If you work and own a dog, then you know how heartbreaking it is when you have to leave them alone to go to the office in the morning. But what if you could find a job where you didn’t have to do that? One where instead, you could take your dog along with you?
Dog-friendly workplaces are becoming more popular in the UK, especially following several surveys that prove dogs have a beneficial effect on staff members. But what exactly are those? And how do you find a job that allows dogs? If you’re looking for a dog-friendly job, here’s everything you need to know.
Can I take my dog to work in the UK?
This depends on the company. Some companies are entirely pet-friendly, some only allow pets on Bring Your Dog To Work Day, and others (especially food-related companies), don’t allow them at all.
Companies that do allow dogs in the workplace will promote it when posting job offers, as it's considered a benefit to employees. So if you’re in the process of looking for a job that allows dogs, make sure you look up “pet-friendly companies”!
Employers are under no obligation to allow dogs in the workplace. They could be against it for many different reasons including hygiene (in a restaurant or hospital for example), safety (construction or factory work, for instance), or simply the fact that your employer/employees don’t like dogs! Keep in mind that some people are allergic to dog dander and others are even afraid of dogs. The comfort and safety of all staff members is your employer’s priority, so if bringing your dog to the workplace is going to affect that, they’ll steer clear away from it!
However, if you think your company could benefit from a pet-friendly workplace, and that most people in your office would be on board, why not pitch the idea to your boss? Purina has a Pets at Work program which helps both employers and employees kick-start a dog-friendly workplace. Why not check it out for some ideas?
Is it OK to bring your dog to work?
Before you pitch the idea of a pet-friendly workplace to your bosses, consider whether bringing your dog to work would be good for your dog as well. For example, is there anywhere you’d be able to take your dog for a walk during breaks or your lunch hour? Would your dog be ok taking public transport? Would your dog feel overwhelmed being in a new environment with lots of new people? How old is your dog and how is their health? Would they be ok being up and about all day? Essentially - are you able to provide their 5 welfare needs within your workplace?
The perfect candidates for Pets at Work are dogs who are house-trained, quiet and calm, confident, and sociable. Of course, some nervousness and an accident or two should be expected in your dog’s first visits to the office - but overall, it should be a pleasant experience for your dog. If you think it could be overwhelming for your dog, maybe reconsider whether bringing them to work is a good idea.
What are some companies that allow dogs at work?
The most common dog-friendly workplaces involve office jobs. This is because an office job doesn’t require you to be moving around much, so it’s easy to keep your pet with you and to keep an eye on them at all times.
Most dog-friendly companies are companies that actually deal with animals professionally. For example, the Blue Cross, Battersea, and Purina offices are all proudly pet-friendly.
But not all dog-friendly companies specialise in animals! Large American companies such as Google, Amazon, and Build-A-Bear are well-known for being pet-friendly, so you could check their UK offices for jobs!
But even smaller UK companies are also getting on board with over a third of them now being pet-friendly. Companies such as TransferWise, Depop, and Design Bridge allow dogs in their offices - and there are many more out there to choose from!
What are the benefits of working in a dog friendly office?
Where to start...there are so many! Firstly, it means your dog won’t be home alone all day, which is indescribably beneficial for their mental and physical health. By being able to spend time with and take care of your dog during your work day, you’re also readjusting your work-life balance.
But having dogs in offices is also extremely beneficial for other employees and therefore your company as a whole! According to a 2017 survey by Purina, 24% of people with Pets at Work said it improves relationships in the workplace. Some people that had never met or spoken to each other got to know each other through their dogs - they’re real ice-breakers! 48% of people believed that having pets at work helped to reduce stress. This is backed up scientifically with proof that just petting a dog reduces our cortisol (stress hormone) levels and increases our oxytocin (feel-good hormone) levels! 45% of people said having dogs at work created a more positive and relaxed atmosphere - saying it was near impossible for employees to walk by a dog without smiling and stopping for a belly rub!
Here at Wamiz, we’re proudly dog-friendly and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our dogs are part of the work family, and we see only benefits to having them around. And hopefully, as time goes on, more and more companies will see it the same way too.