Today (24 June) is National Bring Your Dog to Work Day, an annual nationwide event that raises awareness for dog rehoming charity All Dogs Matter, and we hope many owners will be seizing the day and bringing their dogs in to the office. If you’re taking your dog to work please send us your photos on Facebook, Twitter or upload them to our Pin up pups gallery.
Despite not all workplaces allowing dogs, dog-loving employees and employers are keen to spread the advantages of having dogs at work. One survey of 2,000 employed UK adults carried out by Purina, Nestlé’s pet food company, found that although 82% of Britain’s workplaces don’t allow dogs, one in two Britons would take their dog to work if allowed.
Long working hours were found to be the biggest obstacle (58%) of owning a pet with many owner’s not keen on leaving their four-legged friends at home alone. The prospect of working somewhere that allows dogs is an incentive to almost half of 18-24 year olds (47%) and 38% of workers would consider it a perk of the job.
There are a number of benefits including dogs getting to spend more time with their owners (30%), increased socialisation (28%) and more physical activity (26%). More than a quarter (34%) believe having dogs in the workplace boosts health and wellbeing and one in ten say it also helps to break the ice when speaking to a senior staff member (10%).
In another survey of 1,000 dog owners by tailor-made dog food company tails.com, 40% of the British workforce say dogs make them feel less stressed, and dogs can even boost productivity.
Tails.com head vet, Sean McCormack, said it is not just the company and its people that benefit from having man’s best friend in the office, but the dogs too.
“Dogs are an extremely sociable species and they crave human attention,” says Sean. “We know first hand the benefits of having them running around the office for us, but actually it’s really good for their wellbeing to be amongst a variety of people throughout the day. Dogs adore their owners and tend to be much happier when they’re nearby, even if they’re not getting all the attention that they’re used to at the weekend.”
Benefits for dogs
- Commuting to work with your dog allows them to become socialised around new sights, sounds and smells of public transport or riding in the car. This develops your dog’s confidence in public so they are more comfortable in a wide variety of situations.
- There’s no doubt that your dog will be happier by your side than sitting at home alone, even if someone comes to give them a walk. Dogs thrive in their owner’s company and being part of the team is very rewarding to them.
- Greeting and interacting with your work colleagues is excellent for your dog’s social skills, making them far more outgoing and at ease around strangers. Dogs love attention and most enjoy being at the centre of it.
- If colleagues also bring their dogs to work, yours will have a ready supply of play mates. Interacting with other dogs on a regular basis is healthy and fun, providing a much needed outlet for exuberant energy.
- Finally, mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise. The activity, social interactions and excitement of a day at work will tire them out and a tired dog is a happier, more content dog.
Could it work in your office?
Purina’s Pets at Work (PaW) programme at City Place, Gatwick was the first dog-friendly Nestle HQ in the world and there are now 60 canine colleagues in the office. Their policy means dogs must pass a three-phase programme before they can ‘graduate’ into the dog-friendly workplace, which includes outdoor areas called ‘Scentral Bark’.
Richard Watson, Regional Director, Purina comments, “We wholeheartedly believe that people and pets are better together, being at work should not stand in the way of that. It boosts employee morale, encourages more physical activity and helps us create a stimulating environment where our people are happy, have fun and can perform at their best.
“We really hope that UK businesses will start to welcome pets into the office – both on Friday and beyond. Having pets in the office is inspirational – we now have over 60 canine colleagues and look forward to welcoming more over the next year.”
Purina’s survey also discovered that Brighton and Hove is the most dog-friendly city in the UK with 35% of companies allowing dogs in the workplace compared to Cambridge and Gloucester, who are the least dog friendly cities, with only 8% of companies allowing dogs.
Photo credit: Copyright: © Mikael Buck / Tails.com