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Show Me The Love - Take Your Dog To Work

Posted by Christina Potter on

Do you get up in the morning wondering how to motivate your employees? Well, wonder no more. The answer is simple: allow them to take their dogs to work. Research shows that taking their dogs to work makes employees more satisfied, active, productive and can even boost retention rates. A study from Banfield Pet Hospital discovered that two-thirds of human resource decision makers polled said that job candidates inquired about their pet policies during the application process. Eighty-two percent of employees surveyed stated that pet-friendly policies made them feel more loyalty to their company. Other studies have highlighted the fact that health benefits extend to the rest of the company, not just those who have a pet of their own. Professor of evolutionary anthropology Brian Hare, the founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, states that “research suggests interacting with a dog can lower blood pressure, as well as increase oxytocin, beta-endorphins, and dopamine, which are all associated with pleasure and loving feelings.” Studies prove that pets make employees more cordial and productive. 

Not only that but study after study proves that they reduce stress, and who doesn’t want less stressed employees? In a recent study by Shoshana Shiloh, Gal Sorekt and Joseph Terkel, all of Tel Aviv University, people were exposed to stressful scenarios. They were then asked to pet a rabbit, a turtle or stuffed toy versions of these two. The study showed that petting the toys had no effect on stress, but petting the (soft) rabbit or (hard-shelled) turtle did reduce stress - even for non-animal lovers. It’s a fact that positivity is just as contagious as negativity, so why not take advantage of that fact. The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) found that pet ownership is responsible for saving $11.7 billion yearly. Furthermore, 132.8 million pet owners save $11.37 billion on physician office visits, while twenty million owners who walk their pets five times a week show lower obesity and save $419 million in healthcare. Imagine the positive health benefits of interacting with dogs in your home life extending to your work life. That would mean less absenteeism from work, increasing your productivity at work and saving your company money.

According to Emerald Insight, a real-world research company, taking your dogs to work has a positive effect on stress. Randolph T. Barker, Janet S. Knisely, Sandra B. Barker, Rachel K. Cobb and Christine M. Schubert authored a study on the effects of dogs in the workplace. They compared physiological and perceived stress, perceptions of job satisfaction, organizational affective commitment, and perceived organizational support among three different groups. People were divided into groups as follows; employees who bring their dogs to work (DOG group), employees who do not bring their dogs to work (NODOG group), and employees without pets (NOPET group). The results will not surprise dog lovers. “Combined groups scored significantly higher on multiple job satisfaction sub-scales than the reference norm group for these scales. No significant differences were found between the groups on physiological stress or perceived organizational support. Although perceived stress was similar at baseline; over the course of the day, stress declined for the DOG group with their dogs present and increased for the NODOG and NOPET groups. The NODOG group had significantly higher stress than the DOG group by the end of the day. A significant difference was found in the stress patterns for the DOG group on days their dogs were present and absent. On dog absent days, owners' stress increased throughout the day, mirroring the pattern of the NODOG group.”

For 41% of the 68% of U.S. households with pets, a pet-friendly workplace is important. So, while June 22nd is “Take Your Dog to Work” Day, if you work in one of the companies listed below, every day will be “Take Your Dog to Work Day.” This is a partial list - at least 8% of employers now allow dogs in the office. Some of these companies even provide dog walkers, pet insurance, and other benefits. Check out their pet policies, then start filling out applications, buy Fido a suit and briefcase, set the alarm, wake him up and carpool to work:

Three Dog Bakery, Kimpton Hotels, Tradesy, Life Is Good, Kurgo, Clif Bar & Company, Etsy, The Nerdery, Bitly, Wellness Natural Pet Food, Amazon, Anchor Free, Atlantic Health System, Bissell, Google, HubSpot, Mars Inc., Purina, Zynga, Kabbage, Ticketmaster, PetSmart, Addepar, Glassdoor, BigCommerce, Vungle, Ben & Jerry’s, Build-A-Bear, Workshop, VMware.

If you enjoy Christina's writing, check her books out! She is the author of “Chester Gigolo: Diary of a Dog Star” and "InsiderTraining: Chester Gigolo’s Dog Training Secrets Revealed” for which she won the 2016 DWAA Captain Haggerty award for Best Training Book and the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Award (Animals & Pets). She is also a contributing author to “Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors”. She has written multiple articles which have appeared in various international publications.

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