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The Pros and Cons of Office Dogs.

Christian Landscape

Meet Win. He’s the Framework Design office pooch and as you can see, we think he’s the best!

For us at Framework, Win has been a great addition to the team. His presence in the office has facilitated team bonding, and he’s an enthusiastic companion for many of us on our lunchtime strolls. But is a dog a good idea for all office spaces? In this article, we look at the pros and cons of dogs in the office.

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Now as I’m sure many people will agree, dogs are great… They’re cute, cuddly, and always down for a game of catch. The profound impact they can have on our personal lives means that they have become treasured members of the family. There’s a reason dogs are considered humanity’s best friend; they make us more active, help to boost our emotional wellbeing, and provide us with companionship. 

Dogs at the office were never a particularly rare occurrence before the pandemic, but the series of lockdowns experienced throughout 2020 and 2021 has led to an increase in people acquiring a new canine pal. As a result, we are seeing more workplaces embracing the culture of office dogs. Now, as we begin to make a return to the office space, be it in a traditional capacity or in a new hybrid state, there is more of a necessity to consider making office dogs part of the new normal. 

What are the pros of office dogs?

1. Dogs can be a huge boost for morale and team bonding.

Everyone has tough days where they maybe aren’t feeling their best. Sometimes a happy face and a wagging tail can help get you feeling more positive and ready for the day. Additionally, dogs can encourage communication between colleagues and help to break the ice, bonding people over a common enthusiasm for pooches. 

2. Dogs can increase employee retention.

A dog-friendly workplace is a huge perk for pet owners. Companies that keep up with the times and make life easier for their employees often find they retain more staff and attract more talent. A friendly and modern workplace builds a better company culture that is more attractive to prospective employees.


3. Dogs help to relieve stress and anxiety in the workplace.

Research has shown that fussing a pet helps to lower your levels of the stress hormone, Cortisol. On top of that, dogs can actually serve to increase your levels of the happy hormone, Oxytocin. Being able to wind down on your break by petting the office pooches is a great way to truly boost those happy feelings and get you feeling re-energised. 

4. Dogs help boost productivity but also encourage healthy breaks.

If you’re feeling less stressed, you’re going to be more productive. Having a dog in the office can help to give you a much-needed boost when you feel stressed and lead to you being able to concentrate on your work much more efficiently. Not only this but knowing that there is an office dog in need of a walk can help you set more healthy breaks and get some exercise during the day. Additionally, the ability to check on your dog in the day and not worry about them being home alone, means that people will generally be more productive and less concerned about what is going on at home. 

5. Having your dog at the office can prevent them from experiencing separation anxiety.  

Dogs love spending time with us and while we’re away, they can experience separation anxiety and loneliness. By being present in the office, dogs are able to socialise with other dogs and people and be close to their owners.


What are the cons of office dogs? 

1. Occasionally allergies or phobias to dogs can cause issues.

As it turns out, around 1 in 10 people in Britain are allergic to pets. Symptoms can include sneezing, coughing, itching eyes, runny nose, and skin rashes. These are horrible symptoms to endure and although antihistamines can help, it often is the case that symptoms still occur. If you’re a sufferer of a pet allergy, working around a dog all day may prove problematic. 

2. It can be hard to get the right insurance to cover dogs in the office. 

As with anything, accidents can happen, so it’s important to have the right cover should things go wrong. This can mean that the office will need to be dog-proofed to ensure everyone is safe, and on top of that you will need the building landlord to agree to allow dogs within the building, otherwise, you can’t proceed. Insurance will also be something to keep in mind, most business insurance policies won’t cover dogs, so as a pet owner, you would need to get the dog insured privately. 


3. They can be a tad distracting.

Dogs can require a lot of attention. Especially if they’re in need of a walk or if they are bored, they can begin causing a bit of a fuss. This could be slightly problematic if you’re needed in a meeting or if you have a deadline to hit. Although your colleagues are around, it can be tricky if they too have responsibilities to meet. 

A way of reducing distractions is to walk the dog in the mornings and evenings to help get some of that energy out. Oftentimes, dogs will then grab a snooze in the day and will be calmer around the office. 

Overall, there are many benefits to office dogs, but also some aspects that might mean they aren’t quite a fit for your business. The important thing is to be able to consider the scenario and weigh up the options. Dogs can be great for a morale boost and can help promote work-life balance. Now could be the time to consider the benefits of allowing employees to bring their four-legged friends to the office. 

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