Dogs are a popular choice when it comes to owning a pet. They’re lovable and they’re always excited to see you, even if you’ve only been gone 5 minutes. However, some people choose to not own a dog because they’re not home enough and can’t devote enough time in the day to their furry companion. If more companies became dog-friendly, more people would be able to reap the benefits that owning a dog brings.
While there are corporations that allow dogs to come into the office, the United States isn’t as open as other countries. Some countries around the world allow dogs in restaurants and museums, and on local beaches and public transportation. With advantages like increased productivity and reduced stress, businesses should really consider letting it go to the dogs.
So why should you bring your dog into work? Take a look at all the ways Fido can improve your work day!
# 1 Reduce Stress
Even if you love your job, work can be stressful due to deadlines, meetings, and sometimes, unhappy customers. Stress is a normal response, but being overwhelmed repeatedly over a course of time can be detrimental to your overall health. When your body isn’t able to turn off its stress response, it can retaliate, causing physical, psychological, and behavioral changes in your body without you realizing it comes from stress.
According to the American Institute of Stress, there are 50 common symptoms of stress. The most common are the following:
Studies continually show that dogs can reduce stress and boost mental health. In fact, that’s one of the reasons dogs are used as certified emotional support pets. Imagine having less headaches, more sleep, and preforming better at your job all because you have a dog in the office. Overall, dogs are obedient, loyal, loving, and adorable creatures who desire your attention, love, and praise. Their bubbly personalities will put you in a good mood and remind you to let go of some of that unwanted stress.
# 2 Increase Productivity
Many companies like Salesforce, Mars, and Google currently have dog-friendly policies in place. Although many people believe dogs can be distracting, there is evidence pointing towards pups increasing productivity.
More than half of the employees who participated in a study done by Virginia Commonwealth University reported an increase in their productivity. It’s easy to think that having to walk a dog for potty breaks or giving them some attention every now and then will be distracting, but these things aren’t any different than having to go to the bathroom, checking your phone, or taking a smoke break. Just like any employee, dogs too would have to follow rules.
Long story short, having a dog in the office will remind you to take a mental break. Overworking your brain can actually lead to lower levels of productivity. Fido will ensure you get away from your desk for some mental clarity to keep your thoughts and ideas flowing.
# 3 Health Benefits
This one is kind of a no-brainer, especially since dogs can influence our emotions. After all, that’s why so many hospitals and nursing facilities allow therapy dogs. Canine companions are able to reinforce independence, increase activity levels, prevent loneliness, and boost your mood.
Some dogs are even sensitive enough to detect changes in your health. With 220 million scent receptors, dogs can smell things we couldn’t imagine having a smell, including chemical imbalances in our bodies caused by fear or stress. Learn more about how a rescued Golden Retriever named Dakota detected something wrong with his owner Mike’s health:
Surprisingly, dogs can also help put an end to allergies. Whenever your body senses potentially harmful substances, like pet dander, your immune systems can overreact, causing an allergic reaction. However, one study found that petting a dog for only 18 minutes can raise antibody levels, aiding in immune responses and decreasing allergy symptoms long term. All sneezing aside, dogs can help people with a variety of health issues, including those that don’t warrant a service animal. By allowing dogs in the office you never know who you might be helping.
# 4 Improve Job Satisfaction
If you’re a dog lover, nothing is better than going home and being greeted by a wagging tail and puppy kisses after a long day at work. It’s simple: dogs make us happy. Their ability to love you no matter what is enough to make even the gloomiest of people smile. That’s why having Fido with you in the office will turn your frown upside down!
Extremely stressful or emotionally distressing industries, like law enforcement or military, benefit greatly from having canine companions. While going into the office isn’t considered dangerous, dogs can still improve the quality and satisfaction of your job. In fact, 7 in 10 people between the ages of 16 and 37 are willing to take a pay cut to bring their dog to work. Money really doesn’t buy happiness, but dogs can help boost your mood!
# 5 Socialization for Co-workers and Fido
Pups are often known for their companionship. They’re energetic goofballs that are dedicated to their humans. This makes them perfect candidates for building social skills among those with disabilities or introverts. One study found that people in wheelchairs received more social interaction with strangers when they had a dog with them. Other studies have found similar results, claiming that people are much more likely to approach a person with a pet than someone who’s solo.
Socialization is important for dogs and people. Both are social beings who thrive better in groups. Allowing dogs in the workplace can kill two birds with one stone. It gets co-workers talking to each other more and helps improve a dog’s overall social skills. Socialization among co-workers is beneficial for any company because it encourages teamwork, creates a positive work environment, and increases happiness levels.
# 6 Better for Company Image
Bringing your dog to work is a must-have perk that many companies haven’t taken advantage of yet. It attracts more loyal employees and decreases turnover rates. Not to mention, this benefit is more likely to attract prospective employees, especially the millennial population.
Ultimately, lower turnover rates and happier employees will bring in more business. Staff that is happy with their work environment will perform their jobs better than those who are unsatisfied with their company. They’re also more likely to brag to others and bring in potential employees through networking. Plus, customers are more likely to perceive a company as friendly or positive if they allow pets in the office.
Overall, implementing a dog-friendly work environment won’t be a simple walk in the park. In a study we conducted here at Quality Logo Products®, we found that a majority of employees would be willing to allow dogs in the office with zero questions asked. However, 18% said yes, but with restrictions, including no barking or only if cats are allowed too. Meanwhile, 7% don’t want dogs in the office at all.
Although a pet policy seems flawless, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the office vibes stay positive for everyone.
- Temperament: Not every dog will be friendly and well-behaved. Some can be aggressive, territorial, or too energetic, which may cause harm to you, your dog, and others.
- Noise: Most dogs bark. This can be distracting if you need to concentrate or aren’t used to tuning it out.
- Allergies: A lot of people have allergies to dogs and cats, making work uncomfortable if you can’t breathe or have to sneeze every 5 seconds.
- Phobias: Let’s face it, not every person will love dogs. People with phobias of dogs wouldn’t be able to cope knowing you have one in the office.
Before thinking about becoming a pet-friendly work environment, have a discussion about it with everyone in the office first. Try celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day to start out small and see how things go. Don’t forget to include some pet-friendly products! At the end of the day, if everyone loves it, try coming up with a pet policy that benefits the entire staff. On the other hand, if things don’t work out, at least you gave it your best shot!
What are your opinions on a pet-friendly policy? We’d love to hear them!