The Complete Guide to Taking Your Dog to Work

Estimated reading time: 19 mins


For many dog owners, leaving their furry friends at home during work hours can be a challenge. Not only do we miss their companionship, but we also worry about their well-being when we’re away. That’s why taking your dog to work can be an ideal solution. Not only does it reduce your stress levels, but it can also promote productivity and create a happier workplace overall. 

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But taking your dog to work requires some preparation and planning. Whether your office is already pet-friendly or you need to convince your boss to allow pets, this guide will help you every step of the way. From selecting the right gear for your pup, to managing your dog’s behavior in the office, to ensuring that your co-workers are comfortable with having a four-legged friend around, this guide has everything you need to make your dog’s workday a success.

Preparing Your Pup for Work

Before taking your dog to work, it’s important to ensure that your pup is ready for the office environment. This means making sure that your dog is well-trained, socialized, and comfortable around new people and surroundings. It’s also important to make sure that your pup is up-to-date on all of their vaccinations and preventive care.

Once you’ve established that your pup is suitable for the office, it’s important to prepare for their arrival. This may include bringing along some of your dog’s favorite toys or treats, as well as a comfortable bed or blanket for them to relax on.

Navigating Office Etiquette

When taking your dog to work, it’s important to be considerate of your co-workers and their needs. This means ensuring that your dog is well-behaved and doesn’t disrupt the office environment. It’s also important to establish some ground rules, such as designating a specific area for your dog to stay in, and making sure that they’re supervised at all times.

In addition, it’s important to be mindful of your co-workers who may have allergies or phobias related to dogs. Be sure to communicate with your team before bringing your dog to work, and make sure that everyone is comfortable with the idea.

Keeping Your Furry Friend Happy and Healthy

Finally, it’s important to take care of your pup’s needs throughout the workday.

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So, read on to discover the ultimate guide to taking your dog to work, and start enjoying the benefits of pet companionship in the workplace.

At a glance…

  1. Taking your dog to work can be a great way to spend more time with your furry friend while fulfilling work responsibilities.
  2. Before bringing your dog to work, it’s important to ensure they are a good fit for the office environment and understand your workplace’s dog policy.
  3. Preparing for your dog’s arrival at the office is crucial, including providing them with a safe space and addressing any medical needs.
  4. While there are many benefits to taking your dog to work, it’s important to weigh the risks and understand that it may not be the best fit for everyone.

1. Is Taking Your Dog to Work a Good Idea? 

A dog isn’t just a pet; it’s a furry friend, a four-legged companion who keeps you company during the day. And if you’re lucky, you may work for a company that has a dog-friendly workplace policy. But before you start taking your dog to work, it’s important to consider the pros and cons. 

Pros and Cons of Bringing Your Dog to Work

Firstly, let’s start with the benefits. Bringing your dog to work can make for a less stressful workday. Office dogs have been found to have a calming effect, reduce anxiety, and increase productivity. According to a study by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, having dogs at work ‘…can lower stress levels and reduce absenteeism caused by their owners having to leave work to attend to their pets.’ Furthermore, it can make for a fun work environment, improving morale and prospective employees’ attraction to the company.

However, there are some downsides to taking your dog to work that you should also consider. Firstly, not everyone might have a positive reaction to your dog, especially if they have allergies or a fear. Secondly, although there might be a pet-friendly policy at your workplace, it may not be appropriate for all breeds. Finally, if your dog isn’t trained well, they could create a disruption at the office. It’s important to ensure your dog behaves well when in the workplace.

Service Animals vs. Office Pets

It’s also vital to clarify the difference between service animals and office pets. Service animals, such as guide dogs, are trained to aid people with disabilities. They have different rules and protections, so if you have a service animal, it’s crucial to follow the guidelines for your workplace. Office pets, on the other hand, don’t have legal protection and are at the discretion of the employer. In both cases, it is essential to follow your company’s policy.

Key Takeaway: Taking your dog to work can have numerous benefits, including increased productivity and a better work environment. However, it is important to ensure your dog behaves well when in the workplace, to respect the needs of other employees, and to follow your workplaces’ pet-friendly policy. If you have a service animal, make sure to follow the guidelines for your workplace to ensure you and your animal are protected.

2. Ensuring Your Dog is a Good Fit for the Office 

Bringing your furry friend to work can be exciting, but before you make any plans, it is important to ensure that your dog is a good fit for the office environment. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Signs of Stress

Dogs can become stressed when they are placed in a new environment, especially if they are surrounded by new people and other dogs. Signs of stress in dogs include panting, whining, pacing, and hiding. If your dog is showing signs of stress, it might be best to leave them at home until they are a little more comfortable in new environments.

Office Dog Temperament

Another key consideration is your dog’s temperament. Some breeds, such as Labradors, are known for their calm and friendly demeanor, while others like Chihuahuas can be more anxious and territorial. It’s important to consider your dog’s personality and whether they are sociable and comfortable around strangers.

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Is your dog trained to interact properly with humans and other dogs in a public space? Having an obedient and well-trained dog can help to avoid any potential issues or nuisance complaints from co-workers.


Your office environment should be clean and safe for your pet. Make sure there are no potential hazards, such as exposed wires or toxic cleaning products that can pose a risk for your dog. Additionally, your dog should be up-to-date on all their vaccinations and overall health.

Time commitment

Your dog will require regular potty breaks, exercise and attention during the workday. Make sure you have a plan to give your dog their required attention and care during the day, whether it be with you or a designated co-worker.

Key Takeaway: Before bringing your dog to the office, ensure that they are well-suited to the office environment by considering their temperament, training, and health. Monitor your dog’s behavior in new environments to make sure they are not showing any signs of stress. 

3. Understanding Your Workplace’s Dog Policy 

When it comes to taking your furry friend to work, it’s essential to understand your workplace’s dog policy. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

Check Your Company’s Dog-Friendly Policy

Before taking your dog to work, make sure your company has a dog-friendly policy. Review the policy and guidelines to ensure you follow them carefully. Some companies may have a specific limit on the number of dogs allowed per day, while others may restrict certain dog breeds.

Understand the Workspace Designated as a Pet-Free Zone

Every office space has designated pet-free zones. Make sure you know where your dog can go and where they can’t. Some places, such as conference rooms or kitchens, may be off-limits for furry friends.

Identify Your Dog-Friendly Person

It’s important to identify your dog-friendly go-to person or supervisor who is in charge of managing pets in the office. This person will help ensure the workspace is safe for your pet and fellow colleagues.

Keep Your Dog Clean and Tidy

If you’ve got a furry friend, it is imperative to keep them clean and tidy. Your colleagues are going to be working alongside your pet all day, so it’s important to wash your dog before heading to work and to bring along some grooming tools to keep them looking sharp.

By understanding your workplace’s dog policy, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry friend.

Key Takeaway: Taking your dog to work requires you to understand your company’s dog-friendly policy, identify pet-free zones, keep your dog clean and tidy, and know your go-to dog-friendly person.

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4. Preparing for Your Dog’s Arrival at the Office 

Having your furry best friend join you at work can be exciting, but it’s important to make sure you’re fully prepared for their arrival. Here are some tips to help you get ready:

Check with HR

Before bringing your dog to work, it’s important to check with your HR department to see if there are any specific rules or regulations that you need to follow. Some companies may require certain vaccinations or behavioral assessments before allowing dogs in the workplace.

Introduce your dog to their new environment

Bringing your dog to a new place can be stressful for them, so it’s important to introduce them to the office environment gradually. Consider bringing them in for short visits before their first full day to help them get used to the new surroundings.

Pack a bag for your dog

Just like you would pack a bag for yourself, it’s important to pack a bag for your dog when they come to work with you. This should include their food, water bowl, leash and collar, treats, toys, and any other essentials they may need throughout the day.

Set up a comfortable space for your dog

Depending on the size and temperament of your dog, it’s important to set up a comfortable space for them in the office. This can be a bed, crate, or playpen. You could even consider using a baby gate to create a designated area for your dog.

Post signs to indicate your dog’s presence

To ensure everyone in the office is aware that there’s a furry friend around, post signs indicating that your dog is in the office. You should also provide guidelines for how to interact with your dog to avoid any potential issues.

Key Takeaway: Preparing for your dog’s arrival in the office is crucial. Check with HR for any regulations, introduce your dog to the environment gradually, pack a bag for them, set up a comfortable space and post signs to indicate their presence.

5. Making Sure Your Dog has a Safe Space in Your Office 

While having your furry friend by your side can be comforting and fun, it’s also important to ensure that they have a designated safe space in the workplace where they can relax and feel comfortable.

Here are some tips for creating a safe space for your dog in the office: 

Provide enough space

Make sure that your dog has enough space to move around, stretch, and relax. Consider placing a soft and comfortable bed for them to snuggle up in.

Keep it clean

Make sure that the area is clean and free from any hazards that your dog may encounter. Remove any sharp or dangerous objects that can harm your pet.

Keep it quiet

Avoid placing your dog’s safe space in a noisy or high traffic area of the office. Choose a spot where they can relax uninterrupted.

Encourage breaks

Make sure to take your dog for regular bathroom breaks and walks throughout the day. This will ensure that they don’t become restless or anxious in their safe space.

Remember, your dog’s safe space should be a comfortable and calming environment where they can retreat when they need a break from the hustle and bustle of the workplace.

Key Takeaway: Make sure to provide enough space and keep it clean and quiet when creating a safe space for your dog in the workplace.

6. How an Office Dog can affect your Work Day 

If you’re considering taking your furry friend to work, you might be wondering how it will impact your work day. Here are some insights into how having an office dog can affect your work day:

Increased Job Satisfaction

Studies have shown that workplace dogs can increase employee job satisfaction and overall happiness in the office. Having a dog around can create a more relaxed and positive atmosphere and can even increase morale in the workplace.

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Reduced Stress Levels

Another way an office dog can impact your work day is by reducing stress levels. Petting a dog has been shown to decrease cortisol levels (the hormone related to stress) and increase oxytocin levels (the hormone associated with happiness and relaxation). Even just having a dog around can help to create a more calming work environment and improve your mental wellbeing.

More Movement

One of the benefits of having a dog in the office is that they require regular exercise and attention, which means you’ll be more likely to move around throughout the day. Taking your dog for a quick walk or playing with them during breaks can increase your physical activity level and reduce the negative effects of sitting at a desk all day.

Improved Work Relationships

A workplace dog can serve as a conversation starter and icebreaker, which can improve work relationships and collaboration between colleagues. Having a shared appreciation for dogs can create a sense of camaraderie, which can translate into more effective teamwork.


That being said, it’s important to note that an office dog can also serve as a distraction. If your furry friend is constantly begging for attention, it can be difficult to focus on work tasks. Additionally, other employees may be distracted by your dog, which could be a problem in a noisy or busy work environment.

Key Takeaway: Having an office dog can have both positive and negative impacts on your work day, including increased job satisfaction, reduced stress levels, and improved work relationships. However, distractions and the potential for negative interactions with other employees should also be considered.

7. Addressing Medical Needs for Your Office Dog 

Bringing your dog to work with you can be a great experience, but it requires some planning to ensure your furry friend has everything they need to stay healthy and comfortable throughout the day. If your dog has any medical needs, it’s especially important to make sure you’re prepared.

Here are some tips for addressing medical needs for your office dog:

Communicate with your coworkers

Let your colleagues know about your dog’s medical needs, so they can help keep an eye on them and react appropriately if necessary.

Have a designated area for your dog’s supplies

Whether it’s a drawer or a basket, make sure all of your dog’s medical supplies are easy to access and organized. This can include medication, food, water, and any other items they may need.

Consult with your veterinarian

Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations and medications. Your veterinarian can also provide recommendations for any additional medical supplies you may need.

Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior

If your dog is acting differently than usual, it may be a sign that something is wrong. Take note of any changes in behavior and address them promptly.

Prepare for emergencies

Have a plan in place in case of an emergency. This may include having a first aid kit on hand, knowing who to contact in case of an emergency, and having a plan in place if your dog needs to be taken to the vet.

Provide regular breaks

Just like humans, dogs need regular breaks to stretch their legs and relieve themselves. Make sure to provide frequent breaks throughout the day to keep your dog comfortable and healthy.

Medical support

If your dog has a medical condition that requires additional support, such as diabetes or seizures, make sure to provide them with the necessary medical attention they need throughout the workday.

Key Takeaway: Taking your dog to work can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it requires extra preparation if your dog has any medical needs. By communicating with your coworkers, consulting with your veterinarian, and preparing for emergencies, you can ensure your furry friend stays happy and healthy throughout the day.

8. Wrapping It Up: The Benefits and Risks of Taking Your Dog to Work 

As we come to the end of this guide to taking your dog to work, it’s important to take a moment to consider the benefits and risks of bringing your furry friend to the office. While having a dog by your side at work may seem like a good idea, there are certain things to keep in mind to ensure a successful experience for both you and your pet. 

Benefits of Taking Your Dog to Work

Reduces stress level: One of the biggest benefits of having a dog in the office is that it can help to lower the stress level of both the pet parent and their co-workers. Studies have shown that the presence of dogs in the workplace can help to decrease cortisol levels, which is a key hormone associated with stress. 

Creates a Positive Atmosphere: Having a dog around can put people in a good mood. It can be great for boosting morale and improving overall job satisfaction for employees. 

Enhances socializing: Pets, especially dogs, can be great conversation starters and can facilitate socializing in the workplace. 

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Risks of Taking Your Dog to Work

Noise level: Barking, whining, and general activity can be disruptive to an office setting. 

Allergies: While a dog-friendly office may be an inviting prospect for pet parents, it’s important to remember that not all co-workers may be okay with sharing an office space with a pet. 

Unwanted accidents: Dogs can be unpredictable and may have an accident on the office carpet, or they may cause destruction by getting into things they shouldn’t, such as a paper shredder. 

Potential aggression: Even the sweetest and most well-behaved dog can become aggressive when placed in a new environment. It’s important to monitor the behavior of your dog and keep them on a leash or confined to your workspace. 

Key Takeaway: While taking your dog to work can be a great way to increase job satisfaction and decrease stress, there are many factors to consider. Make sure to take the necessary precautions and monitor your pet’s behavior to ensure a successful experience for all parties involved.


In conclusion, taking your furry friend to work can be a fantastic experience for both you and your four-legged companion. Despite the challenges that may arise, such as noise and allergies, having your dog by your side can improve your mood, productivity, and even help decrease stress levels. By following the tips we’ve provided, you can ensure that your dog is happy, well-behaved, and comfortable in the office environment. Remember, communication with your co-workers is essential. Make sure they are comfortable with having a dog around, and be respectful of any concerns they may have. Don’t forget to also check with your boss or HR department to ensure that pets are allowed in the workplace. Now that you know everything about taking your dog to work,


My dog is scared of other people at work. What can I do?

Some tips for helping your dog feel comfortable at work include providing positive reinforcement when he or she behaves well, training your dog to sit, stay, and come when called, and finding a place where your dog can rest while you’re at work.

What if my dog barks a lot at work?

If your dog has a tendency to bark a lot, you may want to consider taking him or her to work with you instead. This can help to minimize distractions and keep the workplace calm. Alternatively, you can try training your dog to sit or stay when it’s time to work.

What should I do if my dog gets sick at work?

If your dog is sick and needs to stay home, make sure you have a plan for how you’ll pick up your slack. You might need to adjust your work schedule, or find a co-worker who can cover for you. If your dog is too sick to work, take him to the vet.

My boss won’t let me bring my dog to work. What can I do?

There are several things you can do if your boss won’t let you bring your dog to work with you. First, talk to your boss about your dog and why you think he or she would be a good addition to the office. Second, research dog-friendly workplaces. Third, consider taking your dog to work with you in a carrier or on a leash. And finally, consider finding a job that allows you to bring your dog with you.

I work from home. Do I need a dog at work?

While there may be some benefits to having a dog at work, you’ll likely need to weigh those against the costs. For example, you may need to provide food and water for your pet, and you may have to train it not to soil your work area. Additionally, you may need to provide special accommodations for your pet, such as providing a designated area in your office for it to sleep.

My dog is destructive at work. What can I do?

There’s no one answer to this question, as every dog is different and will respond differently to different types of training. However, some tips to help you manage your dog’s destructive behavior at work might include: Start by teaching your dog specific commands that will help him stay calm in busy environments. Try to structure work times so that your dog has a break during the day. Be consistent with your training, and be firm but fair when disciplining your dog.

My dog is a service dog. What can I do?

There are a few things you can do in order to accommodate your service dog while you’re at work. First, make sure to let your boss and coworkers know that your dog is part of your disability and that you need reasonable accommodations. You may also want to keep your dog on a leash when you’re at work and try to keep them out of the office as much as possible. Finally, make sure to bring plenty of food and water for your dog, and give them plenty of love and attention while you’re away. 

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