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Pets Reduce Stress in the Workplace

Imagine this:  you’re having a busy, stressful day at the office and all of the sudden you feel something nudge your feet under your desk. You look down and it’s your best friend on four legs looking up at you with the most loving eyes on the planet. You instantly feel better right? Well, a bunch of companies such as Zynga, Amazon, Ben & Jerry’s, Clif bar, Google and even the U.S. Congress have jumped on the bring-your-dog-to-work bandwagon.

So, why are companies all of a sudden allowing dogs in the work place? Executives and managers are well aware of the stress-reducing and team-building benefits to employees when they have their trusty four legged companion by their side. These benefits are not just for faithful dog lovers, having dogs in the office can bring co-workers together and enhance social interaction while having a positive effect on employee, business and organizational health.

Studies show that stress in the work place declined over the course of the day in employees who brought their dog to work, while those who left their pups at home saw an increase in stress throughout the day. The benefits of bringing your pooch to work don’t stop there:

    - If you bring your dog to work, you will take more mini-breaks to interact with him. These breaks are great for reducing stress! - It’s a great excuse to get some fresh air and exercise! All dogs need to have potty breaks, so take your dog outside for a mini walk instead of browsing the web on your breaks.

      Even though this sounds like the perfect, dream work place with puppies running everywhere, you should check with management and get employees on board with bringing dogs to work. Also, before you start don’t forget to follow these rules to ensure everyone - including your boss - is comfortable with the situation:

        - Check with management and co workers to see if it would be ok. Someone may be allergic, afraid or opposed to dogs being in the office. - Doggie-proof your work space. Remove plants, hide chords and wires, and don’t forget the underpads to prevent accidents from ruining the floor. - Don’t forget to have a pet first aid kit handy in case your pooch has a little accident along the way. - Give your dog a bath before he goes to work with you. You always want to look your best in the office … and so does he! - Don’t bring an aggressive or shy dog to work…this could be problematic for you and him.

          - Prepare a doggie-day-kit with bowls, food, a leash and clean up bags.

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