Dogs in Offices? That Would Be Ruff…

Some offices are starting to allow employees to keep dogs at work. Here are six reasons why this could be a bad idea.

Apparently, some offices are going to the dogs.

OK, I’ll admit it. His little face is melting even my frozen heart. But I still don’t want him licking my keyboard.

No, seriously. Some offices are starting to allow their workers to bring their pets to work.


Some purported benefits of a dog-friendly office include:

  • increased employee morale
  • better work/life balance
  • more employee connectivity and collaboration
  • the ability to use dog puns in the marketing (I’ve already used two in this blog alone!)

Well, call me Cruella de Ville, but this seems like a bad idea. Wait. No. Cruella de Ville wanted to skin all the dalmatians and turn them into a coat. Bad example. I don’t want to hurt any dogs, I just don’t want them in the office. Please don’t @ me. (That’s what the kids say now, right? I would check, but I’d rather Sit! and Stay! Ooh, look, that’s three puns!)

Anyway, here are some reasons you might not want to allow dogs in an office. (Obviously excluding service animals.)

Dogs can be loud. Client calls? People coming in for interviews? Do you want them to hear barking the whole time? Not to mention if people are trying to get work done. Some people employees might not welcome the distraction.

You might have to restrict certain breeds. Some types of dogs might not do well in an office environment, whether they’re too large or temperamental. But where do you draw the line? And then some employees might be upset that they can’t bring their dog when their coworker can.

It’ll get smelly. Let’s do the math. A couple of dogs + recirculated air + accidents (it’s bound to happen) = blech.

Some people don’t like dogs. Look, I’m not a dog person. Shocking, right? And it’s a very unpopular opinion to express. It’s often greeted with, “But you’d like my dog!” or “But look at this face!” or “Are you some sort of unfeeling monster/robot?” (My answers are usually, “I would from a distance,” and “It’s a very nice face, but I’m still scared of it,” and “Not the last time I checked, but it has been a while…”) So if dogs were allowed, even if employees felt uncomfortable with it, they might not say anything so they don’t rock the boat or become office pariahs. And then their office morale would be brought down—which is the opposite of purpose of bringing in dogs in the first place!

Some people are allergic. Pretty much the same explanation as the above, except a more socially acceptable answer to dog owners.

Won’t somebody think of the kittens? If you allow dogs, will you then have to start allowing cat owners to bring in their cats? Let’s throw in some of those hamsters in a ball rolling around the place. What about a Burmese python? It could get a little crazy after awhile.

Would you consider allowing dogs in the office? Do you already? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Post your comments on our Facebook page or send a tweet to @CPExecutive or @jfiur. (OK, so do @ me after all!)