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Want to Increase Your Small Business' Productivity? Adopt a Dog!

Solution Provider

October is the American Humane Association’s Adopt-A-Dog Month. Now, you might be wondering what that has to do with small businesses. Well, what if I told you that bringing your dog to work could increase your bottom line? Are you interested now?


Here’s the scoop: Experts agree that having a dog with you at work is an inexpensive way to increase productivity and reduce stress. Additionally, studies have shown that dogs also enhance collaboration at work. My dog Maxwell, a three-year-old Shih-Tzu, is the chairman of the bone at my company. He enjoys “chairing” an occasional staff meeting and playing ball with his “co-workers” — creating a fun work environment.


So why not adopt a dog for your business? Small businesses often find allowing their employees to bring their furry four-legged friends to work is a unique and valuable employee benefit — something a large company can't offer.


If you’d like to create a small business that is friendly to dogs or other pets, here are a few guidelines to consider:


1. Types. You need to decide what types of pets will be allowed in the office. Not every pet is office appropriate.


2. Parameters. Determine in what parts of the office the animals will be allowed. There may need to be pet-free zones. Even though Maxwell joins us for staff meetings, you may find that having a dog in meetings doesn’t work for your business. After all, taking dogs to meetings can be distracting.


3. Limits. Establish criteria that forbid sick or dirty animals. Also, require proof the animal is current on its vaccinations and licenses.


4. Get buy-in. Make sure your entire team is on-board. You may have employees who are afraid of dogs or other animals, or who may suffer from allergies.


5. Clean-up. Require employees to clean up after their dogs if there is an accident. Some businesses have a three-strike rule; after three messes, the pet can't return to the office.


6. Noise. Establish guidelines for noise levels, particularly in an area where there is a considerable amount of customer interaction. An incessantly barking dog is bad for business. Fortunately, Maxwell rarely barks, so he’s an ideal office dog.


You can find more information about how to make your office a dog- or pet-friendly environment at And if you don’t already have a dog, consider adopting one from a shelter this month. It could be the best thing you do for your small business.


Do you allow pets in your office or place of business? Tell us about it here or on Constant Contact's Facebook Page.


Not applicable

I enjoyed reading this post mainly because my own little dog is a constant companion at work; her official title is CPO (Chief Puppy Officer). She loves webinars; as soon a computer starts talking, she plants herself on the lap of whomever is participating in the webinar. Naturally, we only allow this when we are participants (without video) and never when we are conducting the webinars.

Sara Kirchheimer
Not applicable

You total jerks...!


You inconsiderate total jerks...!


You want to make it difficult for me to breathe because of some conceit you have about pets.


You want me to gasp for air, go pale, have dark circles under my eyes and ache all over?


You want to make that part of my workplace environment...!


This is a quote from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation website:


From 15 percent to 30 percent of people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs.


You total jerks...!




Regular Advisor

Hi Sara. Thank you for your comment and feedback. I'm sorry you took offense to this blog post.


We would never advocate for a business or organization to have pets in a place where people would be allergic. In fact, as Susan says in her blog post, you need to get buy-in from everyone on your team before you allow a dog or cat to come in to your office. I'd add that if you're going to have a pet in an area where customers would be, you should hang a sign or something so people know the dog or cat is there, especially if any customers are at risk of an allergic reaction. Any business owner that values his or her customers would surely not want to let customer run a risk like that.


- Martin

Not applicable

Dear Sara...

you're crazy. Relax, take a breath and realize its an idea, not something that is actually happening.