition and shouldn’t mind getting attention. If your pup has a track record of fighting with other dogs or if he’s ever bitten a person, don’t bring him to the office. Also, the workplace can induce anxiety or stress (in more ways than one!), so watch for signs of stress in your pup, including laid-back ears, excessive lip licking, decreased appetite, diarrhea, constipation, aggression, and others. 

Ready to hire your dog? Be sure to bring plenty of supplies, including a bed/blanket, a few favorite toys, a water bowl, treats, cleaning supplies, and anything else you think your dog might need throughout the day. And, call our office to verify that your dog is up-to-date on his vaccines.

Why You Should Take Your Dog To Work

  • A Major Stress Reliever: People who bring their pets to work have lower overall hormonal stress levels and lowered anxiety. Plus, well-behaved pets also reduce the stress of those around them and make work a happier place to be.
  • Positive Interaction: Most people love pets! Pets at work are a great way to endear coworkers and increase friendliness in a cold and mechanical office setting.
  • Promotes Camaraderie: For many offices, bringing pets to work is a well-established perk. Offices and work settings that allow pets are nicer, friendlier, and more easy-going, and people want to stick around.
  • Attracts Other Benefits: If bringing your pet is allowed, it’s more than likely that this setting is open to other benefits and perks. Dog and cat-friendly offices look more enticing to new hires.
  • Increases Overall Performance: Happiness breeds production. For people who can’t own pets, looking forward to the office pet each and every day decreases absences and promotes friendliness and goodwill.
  • Pet Benefits: Offices that allow pets means their owners don’t have to pay for doggy daycare. Plus, the constant exercise, joy, and attention improves the health of the pet!

Dr. Erin Downes VMD

Dr. Erin Downes graduated valedictorian from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. She and her husband, Dr. Jay Rowan are the owners of Paoli Vetcare | Main Line Vet & Animal Hospital.