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How To Create A Dog Friendly Office

How To: Create a Dog-Friendly Workplace

In the Portland area, attracting and retaining top talent can be a challenge for any company. Great people have great options. What can you do to make your company stand out?

Surprisingly, it’s often the little things that make a big difference in employee satisfaction and happiness.

A growing trend among some of the fastest growing businesses in the Portland area is offering employees the opportunity to bring their furry friends to work. In today’s post, we’ll talk about best practices for creating a dog-friendly office environment.


How Does a Dog-Friendly Office Improve The Bottom Line?

Recent research suggests that having a dog-friendly workplace is more than just a nice perk. It can also:

Your employees will be happier, more productive, and more engaged with their work!


Remember: It’s Not Just About The Dogs

If you’re thinking about allowing dogs into your office, remember that your first concern should be for the happiness and safety of all your employees– not just those who have dogs. Consider an anonymous survey to determine if any employees are strongly against the idea before making it a policy.


Job Interviews & Private Offices Aren’t Just For People

Just like you wouldn’t let any person work in your office, not every dog will be a good fit either. If an employee wants to bring his or her dog into work, schedule a “doggie interview” where your team can judge the dog’s temperament and behavior.

Use an objective grading system to determine whether a particular pooch is a good fit for your office. Questions to ask may include:

  • Does the dog bark?
  • Does the dog obey commands?
  • Is the dog-friendly around other dogs?
  • How does the dog interact with other humans?
  • Does the dog require excessive attention?
  • Can the dog handle being in the office all day?

Consider a probationary period with all new office dogs before making them “permanent staff.” In fact, many offices do a “test run” of the dog-friendly policy to see how it works out and before making lasting changes to their office policies.

Your human employees often need a quiet place to meet or think when working on a difficult project. Similarly, even the best behaved office dogs may need a space of their own to relax in when they get overwhelmed.


Set Boundaries

Remember, the dogs don’t make the rules: you do! Any successful dog-friendly office policy will include plenty of boundaries. You may want to:

  • Only allow dogs above a certain age– not rambunctious puppies, no matter how cute!
  • Prohibit feeding dogs human food in the office, it can be a slippery slope to bad behavior!
  • Allow dogs only on certain days of the week.
  • Prohibit dogs on some days– like when clients are visiting the office.
  • Only allow dogs in certain rooms or offices. Maybe make the break room a dog free space, for example.


Provide Toys, Treats & Supplies

Like you best human workers, office dogs need stimulation to be happy! Consider investing in quiet toys they can play with, treats they can eat, and other supplies that the dogs might need.


Share Chores & Responsibilities

Some dog-friendly workplaces encourage workers to share chores. Others may require each owner to be responsible for only his or her own puppy. You need to decide what will work best for your office and your team. A few jobs to assign might include:

  • Making sure there’s fresh water
  • Cleaning up after “accidents”
  • Walking the dogs


Brag On Social Media!

The interns are very excited about Donut Wednesday 🍩 At least one of them is, per usual

A post shared by Shortcake (@theladyshortcake) on

When talented people are looking for a new job, they have plenty of options and often look for a relaxed, fun work environment.

So make sure you post about your dog-friendly culture on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook! Update your company’s About Page to included pictures of your favorite CCOs (Chief Canine Officers)! It’s a great way to build your brand and attract the best available talent when hiring.

I mean just check out #officedog on Instagram! How cute is that!?


Plan Outdoor Adventures!

Photo Credit: Michael Lin on Flickr

In Portland, we’re never too far away from a great park! Let your dogs (and employees) take a trip into the great outdoors by visiting one of Portland’s amazing dog parks! They’re located all over town– and many have off-leash areas just for dogs!


Keep Your Office Sparkling Clean!

If you’re investing in your employees by creating a dog-friendly office, make sure you don’t neglect the cleanup!

Let’s be honest: even the best-behaved dogs make messes and leave smells behind. Hair, fur, drool, muddy paws, and just that “wet dog” smell are all too common in dog-friendly offices that aren’t committed to staying clean.

A dirty, smelly office isn’t just one that’s no fun to work in, it can also make your employees sick and reduce their productivity!

At Cascade Building Services, we can help! Our experienced janitorial staff can visit your office as often as needed and handle:

  • Floor & Carpet Cleaning
  • Window Cleaning
  • Trash & Recycling
  • And much more!

Our teams use eco-friendly green cleaning solutions that are safe for both people and pets! There are no harsh fumes or toxic by-products left behind.


More Tips For Creating Your Dog-Friendly Office Policy

Making your office dog-friendly is a big step and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s important to protect yourself and your business as well. Many businesses require employees to sign a waiver to protect the business from liability.

We recommend you work with your business lawyer to draft an agreement that meets your needs. You’ll also want to check and make sure that your business insurance policy (or office lease) allows dogs in your workplace.


Further Reading:

If you’re excited about making your office more dog-friendly, check out a few of our favorite articles and get inspired!


Need Help Cleaning Your Dog-Friendly Office?

Cascade Building Services is here to help! We clean offices throughout the Portland metro area and specialize in large office buildings. Give us a call at (503) 691-0776 or contact us online. We’ll visit your office and create a custom cleaning package just for you!

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