Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust Offers Tips and Advice For People Going Bark to the Office!

With many dog owners set to begin the return to offices today, we are sharing  our top tips to keep your canine colleagues happy. 

As part of our Dog Friendly Ireland initiative, we would love to see more workplaces allowing employees to bring their dogs to work, where appropriate to do so. 

Ciara Byrne, Head of Communications at Dogs Trust Ireland explains: “So many people became dog owners during the pandemic, and we feel that the more workplaces that welcome dogs, the more dogs will remain in their homes, and we can hopefully avoid another wave of surrender requests. Many people feel that having a dog around can boost productivity and teamwork and what better way to fight off any return-to-work fears than having the comfort of your furry friend with you?

Pet ownership has also been associated with a number of positive health benefits, some of which include fewer visits to the doctor, lower cholesterol, lower blood-pressure and improved heart health meaning the potential for healthier and happier employees*.”

Dogs Trust advises there are many different ways to create a space that will be safe and secure for dogs, while also ensuring that humans and dogs alike are happy and comfortable. 

  1. Ensure that your colleagues are happy for you to bring in a dog.
  2. Have something for each dog to chew on, preferable something non-squeaky.
  3. Ensure that each dog has an item from home that they are familiar with to help them settle, such as a bed of blanket.
  4. Make sure all dogs are toilet trained, that you go outside regularly for toilet breaks and there is a good supply of poo bags available.
  5. Make sure there are no doors that dogs can easily escape out of.
  6. Be sure your dog is confident around strangers and will enjoy being at work with you.
  7. Use a buddy system so a trusted co-worker can watch over your dog if you have to step out temporarily.
  8. Make sure dogs always have a fresh supply of water where people can’t trip over it.
  9. If there is more than one dog attending the workplace, a short walk together before the working day is encouraged as a nice way to introduce them.
  10. Dogs will need a safe space to lie, close to their owners, away from busy areas of the workplace so they can rest peacefully. 

Ciara Byrne, Head of Communications at Dogs Trust Ireland continues: We understand that it’s not possible to bring every dog to work, some may not enjoy it and some workplaces may be unsuitable. For those dog owners, we would recommend walking your dog before you go to work, breaking up their day by going home at lunch or asking a friend or dog walker if this is not possible. 

We would also encourage people to sign up for our free Bark to Basics pack which is available HERE and has lots of advice to help keep your dog happy in their own company while you are at work.”

Source List

  • B&A Research 2018
  • Dog Population 2018 – Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association Research 2018
  • Park, K.; Wilson, M.G.; Lee, M.S. Effects of social support at work on depression and organizational productivity. Am. J. Health Behav. 2004, 28, 444–455. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  • Niven, D., 2007. 100 Simple Secrets Why Dogs Make Us Happy. 1st ed. United States of America: HarperOne.
  • Physiological Responses by College Students to a Dog and a Cat: Implications for Pet Therapy -John W. Somervill, Yana A. Kruglikova, Renee Robertson, Leta M. Hanson, Otto H. MacLin
  • Headey, B. (1999), "Health benefits and health cost savings due to pets: Preliminary estimates from an Australian national survey", Social Indicators Research, Vol. 47 No. 2, pp. 233-243.
  • CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Friedmann, E. and Thomas, S. A. (1995), "Pet ownership, social support, and one-year survival after acute myocardial infarction in the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST)", American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 76 No. 17, pp. 1213-7.