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These days, it can feel like there are dogs everywhere you turn. More and more public places are being deemed appropriate for pets — including the workplace. Some companies, including large organizations, are allowing pets in their offices. Some have even used their dog-friendly policies as a recruiting tactic. But is taking your dog to work the right choice for you and your dog? Here are some things to consider before taking your dog to the office.

The Benefits of Having Dogs in the Workplace

Personal Benefits

Bringing your dog to work can help relieve stress. It’s shown that employees at workplaces that allow dogs in the office have lower levels of stress and improved communication. Pet care costs can also be decreased when you’re allowed to bring your dog to work, since you won’t have to hire a doggie daycare service or a dogwalker during the day. You could save a lot of money by bringing your dog to work by cutting these costs.

Workplace Benefits

Pets can be a great point of common interest between people. Having your dog in the office can open the doors to meeting new people, including coworkers. These positive interactions can help form bonds in the office, all thanks to your dog! Dogs in general can also help improve morale, since they tend to lighten the mood when things get stressful.

Employer Benefits

Having dogs in the office also benefits the employers. For some employees, the ability to bring their dog to work is a must-have perk. Once employees have the ability to bring their dog to work, it’s less likely they’ll give that perk up, and employee turnover tends to decrease. These perks, like generous maternity benefits or flextime, can be very appealing to people when applying, and can help attract top talent. Plus, dogs in the office tend to lead to increased employee performance, since employees don’t need to run home to take out their dog. Employees at pet-friendly businesses tend to have fewer absences and can work longer hours.

Golden Retriever sitting with people in an office.

Disadvantages of a Dog-Friendly Workplace

Potential Personal Disadvantages

It’s possible that dogs in the office could be distracting. Dogs won’t always sit quietly under your desk — barking, whining, and snoring in the middle of the office can be annoying and disruptive to co-workers. It can also be difficult to find time to give your dog potty breaks if your schedule is filled with back-to-back meetings, or you’re trying to meet a deadline at work.

Potential Workplace Disadvantages

Not all of your coworkers will be dog lovers. Some could even have allergies to dogs, phobias, or are not comfortable around dogs. There could be people who’d prefer there to not be dogs in the office, so that’s something to consider when you’re considering bringing your dog to work.

If there are multiple dogs in the office, there’s also the chance that the dogs many not get along with one another. Similar to how people won’t like every single person they meet, some dogs may not get along with certain dogs. Conflicts between dogs at work can be disruptive and dangerous, and can also harm relationships between co-workers, clients, or customers.

Potential Employer Disadvantages

Despite all of the reasons you might want to bring dogs into the office, it’s still a risk. One dog bite could lead to a costly lawsuit, and you can’t always control how dogs react to certain triggers. If you own a business and have considered adopting a dog-friendly office policy, talk to a lawyer about potential problems that may arise.

Ultimately, deciding whether to bring your dog to the office depends on a number of different factors. It’s important to weigh every pro and con before you show up with your canine companion in tow. And, of course, first check with your employer to make sure your dog is allowed on the premises.

Related article: Expert Tips for Issues Between Multiple Pets
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