If you’re one of those lucky people who have a workplace that welcomes dogs, you can be sure that a lot of people are jealous! But is your dog suited to coming to work with you? And, is your workplace suitable for having a dog? Read through our considerations to find out…
The first thing to consider is – Is your workplace suited to having a dog? Does it have:
- A safe and secure space, away from high traffic areas
- A suitable place for your dog to toilet
- Easy access and parking
- How noisy does it get?
- How busy does it get?
- Do your work colleagues like dogs? (It’s hard to believe, but some people don’t like dogs!)
Is your dog friendly to people and possibly other dogs (if other dogs may be present)? Do they enjoy being around a potentially busy environment with people coming and going such as deliveries and clients?
Dogs need good quality sleep, and it may be possible that they don’t get that at a workplace like they would at home. While there is little research into the symptoms of sleep deprivation in dogs, anecdotal evidence suggests that they might mimic some of the symptoms of poor sleep in humans, which can include, more intense reactions to stressful stimuli, irritability and mood disturbances, poor memory, and impact on a dog’s ability to learn (Ryan 2022).
On the other hand, several studies and research have shown that dogs in the workplace offer social support, are able to increase cognitive abilities, social interaction and counteract depression and anxiety in people (Four Paws Australia 2021).
Additionally, a study by Virginia Commonwealth University shows that man’s best friend may make a positive difference in the workplace by reducing stress and making the job more satisfying for other employees.
If you do decide to take your dog to work
What you need
- Crate or bed that your dog knows
- Comfy bedding especially if air con is on all day
- Water bowl
- Food toys and long-lasting chews for calm time
What your dog needs to know
- Basic cues like focus, sit, target and down
- How to settle while you are busy and not paying attention to them
- How to greet people politely
- How to settle with other dogs around (if other dogs may be in the workplace)
It’s clear that having dogs in the office can benefit everyone but be sure to introduce your dog with gradual/trial visits and prior training to set everyone (including your dog) up for success.
Reading canine body language and working out if your dog is scared, overwhelmed or excited can help! Visit our Canine Body Language Guide for more info.
Four Paws Australia (2021) Benefits To Dogs In The Office, Four Paws Australia, Sydney NSW [accessed 22/3/22] https://www.four-paws.org.au/our-stories/publications-guides/the-benefits-of-dogs-in-the-office
Ryan, T (2022) How Many Hours A Day Do Dogs Sleep? Sleep Foundation, OneCare Media LLC. [accessed 22/3/22] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/animals-and-sleep/how-much-do-dogs-sleep
Virginia Commonwealth University (2012) Benefits of taking your dog to work may not be far-fetched. ScienceDaily. [accessed 22/3/22]. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120330081235.htm