More businesses allowing employee’s pets in the workplace

By on July 30, 2013

Imagine the convenience and benefits of being allowed to bring your pets to work. That’s right- more businesses nationwide are allowing employees to have their pets (mostly dogs at this point) with them throughout the workday. We all know the benefits of having pets. Whether its emotional satisfaction and increased happiness, scientifically-proven health benefits that result from owning pets, or simply the notion that you have a living, breathing thing that you love and that loves you back, having pets is an overwhelmingly beneficial staple here in Omaha and our nation.

Businesses all over have realized the benefits of permitting dogs in the workplace- right by their owner’s side. When you think of pet-friendly businesses, your first instinct is to think of that Mom-and-Pop-type, quaint store with the cat in the window, but even some of the largest companies in the country are becoming not only pet-friendly, but reliant on the benefits that having pups around can bring.

Here’s a list of some of companies which allow employees to bring their pets to work (from

  • Google- yes, the Internet giant allows, even encourages employees to bring their dogs to work. Along with a number of their other employee-friendly policies is that of bringing your dog right into your office or cubicle. Cat lovers don’t get this luxury because of concerns over kitties with higher stress levels.
  • Proctor and Gamble- makers of two of the largest pet food brands in the world, P&G will allow employees to bring their dogs to work. Office employees get this perk while factory workers don’t over concerns that the environment will be too heavy for puppies to handle.
  • Ben and Jerry’s- the famous frozen treat makers let office workers bring in their dogs. No dogs in the food production area, though. I guess that’s a good thing…
  • The Build-A-Bear Workshop- at the company’s headquarters, bears aren’t the only animals around. Dogs can be found under the desks of many workers, too. Just a note: don’t try to bring your dog into the Build-A-Bear store in the mall. This is a perk for corporate employees only. Sorry…
  • Amazon- the home office in Seattle allows dogs in the workplace for employees, but not before some precautions. These are probably pretty stock around the dog-friendly workplaces- and smart. Employees must register their dogs as “workplace dogs,” must show proof that their dogs are up-to-date on vaccinations, and must keep a gate up around their work spaces to keep dogs from wandering too much. The MSN article indicates that one can find anywhere from 20-40 dogs in the home office each day.

But, you may be wondering, what is the reason for this spike in allowance and tolerance for pups in the workplace? Here are two very convincing arguments we’ve found: One, a landmark study done by Virginia Commonwealth University shows that stress levels due to a lack of a certain body chemical in humans are brought down simply by the presence of animals. Here’s a snippet from a recent USA Today article:

“…employees who bring their dogs to work produced lower levels of the stress-causing hormone cortisol. Published in spring 2012, the study, led by Randolph Barker, a professor of management, was conducted at a dinnerware company in North Carolina, which sees 20 to 30 dogs a day on its premises. As the workday went on, research found average stress level scores fell about 11% among workers who had brought their dogs to work, while they increased 70% for those who did not.”

Secondly, the CEO of, Andrew Field, wrote this elaborate explanation for why he implemented the bring-your-dog-to-work policy at his company. Here are some highlights from the article:

  • With dogs around, productivity, efficiency, and accuracy increases- Field cites a study that proves little breaks from work (like taking your dog outside to do its business) actually increases these important work factors.
  • Pets stimulate employee creativity- this one is a little hard to measure, but the author indicates that he was sold on a study that revealed pets reduce depression risks and increase serotonin levels- a chemical we can attribute happiness to. Field says that “dogs infuse vibrant energy into the workplace” and we believe him.
  • Dogs provide a bonding mechanism- this one is self-explanatory. More dogs and people with dogs in the same place leads to more interaction and camaraderie.
  • Relating to the health benefits that pets can provide their owners, Field says that more dogs in the workplace decreases sick days and ups time at work of his employees.
  • And again, relating to the health benefits pups provide, stress levels are typically lower when your four-legged friend is by your side. Less stress equals happier employees. Happier employees equals more productivity, energy, and positive vibes.

These are just a couple of great examples of how businesses are catering to pet owners around the country. In Omaha, there is a growing trend of pet-friendly store fronts, but as far as the prevalence of pets in an office-type setting, we’re probably a bit slower to adapt to the shift toward dogs and people in cubicles and offices.

Does your office/place of business allow you to bring your pet to work? If so, we’d love to hear your story! Comment below, use the contact form at the top of the homepage, or tweet us @PetsInOmaha on Twitter. If this trend is growing in Omaha, we want to know about it and spread the love around!

Photo credit:

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply