Monday, October 14, 2013

The Secret Brilliance of Letting Your Business Go to the Dogs (Guest Post)

Today's guest post is brought to us by Mr. Stoddard. He has a lot of good things to say on bringing dogs to the work place.

Creative Commons image by seanhagen
Dragging in to the office on Monday morning, you hear someone bark out an order from a neighboring cubicle. You nearly spill your coffee in your zeal to return the sentiment in person. After scratching the cubicle dweller under the chin and tossing him that bit of bacon you saved from breakfast, you walk back to your desk a little happier, a little less stressed, and a little less likely to take another “mental health day” when Friday rolls around.

Your office has gone to the dogs, and you couldn’t be more pleased.

From Fortune 100 behemoths to the mom-and-pop shop on the corner, the list of businesses embracing the benefits of a pet-friendly workplace continues to grow. Enhanced employee health, increased productivity and ramped-up creativity are just a few of the substantial benefits of establishing a pet-friendly workplace. Allowing your business to go to the dogs may be the smartest move you make this year.

Leaders of the pack

Top dogs Google,, Replacements, Ben & Jerry’s, Printing for Less and other forward-thinking businesses are incorporating pet-friendly workplace policies. If you want to run with the big dogs, consider following their lead.

Jeff Bezos, visionary and new owner of the Washington Post, knows a thing or two about running a successful company. Though the Internet bust of the late 90s once prompted him to cut down on arguably meager employee benefits, employees today rave about their pet-friendly workplace policies, praising the increased peace of mind and increased productivity the policy affords pet owners.

Sick as a dog

The CDC, American Heart Association, and other leaders in medical research have all heralded the health benefits of pet ownership. In a quantitative study published in the International Journal of Workplace Management, researchers found that the presence of dogs in the workplace significantly reduces employee stress. The effect was particularly pronounced by the end of the work day.

Not only is stress strongly associated with a wide variety of health concerns, it is also a creativity killer. Stressed out, barking mad employees don’t generate brilliant ideas to increase profits by discovering how to print a business card for less. Unleashing the creativity of your employees may be as simple as establishing a workplace where Fido and Fluffy are part of the team.

Barking up the right tree

In a challenging economy fraught with uncertainty, retaining your best employees is vital. Health insurance based “job lock” is fading to obscurity, and employees are freer than ever to seek greener pastures. Silicon Valley level perks such as in-office massages or yearly trips to a private island may be far-fetched for your employee retention plan, but instituting a pet-friendly workplace policy is likely within reach.

Though OSHA has no prohibition against pet-friendly workplaces, it is important to be sensitive and responsive to any employees who might have concerns about such a policy. In addition, OSHA recommends contacting your state and local health department for further guidance concerning any regulations specific to your business.

Before embarking on a pet-friendly policy, familiarize yourself with some of the basics. Instituting trial periods, requiring up-to-date vaccinations, and ensuring there are no serious barriers to implementation, such as allergies or severe phobias, are all important considerations.


  1. I wish my company had a pet-friendly policy. Of course, I don't think Moosey would enjoy the 1.5 hour commute! :)

  2. I wish my school let me bring Dina- it be pawsome!

    Dina Mom

  3. SHE always worked in schools. NO dogs allowed....sheesh!

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  4. We love any company that has a pet friendly policy...pity they are not more of them. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  5. I think that is wonderful, we aren't so dog friendly over here xxooxx

    Mollie and Alfie

  6. We wish there were more companies who adopted the pet friendly policy.

  7. There is a lot of truth there. When my Dad visited Purina there were dogs and cats at work with their humans and they were all so happy!

  8. How can anybody get any work done without a dog in the same room?

  9. Great initiative! I'd love to have a dog pet at my working space when I do my research paper. It reduces stress and helps to work productively.

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