Bring Your Dog to Work (and Convince Your Boss It's a Good Idea!)

Shellie Braeuner
Dec. 21, 2015

Missing Fido at work? Here's how to convince your manager that dogs in the office can be a great thing.

Of course you want to bring your dog to work -- who doesn't? No one likes to think of a poor, lonely puppy pining away while you work like a dog in your cubical. The truth is, there is no good reason why a well-behaved, friendly dog can't enjoy an office setting.

But before you get your pup ready for work, you have to convince that all-powerful entity who holds your paycheck. Try one or more of these arguments, and you'll have a good shot at talking her into letting you bring man's best friend to the office:

  1. He'll Increase Business
    Go right for the jugular: the bottom line. "We totally underestimated how much the dogs made us a destination," says Niki Coffman of Parnassus Books. "After Ann [Patchett, author and co-owner of the bookstore] brought in her dog during the building, it became clear that dogs were going to be a part of the store."

    Today, the Parnassus "store dogs" have their own web page and poster. Businesses that work directly with the public can really benefit from employees bringing their dogs in -- customers come to pet them and stay to shop.

  2. She'll Reduce Stress Around the Office
    Just petting a dog can help people relax, and according to research in Perspectives on Psychological Science, relaxed people's brains work better. If you work in a high-stress setting, this could be the best argument to present to your boss.

  3. He'll Encourage Healthy Habits
    Dogs need to move. Oddly enough, people aren't designed to just sit around all day, either. When you have your dog with you at the office, you will need to take him for walks from time to time. This allows you to stretch your legs, get some exercise and get the blood pumping -- which will make you a healthier and more productive employee.
  4. She Can Detect Trustworthiness
    Dogs are pack animals and reflect the personality of the people around them. Happy, good-natured dogs reflect happy, good-natured employees. "People have said that the dogs show we are trustworthy," Coffman says.
  5. He'll Reduce Pests
    While this may not be the first argument, it is still a good one. For centuries, dogs have been bred to hunt everything from deer to rats. Most house dogs are happy to chase flies and other bugs. In addition, their scent will help to drive rodents from the area.
  6. She'll Brighten Up the Company Instagram Page
    Redefine casual Friday. For everyday office wear, your dog comes equipped with his own coat. A tie, of course, would be optional. But casual Friday can give everyone the opportunity to dress up their dogs in those costumes that gather dust the rest of the year. You can dress her for success in a puppy tutu, or prepare for a meeting with Superdog. You could get the office together with a group theme -- like lunch!

Now that your boss sees all the benefits of bringing dogs to the workplace (if she still needs convincing, send her a link to 15 Cutest Dog Pictures Ever), it is important to set a few ground rules so that the experience will be positive for everyone.

  • Housebroken Dogs Only
    Don't even think about bringing a dog to work who doesn't know where to go to the bathroom. No one wants to step in a puddle, or even worse, a pile. If your dog has a habit of marking his territory, consider purchasing a "tinkle belt" that plugs the leak before he has a chance to lift his leg.
  • Make Sure She's Client-facing
    Any dog who lives with people must be well-behaved. Your dog should have good social skills with people and other dogs. Bringing an impulsive or aggressive dog into any social setting is just asking for trouble. Before considering the office, try taking her to the dog park or a pet store that encourages animals.
  • Be Responsible
    Every owner must be responsible for his animal at all times in the office. That means that you need to keep an eye on your pet throughout the work day.

If you want to make sure your office dog is on his best behavior, check out 5 DIY Dog Training Tips.

Does your boss let you bring your dog to work? Tell us how you made it happen in the comments!

Shellie Braeuner, is an award winning children's author. She earned an M.Ed from Vanderbilt in Human Developmental Counseling and has worked as a nanny for more than 25 years. She is currently working on her MFA in writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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