Convincing your company to participate in an open-pet policy

In an interesting spin on a countdown of best workplaces, Contently ran down “The 6 Most Unique Co-Working Spaces in the World.” The workspaces for freelancers range from kayaking, scuba diving, climbing and surfing. That made us wonder what would it be like to have a dog office, even outside of Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 24, 2016.

For those who aren’t already familiar with Take Your Dog to Work Day, or Take Your Pet to Work Week, the first celebration started in 1999 and was created by Pet Sitters International (PSI). It’s always celebrated the Friday after Father’s Day, a double bonus for “man’s best friend.”

So far, there are approximately 300 businesses who have participated, according to PSI’s site. One of those companies is popular e-commerce site, which allows 24 to 36 dogs to come to their Seattle, Washington headquarters. Ben & Jerry’s, Healthwise, and Replacements, Ltd. also get in on the fun, according to The Bark. Chicago company, Kaleidoscope has an “open doggy door policy” where dogs are in the office at least three to four days per week.

Some pet enthusiasts have managed to convince their bosses to have four-legged fun all week. The weeklong celebration, Take Your Pet to Work Week, gives cat lovers the opportunity to join the celebration. According to the “Take Your Dog to Work Day Toolkit,” not only is it a time to bond with co-workers and bosses. It’s also a chance to “establish new community ties by partnering with a local animal shelter, rescue group, humane society and/or professional pet sitter to organize the event.”

A 2015 Society for Human Resource Management survey, according to CNBC, confirmed that 8 percent of American workplaces would allow their pets to come to their jobs. While 8 percent isn’t a lot, it’s an increase from the 5 percent results in 2013.

Of course, there are a few general rules to follow in order to make sure open-pet door policies can stay this way:

  • Make sure the pets are socialized. According to the Animal Humane Society, puppies between three and 20 weeks are easiest to socialize.
  • While it is ideal for pets to be housebroken or paper-trained, a belly band or “sani-panties” may be a necessity for a dog that marks.
  • Avoid giving dogs treats as regular snacks throughout the day. Treats should be reserved as rewards for good behavior. Although dogs may be able to smell the treats 25 feet away from the owner, smelling them doesn’t mean they get to eat them!
  • Take advantage of your pet’s “bathroom” breaks. A New York Times report confirmed that workers who took midday walks were more enthusiastic, less tense and more relaxed by the afternoon work shift than those who didn’t walk at all. The same goes for pets in the office!

For the average worker who doesn’t have this pet option, consider pitching it to your boss for the summer celebration day. If it all works out, this could end up being a tail-wagging good time!