Barking mad? Bringing your dog to work can be a great idea.

Hugo Teggs Nose March 2016

There is a real pleasure in having your dog at your feet when you are working. The occasional pat on the head or a glance down at those big brown, adoring eyes can be a real moment of relief when you are really busy or the stresses of the day are starting to get to you.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that, as any dog owner will tell you, pets are a great stress relief treatment. There is even evidence that pets can help with more severe problems such as depression. This is not news to anyone who has ever come home after a bad day and had their furry buddy curl up next to them. Many companies around the world are now allowing dogs in the workplace for this very reason. Having a dog in the workplace can lead to happier workers and a more relaxed atmosphere.

If you are thinking of allowing a dog-friendly work environment, then there is plenty of advice on the right way to do so on the internet, but as always check the source is a reliable one. Right at the top of the list of priorities is, of course, the welfare of the animal. Your priority questions are basically the same rules you would apply to anywhere you were taking your dog.

• Is it safe?
• Is it somewhere prone to loud bags or flashes?
• Is there plenty of room for the dog to move around?
• Can a place be allocated for eating and drinking?
• What about comfortable sleeping space?
• Do you have the breaks and time needed for a proper exercise?

As usual, the initial decision will come down to a few common sense questions. For example:

• Check if anyone suffers from allergies.
• Is everyone happy to have the dog around?
• Is your dog well behaved and people friendly?
• Are you likely to need to put your dog in a safe place? – For example, if you have clients visiting who may not want to be around your dog for any of the above reasons.
• Check with your legal, insurance, landlord and other advisors so you know that are you covered for the dog to be in the workplace (there are a lot of myths about this by the way) and then you know where you stand.
• Consider writing up a ‘petiquette’ list of desirable behaviour for your furry guests and make sure the owners are confident the animal can behave within the rules.

And so on… It’s really just about being a responsible owner and remembering that not everyone has the same attachment to your pet that you do.

There is such a benefit to having a dog around that some sources estimate that as many as 1 in 5 US businesses are now dog-friendly. I can promise you experience of having a dog in the workplace is nothing but positive. Why not trial it yourself?

http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/kennel-club-campaigns/be-dog-friendly/

http://www.hrreview.co.uk/hr-news/wellbeing-news/how-safe-is-it-to-bring-your-pet-to-work/53736

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17561272

P.S. The photo of the dog is my cockapoo, Hugo 

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