Tips To Bring Your Dog To Work Daily

Are you bemoaning having to leave your dog at home while you’re at the office all day? I understand. When I adopted my dog, Henry, I immediately started taking him to work with me. He loved it and so did everyone else. Well, I did as well. Today, let’s dig into how to bring your dog to work. These are my tried and tested tips. I will share the amazing benefits of taking your dog to work. Many of which are backed by science. Plus, I will walk you through how to successfully transition your dog to being an office pup. 

*Updated: June 2, 2023

a woman is able to work better after she learned how to bring her dog to work
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Budget Tip:

While it does take a bit of planning to bring your dog to work, the benefits can be extreme. You don't need to worry about your dog at home, pay for a sitter, or doggie daycare. Plus, you get extra time to bond with your dog. Honestly, the calming benefits for your dog and the stress reducing benefits for you and your office makes bringing your dog to work an amazing win-win!

What are the benefits to your company when you bring your dog to work?

If you work in an office that does not allow dogs or pets, then you first need to know the benefits of the company changing the policy. Here are the top three benefits and they are whoppers!

1. Employee morale increases and stress decreases

WHOA! This is worth its weight in gold! It’s probably why companies like Google, Amazon, and Esty, to name a few are dog-friendly offices (or at least they were pre-covid). 

While I don’t work in a brick-and-mortar office anymore, Henry did go to work with me for more than two years until I began working remotely.

It always surprised me how people would come into my rather small building looking for Henry. I’d hear the door slam and someone scream, “I NEED MY HENRY FIX!” Mind you this was a workplace, which was normally quiet. But when stress hits all bets are off, I suppose. At any rate, what they actually needed was an oxytocin (feel-good hormone) fix. But who was I to argue? Besides Henry loved his job and helping increase everyone’s oxytocin levels, including all my co-workers, vendors, my boss, and me. Somedays I swear Henry was much busier than me. 

2. Collaborations improve

It’s funny how a dog can disarm people and put them more at ease to discuss projects that they would have kept you in the dark about or only given you bits and pieces about. I had a lot more projects and collaborations once Henry started going to work with me than I did prior to his arrival. He was my great communicator barrier buster. 

3. Great for company and individuals’ health

To be honest, pet-friendly companies are probably weighing this benefit most heavily. Who could blame them? 

Science has shown that taking your dog to work means:

  • more breaks involving exercise, both walks or playtime
  • workers are more creative and productive
  • higher job satisfaction
  • less sick or absent days
  • lower-cost healthcare intervention (workers aren’t as sick)

These are all powerful benefits to take to your boss to boost your idea of bringing your dog to work. Of course, beware there are a few occupations where it’s not possible for your office to be a pet-friendly workplace. These include:

  • restaurant industry
  • hair salon industry
  • construction
  • manufacturing
  • some medical specialties (although a few of my doctors have an office dog)

Or any industry that is regulated to not allow animals or pets either at the state or federal level.

How to take your dog to work if there is no current policy

You believe your industry allows for dog-friendly offices. Now what? 

  1. Ask your boss or supervisor first (you can use the benefits to show how it will help the company)
  2. Make sure your dog is vaccinated
  3. Ensure your dog is also well-groomed with trimmed nails
  4. A few basic dog commands are a great idea such as sit, come, stay, and let it go.

Are you not sure about how to train your dog? Perhaps time or money is a barrier to training your dog. In this article, I show you how to train your dog on your time schedule and for free.

Once you’ve been given permission to make your dog an office dog, what next?

Now, that your boss has given you the go-ahead to bring your dog to work, it’s time for you to be proactive. This step makes your dog and co-workers comfortable with your dog at work. These are the 7 steps you’ll need to do to have a successful experience with taking your dog to work.

1. Dog-proof your workplace

Sometimes not much is needed to pet-proof your office. However, look at things from your dog’s eyes, especially if there are any chemicals or toxins your dog could accidentally get into. For me, I mostly needed to manage loose electrical cords that a curious dog could get tangled in under a desk. I also had to close the basement door, where nasty chemicals were stored. Truly it wasn’t that difficult.

Have you dog-proofed your home? Do you know this simple task can save you money? Find out how in this article.

2. Give your dog his/her workplace space

  • a bed 
  • food
  • water

I placed a bed and food next to my desk. However, to ensure that Henry would not get too bored I put his water dish in the kitchen. This was a small office and I could easily hear him enter the kitchen. I had a window and moved a chair so he could look out it. This was great entertainment for him. In fact, he could often see people coming to see him before me even.

3. Don’t forget your dog supplies 

  • toys or even a puzzle toy for extra entertainment
  • dog treats 
  • poop bags 

I often took part of Henry’s breakfast with us to work. Since he doesn’t like toys I made sure he was entertained by looking at the people traffic and walks. In fact, he often got extra walks because my co-workers would take him for walks and I would as well. He did not lack for entertainment at work.

Do you struggle to get your dog’s poop bags open? I did until I created this simple, easy, and free hack. In this article, I show you how to do it for yourself.

4. Introduce your dog to all your co-workers and his/her work environment

Plan time for this step. You may be shocked at how long it can take for introductions. Also, make sure your dog is familiar with all parts of the building he/she will have access to so he won’t be scared by some odd noise or movement.

This is also the time to tell your co-workers about any restrictions your dog has or you have for your dog. For example Henry, he has a bit of a sensitive stomach. My co-workers ALL wanted to give him treats every time they saw him.

Imagine going to grandma’s house every day and getting cookies every time you saw her. Most of the time they would at least ask before giving him a treat. Honestly, I could tell, when they caved and gave him something yummy. Poor Henry would have trouble with his tummy. But he’d still be ready for work the next day.

TIP: You may want to plan to do introductions around office hours, as this can take a bit of time. At least it did with Henry, even in our small building. Everyone needed to play a bit with Henry and get to know him. 

Do you know how much you can save by making your own dog treats? In this article, I break it out for you.

5. Make sure to plan breaks with walks and/or playtime

This will ensure your dog doesn’t get bored or have any “accidents”. Plus, it means you take breaks and clear your mind from office “clutter,” which allows you to work more productively. 

Tip: I would often set an alarm to make sure I didn’t miss a walk, which can be easy to do when you dig into a work project. 

6. Backup plan 

There may be times when you can’t take a break or you get tied up with work projects. On those days, you will want to:

  • leave your dog home
  • take your dog to doggie daycare
  • call a dog walker
  • or ask a co-worker friend to walk your dog

TIP: You might be surprised at the number of co-workers that will volunteer to dog sit for you. I was always amazed by my co-workers when I’d say I was going to leave Henry home the next day because of a meeting. I would always have at least three co-workers say, “Please don’t! I’ll watch him.” 

Not sure how to find a great doggie daycare? In this article, I walk you through the process.

Maybe the thought of finding a great dog walker seems overwhelming. In this article, I share tips for finding a great one in your area.

7. Recognize when your dog has had enough. 

There may come a time when your dog doesn’t feel like going to work (perhaps he’s had surgery or is sick) or someone at your office is not open to having a dog in the office regardless of how much everyone else loves your dog. Have a plan in place if this happens. 

NOTE: For me, I needed to prepare Henry for my break. He didn’t want to quit. In fact, for months when I would drive by my old building with Henry he would cry for me to stop. 

Are there types of dogs you shouldn’t take to work?

Always consider your dog’s demeanor. Can your dog handle an office environment? Consider such things as:

  • shyness
  • aggressiveness
  • territorial
  • destructive
  • food/toy protective
  • high energy
  • jumps when greeting
  • humps legs
  • not potty trained
  • unaltered (some work environments will be fine with intact dogs, but many prefer them to be altered as they are typically calmer dogs)

If your dog falls into one of these categories, he/she probably is not a good fit for a workplace environment. 

Related articles:

Summary of tips to easily bring your dog to work daily

I know Henry would say that bringing your dog to work is definitely 4 paws up! He certainly enjoyed every minute of it. In case you can’t tell, he’s a major social butterfly. My co-workers would say Henry was a huge benefit as well for the workplace environment. I’d have to agree. It was a lot easier to go to work, once I had Henry with me.

Actually, Henry went to work with me, he became almost a mascot in the office. He was the first thing people looked for when they entered the building. Henry was a great fit. I loved it as did my co-workers. I was very grateful for this experience. 

a content dog hangs out in an office after her mom learned how to bring her dog to work

Have you ever taken your dog to work on a daily basis? Will you try to now with this information? 

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14 thoughts on “Tips To Bring Your Dog To Work Daily”

  1. Great post! I’ve been lucky to work from home for many years, since before I even had dogs. My partner works from home now as well, after many years of commuting to his job. We’re lucky to have enough space in our house to set up a home office. It’s basically half for us, and half space where our dogs can hang out while we work. When you work from home, everyday is bring your dog to work day! 🙂

    Reply
    • I’m glad you like this post. It sounds like you have a great set-up for working from home. You are absolutely correct, every day is bring your dog to work when you work from home. 😊💖🐶

      Reply
  2. Great post and I firmly believe that dogs in offices help with the atmosphere, environment and make a happier work place. Layla is fortunate that I 90% of the time work from home but have in the past when tutoring kids at their homes took her with me and for the hour or so that I was tutoring she happily slept in her carrier. It was a win win situation.

    Reply
    • Layla is lucky to have you home 90% of the time. I also was a teacher. But I was lucky enough that I was able to do it from home. When my students were particularly good, I treated them with a visit from Henry. They always thought that was the best.

      Reply
  3. Such a great post! I was not able to bring my dogs to work when I was employed out of the home. But happy to say, the past 10 years I have been home and with them all the time. Now, that I lost my last of the FiveSibes, I look back and am so glad I was able to be with them. I love the idea of dogs at work. Pinning to share!

    Reply
    • I’m so happy you liked this post. I have been very fortunate with Henry. It sounds like you had a great 10 years with your FiveSibes. I’m sorry to hear you lost your last one. That’s never easy. Sending you hugs. 💞

      Reply
  4. You are so fortunate to have the opportunity to bring your dog to work. There is nothing I would enjoy more. I work in a school and I know my dog would be so great with the students and the teachers. I brought her once the day I got her and everyone just melted. She is so wonderful with people and kids.

    Reply
    • Schools can be tricky with bringing your dog to work. Unless you have a special service dog, like a blind service dog in training or something along those lines, it could be difficult. Although, you can sometimes show where super chill dogs benefit some children that have a difficult time learning or concentrating. A dog can bring a sense of calm and confidence that eludes them otherwise. For instance, my local library even hosts (or did pre-covid) certain days where kids could come and read to dogs. It helps them when there’s a reading issue. If you work in the administrative office, rather than a classroom, it could be an easier sell to your principal. Also, if your dog is hypo-allergic it might be easier to talk your principal or higher ups in a trial of bringing your dog to work. Give it a try. I’d love to hear how it goes.

      Reply
  5. can’t imagine anyone here allowing people to take their dogs (or cats) to work. However, New Zealand does have a lot of work from home offices so now people have to take their dogs forma walk every day * grin *

    That said, I believe that taking a pet to work would benefit so many people and would be a gentle kind of therapy in these stressful times.

    Reply
    • New Zealand is ahead of the curve on a lot of things I suspect.

      You said it perfectly. Taking your dog (or pet) to work is great therapy. Thank you for your insights. 😊🐱🐶💞

      Reply
  6. I love all the points you’ve brought up to advocate for dogs in the workplace! One of the best things about working from home is being around my dogs.

    Reply

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