‘Take your dog to work’ should prompt more businesses to offer dog-friendly options – Pasadena Star News
Arguably one of the biggest challenges for pet owners who don’t work remotely is leaving their pets at home to go to work. Staring into those sad puppy eyes while heading for the door is enough to leave some pet parents with lingering guilt that lasts through the workday.
“Take Your Dog to Work,” celebrated this year on June 24, is a welcome reprieve for many guilt-ridden pet parents and their dogs.
At Pasadena Humane, we’ve been allowing staff to bring their pets into the workplace for decades. Team members who have their own offices and those who share with responsive colleagues have the advantage of bringing their well-behaved dogs to work.
Unfortunately, because of his boundless love for people and animals, my dog Sueshi doesn’t always meet the definition of “well behaved”. Its exuberant greetings—characterized by jumping for joy and a surprisingly loud, high-pitched bark—are often misunderstood. So Sueshi usually stays home with my husband Pierce, who works remotely.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of other well-behaved guard dogs who work as hosts, like Jude and Hazel in the Shelter Shop, or Luca, an 80-pound Bernedoodle who greets volunteers in the front desk. Terrier/Poodle mixes Jack and Gizmo keep our administrative functions running smoothly as Junior Accountant and Junior Human Resources Specialist respectively. At the same time, Jasmine, a spaniel mix owned by a member of our outreach team, brings joy to the children in our youth programs.
Pasadena Humane isn’t alone in adopting pet-friendly workplace policies. While you might expect pet-focused companies like PetSmart, Petco, and Purina to be pet-friendly workplaces, tech giants like Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber have long touted pet-friendly workplaces as well. pets at work as a benefit for employees. At the Googleplex, Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, the “Dooglers”, or dogs owned by Google employees, even have their own dog park, the Doogleplex.
The good news for many pet owners is that one of the expected benefits of a post-pandemic world is an increase in dog-friendly workplaces. As pet owners worked from home during the pandemic, it became clear that spending more time with Spot or Fido was mutually beneficial.
It is estimated that more than 23 million Americans have adopted a new pet during the pandemic. A 2021 study by Banfield Pet Hospital reported that 63% of pet owners were worried about how their pets would cope when they returned to the office. That same study found that more than half of the 500 senior executives surveyed planned to allow pets into the office.
Allowing pets at work brings substantial benefits to workers and the company. Having a pet in the office helps relieve stress, improves communication and increases productivity. Pet owners report better work-life balance and greater job satisfaction when they are allowed to bring their dogs to work.
As an employer, there are many things to consider before allowing pets on the job. Be sure to build consensus among your employees and consider allergies. Create clear guidelines and policies for pets. Designate a pet-friendly outdoor space and think about how to “dogify” your indoor workspace. Then, HAVE FUN!
And if you’re looking for a new work buddy, we’ve got you covered. Stop by our “Free Adoption Day” event, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 25 (adoption fees are waived for all available dogs, cats, and “critters”). No adoption appointment is necessary. View adoptable pets at pasadenahumane.org/pets
Dia DuVernet is President and CEO of Pasadena Humane.