Dogs in the Office – Yay or Nay?

By the Editors

California – including Sacramento – is one of the most dog-friendly places in the U.S., and it’s not uncommon to see (well-behaved) pooches in stores, restaurants, and bars around town.

We think this is brought on by a number of factors: progressive/libertarian attitudes, amazing climate, proximity to parks/beaches/mountains… and the fact that many of us don’t have yards and/or live downtown and/or work long hours. So when we’re running around town, we want our furballs with us. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a pet?

But it turns out being dog-friendly may good for your health – and for your company’s bottomline.


  • Nearly one in five U.S. employers allow animals in the workplace, and that figure is growing – Google, Zynga, and others are switching to dog-friendly policies.
  • Dogs in the office reduce stress and foster friendlier, more collaborative work environments.
  • A study by the APPMA found that: 53 million people believe having pets in the workplace decreases absenteeism, 38 million say having pets at work creates a more productive work environment, and 46 million people who bring their pets to the office say they work longer hours.

For more info (and sources to these bullets), check out these articles… Dogs Make Employees More Productive at Work ( and Can Your Dog Humanize the Office (NYT) and A Dog in the Office is Good for Business (and for You) (Open Forum).

So what do you think?

  • Should offices consider dog-friendly policies (for well-behaved, housebroken pets of course)?
  • Is your office dog-friendly?
  • If so, has it boosted morale?
  • What policies have you established to make everyone comfortable?
  • Any tips or advice for an office wanting to make the transition?

Please leave comments below!

BONUS: And in case you missed, check out this interview on the Colbert Report on the science of understanding that dogs really want to be with people. Duh. 🙂

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
John Bradshaw
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive


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  1. Krystin says

    (Well-mannered) dogs should definitely be allowed in the workplace! Luckily, my company allows me to bring my 20 lbs Shiba Inu to the office. I’d like to point out, however, that I don’t abuse this privilege. The workplace is not doggy-daycare… Lexie only comes on “quiet” or “slow” days. And when I say well-mannered I mean calm, quiet, and low maintenance dogs. Conference calls and background barking don’t mix.

    Does this keep me in the office longer/later? Yes.
    Does this increase morale? Yes. How can you not feel better when a cute mini-husky-looking dog does tricks for your afternoon snack (Lexie’s nickname: Chubs).
    Does this force me to get a bit of exercise and fresh air? Yes.

    Our office doesn’t have set pet-policies; however, I believe the key is to respect your co-workers and respect the office space. Bring a few of your pet’s non-squeaky toys, treats, and their clean bed. There’s nothing worse than walking into an office that smells like dog.

  2. Jane Gassner says

    I had to give up my membership at the Urban Hive because they don’t allow dogs. These co-working places are perfect for me because I’m a freelance writer. But I live in Elk Grove, too far to drive back and forth to Midtown to let the dog out. Same thing is true of Think House Collective, and I’d sign on there in a minute if they allowed dogs.

  3. Linda milburn says

    I work for the state and there not even a slight chance that they’ll ever all dogs. My office doesn’t even have any contact with the public sonthat’s not th reason. I’m not sure why they’re so against having dogs but my dog is in the house for 10 hours a day while I’m at work. I’d definitely work longer hours and come in on Saturdays if I didn’t have to leave him alone so much.

  4. Debby says

    No, I do not think that dog’s should be allowed in the work place. At times I get irritated that people have their pets in restaurants and even go as far as letting them sit AT the table. Don’t get me wrong I love dog’s and had them when I grew up. My children (5) had two of the sweetest dogs growing up (lab and a beagle) and even now my children all have dogs except for one and the reason she does not have a dog is that she realizes how unfair it would be to not be able to spend quality time with one. I can’t bear to see the commercials that show the cruelty to animals, its so pitiful. However, in the US we seem to show a greater willingness to help a dog or cat over humans and in my mind that is just completely insane. Most of the homeless one sees begging, sleeping, living on the streets is because of mental illness, and not being able to afford or receive medication for the illness. Why don’t we focus on taking care of those people. I think we can do this and still have our pets, but not a work and at times not at restaurants. Thank you

  5. Brennan says

    I really like the idea of dogs at work! I think its funny when people get irritated by dogs in restaurants and other places of business when nine times out of ten, they are less of a nuisance than children tend to be in the same environment. I think there is a reason that people are “prescribed” companionship in the way of a dog for the treatment of depression and anxiety (both mental illnesses). Having your pal beside you while you work during the day can relieve stress…what’s not to like?? The ASPCA commercials are difficult to watch, but how else will they bring attention to the needy animals? It obviously is getting the attention of people that don’t even really care about animals… Dogs and cats can’t exactly set themselves up on a corner with a sign asking for food/shelter. I don’t think there is any less of a focus on mentally ill humans than there is on stray animals. I also think that there are quite a few humans that will beg on the street that are perfectly capable of earning an honest day’s pay (I even watched one woman pull out a cell phone WHILE she was begging). Maybe it’s the case the animals tend to not dupe people out of their hard earned money, so people feel better about giving to them.
    I work in a dog friendly environment and it has only been an issue for the ONE person in the building that has the same attitude as Debbie’s here…everyone else LOVES it, even the people that don’t own dogs.

  6. kimberly says

    I would love if my office offered such a thing! I hate leaving my puppy at home while I’m at work.

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