A cat is happy to herd the house alone. It’s often a different story with dogs: every time the master goes “hunting”, the dog worries about its owner. The joy is correspondingly great when he returns from his hero’s journey in the evening with a pack of dog food. And the beloved four-legged friend needs all the more attention then: because not only the worry about the master drives him around, but also boredom.
During the pandemic, there was a genuine pet boom. Many who usually left the house at eight every day were now at home from morning till night. The perfect opportunity to get a puppy and spend the whole day with the cute four-legged friend.
In the meantime, the home office obligation has been lifted nationwide, not every employer grants its employees the possibility of a hybrid working model and the question arises what to do with the four-legged ones (who are not used to spending the whole day alone at home).
Pets in the office
Is it actually allowed to bring pets into the office? Officially no. Bringing the pet to the workplace without permission can, in the worst case, end in a warning. Each employer may decide for him/herself whether and which pets he/she allows in the office. It is therefore essential to clarify the issue in advance!
What pets can you take into the office?
Commonly known are the “office dogs” who cannot stay at home alone all day. Since cats, rabbits or guinea pigs usually don’t have a problem with it, there is no need to bring them into the office. Even if the employer would allow it in principle, you should think twice: cats, unlike dogs, don’t listen to a word and like to do their own thing. And rodents are rarely house-trained.
The character of the dog basically plays a much bigger role than the breed. Your dog should meet the following requirements so that you can take it to the office without worrying:
- The dog should be fully vaccinated and insured. If the four-legged friend accidentally knocks over the boss’s antique Chinese vase, it quickly becomes expensive for the owner!
- It should in no case be aggressive, loud or biting!
- He must obey to the letter.
- Naturally, he should be house-trained.
- And it should stay in its place, even if the owner leaves the room.
Does your dog meet all these conditions? Congratulations! Then he essentially has what it takes to be an office dog. However, there are still a few things that you as an owner should keep in mind to ensure that the daily work routine with a dog works well:
- The dog should have a fixed place to lie down (e.g. a blanket or a basket).
- Get a sealable food bowl to avoid dog food smells as much as possible.
- Is there already another dog in the office? Be sure to introduce the animals outside the office and observe well how they react to each other.
- Introduce your dog to every staff member to prevent mistrust and fear.
- Allow your dog access only to certain rooms (kitchen, bathrooms and conference rooms are taboo!).
- Make sure your dog doesn’t leave any traces and keep the office clean (i.e. put toys away, clean up leftover food or small accidents).
- Have toys with you to pass the time. But only those that don’t make any noise!
- Always have “bribe treats” ready 😉
- Always have the dog in sight!
- Plan regular walks in your schedule.
What are the arguments against office dogs?
One should not forget that not everybody is an animal lover. If the constant presence of a dog causes stress or discomfort to a colleague, this must be taken into account and respected. Especially with colleagues who are afraid of dogs.
There are also people with allergies to dog hair. For them, your four-legged friend can become a health risk.
Also, a dog that is badly trained and cannot adapt to the office atmosphere is perceived as a disturbance.
Dogs brighten up everyday life in the office
But a dog in the office can also bring a lot of joy and a breath of fresh air into everyday office life! A few strokes during the break or while getting coffee have been proven to reduce stress. Petting a dog releases the happiness and bonding hormone oxytocin, which lowers blood pressure and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. In addition, pets in the office reduce absenteeism. On average, there are 7% fewer days of absence among pet owners. This is also due to the positive influence of animals on health and stress levels.
Of course, the dog also needs some movement during the lunch break! This way, the owner (namely you!) is forced to go for a walk in the fresh air – which also provides him or her with new energy and better concentration. Maybe even a few colleagues will decide to accompany you on the walk.
Pets in the office can certainly brighten up the day! However, it is important to check with the employer beforehand and to take into account any allergies or fears of colleagues. If your dog then meets all the requirements, there is nothing to stop it from being “promoted” to office dog.