Dogs Find Home in Workplace

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Many businesses today are opening their doors to allow employees to bring their dog to work. It is reported by the American Pets Products Association that about 1.4 million owners took 2.3 million dogs to work every day.

When the group last surveyed businesses, in 2006, one in five was dog-friendly. That number is probably holding steady if you include one-person offices, work-at-home pet owners and retail shops, said Len Kain, co-founder and editor of DogFriendly.com, which lists dog-friendly companies in every state.

Google Inc. and Amazon.com are among the largest companies to allow dogs in the work place.  “Engineering and software companies are often the type of company that is pet-friendly,” Kain said. “These companies have trouble finding people with the skills they need and do not want to lose these employees.”

“Not every business can allow dogs”, said Kain, “Companies may be located in buildings that ban dogs; it can be illegal for a food store, restaurant, hair salon (in some states) or medical office; and insurance may be a barrier. For others, allowing pets may be a way to help make do with fewer employees working longer hours. By allowing dogs at work, an employee doesn’t have to leave to take care of the pet,” Kain said.

Some smaller businesses are having great results by allowing dogs in the workplace. A company called Extrovertic, a health care communications company in New York City and Cambridge Massachusetts wanted to see if employees would like to bring their dogs to work by sponsoring a Take Your Dog to Work Day last year.

The concept was well received that the agency made it an everyday event. “We are a small agency. We want to be different. We want the quality of our employees’ lives to be better than they would get at a bigger agency. Having dogs in the office is another way of saying, ‘We are different and we care about you,”’ said company CEO Dorothy Wetzel.

Many companies feel that offering a dog friendly atmosphere is the best way to hire and retain the best employees. It appears that this trend among many companies will continue with more companies jumping on board every day.