woman sitting in her office with a white dog
Hybrid work

Allowing dogs in the office: the next step is to get people back on site


April 12, 2024


April 12, 2024

Do you allow dogs in your office? If you haven't, have you ever considered it? Having dogs in the workplace is not only a perk for employees but also a key advantage for companies, considering the impact they can have on your workforce’s morale, satisfaction, and productivity. In an era where making people come to the office more often has become a priority, letting dog owners come with their furry friends can be a pivotal decision to achieve this goal. 

Are you worried about the drawbacks of having our four-legged companions on-site? In this article, we don’t just list the pros and cons of a dog-friendly office but we also share relevant statistics and tips. If you’re ready to create a modern and employee-centric work environment, let’s dive into a world where the animal-human bond benefits all aspects of your organization. From your team members’ well-being to corporate culture and business growth, the possible outcomes of allowing dogs at work are worth a try.

two coworkers petting a white dog in the office

Is allowing dogs in the workplace a good idea?

The benefits of having dogs in the office

We no longer need to prove the benefits of having a dog for our mental health. The good news is that these benefits can be spread in the work environment by allowing dogs in the office. Studies show that dog-friendly workplaces often tend to see the following positive impacts on their employees:

  • reduced stress;
  • increased employee interactions and collaboration;
  • a more relaxed atmosphere;
  • improved on-site experience;
  • better mental health.

The most positive aspect of allowing dogs in the workplace is that it doesn’t only benefit dog owners but also the whole workforce and office atmosphere.

Shot Of Pet Dachshund Dog Dress As Businessman At Desk

Potential drawbacks of letting dog owners bring their furry friends on-site

You might be thinking, “What about employees who are allergic or scared of dogs?” This is a really good point. Of course, there can be some downsides to letting dogs come on-site. The following aspects are the most common reasons why businesses tend to be reluctant to implement a dog-friendly policy:

  • allergic reactions;
  • distractions;
  • hygiene issues;
  • incidents between dogs or employees and dogs.

However, as with everything you want to introduce in your work environment, guidelines and rules ensure positive outcomes and limit the negative ones. The benefits of allowing dogs at work are so worth it that it would be a shame not to try it. We will discuss the importance of creating a dog workplace policy a bit later.

female coworkers playing with a white dog

Statistics about pets in the workplace

Here are a few statistics123 proving the value of letting dog owners bring their four-legged companions to the office:

  • 87% of dog-friendly workplaces report a positive effect on the likelihood of employees returning to the office.
  • 94% of people are supportive of having pets in the workplace.
  • 76% reported that working with pets was a positive experience.
  • 6% of people found that having a pet on-site was a negative experience (among which only 1% were less than 39 years old).
  • 52% of respondents declare pet-friendly benefits and policies matter when considering a company.
  • 49% declare that a pet-friendly policy could convince them to accept a job offer.
  • 35% of employers worry about allergic reactions to pets in the workplace, and 31% think it would distract their team members too much.

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Why can allowing dogs at work help you bring employees back into the office?

Answering an increasing demand from Millennials and Gen Z

Do Millennials have a stronger connection with dogs than people? Yes, this is a real topic that is often discussed. According to the APPA, 66% of American households own a pet, a percentage which is even higher among Millennials and Gen Z. As these two demographic groups now represent the biggest part of today’s workforce, meeting their needs should be your priority if you want to attract and retain talent from these generations. As the above statistics about having dogs in the workplace reveal, dog-friendly offices have a key advantage in answering employees’ expectations and fostering job satisfaction.

Solving the issue of dog-sitting

Dog-sitting is often the best solution for employees who don’t want to leave their furry companions at home alone all day. Yet, finding a good dog-sitter and being able to afford one is not something everyone can do. Thanks to remote work practices, dog owners could work from home without worrying about this issue. But now, with the rise of RTO (Return To Office) mandates, they face the same concern again. While this might mean they come on-site as little as possible, a dog-friendly work policy can easily fix this problem and motivate them to come to the office more often.

woman taking a selfie in her office while playing with her dog

Supporting employee well-being by removing guilt 

For dog owners, it is an advantage to know they can bring their dogs to work instead of leaving them alone at home all day long or with somebody else. But this is not the only reason why allowing dogs in the office can convince your team to come on-site more often. Most people have a really strong bond with their animals. Therefore, being able to go anywhere with them, including to the workplace, is highly appreciated. It shows your employee centricity and your willingness to create a work environment that answers their needs and supports them.

Creating a more enjoyable work environment for non-dog owners and dog owners alike

Lastly, the good vibes dogs create benefit not only their owners but everyone in the office. Studies show that having dogs in the office creates a more relaxed atmosphere and fosters interactions among employees. The presence of dogs also improves cognitive and psychological aspects which leads to more concentration and productivity. If you establish a dog-at-work policy to help you avoid potential drawbacks, your team members will most likely be less stressed, more collaborative, and more productive. Isn’t this one of every manager’s goals?

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Which companies are letting employees bring dogs to the office?

Many big, famous, and successful companies allow dogs in their offices. Is this a coincidence? We’ll let you make your own opinion about that. But one thing is certain: having doggies at work boosts employee well-being and satisfaction. Here are a few well-known businesses in Europe and in the U.S. that seem to realize this key correlation and allow their staff to bring their dogs to the workplace:  

  • Amazon;
  • Google;
  • Ben&Jerry’s;
  • Uber;
  • Etsy;
  • Hubspot;
  • Airbnb;
  • WeWork.

How do you create a dog-friendly office that is enjoyable for everyone?

Make sure everyone is on board

Of course, you shouldn’t allow dogs in your office if most of your workforce is against it. But to determine if your employees would appreciate it, asking them directly is the best way to know. You can send them surveys and organize a specific event to discuss this topic together. Some people might like dogs but are allergic to them. Some might be scared of them. Not considering these concerns can have the opposite effect on your staff and work environment than the initial idea. Once you’re sure everyone is on board, and you’ve figured out solutions to deal with allergic reactions, fear of dogs, and other issues, you can start creating your dog-at-work policy. Also think about allowing other pets if your team members are requesting it. 

Create a workplace pet or dog policy

We will not discuss the creation of regulations and guidelines regarding dogs at work in detail, as we’ve already written a full article about workplace pet policy with all the information you need. Implementing a clear dog policy ensures you balance the joy a pet-friendly office provides with the necessity of maintaining productivity and comfort for all employees. It fosters a welcoming atmosphere for dog owners while guaranteeing that pets are well-behaved and do not disrupt work. The rules and restrictions help minimize the risks of potential allergies, safety concerns, and distractions. Ultimately, it enhances workers’ and animals’ well-being and promotes a harmonious and inclusive environment that respects both human and dog needs.

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colleagues feeding a jack russel

Let other people know when the dogs are in the office

To avoid conflicts and any issues related to having dogs in the office, it is important that dog owners let others know when they are bringing their four-legged friends in. For example, when they schedule their week and book their desk, they can add a note mentioning they will bring their dog. This way, if you have a few employees who are not comfortable around dogs or are allergic to them, they are aware of their presence on-site on this or that day. This way, they aren’t frustrated when arriving at the office to get the (not so nice) surprise of having to work all day next to their colleague’s dog. Especially if, for them, this means sneezing and scratching their eyes continuously or being anxious all day long because they are scared of what the dog could do. 

In our opinion, allowing dogs at work can truly help you get your employees back into the office more often. However, the presence of dogs in the office has its share of pros and cons. It offers potential benefits such as stress reduction and improved morale while raising valid concerns regarding allergies, distractions, and varying comfort levels with four-legged companions. To strike a balance, a thoughtfully crafted workplace dog policy is indispensable. By setting clear guidelines on behavior, accountability, and areas of access for pets, you can cultivate an environment where both employees who are animal lovers and those who are not can coexist peacefully and productively. Ultimately, the three pillars of successfully welcoming dogs on-site are respect, communication, and consideration for all.

Are you curious about how deskbird can help you manage your workplace efficiently and boost your hybrid employee experience?

Request a free demo of the deskbird app to find out!

1 How Dog-Friendly Policies Boost Return-To-Office Rates, Forbes.

2 Pet-Friendly Workplaces Are On The Rise: Here’s Where To Find Them, Forbes.

3 Working like a Dog: Opinions on Pets in the Workplace, LiveCareer.


Allowing dogs in the office: the next step is to get people back on site

Paulyne Sombret

Paulyne is a highly respected expert in hybrid work. She's known for her writing on sustainability in the hybrid office, flexible work models, and employee experience. With a strong background in content and SEO, her work explores the exciting trends and latest news in the world of work.

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