As more workplaces allow their employees to bring their pets to work, it is important to create a set of guidelines for pet safety in the workplace to avoid conflict. In an animal organization, these may seem obvious, but regular offices do have their limitations. Allowing your employees to bring their pets to work is great for their health, stress levels, and even socialization with other employees as we start to ease back into post-COVID times.

Health

All office pets should be up to date on their vaccines and fully vaccinated. The distemper vaccine is extremely important for dogs socializing out in public to prevent the notorious parvo virus and more. Bordatella, also known as kennel cough, should be required if your pet ever comes in contact with other dogs. In an ideal office setting, all pets are altered as well. Although this may be a personal choice, it is important to prevent any unwanted pregnancies or surprise a coworker. All office dogs should also be clean, brushed, and free of any parasites. A flea and tick prevention is important to prevent any parasite issues. Also, this keeps the office clean and parasite free. 

Three dogs behind a dog gate in an office room setting

Behavior

All pets should be well-behaved in an office setting; some workplaces even make office dogs pass an “Office Dog Test”. Aggression of any sort should not be tolerated, due to the liabilities within the organization property. If employees have offices with doors, pets should be able to greet strangers and personnel approaching the office for one-on-one meetings with a friendly disposition. If an office dog isn’t dog-friendly or likes to wander out into the hallways, a gate is a perfect way to keep your dog safe. 

man in office giving dog a treat

Housekeeping

All employees should bring bowls, food, and beds for their pups in order to support their wellbeing.  It could be nice to create a doggie area outside, where employees pick up after their own pets. Supplying bags would support a clean doggie area, but employees should be bringing their own just in case. 

Many offices may not allow puppies or have an age requirement due to potty training and teething, but a playpen could be a great option for those who do allow puppies. It is great for puppies to be in an office setting early on in life. 

Setting up employees for success and presenting high expectations in a written section of an employee handbook could be very helpful. CEOs and people of power in the workplace with pets should also be setting a good example for others. If there are exceptions for any employees, a dog-friendly workplace will not be successful. 

Frenchie in dog pen in room

Many places of work are not safe for pets, so be sure to check with your local and federal regulations. For the safety of the animals, organizations should take their surroundings into consideration when choosing whether to become pet-friendly. If they are safe for pets, this could also be a bonus for potential employees. People are always looking for a place of work that accommodates their best friend! 

Visit our blog for more pet safety in the workplace topics and other pet discussions.

Author

Caitlin is originally from Vermont and has been working with animals since she can remember. She studied Behavioral Neuroscience and is now Mastering in Animal Shelter Management in Colorado. Her hobbies include horseback riding, fostering animals, and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. She has volunteered at five different animal shelters and worked in three different vet hospitals. Her passions include animal health, behavior, and enrichment. Caitlin also spends time taking high-quality photos of shelter animals to help them get adopted faster.

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