You already know that a friendly tail wag or furry kiss when you get home from work perks up the rest of your day. But what if your four-legged friend could be by your side all day? Allowing pets at work is a growing trend among employers.

The International Journal of Workplace Health Management published a research paper from Virginia Commonwealth University on dogs in the workplace in 2012. After monitoring the habits of workers with and without animal companions, the results showed that employees felt less stressed throughout the day when a dog accompanied them to work.

Creating a Pet-Friendly Workplace

Getting started really is as simple as talking with your supervisor. Explain that furry coworkers can boost employee morale and lighten an often emotional atmosphere.

Suggest having a bring-your-pet-to-work day to test the waters. Offer to organize the event and create a tip sheet for coworkers that explains pet etiquette and rules for the day. A trial run can be a strong indicator as to whether or not your company is a good fit for introducing pets at work.

Tips for Pets and Owners

If you get the green light, educate everyone on how to make the day successful and rewarding for the staff, the pets, and the customers who may come in contact with a four-legged companion. Here's a few tips to get started:

  • All pets should be on a leash with the tie-out secured to a desk, or contained in an office with a pet gate at the door.
  • Bring toys, food, a water bowl, and a pet bed to keep the animal content and comfortable in the new environment.
  • Plan to take a few outdoor breaks to exercise dogs and give them a potty break. Cat owners should bring a travel-size litter pan and clean up after the pet in a timely manner.
  • Be respectful of your coworkers. Keep your pet quiet and in your personal work space at all times.

Purina is at the forefront of this movement with the Pets at Work initiative. Employees for the pet-loving company can bring their furry friends to work. Purina says that pets keep the office mood relaxed, which makes it easier to get more work done. Having a pet around also makes it easier to meet new people, such as coworkers in another department. As a bonus, an afternoon dog walk can reduce stress and improve employee health and wellness.

Want to learn more? Purina offers several great tips for bringing your pet to work — once the boss approves, of course!