Corporate Offices with Dog Parks, Beds, Toys and Treats are Becoming the New Normal

In an economy built of knowledge-based industries and dog friendly workplaces like Amazon, Rover, and Trupanion, the Greater Seattle-area is leading the charge for making ‘Bring your dog to work day’ every day. Today, employees are often left feeling overworked, pressured and are operating at high speed pace. Dogs in the workplace can greatly assist the well-being of employees as well as be an invaluable recruiting and retention strategy. Some companies, such as Seattle-based RealSelf, offer their employees ‘pet time off’ or a dog adoption stipend in addition to allowing dogs in the workplaces.

In 2019, Rover conducted a worldwide survey to rank the Best Dog-Friendly Companies based on the number of dogs allowed in the office and dog amenities available. Seattle-based Amazon came out on top, they currently have 6,000 dogs on campus per day. Also, featured on Rover’s list were Seattle-based companies such as Trupanion (#3), Ookla (#14), RealSelf (#16), POSSIBLE (#33), Karat (#67), Flyhomes (#68), Avoo, Inc (#73), and TUNE (#84).

….But is it Really Worth the Hassel of Implementing New Dog-Friendly Policies and Workplaces?

While there are inevitable challenges to their presence when it comes to health, safety, animal welfare, cultural or legal sensitivities, and potential disturbances, dogs in the workplace have become a large area of opportunity and interest for human resources and management.  A study conducted by the Virginia Commonwealth University, states that employees who bring their pets into the workplace experience an  11% drop in stress levels while pet owners who leave their pets at home while they travel to work experience a 70% rise in stress levels.

With big names across the US such as Google, Amazon and Salesforce modeling the importance of dog-friendly work environments, many small and medium sized companies have jumped on this trend and shifted the number of pet-friendly workspaces in the US from 5% in 2013 to 8%, according to the Society of Human Resource Management. This new trend of dogs in the workplace has given way to articles being written, LinkedIn posts championing the idea, and studies conducted on the topic. Among the most popular is Liz Palika and Jennifer Fearing’s bestselling book, Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-friendly Workplaces, which has helped break many HR  barriers and promote increased human-animal bonding for professional development since its launch in 2008. The book is unique in that it provides tangible advice and easy-to-implement steps into establishing and implementing dog-friendly policies for your office, making the book an essential for many business owners, managers and human resource professionals.  Palika and Fearing’s guide will help you troubleshoot potential issues that can arise with having a dog-friendly workplace (that go beyond installing HEPA filters!) to ensure a smooth transition.

Are Dogs an Invaluable HR Strategy?

Edward Yost, the manager of employee relations and development at the Society of Human Resource Management, stresses the importance of  dog-friendly workplaces as a recruitment tool saying that these dog-friendly policies, “ help attract and maintain potentially top talent within your organization, so there’s essentially a bringing them through the door and keeping them in house aspect to instituting one of these policies that the employer can see the increased benefit of having them”.  This is especially true for targeting Millennials, who often delay parenthood in favor of being dog owners.

Taking your job out for a quick walk or playing for a few minutes in between stressful tasks and intense meetings, can greatly assist your comfortability and productivity in your workspace. Allowing dogs in particular into your workplace, can also be “a key factor in whether people with serious mental illness return to work or remain employed” according to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

In today’s employment market, especially within the tech industry where high turnover is all too normal, employee retention and hiring are incessant challenges for human resources. Dog-friendly workplaces are not only a great method to provide social support and companionship to employees (especially those coping with mental illness), but also can be leveraged into excellent HR retention strategy!

Do you bring your dog to work or are you an employer that allows dogs in your workplace? Send your photos to and share your dog-friendly workplace experiences down below in the comments!



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