Research has shown that having a dog at the workplace is good for people. Bringing your dog to work is definitely a good idea if it is possible considering the nature of your work and the conditions at the workplace. What should be taken into account, both from the employees’ and the dog’s point of view?
At Delingua, an office dog is not a rare sight. In addition to our first office dog, Toto, who you may know from our Instagram account, Delingua has many other office dogs. In fact, their number has multiplied over the years and, at the moment, we have a lot of charming furry friends who delight us during working days.
An office dog increases well-being, improves the working atmosphere and even facilitates communications at the workplace – and certainly provides good content for the company’s social media accounts! It may also be nicer for a dog to spend its days at the office with people than alone at home.
What should you take into account if you are considering bringing your dog to work? To find out more about this, we turned to our customer, the Finnish Kennel Club. Our questions were answered by Head of Department Kirsi Salmijärvi.
What kind of dog is a suitable office dog?
An office dog must be friendly and social, obedient and house-trained. It must also be able to calm down on its own when the owner is in a meeting or at lunch. Ultimately, it is the employer who decides whether dogs are allowed at the workplace. The safety or health of the employees or the dog must not be jeopardised. Some dogs are happy to visit the office every day, while for others, a day or two per week is enough. It is important to set common rules in the work community for bringing a dog to the office.
What preparations should be made at the office for a dog?
The dog must have its own place, the owner’s own room, for instance. It may also be a good idea to agree that dog food bowls are kept in the owner’s room, dog food is not stored in the fridge and dogs are not allowed in the kitchen or the break room. Consider also whether dog-free areas are needed in the office.
The office should be as easy to clean as possible and everyday cleanliness is important. For instance, the floor should be made of a material that does not collect dog hair and can be wiped with a cloth. Naturally, it is the dog owner’s responsibility to clean up after any accidents that might happen.
Taavi, one of the Finnish Kennel Club’s office dogs, has grown into an office dog since he was a puppy. In Taavi’s case, normal dog training has been enough. Taavi spends his days in his owner’s room, where he has a dedicated place to sleep as well as his own chew bones and water bowl. The door to the room is usually open, but it has a dog gate so Taavi cannot roam freely during the day. The Finnish Kennel Club also has other office dogs, so when coming to work, Taavi must be able to walk calmly past the other “dog rooms”.
What are the benefits of an office dog?
Bringing your dog to work makes life easier for both the owner and the dog: the dog doesn’t have to be alone at home too long and the owner doesn’t have to rush home after the workday to walk the dog.
Taking breaks from work is important for maintaining good energy levels – walking a dog is a good reason to get some fresh air! Petting a dog also helps employees relax and take their minds off work for a moment and it also reduces stress levels. We encourage people to discuss the impacts of a dog on working life and workplaces to allow employees to bring their dogs to work under jointly agreed terms.
Note! This article is about office dogs only. The Finnish Kennel Club’s tips do not apply to guide, assistance, hypo (diabetes), hearing and support dogs (epilepsy, diabetes), which are, as a rule, allowed to accompany their owners everywhere.