Dogs in the workplace

Should you allow dogs in the office?

Let’s face it, we’re a nation of dog lovers, with a whopping 13 million dog-owning homes in the UK!

For many of us, our dog is an extension of ourselves. Holidays are chosen based on if they are dog friendly, restaurants only picked if they welcome our pooches, and travel carefully selected based on how our four-legged friends will fare. But, it becomes a bit more complicated when it comes to work.

For many employers the prospect of employees bringing their dog to the office fills them with dread. They imagine hair everywhere, barking on conference calls and office plants quickly becoming the top toilet stop!

We’re here to say, we understand their concerns, and we’ll be honest, there are some dogs, for whom, an office environment wouldn't be appropriate (you know who you are), but should they prevent others and their owners (and their employer) reaping all of the benefits of dogs being in the office? No, of course not!

What benefits? (we hear you ask, keep reading to find out!)

Owning a dog makes people happy

According to the 2022 PAW Report 95% of dog owners say owning a dog makes them happy. But with the normal working day being around 8 hours + commuting, and the average dog only being able to be left alone for 3.5 hours, owning a dog without bringing it to work doesn’t add up. For many individuals not being able to bring their dog to work will ultimately mean they have to make the decision not to get one, meaning they can’t get any of those happy dog-owning endorphins! 

Staff Retention

Pandemic Pets (and their owners) don’t want to be separated. An unprecedented 3.2 million new pets were bought during the UK’s lockdown according to the BBC. That’s a lot of new dog owners!

For these owners (and their dogs) who have never had the juggle managing a pet and working away from home there are new challenges. As we return to ‘normal’ (and for many employers, that means employees back in the office full-time) new dog owners are feeling the emotional and financial burden of having to decide how their dog is cared for whilst they are away. We’ve heard stories of people leaving their jobs, or having to give their dogs up for adoption because employers are not welcoming their dogs into the office. That means that employers are losing great talent because they are not being flexible enough with their pet policy.

But, if you’re a dog-friendly and pet-welcoming employer it means you can help attract more talent than ever. We’re even seeing companies list being dog-friendly office on sites like Glassdoor and Flexa.

Improved Health Of Your Workforce

87% of dog owners say that owning a dog improves their mental health! A workforce with better mental health means a happier more stable workforce. Not only that, but 85% of dog owners say that owning a pooch improves their physical wellbeing. A healthier workforce means less downtime through sick days, and more productivity!  Having dogs in the office also encourages employees to take small breaks, get some fresh air and recharge their mind, recent studies have found.

But, it can’t all be good, what about the barking?!

We hear you. Welcoming dogs into the office is going to be something which has to be managed. Perhaps you have some workers who are allergic to or don’t like dogs, perhaps some of your employees have dogs who can’t be around other dogs - every situation is going to be different. But, at Caboodle, we have decades of experience managing and training dogs and that’s why we’re here to help.

Across our friends and clients we have teams who have ‘doggie rota’s’ of which dogs will be in each day, clients who have a ‘no-dog’ area of their office, clients who allow dogs in on specific days, and clients who throw open their doors and welcome all types of pets all the time (it does get a bit interesting when the parrots come in!).

We’ve created a dog-charter, a document that dog owners sign up to agreeing that their dog can and will (mostly) behave to, as well as committing to ensure the dog's welfare within an office environment and we’ve gone even further than that…

We’ve launched a pack-lunch solution to help keep dogs in the workplace happy, well fed and entertained. A grab-and-go pack lunch to help your dog remain happily full (no hangry doggies here!) without overfeeding.  What’s more we’re offering launch events with our friends at PawSquad, and a mobile groomer to show that your office is not just dog tolerant you’re dog friendly!

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