Dogs at Workplace | Pros and Cons of Bringing Your Dog to Office

by Crystal Moore on March 22, 2023

Dogs and offices. Here at Skipper's we believe bringing your dog to work benefits not only the team but also the dogs. For us, having dogs around boosts the team morale and inspires us every day to make sure as many pawrents are getting the chance to try our delicious, natural products!

Dogs are social creatures and love being involved in anything and everything their dog parent does. New sights, new smells, new people, they want to experience it all. Bringing your dog into the office is great for your dog's psychological and physical health too. Plus, why wouldn't you want a furry shadow when making a coffee?


Pros of dogs at workplace

There are many health benefits of having your dog in the workplace, one being that studies show dogs naturally reduce stress, anxiety, depression and ease loneliness. Let's be honest... We all have a stressful day or two at work, and what better way to counter that than to have your furry companion by your side. Your dog does not care if you're grumpy or have done something wrong. You will always be met with love and attention by them, which makes it more understandable as to why they naturally reduce these negative emotions.

Can dogs relieve stress?

Finally, according to a study, 11.7 million working days are lost each year due to stress, anxiety, and depression. Research shows that simply petting your dog lowers the stress hormone cortisol and increases the feel-good hormone oxytocin. So, you know what that means; Pet your dog and show them all the love and affection they deserve whilst at work. Therefore, dogs at workplace means reduced stressed!

Can dogs improve productivity?

With all that petting you've been doing, your stress levels should've decreased, and your mood should've improved, which in turn allows your productivity to increase. Bringing dogs at workplace can increase productivity by boosting your positivity while at work.
But, your emotions are not the only factor in improving productivity. It may come as a surprise to many of you, but more frequent short breaks increases productivity. Taking your dog out for a toilet break, fresh air, or just stretching their legs allows you to properly focus when you get back into your work.

Can dogs improve teamwork?

Dogs can increase conversations between colleagues as they act as a social lubricant. People who share a common interest, which in this case is their dogs, can find it easier to make conversation and build a workplace relationship. Speaking more with colleagues and building a workplace relationship helps improve teamwork.

Cons of dogs at workplace

Allergies and hygeine

In an office, there will always be allergies and hygiene concerns regarding bringing dogs into the office. Accidents can happen, and that can bring unwanted smells and sights. Similarly to unwanted smells, unfortunately, some people simply do not like the overall odour of dogs.

However, actions can be put in place to minimise some of these concerns. Ensuring you have the proper cleaning supplies for any accident is essential as some accidents can not be avoided. Additionally, having a toilet routine with your dog can stop any toilet accidents inside.

Unfortunately, regarding the overall smells of a dog and allergy concerns, these would have to be discussed with the people to see if you can come up with a fix.

Are dogs a distraction at work?

Barking, whining, playing, and even accidents can be extremely distracting to some office staff. The important point to keeping a good balance with dogs in the office is establishing if the dog is trained and well-behaved enough to come into the office. Another critical point is to arrange a fixed routine that you and your dog can stick to so that they know when it is time for their toilet break, food break, play break, etc.

Dogs are sociable animals that love attention, playing and running. Having a play area which is spoken about in point '4' below, or a set time where your dog can play about outside can minimise any barking and whining as they won't be as bored. Additionally, having something that can mentally distract them, such as treats in a Kong or a snuffle mat, can help relieve boredom and minimise barking.

What else to consider when bringing dogs at workplace?

1. Look at what other employees feel of carrying dogs at workplace. Some of your colleagues might be absolutely delighted to see a dog at their workplace while some might be furious! It is important to weigh the impact on others when bringing your dog at your workplace.

2. Behaviour of your dog: If you do decide to permit dogs at work, it may be helpful to specify some requirements. For example, whether dogs should be fully trained, insured, and vaccinated. You may need to think about how you will check these requirements have been met. 

3. Weigh the safety measures and facilities of your dog being at the workplace. Is your office well-equipped with stuff to look after your dog or to fulfill his requirements? Are there safety measures being taken care of? 


How to make your office dog friendly?

Ensuring your office is dog friendly is important so that it minimises distractions and accidents and improves the dogs' happiness.

1) Water bowls

Drinking water daily is an essential part of your life and your dog's. The first task that should be completed in the office is changing the water bowls to clean ones.

No one wants to drink old or dirty water, so swapping the bowls out for clean ones is a quick and easy task to complete.

2) Accidents

Anyone with a dog will know that accidents can happen at some point, and being prepared for those accidents in an office is essential. Keeping some cleaning sprays, carpet cleaner, and poo bags on hand will have you prepared at all times.

3) Dog beds

Having a dog bed for each dog in the office will make each dog as comfortable as possible. Let's be honest, the sound of laying on a floor for more than a few hours doesn't sound the best.

To keep the office as hygienic as possible, each person should take their dog's bed back home at the weekend to be washed and ready for the start of the following week.

4) Play areas

Dogs are social animals, and allowing them to interact with other dogs at the office in a controlled and safe area is great! It's like they're in a smaller version of a dog park. Use dog pens and gates to create a controlled and safe play area where the dogs can go in to have fun and release some energy.

5) Treats

Skipper's are all about dog food and treats. In our offices, we understand some of our treats can make a little mess, but as we are surrounded by treats, we do not mind the mess. To keep our offices as hygienic as possible, we have a cleaning routine to ensure the carpets are hoovered each week, so no fishy residue! However, it may not be the same circumstance in your office. Therefore, feeding small treats that can fit into your dog's mouth is a great way to reduce mess. Here are some small treat recommendations below:

Dog & Puppy Training Treats
Dried Anchovies
Dried Prawns
White Fish & Herb Slices

Decreased stress, improved morale, and increased productivity; Overall, having dogs in the office benefits both the team and the dogs. Our question is, why not? More and more offices are becoming dog friendly, and if yours isn't yet, maybe this blog will push you to take that step.