Dogs at Work Brings Wags and Woofs to Offices
With Take Your Dog to Work Day today, June 22, many companies are preparing for visits from employees’ canine pals…but why not have every day be dog-friendly?
Claudia Melzig, founder of dogsatwork.pro, always loved the presence of pups, having felt the loving companionship of dogs her whole life. It was only natural that she began to foster for local animal rescues some years ago.
It was Miley, a young pit bull mix with substantial medical needs, who made herself at home with Claudia, her partner Paul, and their Vizsla, Dante—and she never left. As Dante showed Miley how to socialize with other dogs, Claudia decided to bring Miley with her to work. It was then that Claudia, a human resources professional with more than 20 years of experience, discovered firsthand the joys and benefits of dogs in the workplace.
“It’s destressing to have an animal with you and studies have proven it increases productivity on the job,” Claudia says. “While at work , you can multitask by walking your dog while meeting with a coworker, or you can just take your dog on a short walk to take a break.” Despite a slightly furrier workplace, there are many reasons employees benefit from dogs at work, including “improved morale, increased collaboration and interaction among employees, enhanced work-life balance and lowered stress and anxiety.” The benefits don’t just reach the employees; employers can expect “increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, enhanced company culture and identity, and a greater sense of loyalty” from employees. For businesses, it’s win-win.
What some may overlook is that dogs benefit just as much as the people. Claudia reminds us, “When dogs come along to work instead of staying at home, they don’t spend so much time alone. You don’t have to rush back home after work. It makes taking care of a dog and having a full-time job a little bit easier.”
Inspired by Miley’s on-the-job visits, Claudia started dogsatwork.pro to help companies become dog-friendly workplaces. There are several steps to welcoming canine companions to the workplace, like pet-proofing the work area, setting canine behavior standards, writing policies and communication plans, and training employees. Each business requires a different approach depending on a variety of factors, such as company culture, employee comfort with animals, and office set up. Once Claudia has completed her customized plan, she will continue to provide ongoing support, which can range from continued enhancements to the program, conducting employee satisfaction surveys, or even providing vaccine reminders.
Claudia’s personal goal, she says, is to help more dogs get adopted by helping companies become dog-friendly workplaces.
The logic is simple. “If more people are able to bring their dogs into work and not have to worry about them alone at home, they’re more likely to adopt a dog,” she says. “I would love more dogs to be adopted from shelters like Homeward Pet and join their humans at work, embracing the bond between people and dogs.”
Homeward Pet holds a special place in Claudia’s heart: “Homeward Pet has shown me the caring love and unconditional support they provide to animals in need. You feel like part of a family of animal lovers there.”
Learn more about dogsatwork.pro.