Waggin’ in the Workplace

Want to become a pet-friendly workplace? Start here:

Written by Cherese Cobb | Photography by Georgia Wilson

• If you don’t own your facility, check with your landlords to find out if animals are allowed in the building, or if they’d be willing to allow pets.

• If you do own your office space, offer an “off the leash” space: a dog park or a large, grassy area, preferably with poop bag stands.

• Survey your staff to find out how many people would actually bring their dogs or cats to work, and find out if there are any objections such as phobias and allergies to bringing pets into the workplace.

• If you subcontract your cleaning crew, make sure they’re on board with your Pets at Work program. That way they’ll have the proper cleaning materials on hand for pet-related accidents such as hairballs and diarrhea.

• In the lobby and other common spaces, have treats or snacks on hand. Keep the secretaries and security guards up-to-date on your policies for pet visitors in the workplace.

• Create pet-free zones in common sense areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, conference rooms, sterile or dangerous workspaces and places where the animals might become a nuisance to others, such as narrow hallways or the supply room.

• Create and communicate a clear employee policy about pets in the workplace, making sure to include provisions about pet behavior, grooming standards, break allowances, etc.

• Ask employees for documentation that their pets have had their core vaccinations, including rabies for dogs and cats; canine distemper, canine parvovirus and hepatitis for dogs; and herpesvirus, calicivirus and feline distemper for cats.