Dogs in the Workplace – Part 1

by Jamie Migdal, CEO of FetchFind

business dog typewriter

I have picked up more dog poop than you. In fact, probably more than you the person sitting next to you. And next to them. In fact, if I really sat back and thought about the sheer volume of dog crap I’ve had in my hands over the past 20 years, I’d be tempted to contact Guinness and lobby for a new category.

 The formerly mentioned dog poop came from the many dogs in all areas of my life, including, but not limited to dogs I walked during the Out-U-Go days or the dogs in my classroom while I trained with AnimalSense. Not to mention the hundreds of random dogs who have been through my homes, businesses and life in general. The one place, however that I truly despise the poop is in my office. You may be wondering why on earth I’d be picking up dog poop in my office, and to that I answer: What? You don’t? 

As the CEO of four different dog-related businesses over the past 20 years, dogs in the office have been a mainstay. And although I’ve loved each one of the hundreds of dogs that have crossed the threshold of the countless office spaces I’ve occupied, it’s recently dawned on me what all this excrement really costs: loss of productivity.  

Clearly, every time a dog has an accident, there is an impact on productivity as the ritual of poop pick up commences. Think plastic bags, paper towels and lots of disinfectant, not to mention the conversations everyone in the office needs to have about the stink.

The question is: do I need to reconsider the whole dog-in-the-office thing?

 Of course not!  I’m just pointing out what most dog-friendly businesses may be afraid to admit…we love dogs, but they take a quite a bit of time away from the workday, as we have to feed, water, walk and referee them. 

I haven’t taken the time to do any kind of longitudinal study on my observations but am convinced it’s a significant factor to consider as it relates to decreased productivity. 

Clearly poop isn’t a good enough reason to leave the dogs at home, but there are many other considerations when you dip your dog in the company ink. 

This is the first installment in my Dogs in the Workplace series- so I’ll leave you with visions dogs happily converging at the water cooler (read: bowl) whilst their dutiful human counterparts lovingly admire and thank the dog gods they work at a dog-friendly business. 

The jury is still out, and while I certainly have some opinion on the negatives, I can’t ever certify that they will outweigh the positives. 

Until then, please pass me a poop bag.

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The annual Take Your Dog to Work Day is June 24, 2016.

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21 thoughts on “Dogs in the Workplace – Part 1

  1. I’m thankful I work from home with my dogs. I know that my poodle, Henrietta, would not do well with other dogs — she a bit of a prima donna. Can’t wait to follow the series!

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  2. I wouldn’t look at as taking away from productivity when having dogs or cats for that matter, in the work place. I think you would be more productive because you are less stressed and more relaxed by having the pets around. A workplace with pets is in my opinion, a happier place to be.

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  3. Ha! Funny stuff Jamie. And you’re right, I’m sure you would qualify for the Guinness record. One question, and this may be a silly one. But are dogs more likely to poop in an office than at home?

    I mean if you take them out regularly, like you do when you’re home with them, they never have accidents in the house (once trained). Is there something about the office environment that affects them differently?

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  4. Very good points. Magical-Dawg would LOVE to visit other dogs but wouldn’t care for all those STRANGERS! DANGER! STRANGERS, must PROTECT! Luckily, he gets to stay home and work with me there.

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  5. Great points. I work a lot from home so Kilo the Pug is with me. He would not do at all well going elsewhere as hates strangers and other dogs (plus is prone to accidents if stressed). He loves having people he knows at the home office as he moves around getting cuddles.

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  6. I guess getting up and walking over to said poop, and bending over to pick it up counts for exercise. I am at a desk all day and we are constantly told to take stretch breaks. I figure a few ball tosses on top of poop pick up would work nicely! Would love to have my dogs at work.

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  7. Luckily I am home with mine, but I have never been where dogs are allowed. While they may take away some productivity, I think they would help with stress! And, if a poop happens, there has to be laughter. It could be good medicine!

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  8. I would’ve lobbied to bring my dog to work when I was in an office years ago. That is, if dogs in the office was even a conversation back then. Things have come a long way with the massive growth in the pet industry. Interesting series! And EW on the poo record! ☺

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  9. Cool topic for a series, I look forward to the rest of it. I love the idea of dogs in the workplace. Volunteering at the shelter, over the years I’ve scooped a ton of poop, but I don’t mind a bit! At least if you own or work at a dog friendly biz, you’re getting paid while you scoop the poop, LOL!!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  10. As an employee in a windowless office, I find the need to see sun (or the elements) for a short while to be able to focus at my desk. This short walk is no different than taking a pup for a walk but it has not impacted the degree of my productivity or the quality of my work. Having a dog with me, would help to remind me of the importance of fresh air which would then lead to increased creativity and output.

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  11. I can’t wait to read your series! I’m always wishing I could take Shasta with me to work, I love the days I get to stay home with him and work from here! However, as I’m reading your post I’m thinking…. some 12 hour days I barely get lunch but he’ll definitely need potty breaks!

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  12. That’s a whole lot of poop! I work from home with my dogs, they provide a necessary break that keeps me from burnout. I think it’d be tough to have my dog away from home, but I think over the initial hump of the pets getting used to the new environment, it could work nicely just about anywhere.

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