Dog-Friendly Offices are great but what about the Clean Up?
Keeping pet-friendly workplaces clean, safe and hygienic
The American Pet Products Association asserts 63% of US families own a pet, with dogs up there as the most popular but there’s also a growing trend for dogs in the workplace and some companies even list their furry friend as a member of staff. Office dogs are good for morale and can be a great icebreaker when clients arrive, but dogs also generate quite a lot of mess. Keeping on top of this is important and bringing in the professionals can be key to ensuring success. Usually, the office dog belongs to the business owners or management, but in some companies, there are different dogs hanging around every day, as they have bring your pet to work days and policies. Bringing the dog to the office really is lovely and can be a brilliant way of boosting the team and their morale but you do need to think about the additional rules you need in place. The cleaning schedule needs to be updated and the professional feel of your business shouldn’t be impacted by the furry colleague enjoying the office sofa.
Benefits of a Dog-Friendly Office
Inviting dogs into the workplace is a great idea and one which many companies have adopted. Before we look at the changes you need to make, let’s look at the benefit of having a dog at your desk:
Encourages exercise: the nature of the modern office means you need to sit down for the majority of the day and this is obviously bad for your health. With a dog around, you’ll have to take turns being in charge of walkies and getting fresh air and a little exercise can only be a good thing. Morale boost: as we’ve already discussed, dogs at work are truly therapeutic and stroking a dog can release tension and minimise stresses. This helps create a calmer workplace which is much more enjoyable for all. *Improved Canine Health: having a dog at home who you leave to work full-time isn’t good for them and bringing them into the office where they receive lots of attention and this is great for their health. It’ll also help you avoid all the guilt you feel at work thinking about your dog stuck at home.
Succeeding with your Dog-Friendly Workplace
To make a success of your dog-friendly workplace, you’ve got to be ready to put the work in! The most important thing to get in place first is the ground rules. You should make sure there are rules set in place for all colleagues who want to bring their dog into the workplace. The same rules should apply to everyone and you need to keep your reputation strong, regardless of your pet-friendly focus.
Many businesses have a specific Pet Policy and this is something you should definitely consider if you plan to allow dogs in the workplace. The policy should include:
Housetrained pets only: no pets who have yet to be fully housetrained should be in the business. You may allow the occasional puppy as a visitor, but not to stay for too long. Vaccinated pets only: all pets should be up to date with their vaccinations which ensures they are safe and not at risk of catching any illnesses themselves. *Trained and people-friendly pets only: your pup may be perfect at home when it’s just you and them, but you need to consider their reaction in a busy workplace. Some dogs might be fine at home but nervous or even aggressive when in busy workplaces.
Some other key points to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your dog-friendly workplace clean include:
Consider Air Quality
Dust and debris build up quickly in the average office environment and this further increased when you throw dogs into the mix. “Wet dog smell” is not something you want people to associate with your business and moulting coats can soon impact the air quality. Keeping windows open is your best bet for managing a dog-friendly workplace, though this isn’t always possible in colder months and regions.
You may consider changing the filters on your HVAC system to a pet-resistant model or investing in additional air freshening and purifying equipment such as natural oil diffusers.
Choose a Vacuum that works
If your office has carpets or soft furnishings you will want to make sure there is no remnants of dog (or even odor) left around. Flooring is the most likely place to harbor fur and hair and so investing in a high-quality vacuum is recommended, even if you hire in the professionals for more of the cleaning tasks in your workplace.
There are vacuum cleaners designed for pet hair which could be the right choice, but it depends on how much you will be using it and how often you have professional cleaners in, ensuring a full deep clean is carried out.
Have an “Accidents Happen” Kit on Hand
Even the best-behaved pooches can have accidents, so having an emergency kit on hand is always recommended. It can contain the essentials you need for cleaning up quickly including rubber gloves, small disposal bags, a poop scoop, antibacterial spray, and a cleaning brush. This will ensure accidents are dealt with quickly and efficiently.
Create Dog-Safe Spaces
If you’re going to welcome dogs into your office space, then there should be a dedicated space for them away from the staff. Dogs need space to relax too and a dedicated “dogs only” space also gives them somewhere to go if they feel at all agitated or stressed. It could be a separate room with dog beds, water dishes and all they need to enjoy some quiet time away from the buzz of the office. A dedicated dogs-only zone can also help keep the routine cleaning to a minimum.
More and more businesses are open to staff bringing in their pets occasionally, or even on a regular basis. It’s become something which can even bring more employees to your company as they love the idea of their pet being an extra member of the team. Remember, dogs in the office are a fun addition but you need to remember their needs and of course, keep on top of the cleaning.
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