Petiquette: Our Workplace Dog Policy
The benefits of allowing dogs in the workplace can far outweigh the costs. Learn how we developed our policy and how you can effect change in your workplace.
Perhaps what’s driving this profound stat is our growing understanding that pets lower blood pressure and cortisol (stress) levels while heightening endorphins and oxytocin, the hormone linked to maternal bonding*. In addition, companies are finding that allowing dogs in the workplace boosts employee productivity and morale. It’s not all that surprising to find pet-friendly policies cropping up in just about every industry. Such progressive policies help attract and retain employees—specifically young workers, who make up the bulk of the workforce nowadays. A number of them are putting off parenthood in favor of “fur babies,” so a pet-friendly office is a major benefit.
On average there are 15 to 20 dogs at the Wisetail HQ on any given day. President Ali Knapp started bringing her bulldog, Truck, to work five years ago, and as the company continues to grow our Wisetails have become an integral part of our team.
“As we’ve grown as a company, I’ve noticed that the more time people spend with other dogs, they want their own. This has led to an amazing adoption epidemic.”
– Cristy Pederson, Office Manager
Workplaces that want in on this pet-friendly trend must analyze if their space, employees, and the operations in the building all mesh with a fur-friendly philosophy. Wisetail created a pet policy, also known as petiquette, to outline expectations and preserve the benefit of bringing animals to work. With that, below are some basic considerations to keep in mind when welcoming extra fuzzy coworkers.
We love dogs but we also have high standards for them and their owners. First of all, dogs must jive with others and be up to date with their vaccines. Dogs are allowed in meetings, but if any behavior interferes with the group’s ability to be productive they’ll be asked to stay in their territory, a.k.a. home. Owners are responsible for promptly cleaning up after pets. We love puppies, but ask to keep them at home until they’re trained—minimum of 6 months old. Since the first six months on the job are considered critical onboarding, we ask that owners bring pets to work only after completing the first six months. Also, please leave the squeaky toys at home. Lastly, we try to keep the human to animal ratio equal—1:1.
Overall, we’re advocates of BYOD (bringing your own dog) to work and believe the benefits are twofold. No matter which options you pursue, showing employees you care about their lives outside of work—including their pets—can give you an edge when it comes to recruiting, wellness, and morale.