Four reasons your workplace should have a dog

Dog friendly workplaces are thing, and many people love them.

Dogs are the best. They’re adorable and they love you unconditionally. They might also make you happier, healthier, and more successful, which is why your workplace should have a dog.

Don’t believe me? There’s science!

Here are four reasons your workplace should have a dog.

Dogs may help you become more successful and earn more money

According to Fast Company, a 2018 survey found that 93% of C-suite executives grew up with a pet, and 78% partially attributed their career success to having owned a pet as a child. Plus, more than three quarters (77%) of C-suite executives said they came up with a business idea while walking a pet (presumably a dog) and 62% of these believe pets had a positive impact on their ability to build relationships with clients and coworkers. Eighty per cent of respondents also said they felt more connected to colleagues who own pets, and 79% believe that pet-owning colleagues are hard workers.

Another survey by OnePoll found that people with a pet earn £4,000 (5,884 CAD) more a year, and are more likely to have earned a University degree than people without a pet.

Meanwhile, a 2018 study by Mars Petcare found that dog owners earn more money on average ($47,000 USD vs. $40,000 USD) than cat owners.

In case cat owners are bristling here, I’m not taking the side of dogs. I have two cats and only one dog. I’m just sharing the facts.

Dogs keep you healthy and happy

The OnePoll survey also found that nine out of 10 pet people believe their animal friend is good for their health and wellbeing, and that they get nearly twice the amount of exercise, raising their heartrate five times a week compared to three times for non-pet owners.

Another study found that dog owners do about 23 more minutes of walking a day than non-dog owners, and log 2,760 more steps. And dog owners get more exercise than cat owners, and are more likely to be runners.

Dog owners also live longer than non-dog owners, according to a study that found people with dogs had a lower risk of death due to heart disease and other causes, than people who did not own a dog. That was true even after adjusting for other factors like smoking and socioeconomic status.

So, if there is a dog in your office you might all take turns walking it, and maybe live longer.

Dogs reduce workplace stress

 CNBC reported that a study from the Virginia Commonwealth University on dog friendly workplaces found that employees who brought their dogs to work reported lower stress levels, higher levels of job satisfaction, and a more positive perception of their employer than people who didn’t bring their dogs to work. Of the 76 study participants, the most stressed out employees were dog owners that left their pets at home.

As everyone knows by now, stress is connected to inflammation and a host of negative health outcomes that include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. So, reduced stress can keep employees healthier and decrease sick days, which brings us back to the health argument.

Also, participants in the study indicated several other possible benefits, including increased productivity, higher employee morale, and increased co-worker cooperation. Dogs make employees more productive!

Dogs encourage social interaction between employees

Studies repeatedly find that dogs promote social interaction. Like this one that found a woman was more likely to be approached by strangers when she was walking a dog than when she wasn’t.

And more research found all kinds of benefits to letting employees bring their dogs to work, including lower desire to quit and higher levels of work-based friendship among those dog owners. They also reported better work-related quality of life, better general wellbeing, and higher levels of job career-satisfaction.

Obviously a dog friendly workplace is really only going to work if everyone in your office likes dogs. And it’s not even a possibility is someone is allergic. (Well, except me. I’m allergic and I have a dog.)

But if everyone is on board, a dog might make your whole workplace happier and more productive.

Feel free to share this article with your manager if you need support material.

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