Pet-Friendly Workplace: What To Know

By Ashley Paskill on March 24, 2022

Pets have the ability to make people happier and calmer, even in a work setting. Many people got pets throughout the pandemic to have an extra companion when we were all forced to be apart. Even before the pandemic, pets have always meant so much to people, and many see their pets as family members. Many employers are looking at the logistics of making their workplace pet-friendly. If you are one of these employers, there are a few things to know and consider as you go through the process.


While making the office pet-friendly is going to be a process, there are benefits to allowing pets. Allowing employees to bring pets to work allows them to be able to take care of their pets without having to worry about running home to walk them or feed them, meaning that your employee will be around. If you are unable to pay your employees as much as you would like, allowing them to bring in pets can be seen as an added perk for their work. Allowing pets gives pet parents a chance to meet other animal lovers and get to know each other better.

Change the space

When allowing pets in the workplace, you may want to change up the décor to be more pet-friendly. Consider buying area rugs as they are easily cleaned with a quick vacuum. Seat covers for chairs and any couches you have will protect these furniture items from harm and dirt. You may want to have a specific playpen or area for the pets or have an area near each pet parent for their pets to be in as the employee works.


Your employees who are bringing in their pets may have toys, but they may be concerned about other pets ruining them or the toys getting lost. Considering buying some for the office so the employees do not have to worry about bringing their own into the office and keeping track of them as they are getting work done. Be aware that any toys that squeak may be distracting, so consider buying toys that are quiet.

Image via Pexels

Get input

Many employees may be on board with allowing pets, but others may not want to work in a pet-friendly work environment. Some employees may even be allergic to certain pets. Before committing to allowing pets, ask for input from your employees. If the feedback is mixed, try hosting one day a month where pets are allowed to see how things go. After each pet day, get feedback from your employees about how it went and whether it should be more permanent and frequent. As a must, the CEO and higher-ups of the company must agree to allow pets in the office.

Pet policies

Even though pets are domestic, they are still animals. They have the tendency to bark and even bite. Having policies in place for noise and biting will give employees, especially those against pets in the workplace, peace of mind that issues that arise will be taken care of. Some places expel dogs who bite on the first offense and for things such as barking, they are expelled after three offenses. Before you allow pets, make sure every employee knows what the policies are for bringing pets and have a system in place so people can report issues, even anonymously.

Meet the pets

Before allowing pets in the office, set up a time to meet pets that will be brought in. This will give you an idea of how the animals will behave in a new setting with new people. You will get a chance to see if there are enough animals that are well-behaved enough to go through the process of allowing pets. Even if you know one specific breed of dog is calm, each dog has a different temperament, so it is important to get a feel of how they will be.

Be prepared

When allowing pets, you will want to be sure you are prepared with anything the pets may need. Have plastic bags ready so employees can pick up after their dogs when they go outside. Keep the break room stocked with pet food and treats, and have water bowls available. Again, be sure to have toys on hand, and if you allow cats, be sure you have litter boxes and litter.

Other options

Even if you opt to not allow pets in the office setting, there are plenty of things you can do to show that your company loves and supports animals. Some companies schedule times for therapy dogs to come in once a quarter. If you arrange volunteer opportunities for employees, schedule a volunteer day at a local pet shelter. For those workplaces that are still remote, have a part of your meetings dedicated to having pets on screen. Since losing a pet can be difficult, offer a few days of bereavement when a pet dies. As a perk, offer pet insurance so that pet parents can have coverage if their pet gets sick.

Being a pet-friendly workplace can seem overwhelming, but knowing what needs to be done can make it easier to go through with.

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