Bringing your pup to work: Is this possible in the UK?


21 July 2020
As the lockdown begins to ease, more and more people are heading back to work. While this is certainly a good thing, it can be a bittersweet feeling for some dog parents. This, of course, is because they have to leave their pups at home.

This can be especially difficult after spending months hanging out with your dog, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. So, what if there was an alternative to leaving your dog at home? What if you could take him to work with you?

Needless to say, this can be a rather complicated topic — after all, there are so many factors to consider. If you are interested, though, here is what you need to know:

Ensure that your workplace is suitable for pups

Before even considering taking your dog to work, it is important to make sure that the space is completely safe for him. After all, not all workplaces are suitable for dogs. To begin with, examine the office as a whole.

Is there anything there that could be considered harmful to your dog? This includes exposed wiring, dangerous chemicals, or unusual surfaces. In this case, you can see that such a space isn’t great for your dog. Any number of accidents can occur if you aren’t able to keep a watchful eye on him throughout your working day.

You should also consider space as a factor. Smaller dogs may be able to make do with a smaller area. However, if you have a big dog on your hands, he is going to feel cramped. This is especially true if your dog enjoys stretching his legs throughout the day.

Last but not least, take a walk around the area in which your office building is situated. Is there somewhere safe where you can take your pup to give him a little exercise? More importantly, is there a suitable spot for him to relieve himself? If there isn’t, it is clear that your dog will not be too happy here.

The good news is that traditional office spaces are fading away. These days, a greater number of companies have selected cosier and more animal-friendly spaces. As such, you may work at a place that is just the right environment in which your dog can spend several hours a day.

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Read up on your company’s policy

One of your biggest obstacles to taking your dog to work is your company’s policy. Some workplaces welcome dogs with open arms. Unfortunately, these are few and far between. While this is an increasingly popular trend, it may take a while for most offices to catch on.

So, check out the legal documents, making a point of reading the fine print. Is there anything that specifically forbids having a dog in the workplace? If there isn’t, you could use this loophole to make a case for your dog.

Make sure that you have a good argument, though. For one thing, you will need to prove to your employers — maybe even the building manager —

 that your dog is going to be a model furry citizen. Naturally, you need evidence to back this up.

If your dog can be classified as an emotional support animal, you may already have a viable tactic. In this case, try signing up your dog with an agency that will place them on a registry or will provide you with some kind of accreditation.

Check out this one American company - USServiceAnimals – that has done just this! In addition to placing emotional supports dogs in their registry, they also offer up digital certificates and photo IDs. This can act as proof that you need your dog with you at all times.

There are services in the UK that also provide this kind of support. So, if your dog has been “prescribed” by a therapist or a psychiatrist, this is something that you should look into. Barring this, you should show off any certificates for training or good behaviour.

Has your company celebrated Bring Your Dog to Workday in the past? If so, they may be a little more open to your pleas. As long as you can assure them that your dog will be well behaved, many companies may vote in your favour.

Check with your colleagues

As unfathomable as it may be, some people just don’t like dogs. Then, there are others who are allergic to them. Needless to say, you can’t bring your dog into a workplace with such people. Thus, you are going to have to let your colleagues have a say as well.

It is a good idea to anticipate certain questions ahead of time when appealing to your workmates. For instance, some may have questions about your dog’s shedding, hygiene, or potential for disruption. Come up with an action plan so that you can dispel all their concerns.

If some colleagues are unsure about being around dogs, invite them to meet your pup in a different setting. Once they see how friendly he is, they may change their mind.

Double down on training

Even if you have a well-behaved pet, settling into the routine of going to work can be difficult. As such, you may need to train your pooch to adapt to the situation. In some cases, simply learning to sit and be still is something that you may need to focus on. This is true even if your pup is already acquainted with these commands. After all, in the workplace, they will need to display these behaviours more often.

You are also going to have to teach your dog about specific places in the workplace. For instance, they may only be allowed in limited areas. Thus, you will need to get your dog used to the idea of staying under your desk or only wandering off a certain distance.

The earlier you start this training, the better. This way, you won’t have to worry about any slip ups. Instead, your dog will be perfectly well behaved. In turn, you will not have to deal with any concerns or complaints from your colleagues or employers.

As you can see, there is quite a bit to consider when deciding whether you can take your dog to work with you. However, if you follow the right guidelines, this could become a possibility. This way, you will be able to enjoy the company of your dog every single day!