Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dogs At Your Work Place

Dog-friendly offices and businesses are on the rise, according to Pet Sitters International, the group that sponsors "Take Your Dog to Work Day" in June. More than 10,000 businesses participated in this year - double the number in 2004. Susan Nelson, a Kansas State University associate veterinary professor, says that bringing pets to work actually may help worker productivity and ease stress. Businesses are "trying to make workplaces more worker-friendly environments," Nelson says. "For many people, having an animal in the workplace relieves tension."

I have been to many offices where dogs are allowed. In most cases, if people only bring friendly dogs to the office, it works out well. The company should first set some policies regarding supervision, free time, clean up, guest / customer visits, and exercise. The employees should have a pet crate by their desk, in case they need to leave to another room. The dogs should be regularly supervised for their own safety, and to prevent house training accidents. A potty area outside the building needs to be established. The dogs should all be required to go through training, even if the company pays for some or all of the training. And guests should be advised concerning how to interact with the dogs.

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