It doesn’t look like UK pet owners are going to need much encouragement when it comes to taking part in this year’s ‘Take Your Dog To Work Day’ this Friday (June 25th), with new research* from GoCompare showing that 40% of people like the idea of a dog being in the office. While the research shows that only 14% of people will be taking their dog to work this Friday, nearly half of workers are in favour of the idea of a dog being in the office generally.
The research also shows that Londoners are the most in favour of an office dog with 48% of those living in the capital saying they like the idea of a pup in the workplace. Wales is a close second with 47% of residents saying they also like the idea. But those who aren’t so keen appear to be those living in the West Midlands with just under a third (31%) saying they’d like a dog in the office.
According to the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association, some 3.2 million households in the UK have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic. But with many dog owners spending more time at home thanks to Covid-19, taking pets to work rather than leaving them at home alone is clearly a temptation for many now restrictions are beginning to ease.
But is taking your pooch in to a professional environment ever as simple as grabbing their lead and opening the front door?
GoCompare has compiled a list of the practicalities every dog owner should be thinking about before they take the plunge this ‘Take Your Dog To Work’ day – and beyond.
The Highway Code says dogs must not be let out on the road alone and that you must secure your dog properly in order for them to travel safely in your car**. Do you need to buy a harness or pet carrier before you can travel? If you’re walking or cycling to work does the route you take involve coming into contact with heavy traffic or livestock?
What if your dog takes a disliking to someone at your place of work – or even the office itself? Are any of your co-workers seriously allergic to dogs?
What if Rover decides to take a chunk out of the office sofa, or heaven forbid, one of your colleagues instead? GoCompare has found that out of 411 pet policies***, 296 don’t provide cover for third party damage caused by your pet, which covers accidental damage to third party belongings, whether or not you are legally liable. . Are you in a position to foot the bill if the worst happens?
It’s a known fact having a pet around the office can be a great stress-buster for employees, but is it something they themselves are genuinely going to enjoy? Watch out for stress levels in your dog, such as excessive panting, and make sure they have a suitably calm space they can relax in while they’re at work with you.
It might sound obvious, but is it actually practical to have a dog in your place of work? Will it have access to drinking water and an outdoor space where you can take it for regular toilet breaks? Some employers might require you to undertake a risk assessment, most likely in writing where there are more than five employees involved.
It might seem unlikely that your dog would be anything but overjoyed to spend the day alongside you at work, but until you get there, you just never know. If they get nervous, agitated or over excited you might need to take them home again. You might consider only taking your dog into work on days where your schedule allows for this, therefore, or when another family member is available to collect them if the need arises.
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