The concept of a pet-friendly workspace has been growing in popularity in recent years. In fact, 7% of employers have policies in place that allow their employees to bring their animal companions to work.
The thought of bringing an animal — especially a dog — into the workplace can be exhilarating. You can work with your loyal canine by your side. Gentle nuzzles and puppy-dog eyes can provide perpetual emotional support and help you to distress throughout the busy workdays.
However, it’s essential to remember that there are also many risks that you run every time you walk through those office doors with a pet by your side.
This guide is designed to help you break down the benefits and drawbacks associated with pets in the workplace. If you do decide to bring your pet to work, it will also provide information to help you prepare for the adventure as thoroughly as possible.
It’s easy to romanticize the concept of bringing your dog to work. If you’re seriously thinking of doing so, though, you must carefully consider both the pros and the cons in order to decide if it’s really worth it.
There are many clear benefits that come from having a dog by your side throughout the workday, including:
While these are all excellent reasons to bring your pet with you to work, they should only be half of your considerations.
As with all meaningful things in life, there are downsides to consider along with the good.
There are several drawbacks that should be weighed before you commit to bringing your pup to work, such as:
The potential dangers involved in bringing a dog to the office are not insignificant and should be carefully weighed in each and every situation.
While bringing your dog to the office may be in the best interest of everyone involved, it’s important that you take proper precautions before you do so in order to avoid any legal concerns that may arise.
Here are a few of the most critical areas to address with your pup before you bring them to the office.
While nearly one in ten employers have officially embraced a pet-friendly office policy, that hardly means every office operates with the same rules.
The first thing you should do is thoroughly read through your employer’s specific regulations regarding dogs in the workplace.
Things to look for include:
Whatever regulations your particular office may have, make sure to review them carefully.
Before you waltz into work with your briefcase, your dog, a leash, and nothing else, consider what your pet may need while you’re there.
A few suggestions include:
Create a checklist so that you know precisely what you need to have on hand each time you head to work.
A distracting or disobedient dog will not last long in a productive workplace. If your dog still isn’t quite able to handle themselves over longer periods of time, you may want to invest in dog training before you bring your pup to the office.
Dog training can be a bit pricey — typically around $50 per class. However, it can provide invaluable guidance, accountability, and direction for both you and your dog as you attempt to learn how to respectfully function together in an office.
When it comes to managing your dog’s behavior within the workplace itself, it’s important that you create clear and consistent guidelines to follow, including:
As you sort through these standards and attempt to teach your dog to follow new rules in a strange place, remember that there will be a learning curve. As long as you’re willing to remain consistent while simultaneously adapting to whatever works best for your situation, things should eventually work out.
Finally, if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where your dog has bitten someone at work, it’s critical that you:
If you begin the process by maintaining your composure, you give both you and your dog the best possible chance of avoiding serious repercussions from the encounter.
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