Take Your Dog to Work Day is June 22

When take your dog to work day rolls around every June, I am super jealous of anyone who works at a company that participates. I have never worked at a dog-friendly company, or even one that would participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day, and every day when I leave for work I wish I could take my dogs.

pets(Photo courtesy of Embrace Pet Insurance)

There are so many perks of having a dog in the office – stress relief, mid-day exercise, morale-building – so I can understand why more and more companies are offering the ability to bring dogs to work. Local Cleveland pet insurance provider, Embrace Pet Insurance recently did a survey which found that:

  • 50% of policyholders wished their workplace was pet-friendly
  • 30% of policyholders have pet-friendly employers
  • 70% of policyholders said, if interviewing for a new job, an employer with a pet-friendly workplace would be very appealing.

As more and more companies consider pet-friendly policies, Take Your Dog to Work Day is a great time for a workplace to try it out and see if it’s a good fit. Pet Sitters International, the founder of Take Your Dog to Work Day, has a free toolkit for any employers interested in planning a Take Your Dog to Work day, as well as some sample “dogs at work” policies, which can be found here: https://www.petsit.com/toolkit

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To encourage more workplaces to take part in Take Your Dog to Work Day, Embrace Pet Insurance is giving away three prize packs to participating workplaces. The prize packs include a graphic tee, pet bandannas, tennis balls, pet treats and Pooch selfie smartphone attachments. Embrace will accepting entries here: https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/waterbowl/article/TYDTWD-giveaway-2018 until June 12.

Check out the June issue of CLE Dog Magazine for more tips from Embrace Pet Insurance on bringing your dog to work! And check out my Dog-Friendly Office Spotlight of Embrace from a few years ago to learn more about dog-friendly office culture: https://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-office-spotlight-embrace-pet-insurance/

And, if you are taking your dog to work on June 22, please tag me in any photos (@dogsinthecle on IG and Twitter). I’d love to see pups at work!

 

 

Dog-Friendly Office Spotlight: Our Pets

It’s always been a dream of mine to bring my dog to work. I am so jealous of the people that work at the companies in the Northeast Ohio area where you can actually do this! One such lucky place is OurPets in Fairport Harbor on the east side. OurPet’s designs and manufactures pet products, from dog and cat toys to pet bowls and feeding devices. I recently sent some questions to Peter Ostapowicz, Marketing Coordinator at OurPet’s, to learn more about the company’s dog-friendly culture.

Are any other pets allowed besides dogs?

Yes, we have had cats, a turtle, and even an iguana at one point.

What went into the decision to allow employees to bring their pets to work?

We have had a pet policy for about seven years now and it started when one employee started to bring their dog into work and then other people wanted to as well.

IMG_2104Are there any rules for bringing pets to work? Can employees do it whenever they want or only on certain days?

Yes, we have a policy for people to follow when they bring their pets into work.  The most important item to note is that people come first.  It is important that we provide a safe, nonthreatening and healthy work environment for all employees.  With the exception of service animals for individuals with disabilities, having animals in the workplace is a privilege, not a right.  Having animals in the workplace requires complete responsibility on the part of the pet owners.  Pet owners are expected to recognize that not all employees or visitors like animals in the office, and in some cases people with allergies cannot tolerate being in close proximity to animals.

We believe that the pet must be “office-broken,” well behaved and non-aggressive.  This means, house broken, friendly to fellow workers, strangers and other animals in the office, and not protective of your workspace (growling or threatening people as they come into or pass your area).  Pets also must have the ability to be contained (gate for your office, leash, etc.) because they are not always able to be with you in meetings or when you step away from your desk.

OurPet’s does allow employees to bring their pets into work throughout the entire work week.

 Has there ever been issues among the dogs?

There have been instances where an animal was not “office-broken” and being disruptive in the workplace and the pet’s owner was asked to refrain from bringing that animal into the workplace.

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What advice would you have for a company considering being pet-friendly?

To remember that not all employees may be comfortable with animals in the workplace and that it is important to ensure that all of your employees operate in a comfortable, safe environment.

 Do you have any funny stories of something a pet did in the office?

Nothing too crazy, but there was a time that an employee’s dogs got loose in the office and ran around during a meeting and startled a few people.  There is also a dog that only hangs around people while they are eating lunch or waits for you to give them a dog treat and then moves on to the next person.

Do you work at a dog-friendly office? I’d love to hear about it! Contact me at contact@dogsinthecle.com

Dog-Friendly Office Spotlight: Embrace Pet Insurance

I am so jealous of people that can bring their dogs to work. The sad face my dog gives me on my way out the door to work pretty much makes me want to quit my job and stay home with him every time.

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I’ll just wait for you here all day. Again.

 

There are so many benefits to having dogs at work – stress relief, team bonding, allowing employees to have more flexibility and, of course, cute dogs to look at all day! It sounds pretty great to me, and I know Hunter (maybe not Roscoe) would love to go to work with me.

Recently, I posted on Facebook asking what offices around Cleveland are dog friendly and got a few responses back. In order to spread the word about the benefits of the dog-friendly office, I am starting a new feature – the Dog-Friendly Office Spotlight. First up – Embrace Pet Insurance. Embrace is located on the east side and has been pet-friendly since the company opened, allowing employees to bring in dogs, cats or any other household pet. I sent some questions to Lead Content Strategist, Sara Radak, to get an idea of how their pet policy works and what some of the best things are about having pets in the office.

Read on to learn more about the dog-friendly culture at Embrace.

What pets have you had in the Embrace office?
Any household pet is welcome to visit. We’ve had cats, rabbits, bearded dragons, hamsters, and more. We have a small conference room that is the home to foster cats (currently from the Parma Animal Shelter, although we’ve worked with Berea ARF as well).

Why did Embrace decide to allow pets in the office?
Embrace is a company that’s founded on the importance of the animal-human bond. We share our lives with our pets and, at Embrace, that includes our work lives.

Are there any rules for bringing pets to work? Can employees do it whenever they want or only on certain days?
We have guidelines in our employee handbook. Each department has a fence around it and dogs must stay within the fence unless they are with their pet parent. They must be up to date on vaccines and healthy. Employees are encouraged to check in with others in their department before bringing their dog as not every pup enjoys company.

Dogs are welcome any day of the week. About once a month, we’ll have a cat-only day when felines rule the roost.

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Has there ever been issues among the dogs?
There has been the occasional skirmish between dogs when personalities didn’t mix or play turned into something one dog isn’t comfortable with. Staff members are generally aware of their dog’s trigger points and work to avoid them. Thankfully, we’ve never had any major injuries and we continue to refine our policies and safety precautions to keep it that way.

What advice would you have for a company considering being pet-friendly?
I actually was just quoted in an article about that very topic. I think there’s some great advice in the article (and not just mine!): http://www.cio.com/article/3000115/staff-management/14-rules-for-creating-a-bring-your-dog-to-work-policy.html

Do you have any play areas or activities for the dogs?
Besides the fenced-in department areas, we don’t have specific areas for dogs to play. We do have a large open area at one end of our office that has many uses, including a great place for fetch.

Do you have any funny stories of something a pet did in the office?
We do yoga in the office and sometimes the pets like to join in – show their downward dog, climb up on those practicing, etc.

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What is the biggest benefit of a pet-friendly office?

I’d say the biggest benefit of having pets at work is the excuse to get up from your desk and take a short break – whether it’s to play, take them for a walk, or just outside to do their business. We all need to get away from our work occasionally – I think it allows us to be more productive when we get back to work.

Do you work at a pet-friendly office? I’d love to hear about it! Contact me at contact@dogsinthecle.com.

Photos courtesy of Embrace Pet Insurance

Do You Work at a Dog-Friendly Office?

So I read this article last week and it made me really jealous of people that work in dog-friendly offices. The article mentioned so many benefits to having dogs in the office, but what really stuck out to me were the stress benefits and the work-life balance it gives dog owners.

I can’t tell you how much stress relief my dogs bring me on a daily basis. It’s one of the reasons I am such a dog pusher and will tell everyone I know to get a dog. So, of course it makes sense that having a dog in the office would improve morale and make people feel less stressed. I am lucky that I have the option to work from home occasionally, so I can be with my dogs while I work, but I can only imagine how much better it would be if I had the option to take my dogs into work sometimes too.

Do you work at a dog friendly office? I’d love to hear about it! Do you have any rules around it, or how does it work? I’m looking to spotlight a couple of local businesses, so please reach out to me at contact@dogsinthecle.com, if your office would like to be featured.

And of course, I want to see pictures of those office dogs! Send me pics, or use the hashtag #dogsinthecleatwork on Twitter or Instagram.

If you don’t work at a pet friendly office, I’d recommend printing out this article and putting it in your company suggestion box (I know I did) http://www.fastcompany.com/3037205/pet-week/your-definitive-argument-for-a-pet-friendly-office