24th June is Bring Your Dog to Work Day (our favourite kind of day)!
This is a nationwide event that raises money for charities dedicated to making a difference to the welfare of animals. Lots of businesses across the UK join in the fun by encouraging their employees to bring their pooches into the office for the day.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve recently partnered up with Hownd – the organisers of the event, and become an official Pawsome Partners for 2022!
Top tips for bringing dogs into the workplace
At Itch HQ, it feels like every dog is Bring Your Dog to Work Day. It’s unusual when a day goes by where we don’t hear the pitter patter of tiny paws (or sometimes the rustling of a nose in the bin).
Because we’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt, we know all about how to welcome dogs into the workplace. So we thought that on Bring Your Dog to Work Day 2022, we’d pull together some great tips and advice for other businesses looking to make their workplaces more dog-friendly.
What are the benefits of having dogs in the workplace?
After seeing a boom in people becoming new pet parents in the pandemic and employees getting used to fussing their dogs in between meetings when working from home, it’s no surprise that many of us are interested in bringing our dogs into the office!
In fact, having dogs in the office can be a great way to reduce stress levels and boost productivity. Their presence has also been proven to increase job satisfaction by 22%! In addition to boosting productivity amongst employees, it can also be a great way to break the ice between your staff and improve working relationships.
Here at Itch, we believe that pets can contribute to a friendlier and happier workplace. We’ve pulled together a few tips based on our Pets at Work policy, which other businesses can adapt to create a version of their own.
What needs to be considered before bringing dogs into the workplace?
Here are a few tips for things employees should action or consider before bringing their dogs into the workplace.
- Inform HR that their pet is adequately trained (no office puddles please)
- Ensure that their dog is at least 6 months old.
- Share documentation confirming their pet is covered by insurance
- Provide proof that their pets are clean, properly vaccinated and free of any pesky parasites
- Make sure their pet will not trigger allergies or other medical problems for other employees
- Sign a waiver confirming their responsibility towards their pet when they’re in the office together
What type of pets are allowed in the office?
As much as we would love to allow all animals into the workplace, we do have a few rules on which pets staff can bring into Itch HQ. Office pets are typically dogs. We did have a cat in the office once (it was a VERY exciting day). We want to ensure that our policy is inclusive of all pets. Pets who are well-trained and not potentially dangerous or unpleasant are also welcome.
It’s important all pets in the office are house-trained. Any pets prone to chewing cords are sadly not allowed in the workplace – it’s for their safety, as well as ours.
If your furry friend is yet to be neutered and is in season, it’s probably best to keep them at home or organise a dog sitter for your pooch, so you can avoid any blossoming workplace romances and unplanned pregnancies. Male dogs that have not been castrated must be kept under control to avoid causing disruption.
Housekeeping rules for pet parents
All pets should be looked after properly during work hours, so it is important that those pet parents who do decide to bring their pet to work provide their pet with everything they need to stay happy and comfortable throughout the day. A clean bowl of fresh water should always be available to them. Goes without saying, but it’s probably best to avoid using crockery intended for staff! It’s arguably a worse crime than using someone else’s mug.
Pet parents should also ensure that their furry friend does not:
- Make a mess
- Fight with other office pets
- Wander in prohibited places
- Endanger themselves or others
- Damage company or employee property
- Irritate co-workers (e.g. barking frequently, jumping up on desks)
If any of the above do occur, it’s usually at the discretion of management to determine the seriousness of the behaviour and whether this pet should continue being able to come into the workplace.
Although many would agree that pets are a great addition to the office, all employees need to feel safe and comfortable in their workplace. If an employee has concerns about a pet at work, they should be provided with a complaint procedure to follow.
How to keep your pet calm at work
- Bring their bed from home – it’s filled with all their familiar, comforting smells
- Take them out for regular toilet breaks during the day
- A walk at lunchtime is good for you, as well as for them!
- Reward good behaviour with Itch Calming Treats to keep things extra zen.
If you have any questions about implementing a Pets at Work Policy, drop our team a message or call us on 020 3370 0905 Mon to Fri 8am-4pm.