In over 10 years as a dog-friendly company, we at Rover have learned a lot about what it takes for dogs and people to work together harmoniously. To help more companies and people experience the joy of pets, we’re sharing our tried and true best practices for fostering a dog-friendly workplace.
What to consider before becoming a dog-friendly workplace:
- Do most of your employees want this?
- Are dogs allowed in your office building? If not, can you work with your landlord? At Rover, one elevator is marked dog friendly. This way, guests and employees can choose if they’d like to ride an elevator with a pet or not.
- Who will be responsible for the dogs-in-office program? (Setting policies, receiving employee feedback, ongoing management, etc.) At Rover, these roles are on our facilities team in partnership with HR.
- Do you have budget for extra carpet cleaning to reduce pet hair and dander? How about for poop bags, dog treats, and cleaning supplies?
So you want a dog-friendly office space.
Here’s how to set it up:
- Use pet gates strategically to make free roaming areas smaller. At Rover, desks are in groups of 6-8 with a gate around them to reduce the number of dogs in each area.
- Consider liquid-resistant carpet for easy clean ups and to reduce noise.
- Keep pet-safe cleaning supplies like carpet cleaners, disinfecting sprays and poop bags readily available on each floor.
- Set clear guidelines for where pets are and are not allowed. At Rover, dogs are not permitted on tables or in bathrooms.
No dog-friendly outdoor space? Consider creating an indoor playroom for dogs to burn off excess energy.
Rover’s Seattle HQ has an indoor dog playroom as well as a rooftop dog run and designated potty break areas.
Dog-friendly office do’s and don’ts
Require dog tag silencers
Ask first before petting
Laugh at the inevitable dog fart
Allow squeaky toys
Leave dogs unattended
Walk by the mystery poop
How to run a successful dog-friendly workplace company:
- Hold orientation sessions that outline your policies and requirements for having a dog in the office.
- Create a dog application workflow, which might include:
- A consent form agreeing to the office guidelines
- Verification of up-to-date vaccinations
- Confirmation of flea/tick treatment use
- Minimum age and spay/neuter guidelines met (At Rover, dogs must be at least 4 months old and potty trained.)
- Leverage a trial period to give ample time for the employee and their dog to acclimate to their new routine. During this period, the dog must wear a visible “Training” tag. Rover provides color-coded tags, like “Friendly” and “Training.”
- Be clear about what you will and will not provide. Rover provides free dog treats, dog tag silencers, and poop bags but not dog beds, toys, or dog food.
- Establish clear policies for misbehavior. Rover has a three strike rule, but if biting (with punctured skin) is involved, the dog is immediately banned from the office.
- Tell all employees where they can report issues and provide feedback.
Embracing a pet-friendly culture beyond the office:
Pet-centric benefits extend your dog-friendly culture beyond the walls of your office.
- Pet PTO:
Stipend for dog boarding, pet sitting, or dog walking services for when employees travel.
- Pet adoption/foster benefit:
A stipend for adopting or fostering a pet.
- Pet bereavement:
Employees receive time off if a pet passes away.
- Pet insurance stipend:
A stipend to help pay for pet medical services.
Becoming dog friendly can make your workplace more collaborative, less stressful, and more fun.
At Rover, being dog friendly is in our DNA. We’re constantly listening to employee feedback and making improvements for the wellbeing of employees and their pets.
Interested in learning more about services Rover provides?
Dog Boarding | Pet Sitting | Dog Walking | Doggy Day Care | House Sitting