My dog, Buckley, joins me at my office at PetSafe nearly every day. In fact, Buck, a 3 year old French bull dog, is sleeping under my desk as I write this. When I tell people I can bring my dog to work every day, I usually get lots of questions. So if you want the inside scoop on bringing your dog to work, here it is!
Why does PetSafe let you bring your dog?
Making pet products, as we do, it was a natural step for us to allow and encourage dogs at work, in fact it was just good business. We NEED dogs around us to help in our research, planning, and innovation efforts. They actually help us do better job of developing our products. Buckley and I are currently testing a new remote trainer, which I can’t say more about since it is still in the development stages, but so far it’s a pretty cool product.
It’s also a benefit to associates. The freedom to bring our dogs to work is what many of us list as our favorite part of the job. While we are working hard and getting great things done (we hope), we can also enjoy our dogs on our laps or curled up at our feet, pat their heads, see the love in their eyes and making it nearly impossible to have a bad day.
How does it work?
You might imagine that having dogs running around at work is distracting and chaotic. Personally, I don’t believe it is any more distracting and chaotic than any other office environment (sarcasm implied). Living and working together in a community, under any circumstances, requires we be courteous and mindful of those around us.
Our policy on pets at work requires that each dog’s shots be current, that they be potty trained, non-aggressive and able to follow basic commands. Beyond the policy, we all work to keep water available for the dogs, to not over-treat, and to be conscious of how they impact our ability to get work done.
Are there any problems?
Fights between dogs are few and far between and have never been serious, maybe they know to behave to stay “employed.” We have cleaning materials conveniently located through the building in the event of “accidents.” Pet waste stations are available outside around the office to ensure that we keep our grounds clean. We have a dog run behind our office in case the work is too stressful for the pups and they need to burn off some energy.
Sadly, my own dog is an example of bad behavior at work. Buckley likes to play with other dogs a lot and when its gets exciting, she will bark. It’s distracting and unprofessional (I would document it in her performance review but she can’t read). I use a Venture series remote trainer to “page” her back to my desk and let her know she needs to be quiet.
I actually feel having Buckley at work makes me a better associate. When Buckley needs to “visit the ladies room”, I actually have to take the time to get up from my desk and walk outside, clear my head, and get some fresh air. That break is refreshing, and I believe, it helps me focus more on what I’m doing when I come back. It helps me relate to my fellow associates better too. We can always talk about our dogs together.
It also makes Buckley a better dog, She’s not cooped up all day at home and I don’t have to run home to let her out. Plus, she is exposed to so many dogs that she’s incredibly well socialized, as are all of the dogs at PetSafe. At PetSafe, having our dogs at work is a benefit to us and our dogs.
It’s surprising that across the U.S., only 3% of dog owners are able to take their dogs to work. If you aren’t in this 3%, I encourage you reach out to your company and encouraging them to adopt a dog-friendly environment.
Even if it is only a few days a month as a start, your company may appreciate the opportunity to grow its corporate benefits package and help your company retain associates by allowing dogs at work. Moreover, increasing this practice helps us raise well-balanced dogs and when 5 o’clock rolls round, living in harmony with our pets and each other is ultimately a benefit for us all.
About Robin Hawn Robin Hawn is the Senior Brand Manager of the PetSafe Family of Brands for Radio Systems Corporation, head quartered in Knoxville , TN. She works to build a brand of products designed to give consumer more of the best moments they can possibly have with their pets. She has a MBA with a Marketing Emphasis, a B.A in English, and 10 years experience developing and launching marketing plans, brand strategy and PR campaigns across a variety of diverse industries. Her French bulldog Buckley typically logs the same hours at the office as Robin. She volunteers with the Most Pet Friendly Community initiative that has a mission of making Knoxville , Tennessee the most pet friendly community in America .