Dogs in the office - how can I take my dog to work?

Dogs in the office - how can I take my dog to work?

25 March 2024

Dogs at work

With an ast-hounding 74% of pet owners reporting an improvement in their mental health from owning a pet, it’s no wonder that companies have picked up on this. Everyone has been sniffing out “pet friendly offices”, and the search term has received a 300% uplift in Google searches versus last year. This interest is also reflected in the increase in dog friendly offices as well as a variety of companies offering a BorrowMyDoggy subscription as a job perk.

But what’s the best way to make it work for you, your colleagues and your workplace? Every workplace is different and although an office filled with dogs is our idea of hound heaven, it isn’t always practical or the best option for employees and/or dogs.

Here’s two ways to find the pawfect work-life balance with our furry friends while having a busy work life.

Pets at Work scheme

Find a borrower to spend time with your dog while at work

How To Take Your Dog to Work With You

Assuming yours is a dog friendly workplace, there are a few things to keep in mind when bringing your dog to work with you.

Here are some tips:

  • Make sure your dog is well-behaved and won't be disruptive. You don't want to be the person who gets in trouble for having a noisy or rowdy dog at work!
  • Be mindful of where you put your dog's food and water bowl. It's best to put them in a place where they won't bother other people or get in the way.
  • Crate train your dog if possible. This will make it easier for them to stay calm and settled while you're working.
  • Make sure you have plenty of time for walks and playdates during tea breaks and lunchtime. They'll need to stretch their legs and get some exercise, just like you do!
  • Bringing your dog to work can be a great way to combat mental health issues, as long as you're prepared and considerate of your fellow employees. With a little planning, you and your pup can enjoy a stress-free day at the office!

Oakley the Labrador Retriever is sat at the desk wearing a headset ready to speak to clients
Oakley the Labrador Retriever

15 reasons why you should consider taking your dog to the office with you

  1. Dogs provide a sense of calm and relaxation in the midst of a stressful work day.
  2. Our fuzzy friends can help reduce feelings of loneliness or isolation that may come from working long hours.
  3. Dogs offer non-judgmental companionship and unconditional love, both of which are invaluable at work.
  4. Caring for a dog can give you a sense of purpose or responsibility outside of your job duties.
  5. Interacting with dogs has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate, two important indicators of stress levels.
  6. Dogs can provide much-needed breaks during a hectic work day.
  7. Playing with a pup can help relieve tension and increase energy levels.
  8. Dogs can act as icebreakers, helping you to meet new people in the office.
  9. Walking a dog during lunchtime or after work can be a great way to get some exercise and fresh air.
  10. Having a dog in the office may encourage employers to be more flexible with employees' schedules (such as allowing for occasional wiggle time for walks).
  11. Dogs offer valuable assistance to those with disabilities or health conditions.
  12. Pups in the workplace can help promote a team spirit and sense of camaraderie among employees.
  13. Pets have been shown to boost morale and increase job satisfaction levels in workers.
  14. Dogs provide an excellent source of stress relief (which can be beneficial for both employees and employers).
  15. Employees who bring dogs to work tend to take fewer sick days than those who don't.

How can dogs impact your work positively?

BorrowMyDoggy owner, Lily, talks us through her experience of dog ownership and work:

"I got a dog 11 months ago, it wasn’t a rash decision, it was a calculated step, and being at home during COVID meant I had the most time to train her to be a well behaved adult (the old commute didn’t lend itself to having a dog around). But the world is changing, whether companies like it or not, and 11% of the UK has got a pet in the last year.

My pup Rhubarb brought me many things… From tears of joy to tears of frustration (they do say it’s like having a kid for a reason) but more than anything I’ve noticed some unexpected benefits, that have had a huge impact on my work life, entirely for the better, and shows that you shouldn’t underestimate the power of dogs.

TIME MANAGEMENT: I’m not someone who naturally likes a routine, I’ve struggled to get up out of bed when the alarm is blaring, and am the kind of person who can never decide if she’s a morning or evening shower person, but a dog is an immediate, reinforced structure to my day. It’s clarity in the seemingly endless monotony of lockdown.

She has to go to the potty in the morning, I have to tear myself from my screen at lunch to give her a walk, and at the end of the day, she needs me again. This means that when I’m working, my eyes are glued to the screen. I’m making the best use of my time, it’s precious and limited - procrastinator no more.

FOCUS: I’m very curious what everyone’s “not stepped one foot outside the front door” record has been over the past year. Before I got Rhubarb mine was three days. It’s safe to say going from pyjama trousers to joggers doesn’t inspire the mind, since having Rhubarb however, the fashion conscious side of me is forced to change for public appearances, not to mention the access to sunlight (’s still England after all).

Upping my steps game has meant an overall increase in focus when I’m back in the house, it’s naturally diversifying my daily activities, just by adding a four-legged friend. In fact dog owners average 3,000 more steps per day, making Fitbits and Apple Watches sing.

SHUSHING “SHEILA”: Let’s call the annoying voice of doubt and anxiety in your head Sheila, she’s rather persistent, and she is constantly focused on worst case scenarios: “What if you get COVID? What if that person who sneezed when they passed you gave you COVID”. Yeah, Sheila is rather annoying (no hard feelings if you are called Sheila!) and though maybe somewhat valid, she’s largely unhelpful.

While we all have these thoughts that plague our minds and make us miserable, there is a kind of magic that having a dog around can cast on them, you simply don’t have enough time to focus on them, they aren’t so persistent, you aren’t so focused on them, all because your furry friend demands your attention much of the day, and keeps you company in the quiet moments, making them not quite as tough.

SMALL TALK BECOMES LARGE TALK: I’m the first to say that small talk can drain you. However, in the past year the absence of people has meant firstly, I’d love a little more small talk in my life, and actually when you have a dog, small talk quickly progresses into lasting relationships with people locally and colleagues alike.

When we first started visiting the park with Rhubarb, it was mainly chat about her age, breed and temperament with other owners, but after the fifth or sixth time you see them, that progresses into chats about life in lockdown, job updates, and eventually exchanging numbers to coordinate park visits and checking in on each other. It’s a sense of community I couldn’t have expected before having a dog in London of all places.

ADDED JOY TO THE MOST MUNDANE OF DAYS: There’s something beautiful about dogs in their randomness, their silly antics, the way they howl when certain songs play, or their silly sleeping positions that looks about as comfortable as trying to sleep in the middle of performing a contortionist’s act in the circus. They add purpose to our walks, tranquility to our down time and passion to our interactions with other people.

It’s safe to say that we largely miss out on that in our lives apart from the adorable randomness you also see in young children, however dogs maintain that wonder and silliness throughout their lives, adding colour, joy and magic to your life - quite literally making them a reason to get up in the morning.

This is not to say that it doesn’t take A LOT of work to have a dog, because it does. However, the benefits of having or borrowing a dog have huge impacts on your life, many of which don’t eliminate the difficulties of swimming through life, but rather feels like the equivalent of giving you a nice set of floaties to lighten the load.”

Pets at work scheme

Purina Petcare believes pets and people are better together. Its Pets At Work (PAW) scheme has been running since 2003 and provides support and materials for companies wanting to open their doors to canine colleagues, including a toolkit based on their own experiences. Purina’s offices began welcoming furry friends nearly 20 years ago, with employees reporting a wealth of paw-sitive benefits in their personal and professional mental wellbeing because of the scheme.

According to research commissioned by Purina, four fifths of Brits (81%) believe pet-friendly workplaces are happier workplaces, with dog-friendly found to be the work perk that Brits said had the biggest positive impact on their overall wellbeing, with a fifth (20%) ranking it higher than other common perks such as free breakfasts, a complementary bar and free childcare at the office. Dog-friendly offices can even improve relationships between humans too, with a quarter (24%) saying it improves relationships in the workplace.

40% of participants said that it enhances work-life balance, which can be pivotal in a post-covid world where more businesses are shifting to hybrid ways of working. Employees could also see cost-savings through bringing pets to work, even just for one or two days a week – providing some potentially vital relief during the cost-of-living crisis.

You can find out more about Purina’s Pets at Work scheme on their website.

Find a borrower to spend time with your dog while you're at work

Not every work space is suitable for our furry friends, each working environment is different and there are a number of things to consider as an employer, such as safety or hygiene, and therefore it’s not always possible to allow animals on the premises.

For dog parents it can be worrying leaving your pooch at home whilst you’re at work, having a trusted, local borrower who will care for your dog and give them the extra love and attention they deserve can give you piece of mind and allow you to devote 100% of your focus to your job during your working hours.

Frank the Cross Breed with his borrower, both have huge grins on their face and are happy to be spending the day together
Doggy member Frank, the Cross Breed

BorrowMyDoggy has given us peace of mind that when we are at work someone else is looking after him and loving him. Jerome could not be happier, we have found another family to love him; he gets extra cuddles and extra walks.

Jerome's owner, Gillian from Worcestershire

With the current climate, many dog owners are also concerned about the rising costs of caring for their furry family members. BorrowMyDoggy provides an affordable alternative to a paid dog walker and you can rest assured your dog is receiving 1-1 undivided attention.

His doggy wellbeing and mine has been completely saved by BorrowMyDoggy. We couldn't thank you guys enough.

Groot's owner, Rosanna from Sheffield

What’s more, the BorrowMyDoggy community is filled with like-minded people, all with the same purpose, to share the love of dogs, a borrower becomes much more than just a borrower, they become a long term friend for both you and your pooch. 33% stated they now feel more connected to the local community through our platform.

Finding a friend for your furiend!

It’s not just the two legged members who benefit. 44% of owners said their dog is happier after spending time with a borrower. A happy dog, happy borrower, happy owner!

Doggy member Macey, the Miniature Schnauzer having a rest on a blue pillow
Doggy member Macey, the Miniature Schnauzer

Owners should be aware of the huge benefits that BorrowMyDoggy can bring to their dog - the positive psychological impact on the dog is the biggest thing that owners won’t realise until they do it. Since signing up my Schnauzer, Macey, she’s more outgoing, trusting and she thinks the whole world is full of fun. She's more gregarious and confident through meeting so many new people.

Macey’s owner, Birte.

A helping paw

Finding the pawfect work-life balance is about the mental wellbeing of yourself as well as your dog. We want to make sure it’s a woof-woof situation so you can gain all the pawsome benefits of spending time with a dog, while ensuring they are also being cared for in the best way possible. That’s where BorrowMyDoggy or Pets at Work can step in to lend a helping paw.

Mental health guides

The benefits of dogs for our mental health

Finding a work-life balance with dogs

Health benefits of BorrowMyDoggy

Mindfulness: a virtual dog walk

Testimonial on how dogs help with mental health

Hey there!

Want to hear about a different kind of dog care that both you and your dog will love?

Or perhaps you're a dog lover who can't have one of your own right now?

We have the pawfect solution, BorrowMyDoggy!

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