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Do Dogs Belong in the Workplace?

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Do Dogs Belong in the Workplace?

Today is Take your Dog to Work Day. Founded in 1999, by Pet Sitters International, it was created to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. I can only guess how few companies were dog friendly every day in 1999, so this was probably a very novel concept. However, currently 17 percent of U.S. employers allow people to bring their pets to work daily, usually dogs, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

Many workers are so devoted to their pets that they’ll only consider taking jobs where they can bring them along. SimplyHired.com is a job searching site that lists job openings of companies that will also allow you to bring along Fido. A poll conducted by Dogster and Simply Hired found that 66 percent of the 150 dog owners surveyed would work longer hours if their dog was with them. And 30 percent would even take a 5 percent pay cut to bring along Fluffy.

While this may seem a little crazy to some, research has shown that there are many benefits for dog-friendly companies. As long as dogs are well-mannered, the work environment is friendlier and more productive. Google offices are known for their innovation and fun factor. So, it’s probably not so surprising that their offices are dog friendly. I spoke with a Google employee from the Mountain View, California office and asked why. Google works to enhance the quality of their work place. And if a dog is an important part of an employee’s life, then Google feels it helps keeps their employees happy. And when outsiders visit, they smile and are very entertained by the dogs. But, the dogs aren’t running around wild all day. They are happy lying by their companion’s side quietly. It’s also not unusual to find dogs lying patiently just outside the Google cafeteria. And it helps that there is a dog park a block away from the Google office building.

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Read more: Animal Rights, Behavior & Communication, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Humor & Inspiration, Pets, , , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.

97 comments

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5:59PM PDT on Oct 7, 2012

Yes, as long as:
1- The dog is clean, calm, well-behaved, not aggressive with co-workers or customers;
2- The structure of the office/shop is appropriate;
3- Large dogs are accepted too.

1:48AM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

I think you should be able to bring your pets to work or school, unless they would really disturb you or others (ie allegry), or if you work at the hosiptal etc. My poor dog was howling all day when I was at school and my mum at work, but when we were together she was all good & quiet.

3:33PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

aww. i like the idea.. except.. what about allergies and problems with not as friendly dogs?

6:05PM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

What a great idea, obviously if it's not in a food environment.

6:06AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

voted :) thanks for sharing :)

12:56AM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

Elize, who is going to decide what is appropriate as a "place" and what's not if there is some "blanket" day or rule? I don't want to go to my doctor's office and have him come in to examine me with his drooling St. Bernard at his side, or his Chihuahua barking and shaking, wanting to be held. I don't want to go to my grocery store and have clerks and shelf stockers walking around with their dogs, either. If some clerk at a convenience store, sitting behind a counter has his/her dog sitting back there, no big deal. Does that make sense?

12:52PM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

Fabulous idea. The only thing I see as a potential problem would be those pet owners with dogs that are out of control who don't acknowledge it. What do you do then? But for doggies that are well-behaved, their therapeutic and social value is immeasurable. Great article!

12:48PM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

Animals are like children, some you can take to the mall others you cant. The way they were raised. All in all a good things to teach people and animals to get along with one another. Animals can also be very therapeutic for the human race (did I say human - what is so humane about humans these days). Can be a good partnership if handled correctly.

7:04AM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

It really depends on the workplace. Some would be great and others would be a bad idea. As much as I love animals, some people have serious fears, allergies or other reasons to not want dogs at their workplace. Much depends on temperament and training and I think being certified as a Canine Good Citizen would be a must for workplaces that have members of the public coming in.

1:45AM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

As long as they're well behaved and not crawling all over other people, think it's great!

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