Bring Your Dog to Work

According to a CNN/Money poll in 2006, 75% of all dog owners would work longer hours if they could bring their dog to work.  In this day of employers trying to create “work-life harmony” and adding more value to their employee’s’ benefits, bringing a dog to work sounds like a fantastic idea.  I’m here to tell you, it is!

As a recruiter for an advertising agency here in Dallas, I get to bring my dog, Deco, to work with me every single day.  I adopted Deco from the Animal Rescue of Texas back in June 2007 when he was just 3 months old. One of the important factors for me in getting a dog was the fact my employer allowed me to bring him to work. The last thing I personally wanted to do was leave a 3 month old puppy in a crate by itself in my apartment.  

A lot of people ask me why my company allows me to bring Deco to work.  If you think about it, from a company’s perspective, it allows an employee to be more productive and it keeps the employee in the office.  It’s definitely to their advantage to add this option to a benefits package.  My employer created some basic guidelines for those of us who bring our dogs to work:

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(1) All dogs must have current vaccination shots, rabies shots, etc.

(2) If you dog leaves your cube/office, the dog must be on a leash at all times.

(3) There is a fenced-in area outside where all dog owners take their dogs to use the restroom.  Doggie bags are at every entrance in our building.  All employees are responsible for keeping the environment clean.

I’ve been recruiting for over nine years. I can’t think of a more unique way to sell my company to potential employees. Even our clients love seeing our four-legged friends roaming the halls or sitting in a conference room. 

Now before you think there is no way your company would allow this, consider these points.  Did you know some of the top Fortune 500 companies have adopted the “bring your dog to work” policy?  Google and Amazon allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. 

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There are at least 3 local employers here in Dallas that have given this benefit to their employees as well.  If you’re interested in finding a company that has a “Bring Your Dog To Work” policy, check out www.simplyhired.com/a/special-searches/dog-friendly.

Finally, did you know Friday, June 20th is Take Your Dog To Work Day?  If you’re serious about having your employer consider this policy, I would suggest getting a group of co-workers to approach your company’s HR or leadership and discuss with them the added benefits and reasons why you should bring your best friend to work. 

Start off small and ask your company to adopt June 20th as Take Your Dog To Work Day.

 

12 Comments

  1. I am approaching my company about this as well. They are quite liberal in policy, and I have brought my dog before, so maybe we can get this implemented! My 4 month old Yorkie loved the attention last time, and I am sure he would love to be with me as much as possible. Thanks for the info!

     
  2. So what about your co-workers who are allergic to dogs?

    And what about co-workers who have a cat instead of a dog? Should they also be allowed to bring their cat to work?

     
  3. Love it! I wish we could have animals here in our office. A co-worker and I visit a pet store nearby when we have a particularly bad day, and we always joke about buying an office bunny! Maybe by the time I own a house and my dream Welsh Corgis, I’ll work somewhere that lets me bring my pets to work. Great post, Jeff!

     
  4. In response to @monogodo, would you really want to bring a cat to work? I say, if it’s comfortable on a leash, then knock yourself out. I haven’t met too many cats, however, that really like to be thrown into strange surroundings with multiple people fawning over them. Face it, dogs are just better!

     
  5. I say, put that dog to work. If we had a dog that brought drinks and faxes to my desk, I’d pay that dog out of my own pocket.

     
  6. I have two responses to this topic:

    1. Why would anyone want to work more hours? I personally believe in the 30 hour work week model. You get more quality work done when you’re not dragging on for an extra two hours per day. There are some studies out there that verify this.

    2. What about when you can’t focus because somebody’s dog is annoying? I’ve heard from ex-IMC2ers that they got stuck watching their cubemate’s dog during meetings and basically got nothing done because the dog(s) was whining the whole time. If everyone’s dog was silent, I’d say go for it. Otherwise, there’s dog hair, dog smell, dog whimpering, dog barking, etc. I love dogs, but I’m not THAT much of a dog lover. :)

    Good article. Brought out a lot of response from our readers, which is always a good thing.

     
  7. atlasgirl

    Awesome post! I work near an office in Dallas that allows employees to bring their dogs to work. Sadly, my company is way to conservative for such endeavors.

    Love the article! I would love to attempt bringing my dog to work!

     
  8. @Dave,

    Yes, I’d love to bring my cat to work with me. He’s very mellow, and loves people. He especially loves being around me.

    Dogs are not better than cats. Dogs have a distinctive odor about them, especially when wet. Dogs also will bark and whine and are needy. Every cat I’ve ever had has been virtually silent and is very independent.

    I’ve also been to businesses that have had cats residing in their shops, and no, they were not vets or pet stores. Off the top of my head, I can think of 3 bike shops and one gift shop that have cats.

    The thing is, while I’d love to have my cat with me at work, I’d never do it, because I wouldn’t want to inflict pet dander on someone who is allergic.

    To continue that thought, let’s say I’m allergic to dogs. Let’s say we work at the same company, and the company decides to allow dogs in the workplace. I now have what equates to an unsafe working environment, as being around the dog would decrease the level of my health. I shouldn’t have to pay for allergy medicine because you brought your dog. If you, or the company, are willing to pay for it, then great.

     
  9. All –

    First and foremost, thanks to Daniel for allowing me the opportunity to write on his blog.

    Second – thank you for all the comments. To answer Daniel’s comment, I will say this:

    Dogs are going to make noise. Whining, excessive barking and crying are not allowed nor are they permitted anymore.

    We have a group called the Critter Club who write the regulations and rules for those of us who bring dogs to work.

    It’s looked upon a privilege and not a right. Hope that makes sense?

    For those ex-imc2′ers, tell them I feel their pain as I’ve had to watch a few co-worker’s dogs as well, but I welcome the opportunity if it helps my coworkers. They always return the favor.

    The company I work for (which allows us to bring our dogs) isn’t for everyone.

    If you don’t like dogs, then you probably shouldn’t work at our ad agency.

    Thanks for the opportunity again and I look forward to writing more posts! :)

    -Jeff McCord

     
  10. I don’t currently have a dog (have had in the past), but I would welcome working in an office with well-behaved canines. Anything that can humanize the work environment and remind us that we’re something other than oddly-shaped office equipment gets high marks from me.

     
  11. I think the idea is cool–but it depends on the work environment. Believe it or not, I work in an environment where there isn’t an actual company “policy” on pets, but should you need to bring your (animal) to work, you can. Some things go without being said, like keep them partially quiet, clean up after them, don’t allow them to become too much of a distraction because after all–this is work.

    But I don’t see any reason to get overly joyed about the topic, unless you don’t have children. Because honestly, I would rather bring my children to work everyday–when its hard to find reliable daycare–than worry about a dog. And, knowing how pathetic Corporate America is (and the people who run it)–they would more than likely institute a bring your pet to work day and a leave your kids at home (everyday) policy.

     
  12. We Brits are always tickled by American euphemisms for bodily functions. “Use the restroom” is hysterical enough as it is (what, you take a little nap while you’re there?) but when applied to dogs it tips over into surrealism. They crap, they piss, and so do humans. Get over it, people. Oh, and Janet Jackson has nipples. Who knew?

    (Standard disclaimer: please do not take this as evidence of ‘kneejerk anti-Americanism’. I love Woody Allen, Aretha Franklin, Paul Auster, Jackson Pollock, Bill Hicks, clam chowder, the New Yorker, The Wire, Apple Macs and much more. Your current president’s a feeble-minded twunt, but I don’t hold that against you all.)

     

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