Should You Bring Your Dog to Work?

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Businesswoman on computer with dog on desk

Last month I had the opportunity to visit my friend's office. She works at a very relaxed and laid back PR firm--they even let you bring your dogs to work. As a dog lover (who hasn't owned a dog for years) this sounded like heaven. I walked into the office and my first thought was: how cute! My second thought was: how does anyone get any work done? After spending the day at this pet-friendly office, I have some points to consider before you bring Fido to your office.Allergies. Before you enforce a dog-as-the-office policy, understand that dog allergies are a real thing. Survey your staff and ask them if they are allergic or even afraid of dogs. You don't want to alienate someone just because you want to bring your dog to the office.

Doggy day care. Dogs can be, well, dogs. They are messy and sometimes have accidents--and when they do, the owner need to take care of it ASAP. I had a client inform me that she brought her young pup to her workplace, and he scurried into the CEO's office and pooped under his desk. She wasn't able to clean it and blamed it on a large rodent. Don't let yourself get tangled up in a lie.

Puppy distractions. If your dog isn't well behaved, don't bring him into work. You'll be spending more time reprimanding him than actually getting your work done. Conversely, even the best-behaved dogs can be procrastination tools. You pet him, Instagram him, introduce him to coworkers...before you know it, it's 5:00 and you haven't accomplished anything at work.

Positive attitude. Having a dog around can boost morale, especially on intense project days. Playing with a dog for few minutes can increase your energy and motivate you. However, you should time these breaks carefully. As mentioned above, five minutes can easily turn into an hour. However, dogs do increase camaraderie in offices--they are great conversation starters.
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