Who Let the Dogs Out (In the Office)?

There is a new trend emerging among forward-thinking companies that allows its employees to bring their four-legged friends with them to work. Sounds far-fetched right? (Pun intended!)

Well, it’s not. Doctors prescribe pets for mental illness, hamsters are adopted as classroom pets, and therapy animals bring comfort to the sick. So why shouldn’t it be the same in the workplace where adults deal with stress, tension, and obstacles every day? 

Companies like Amazon and Uber are letting man’s best friend in the doors because dogs bring a calming presence to the room that can actually lead to the reduction of stress and anxiety. American Humane states “dog owners are less likely to be depressed, and in fact, have higher levels of serotonin and dopamine than non-dog owners.” Not only can dogs provide stress-relieving support during chaotic days, but they also “eliminate[s] some of the natural human barriers and some discomforts that people have when interacting with each other.” (Petco Chief People Officer Charlie Piscitello, CNBC). It’s safe to say there is no better comfort during a stressful meeting than puppy eyes staring up at you wishing you good luck or providing comedic relief when they begin to snore loudly during your presentation.


When a potential client or employee walks through the door and is greeted by an adorable french bulldog, I promise it will leave a lasting impression and might even be the reason they choose you over the competition. As millennials become an increasingly large portion of the workplace, it is paramount for companies to be inclusive of pets to attract the ever growing talent pool. AAHA Publications reports that millennials are “far more likely to value a pet-friendly work environment”. This group of young progressive-thinkers are starting families later on in life and in turn are showering their pets with lavish birthday parties and including them on Christmas cards. Most importantly, they are searching for companies that place the same value on their fuzzy companions as they do.


Some might say that a dog will keep you from concentrating from the business at hand but studies have shown otherwise. When someone takes short breaks to pet, walk, or play with the office dog, it can directly contribute to an increase in productivity. (The Undercover Recruiter) This should come as no surprise when you consider studies that prove taking short breaks throughout the workday help employees regain their focus and energy. Personally, when I hit that mid-afternoon slump, I know it’s time to take my dog, Ziggy, around the block for some fresh air and Vitamin D filled sunshine. Not only do I feed off his positive energy which leaves me in a better mood, but it also encourages me to get up and get some exercise when I might not have otherwise.


Allowing pets to come to the office will require additional time to create and enforce rules and policies but the benefits are worth the slobber. From increasing overall employee satisfaction, productivity, and morale, to attracting and retaining talent, it has become apparent that allowing pets in the workplace is good for business and your bottom line. With dogs by your side, anything is paw-sible!