From offering pet insurance to “Bring Your Dog to Work” days, employers are embracing the fact that employees love their pets.  If your company is thinking about allowing employees to occasionally bring their canine companions to work, here are some tips to help make that event a happy one.

1. Good doggie!  While friendly Fido may be welcome in the workplace, aggressive, snarling, barking dogs are not.  Make it clear to employees that their dogs must be on their best behavior.  It’s also a good idea to make sure you only allow pets who have been potty-trained to participate in your “Bring Your Dog to Work” event.  Even though accidents may still happen, you can monitor them and request that repeat offenders not come back to visit.

2. Scratch and sniff!  Companies need to be sensitive to those individuals with allergies to pet hair and dander.  To help those employees avoid allergy attacks, restrict animals to one area of your building, set up portable air purifiers around the facility and avoid allowing dogs to enter common areas such as restrooms, breakrooms, etc.  Additionally, ensure the offices are completely vacuumed and washed after the dogs’ visit.

3. Don’t make me sick!  Require employees that participate in your event to provide proof that their pets are up-to-date with all of their vaccinations and are flea-free.  Employees should be required to provide sufficient food, water, toys, etc. for the dog to enjoy throughout the day.

4. Walk the dog! A designated area for walking the dogs should be established on your property.  The company should provide “baggies” and a trash can so that employees can pick up and dispose of pet waste.

There are many benefits to sponsoring a “Bring Your Dog to Work” day.  Studies have shown pets at work can reduce stress.  Additionally, this type of event can build comradery among employees and improve morale.  A little planning can ensure a “Bring Your Dog to Work” day is a success!

Contributed by Christine Crews, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is Vice President of Human Resource Services for the Employers Association Forum, Inc. (EAF). EAF is a non-profit corporate membership-based association dedicated to serving the business and HR communities with world-class HR tools, hotlines & legal compliance, news & trends, surveys & economic data, benefits & insurance, risk management, training & consulting, and leadership & organizational development. HCCMO members receive discounted rates on all EAF classroom training at EAF’s training center in Longwood. Click here to learn more about EAF membership benefits http://eafinc.org/about-eaf/value-of-membership/.