How to Convince Your Boss to Accept Dogs at Work

Published: 6/25/2021
Leaving your canine companion when you go to work has always been your least favorite part of the day. Even if you’ve made sure that they’ve gotten their morning walk and you’ve hidden treats around the house to keep them entertained while you’re gone, those puppy dog eyes peeking out the window never fail to get you as you’re pulling out of the driveway. If only your workplace allowed dogs… 

Why not talk to your employer about it? Just because your company doesn’t allow furry friends in the office now doesn’t mean that things can’t change. If you’re up to the task, here are some ways to help convince your boss to welcome dogs at work.


#1 Talk To Your Coworkers First
Before you pitch the idea to your boss, see if any of your coworkers are also interested in bringing their canine companions to work and if they would be willing to help you out with the initiative. If you can show your boss that several employees are on board with the idea, they might be more willing to consider it. Be sure to listen to coworkers who may have reservations about bringing dogs to the office as well. Note down their concerns and figure out ways to address them.


#2 Present the Benefits

Studies have shown that bringing canines to the office comes with a host of benefits, not just for the dogs, but also for the employees and the company as a whole. Make a strong case for having four-legged employees at work with the following information: 

Benefits for the company

  • It’s great for recruitment; more people are interested in interviewing for a job at a dog-friendly workplace. 
  • Companies with pooch-friendly policies have seen an increase in employee retention. People are also more willing to stay later to complete projects and tasks since they don’t have to hurry home to feed or walk their dogs.
  • Dog-friendly companies have reported a boost in employee morale and team collaboration as well. 
  • A majority of HR decision-makers agree that productivity increased within their company thanks to office pets.

Benefits for employees

  • Dogs are furrific icebreakers, encouraging socialization and bringing old and new coworkers closer together. 
  • Walking boosts focus, attention, and creativity, and who better to motivate employees to get up from their chairs and go for a walk than their canine coworkers? 
  • Dogs are great stress busters; just the act of petting a pup can lower your blood pressure and heart rate.

Benefits for dogs

  • People who don’t have dogs are more likely to adopt one of their own after spending some time with canines in the office.
  • Pups who tag along to the workplace receive more mental stimulation during the day than those who stay at home, keeping boredom and unwanted behaviors at bay.


#3 Offer To Spearhead the Effort

So your boss is almost convinced that having dogs in the office is a puptastic idea, but they’re worried about the amount of effort it would take to establish the program. Seal the deal by offering to help create the policy. You can find free templates online, which you can then customize to your company’s needs and send to your HR department. 

Some of the guidelines that need to be included in a dog-friendly policy are: 

  • Dog parent responsibilities. State what is expected of employees who bring their pups to work, such as cleaning up after them, knowing their location at all times, and making sure they don’t fight with other pets. 
  • Designated spaces. In addition to identifying the dog-friendly areas where canines can hang out, walk, or go potty, specify any pet-free zones such as restrooms, meeting rooms, and the offices of employees with allergies as well. 
  • What to do if a problem arises. Have written rules for what happens if damage, disruption, or aggressive behavior occurs. Outline the complaint process and how many strikes will be allowed before a dog is asked to leave. 


#4 Suggest a Trial Run
If your boss is still on the fence, a trial period is a good way to show them the benefits of having dogs in the workplace. Test things out for at least a week with a few pups. This also lets you see whether your ideas work or not, giving you an opportunity to fix any issues that you may have overlooked.

Persuading your employer to open the office doors to canine coworkers may take some effort. But if you stay enthusiastic, persistent, and helpful, it won’t be long until you win them over. Good luck!