the office that became a circus of barking dogs and other tales of dogs at work

Of all the perks some employers offer to entice employees to stay at the office longer – free food and drinks, foosball tables, nap rooms, even laundry service – there’s one that brings out stronger emotions than all the rest: dogs at work.

At Slate today, I wrote about why some people love having dogs at work, and others hate it — and what happens when it goes really wrong. You can read it here.

{ 321 comments… read them below }

    1. NotAnotherManager!

      Yep. A “dog-friendly” office would be immediately disqualifying to me – not because I don’t like animals (I do, and we have more cats than we should), but because their human companions are often about as observant of/open to feedback on their furbaby’s problems as parents of human children can be. (I have a child who is terrified of dogs for no reason we can discern, and having a large, unleashed animal barreling down on you while your child cowers and shakes and the leash-law violators yell, “It’s okay! He’s friendly!” is less uncommon thank I’d like it to be. The county has a leash law for a reason, and there are plenty of dog parks where they can play off-leash in a fenced area.) I am 100% fine with service animals because they are incredibly well-trained (and, my dog-phobic kid has no problem riding public transit with a service dog in close proximity); I am not fine with pets at work.

      1. Kate R

        This exactly. So many pet owners have a blind spot for their dog’s bad behaviors. I had a guy try to convince me his dog was just playing after she had attacked my dog (I managed to grab a hold of her harness and yank her away so my dog made it out with just a few scratches). I also had a teacher in high school who used to bring his puppy in. The dog would grab a hold of your pant leg and try to play tug of war while you were trying to get your work done, but the teacher seem to think this was a-OK. I’m all about dogs and LOVE a well-behaved store dog (these seem to be common in bike shops for some reason), but so many people just don’t use common sense when bringing their dogs around people. And don’t even get me started on leash-law violators! But also, it shows a certain disregard to people with allergies to allow pets in the office. Maybe it works for the current staff, but then it presents the possibility of people walking into a situation like the OP who was basically ostracized from her office for being allergic to dogs.

        1. Say what?

          I had a professor that had an elderly and incontinent dog that she would sometimes bring in. It would amble around the room and occasionally hump the legs of almost exclusively male students. She would just coo “Oh, he likes you!”

      2. KatieHR

        I also have a child that is scared of dogs of any size. We also don’t know where this fear comes from. Yet, people get so offended when she is afraid of their “perfect” dog. She is a tiny 8 year old and when you 100 pound animal comes barking and running over to her, she gets completely freaked out. I love dogs but would find it very distracting at work.

    2. Hills to Die on

      And if you do, make it very public knowledge and part of the job application. ‘We allow dogs on site. Click here if you are ok with that.’

      1. KHB

        But as Alison says in the linked piece, that gets into thorny legal territory, because you’re stating that you refuse to accommodate people who can’t be around dogs for ADA-covered reasons.

        1. ExcelJedi

          I’d take out the “Click here” language, but I don’t see anything wrong with saying that the company is very proud/happy to have a dog-friendly office, and that it’s embedded in the culture. For many applicants, that’s actually good marketing, and will make them more likely to apply. People who are dog-averse at work for any reason can make decisions for themselves.

          Accommodations should obviously be made for people with severe allergies, who are covered by the ADA, but anyone who doesn’t want to work in a dog-friendly environment for a non-health related reason should see that as a reason to pass on the application or resign themselves to working in that environment if they get the job.

          1. KHB

            If an accommodation can be found for people with severe allergies (whether it’s working from home, working from another site, or whatever else), why can’t the same solution be used for people who just prefer not to be around dogs while they’re working?

            1. Ego Chamber

              Because there’s no law mandating that? It’s also really, really hard to change an established work culture, whether it’s on the right side of the law or not. Unpopular opinion: I don’t see a lot of reason to decide we need to change work cultures to make everything comfortable for people who might work there in the future.

              Dogs in offices are rare, I mostly see dogs in small businesses, pet stores, pet supply stores, things like that. More importantly, there’s no reason why a specific candidate needs that specific job in that specific office. I think it’s incredibly helpful when companies are aware of their culture and present it to candidates during interviews so anyone who doesn’t want to be in that culture can opt out.

              {F’rex: I have social anxiety. I’ve worked at many restaurants with no issue but I noped right the hell out of a Coldstone interview when they asked me to tell them about myself… by singing a rock opera about my earliest memory of ice cream.)

              1. Ego Chamber

                *By “work cultures” I very specifically do not mean things like racism, sexism, casual violence, drinking to excess and trying to force harmful behaviors on others. I mean things like the whole office being way too invested in their Fantasy Football bracket, or everyone liking video games, or (god help me) workers being forced to sing “The Thank You Song” whenever a customer throws as much as a penny into the tip jar.

                1. Horsing Around

                  Another ‘ism’ to add to that list, ableism. Advertising your company as dog friendly, making that a big part of your culture, is the same as announcing that you are not a safe space for someone with a severe dog allergy. You are trying to sidestep any legal issue by asking them to self-select out of applying to work there in a similar way to how women and minorities are encouraged to self-select out of opportunities because of existing imbalances giving the impression that this is not a welcoming space for them, which is just not okay.

                  Also, there are plenty of reasons why a specific candidate needs that specific job in that specific office, they probably want to have a roof over their head and food to eat. Not everyone is in a position to turn down paying work because it is a poor cultural fit, sometimes you need to compromise for the sake of having an income.

              2. KHB

                Thankfully, employers are allowed to do more for their employees than the bare minimum that the law requires of them. (For example, most jobs pay more than minimum wage.) These arrangements benefit not only the employees but also the employers by helping them attract good employees.

                Maybe that specific candidate doesn’t need that specific job, but what if that specific employer does need that specific candidate? The pool of job applicants is not always infinite, and “just let people self-select out if they’re not a good fit” is not always a workable solution.

                1. D'Arcy

                  Employers are allowed to, but if you take that logic to its extreme, it becomes, “Work is required to be an utterly bland and boring cubicle farm because doing anything interesting might be uninteresting or offensive to some hypothetical future employee.”

                  There has to be balance, and it is not true that *everyone must proactively offer optimal accommodation for every possible need at all times*

      2. Essess

        Agreed. I’m a consultant and VERY allergic to animals. My eyes swell closed just from the dander in the air and my asthma kicks in and I stop being able to breathe. I don’t even have to see the animal to have reactions if they’ve been in the area on a regular basis.
        I was sent to a client office in another state to work for a week. I had never encountered a dog-friendly office so it never occurred to me that it was a possibility. It was a shock when I arrived at the client site and suddenly a giant ball of fur went running by my desk. I had to leave to scramble to get allergy medications to address the beginning symptoms and for the client to find me an isolated room to keep me alive while I was there. It was a big pain on all sides.

    3. Mary Dempster

      Why? If it’s a respectful, well-enacted policy, I don’t see the problem? Our office has about 20 dogs, with about 50 people. Some of them roam, and they’re amazingly wonderful dogs – the ones who are less-trained are more contained – in an office, on a leash, on their dog beds under desks. None of them EVER bark. Plenty of people have dogs that they know would not do well at the office – like my entire team, so we don’t bring them in. If it’s respectful all around it’s great.

      But then again we also occasionally have people’s kids here – not for full days, but if it’s the summer and they’re in between activities, they may come in and visit with their parents. They’re all wonderful, and have never had any issues at all with any of them.

      Maybe my company is just filled with amazing, respectful people? I know most jobs aren’t like that, but it’s not like it’s an impossible thing to do well. Seems situation, not a “never ever” thing.

      1. Mary Dempster

        Why? If it’s a respectful, well-enacted policy, I don’t see the problem? Our office has about 20 dogs, with about 50 people. Some of them roam, and they’re amazingly wonderful dogs – the ones who are less-trained are more contained – in an office, on a leash, on their dog beds under desks. None of them EVER bark. Plenty of people have dogs that they know would not do well at the office – like my entire team, so we don’t bring them in. If it’s respectful all around it’s great.

        But then again we also occasionally have people’s kids here – not for full days, but if it’s the summer and they’re in between activities, they may come in and visit with their parents. They’re all wonderful, and have never had any issues at all with any of them.

        Maybe my company is just filled with amazing, respectful people? I know most jobs aren’t like that, but it’s not like it’s an impossible thing to do well. Seems situational, not a “never ever” thing.

      2. Mary Dempster

        I should also say that I realize that people can be jerks, dogs can be jerks, but it can work, and does – just fine – in lots of places.

      3. NotAnotherManager!

        For me personally, I don’t think that all offices should ban dogs, if it works for them, just that I will not be working there. I have zero interest in being around other people’s pets all day (nor their children, and I have both pets and children). I do not want someone’s dog wandering up to me at my desk, and I would find it distracting to have free-roaming animals in my building. I am fine with self-selecting out of opportunities that offer dogs-at-work as a perk, though.

        1. Mary Dempster

          Hm. I guess so. I guess I just won’t be able to understand that. I haven’t seen a dog all day in my office, because they stay with their owners and are so well behaved. And when I do they often walk in, look around, and hang out if someone offers a pet, or they leave. I just don’t see how that’s so distracting one can’t get work done. The dogs in my office are way, way less distracting than our in-house chat feature.

          1. JeanB in NC

            I’m pretty sure if you’re a regular reader of this column, it’s been made clear that in some, if not most, dog-friendly offices, the dogs are not under control, they are distracting, and they do cause allergy attacks. I’m happy for you that your office dogs are so well-behaved but that does not always happen, and all the anecdata in the world won’t make it true.

            1. Mary Dempster

              I know it doesn’t always happen. Just letting people know it can be done, and be done well. If the people you work with are respectful. Which is rarely the case, but is for me, and I think it’s unfair to say they have no place in the workplace. I think if anything, most people don’t have a place in the workplace, if you go off the same qualifications!

              1. Ego Chamber

                “If the people you work with are respectful. Which is rarely the case,”

                I’m sorry. What? You are making some really weird assumptions about other people’s working conditions, and I don’t understand your endgame here.

                1. Michaela Westen

                  IME it is rare to have a workplace where everyone is respectful. There’s always at least one jerk. The job I have now is the best I’ve seen in more than 30 years in the work force.
                  Some of the personal flaws can be annoying, but at least everyone tries. That’s the best I’ve seen in terms of respect.

          2. NotAnotherManager!

            I guess I’m not sure what’s hard to understand? I don’t want to work in an office that allows animals. I also would not want to work in an open plan office or one that prized team-building games or one with muzak piped in all day. It’s just a personal preference, just like a lot of other workplace likes/dislikes. I think that as long as an office advertises up front that they are dog-friendly, that lets both the company and me avoid each other.

        2. Courageous cat

          This is so wild to me! I get everyone has their preferences but I guess I would just think pet owners would enjoy this kind of thing more, or at least feel neutral towards it.

      4. Becky

        Just being at my friend’s house with her one dog starts giving me an allergic reaction after two or three hours. Being in an office 8 hours a day around 20 dogs? Heck no. Unless your job directly involves dogs such as a dog walking service, a vet, or animal therapy or something, dogs or any pets have no place in a work environment.

        1. Mary Dempster

          Well, of course if you’re allergic. No one in our office is, so everyone’s fine. I’m just saying it absolutely CAN work in the right circumstance with the right execution. Dogs have a great place in our work environment. Saying they have “no place” is inaccurate. Just doesn’t work for you, or where you’ve worked before. Can be totally fine.

          1. Genny

            The problem with that though is that environments constantly change. The current system may work for everyone currently involved, but people come and go. The new people may not be okay with dogs in the office or may bring in less behaved dogs.

            1. Mary Dempster

              Not at our office. Someone below mentioned a 3-strike system. Ours is 1. It’s strict, and it works wonders.

      5. mark132

        Seriously none of the EVER bark? That honestly strains credulity. Twenty dogs in the office and they never bark?

        1. Mary Dempster

          You’re right, I shouldn’t say “never” – mayyyybe once a month, you’ll hear one or two of them bark. Maybe. It’s been completely silent all day. Its definitely not enough to ever be considered even statistically noticeable. And it’s because people only bring in dogs that are “appropriate” for an office setting. Most people have several dogs, but only bring in one. Back to the same thing – respect.

      6. CBE

        Plenty of “amazing, respectful people” want nothing to do with dogs in the office. And frankly, I think you might be minimizing what it’s really like at your office. 20 dogs roaming and NO barking? No one has any issues with it?
        I gotta wonder how many of those “amazing. respectful people” are just afraid to speak up?

        1. Mary Dempster

          I disagree. It’s touted that it’s a dog friendly office. Again, I haven’t heard a single bark or dog noise today. In fact, not one dog has even come by our area – my immediate team doesn’t bring their dogs in, and other dogs stick with their owners.

          Why does everyone get so worked up when someone says, “Well, it can work!” and attempt to disprove my comments? It’s so odd. It works amazingly in our office. I’m not saying it would work everywhere, for everyone, in every situation. Just that it is possible. Crikey.

          1. Blue Eagle

            Hi Mary
            I’ll support you. It works in my office. Employees only bring in dogs that can be well behaved in our setting, some employees have dogs but know that they aren’t able to sit in a cubicle space all day so they don’t bring them in. I’ve seldom heard barking in our office either. I agree with you that it can work – – but only if employees who bring dogs in do so only if their dog can sit quietly all day.

          2. medium of ballpoint

            “Why does everyone get so worked up when someone says, “Well, it can work!” and attempt to disprove my comments?”

            Because, as several commenters have pointed out, pet owners often have huge blind spots when it comes to their pets. Most pet owners think their pets are fantastically behaved but that’s rarely the case. Dogs roam, they get excited, they slobber, they fart, they snore, they smell, and that’s when they’re well-behaved. I don’t want any of that at work. I’m at work to work, not actively avoid someone’s dog because they can’t be away from it for a few hours. And voicing any criticism can open Pandora’s box, so a lot of people say they like dogs when they don’t just to minimize friction.

            1. IfYouReallyLovedDogs

              Exactly this. Dogs smell, period. And they do bark. We have an office dog that barks only once in a while, but incredibly loudly, startling the heck out of me.

              Plus, the owner has a habit of running after her dog, whistling and yelling “cookie, cookie!”

              It’s a daily distraction and incredibly annoying. But do I say anything? No. In an open workspace, we all have to choose our battles, and I don’t want to spend karma being the office puppy hater. (Ironically, I love dogs more than this woman does. She bought a designer crossbreed and treats that poor animal like a toy. I find it painful to witness, honestly.)

          3. Ego Chamber

            “Why does everyone get so worked up when someone says, “Well, it can work!” and attempt to disprove my comments?”

            I don’t see that happening. To me, it looks like someone said animals don’t belong at work, you replied to that comment by using your workplace as an example of a dog-friendly office that is functional (which you also said is dependent on circumstances specific to your workplace that you think aren’t common in other workplaces), other commenters are giving reasons why they, as individuals, wouldn’t want to work in an office that has dogs in it, and you’re trying to invalidate their preferences because their comments don’t apply to your workplace—even though you indicated that your workplace is an edge case because people there respect each other.

            It’s possible to have a dog-friendly office that doesn’t result in a total clusterfluff. Some people are not interested in working at a dog-friendly office no matter how well-behaved the dogs (and owners) are. Copacetic?

    4. Lilivati

      I don’t like dogs. I never have. I don’t think it’s wrong that other people like or own them, nor do I expect people to accommodate me in their own homes, but in general I do not want to be around dogs. And dog people simply cannot understand this. It’s like I insulted one of their children if I voice even the most polite insinuation that I don’t think dogs are wonderful little fur angels.

      I honestly can’t imagine sharing an office with people who have been given the corporate green light to feel entitled to let their dog impose on my work life and my space. And oh, they will- once a “dog person” finds out you don’t like dogs, they consider it their mission in life to force theirs on you until you change your mind. Because it’s not a matter of opinion- for them, liking dogs is a moral imperative.

      And frankly I’m always a little resentful, because not once have I ever read or heard even speculation about creating an office environment that would allow me to bring my cat, or set up a 5-gallon betta fish tank at my desk. It’s always dogs. Why should they be afforded privileges not given to any other pet?

      1. aebhel

        …which is weird, if you think about it, since cats and animals that live in cages/tanks are generally a lot less disruptive than dogs.

        (I do know of a few places that have cats, but it’s usually, like ‘a single cat belonging to the store owner’, not a blanket ‘bring your cat to work’ policy).

        /also not a dog person.

        1. Rosemary

          I think with cats, it’s because they’re much more territorial. Dogs are pack animals. Cats are more likely to attack strange cats than be friends.

          The point stands for fish/lizards… although if a workplace allows lizards, SOMEONE is going to want to bring in their pet tarantula, and then I will have to burn the building down ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

          1. ThursdaysGeek

            I had a job where I was allowed to have pet black widows (they changed over time – short-lived pets). I’m a bit surprised that everyone was fine with it. Perhaps it was because the first was there before me – I just didn’t want one running loose above my desk.

          2. Sadie

            I dunno. I have observed a distinct lack of “cats mauling people to death” stories but whatevs.

            I agree with Lilivati. It seems perfectly ok to say you hate cats, and RIDICULOUS to think you can bring your cat anywhere (a restaurant! a hotel! AN OFFICE?!?) but somehow dogs, which are bigger, stinkier, and more likely to bother strangers who want nothing to do with them, are totally fine.

            Some of us don’t like dogs. Die mad about it. But I would be super pissed if people brought dogs to work.

      2. Mary Dempster

        I would guess because generally, your cat doesn’t want to go for a car ride or a walk. Same with your fish. Seems like common sense.

        1. Feline

          My cat actually does go for a walk, and she’s a regular visitor with me to the patio at the local coffee shop. She is known for being as well if not better behaved than most of the dogs who visit there.

          Unfortunately, she hasn’t yet figured out going in the grass, and she will politely wait to take care of business until she is back home at her litter box. As a result, even if my animal-free office welcomed her, the logistics wouldn’t work out.

          1. Mary Dempster

            Definitely possible, but not exactly common. That’s all my point was. It’s not like our cats are clamoring to go “bye bye” as we say to the dogs.

            1. Elspeth

              Actually, there are many cat owners who walk their cats – just google Kitty Holster or any other harness company. I’m in the process of training my Persian to get used to a harness in order to be able to walk her around our property, otherwise, she’s stuck inside all day.

            1. Sadie

              Not really. People who don’t have cats/like cats have a lot of thoughts about cats that are inaccurate for people who make cats members of their family instead of ignoring them as territorial assholes. Cats give what they get. Treat your cat like a territorial asshole and you’ll have one. My cat greets me when I get home from work, Sits next to me always, goes on walks on a leash, and likes water. As has every other cat I’ve ever had.

      3. Yet another Kat

        I’m sorry that you’ve had such negative experiences with dog people. I prefer to keep my dog away from anyone who doesn’t like him (or is afraid of dogs, or simply doesn’t want to interact with him or dogs in general, for any reason.)

        1. Hills to Die on

          Same. Especially because mine is a Doberman and I understand that some people are scared of them. Lilivati, hopefully you run into more of us who respect your boundaries.

          1. Alice

            I suspect that Lilevathi is not aware of how many reasonable dog owners she runs into every day. How would you know I am a considerate dog owner? I don’t bring my dog to work.
            It’s like saying “all the musicians in my apartment building are so inconsiderate, always playing music at night!” The considerate ones have rehearsal spaces or practice during the daytime, when I’m not home to hear. I notice the small number of rude musicians, not the larger number of polite ones.

            1. queequeg in his coffin

              For what my anecdata is worth, my experience tallies with Lilivati’s. I’m a non-christian in the south and a person who doesn’t like dogs, and I’d be hard pressed to say which of those things generates more conversion attempts on the rare occasion that I’m forced to admit them. (I’ve never been called a “monster” or asked what was wrong with me by a christian proselytizer, however, and have had both of those things happen several times with dog enthusiasts.)

              1. Red 5

                Yup, I’m a non-dog person who doesn’t want children and I get the same amount of attempts to convert my mindset on both fronts, and they’re about even on the disdain.

                I stick with telling people I’m allergic to dogs, it’s true and also easier than explaining “and because I’m allergic I also am not around them often and they frequently make me uncomfortable if they’re badly behaved because I’ve also been attacked by multiple dogs in my lifetime (once it landed me in the ER) and quite frankly I’m over it and don’t care to ‘fix’ that part of my personality at this time.”

                That said, I actually like very large well behaved pups, so I have a suspicion I would love Hills to Die On’s doberman. In my experience, bigger dogs are more likely to just be chill and let you lead the way in how much interaction you have with them, so I’m much more relaxed around pit bulls and retrievers etc. than I ever would be around like a terrier or chihuahua.

                1. just peachy.

                  I’ve been bitten by 2 different small dogs while just minding my own business while walking to work (and bitten hard enough that both bites left me bleeding), and therefore, I am much more relaxed around big dogs. I see a little dog, even chihuahuas and I just instinctively tense up and want to avoid paths with it. Especially if it’s unleashed, as way too many dog owners in SF are prone to do.

                2. mrs__peel

                  It’s definitely A Thing that smaller dogs are less likely to be trained properly and are sometimes allowed to get away with problem behaviors that a larger dog wouldn’t be, because their owners think it’s cute. (What dog trainers refer to as “small dog syndrome”).

              2. C

                I have the most adorable dog ever (& I have been told this by numerous non-dog people – not just me saying this). She is 11 pounds, does not bark, & does not shed. She bathes once a week. She does not jump up. She even wears a raincoat & boots when it is raining. She has never met anyone (2 or 4 legged) that she does not like.

                But she is still always on a leash outside & is only allowed to go greet people who specifically ask to pet her. And she only goes to greet dogs that I have talked to the owner of to confirm whether the dog is friendly and/or training or otherwise engaged.

                Someone who does not like dogs (or is allergic or is on the way to an interview or whatever) would never be forced to get anywhere near my dog. It just seems like basic courtesy!

          2. Justme, The OG

            Agree. Mine is a giant breed and that tends to scare people from afar. Except children, they are amused by the giant furry thing.

        2. ThatGirl

          Same – my dog is the sweetest, chillest little fluffball, and has won over people who are otherwise not “dog people,” but I would never force him on anyone, that’s just not cool.

          1. NotAnotherManager!

            I have the cat version of that dog. Many a not-a-cat person have gotten sucked into scratching his belly or petting him and comment that he’s “not like other cats”. My friend who cat sits for us says it’s impossible to get in and out in under 20 minutes because Charisma Cat is irresistible (and needy).

            But, yeah, we don’t take him out and foist him on people, either.

            1. Rainy

              My old cat (RIP–he died three weeks ago at the age of 22 and I miss him terribly) was such a converter. Non-cat people would come over to my place and be cat people within 15 minutes. He was adorable, engaging, and full of personality. He loved it when I had parties because he would just ooze from lap to lap all night.

      4. Database Developer Dude

        Lilivati,
        I feel your pain on a particularly specific level. I do like dogs. I am a dog person. I still don’t want to be around dogs at work. It’s a distraction. If there’s a kid at work, I can at least ask the kid politely to leave me alone because I’m busy working. Not so with a dog.
        If you think YOU get blowback from dog owners, imagine the blowback I get: “But you said you LIKE dogs, what’s the problem?” I like beer too, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s appropriate to be drinking it while I’m working. The attitude I get is that I’m a prima donna. This is why I get an attitude, quickly.

      5. Alldogsarepuppies

        Because dogs are the animals that are most dependent on having their humans around. Like cats have litter boxes and throw in an automatic feeder nothing detrimental will happen if the human comes home late or has a long commute. Fish much the same and are less likely to notice you home or not. If you leave a dog home alone for too long it will likely pee and poop on your floor, and they don’t make automatic feeders that work for dog sized portions as reliably as for cats.

        Cats also get the advantage of being able to wander around outside and not being automatically assumed they are lost of strays. While one could argue about if its responsible to let cats wander outside on their own, society as a whole accepts its A THING cats do, but not dogs.

        Different animals have different requirments, and if you love animals and/or don’t want all dogs being put down or have strays all over, we have to find ways to make dogs able to be adopted with thier people (non job versions of this include not having insane pet rent or restrictions, ending BDL, increase spay/neuter laws, and getting rid of back yard breeders). Allowing dogs in offices where its not detrimental to the work (I don’t count people being annoyed as detrimental, because people also get annoyed by the AC, the sound of their neighbors typing fast, the lack of standing desks, etc etc) then its should not be banned outright.

        1. Pikachu

          Being annoyed by the sound of typing and being annoyed by a live animal are not even in the same ballpark…

        2. aebhel

          Are you kidding me? It’s not on everyone in the world to put up with dogs 24/7 in order to prevent all dogs from being put down, holy guilt trip, Batman.

          People get annoyed by the AC and the sound of their neighbors typing, but these are things that are fundamental parts of an office environment. Dogs are not. They smell, they shed, and lots of people are allergic. And that’s not even getting into the number of dog owners who are totally oblivious to their pets’ bad behavior, which in my experience is a lot.

        3. SimonTheGreyWarden

          I can tell you have clearly never met my cats, who are the neediest, most codependent fluffballs and while yes, they have a litter box, if I am gone for too long they get anxious and use the floor. Also, you can train a dog to go in one area; there was a time when my sister was overseas during college and I had moved out, so there was no one around to let the family dog out during the day and my mom was working overtime. For a few days she basically put down puppy pee pads around the back door (our dog always went to the back door when he needed out) and he only peed on those. Not ideal, but certainly not an apocalypse of pee and poo.

        4. OneWeepyEye

          I may be jumping to conclusions but I feel you are saying it might be necessary to bring dogs to work because they cannot be left on their own at home for too long. While I agree you can’t leave them to their own devices for an extended periods of time, isn’t that something one should think about before getting a dog? You could also say leaving children under a certain age home alone at all is bad but it’s pretty clear bringing children to work on a regular basis is just not acceptable. How is it any different for dogs?

          1. Alldogsarepuppies

            I’m saying that’s the difference between dogs and fish, not dogs and humans. Frankly, businesses don’t do enough to accommodating human children either, and that’s why many of my friends and I aren’t having kids. But dogs are much more dependant on you not being gone 10 hours a day (8 hours work plus up to an hour commute each way) than a betta fish is so that’s not an apt comparison.

            1. Alldogsarepuppies

              That is to say if the child is able to be mostly quiet, contain themselves of their parents work area, and no one has allergies they should be allowed – which are the rules I’d apply to dogs too. Both of my parents had jobs that allowed me to show up and spend time when needed and the need to not wander around, play/do homework quietly, and be respectful to other employees was always impressed upon me.

              1. Nopetober

                Oh hell no. People are at work to WORK, not to look after their kids and their dogs. If they want to do that they can stay home and not take money for it.

                Offices are for adults with work to do.

            2. OneWeepyEye

              Why should businesses do anything to accommodate children? You do understand your experience growing up is very rare, don’t you? As Nopetober said below, work is for work. Your employer is under no obligation to provide anything beyond access to things covering our basic needs. Do you also think employers should feed you? No disrespect but I find your expectations of support from others for your life choices ridiculous.

        5. anon for this comment because I know it will make people upset, sorry about that

          There’s a whole dog-walking-doggie-day-care industry. If you can’t afford to deal with the expenses necessary to keep your dog happy when you’re not home, you can’t afford a dog. Period. Owning a pet is not a right.

          1. Anna

            How about we not go down the road of who does and does not “deserve” a dog or how they are bad pet owners for not being able to afford doggy daycare? Frankly it’s bullshit and incredibly classist.

            1. aebhel

              It’s not a matter of who does and does not deserve a dog, it’s a matter of dogs (and other pets, for that matter) deserving adequate care.

            2. Raine

              I agree with you about the classist element to mandating doggy daycare, but I also agree with anon in part because owning a pet is a responsibility, financial and otherwise. Dogs are complex and expensive even without things like doggy daycare, and it’s reasonable to say that if you can’t afford the expenses necessary to care for a dog in a way that keeps that dog healthy and happy, you probably shouldn’t have a dog.

            3. Courageous cat

              Ehhhh I don’t think this is true and is actually making me feel kind of heated because of how so many owners treat their pets. I can see where you’re coming from but owning a pet is not like having a child, where that POV *would* be classist and shitty, because eugenics/no one has any say in someone’s reproductive rights/etc etc.

              However, if you opt to buy or adopt a pet, then you should commit to being able to give it the care it needs. Too many animals in this world are neglected or abused, and definitely some of it is for financial reasons. I have known multiple people throughout my life that have gotten a dog and treated it somewhat shittily because they didn’t realize it took time and money.

              Having a dog is not a right (at least not in the same way someone’s ability to reproduce is), so yes, some people do not deserve to have them.

            4. Courageous cat

              And to be clear, it’s not about doggy daycare specifically. If you can’t afford doggy daycare, I get that. But you have to have some contingency plan in place for your dog when you’re not home. A good crate, a dog walker, whatever.

            5. Huts

              Pets are a luxury, not a need. They cost money and if you can’t afford them, you can’t afford them. I like having a pool but if I can’t afford it’s maintenance then I can’t afford a pool, so I don’t get one.

                1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesInYourHouse

                  Yes and it’d be right. Kids are a luxury, not a necessity. No one needs a child.

                2. whingedrinking

                  No. While I do think it would be great if everyone could easily have a pet, it’s not remotely the same thing as saying that only rich people deserve to reproduce.

                3. Courageous cat

                  No. Reproductive rights are different, and people saying having kids is a luxury *are* displaying classist attitudes in those ideas. Ideally sure, you would be able to provide perfectly for a child, but that is not going to be the majority of people.

        6. BananaPants

          Then I’m sure you’d be fine with employees bringing their kids to the office all day, every day on school holidays and during summer vacations, right? Because even moreso than dogs, they’re dependent on having an adult human around. I swear, they won’t bother ANYONE, and of course my colleagues will welcome them since everyone loves children – right?

          I hope you realize how foolish you sound.

          1. Alldogsarepuppies

            bYep. Well behaved kids should be allowed to. I say as much up thread. Privileges of allowing your dependents that can take care themself (that for many kids will be able to be home by themselves around 11 or 12) should be based on individual behavior, not broad base rules because of BanannaPant’s prejudice.

            But if society as a whole places value of pets and children we need to put our money where our mouth is on both.

            1. Huts

              Kids can actually be alone as early as age 7, I know because I was home alone after school every day at that age and I was fine. I actually rather liked it. But I didn’t grow up in the US.

          2. Courageous cat

            I don’t think we’re really in the business of calling people foolish here.

            Also, this is a kind of disingenuous way of putting it. Dogs don’t… talk. Like, they typically lay down and sleep most of the day. IMO it’s a false equivalency.

        7. LJay

          I love animals and don’t want dogs to be put down.

          I also know that people who work and have dogs can:
          keep their dog in their fenced backyard with appropriate access to shelter
          adopt adult dogs that are able to go an eight hour workday without going outside or chewing up the house
          puppy pad train their dogs
          go home on breaks or lunch to take care of their dogs
          bring their dog to doggy daycare
          hire a dog walker
          trade off on pet care duties with a friend or neighbor who works a different shift
          And many many other options that don’t require them imposing their dogs on an office where people are trying to work

          I’m not totally against dogs in the office. I work in an access controlled warehouse so it wouldn’t work in mine. Plenty of people work in other environments where it wouldn’t work for them (restaurants, etc). I wouldn’t be against having people have their dogs at work at my job if it were possible.

          But I do bristle at the insinuation that I must not really love dogs or that I want dogs to be put down if I think that people can find plenty of alternate ways to have a dog and not bring it to work. And that if their circumstances don’t allow it then maybe it isn’t the time in their life for them to have a dog.

      6. Typist Calligraphy

        You might consider the words you used to describe dog owners and dog-friendly office policy in order to see why dog people might take exception to your “polite insinuation.”

        As far cats or betta fish, I rather think it’s because there isn’t as much “policy” to it. Cats are less common largely because, I think, cats would rather be left alone and at home anyway. Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies, and service dogs have a tenable place in the office whereas service/therapy cats are not nearly as common place.

        I’ve been in several offices with desktop fish tanks. I don’t think it’s been a big deal to anyone, more often just that the fish people don’t want to deal with maintaining a tank at work (since it doesn’t travel, which limits how long you can leave it over vacations or company closures, plus changing out water is hazardous and keeping a big tank of water near electronics is too).

        Have you tried asking about hosting a cat or fish tank at your office? I expect it doesn’t come up as much because people — for the aforementioned — don’t tend to seek it, not the same way as they will with dogs.

      7. Anonanonanon

        I’m with you. I just… don’t get dogs. I understand most people love them but I’m just not one of them.
        I’m not scared of them, but as you said, dog owners can get very sensitive. Similar to people who wouldn’t enjoy having children around, I really REALLY hate/get stressed about trying to think of what to say “to” the dog (in front of the owner), pretending I think it’s a great dog, what I’m going to do if it does something I don’t like, what I’m allowed to do to keep it from doing something I don’t like (getting dog snot/slobber on my clothes, jumping up, going to my trash, etc.). Navigating all of that is very stressful and distracting to me.

        1. AMPG

          Oh, wow, this is the best description of my own reaction to dogs I’ve ever seen. I was afraid of dogs as a child, and while I’ve outgrown that fear, I’ve never really learned to interact with them, and I can’t stand the performative aspect of it. There’s a service dog in my office, and while he’s really great and very well trained, being around him stresses me out. I’m glad he spends most of his time on a different floor of the building.

          1. ThatGirl

            On one hand, you should just live your life and not be bothered, nobody should pester you to interact with dogs if you don’t want to. You’re an adult and you get to make that decision.

            On the other hand, I do wonder if learning to interact with them – working with a dog and a trainer, for instance – would help reduce your stress level around them. Learning how to approach a dog and what their body language means can help a lot. I’m glad you’re not afraid of them anymore but it sounds like there’s still some deep-seated stress/anxiety there.

          2. a non non

            The good thing about a service dog, in terms of interacting with it, is that the best way to be be around a service dog is to completely ignore it (besides, like, not stepping on it), if your discomfort stems from not knowing how to interact with the dog versus general fear.

            1. kiwimusume

              Yup. With service dogs, you’re outright not supposed to interact with them while they’re out in public because it distracts them from their work. So don’t worry about how to interact with service dogs – you’re supposed to ignore them.

      8. Ex-Academic, Future Accountant

        I’m not a dog person either, and a dog who’s quietly sitting in someone’s office is fine with me, but as soon as I feel any pressure to interact with the dog, that’s when I get uncomfortable.

        Luckily, I’ve only been pressured in social situations, rather than professional ones. But it’s like we’ve seen in the mandatory karaoke threads, and the hugging thread just the other day: some people are huge evangelists for the things they like. In the eyes of some, everyone who’s not into those things is a sad person who doesn’t like fun, and who must be Manic Pixie Dream Girled into liking the thing.

        1. Snark

          Exactly. I’ve had people try to MPDG me into liking Wes Anderson movies, Moby, slacklining, fishing, martinis, birdwatching, stout beers, and line dancing. The problem is poorly defined ego boundaries and a willingness to transgress, not the topic. The overwhelming majority of dog owners are not going to get up in your face, don’t really spend any time thinking about the opinions of non-dog people, and are perfectly content to let you go about your business in peace.

      9. JHunz

        I work in an animal-friendly office. There are a couple dogs that are here every day, and a few more occasionally. I have really not encountered the attitude you describe – if anything “meh, I’m a cat person” is all I’ve ever needed to express my stance on why I’m not petting them. The people you’re talking about do exist, but it’s not all of them and it’s not really a good generalization.

        Incidentally one of my coworkers was fostering 4 kittens and she brought them in for a few hours several times a week for months. They were highly adorable.

      10. ElspethGC

        Ditto. I’m relatively comfortable around dogs I know – a category that includes my aunt’s Border Terrier and not much else. I think they’re cute from a distance, but I don’t really want them in my personal space. But oh my god, the outrage if I say “I’m a cat person because I don’t like dogs” rather than “I’m a cat person because I don’t have the right lifestyle for a dog”.

        I know for a fact that at least one of my cats spent most of the time we weren’t at home wandering around the house yowling and looking for us, verging on separation anxiety – a former abandoned stray, so I don’t blame her. But no, apparently no accommodation allowed for that!

        1. SignalLost

          When I first got my current cat, who was double-abandoned in his life, he was so needy that I couldn’t be gone more than two hours at a time for about four weeks (not helped by having an interview in another state four days after I got him, which was a solid 20 hours due to airline shenanigans). Now, years later, he’s okay with being home for sixteen hours at a stretch, but I shudder to think what I would have done if I’d been full time employed when I got him. It would have been ugly. And people think all cats are aloof and independent!

      11. Snark

        “And oh, they will- once a “dog person” finds out you don’t like dogs, they consider it their mission in life to force theirs on you until you change your mind. ”

        The overwhelming majority of whatever-species people just have a pet they love, are perfectly content to live and let live, and don’t especially care whether you share that affinity or not. As all functional, adult persons capable of respecting boundaries would, regardless of the issue at hand. As a dog person, I take as much exception to this gross generalization as you would to a post about how cat people are all snotty and fastidious. Your problem is with people who can’t respect a boundary, not with which boundary they transgress most enthusiastically.

        1. kiwimusume

          Yeah, as someone who’s scared of dogs, I have to say that most dog owners I’ve encountered have been very understanding about it.

        2. Courageous cat

          Yep. I have never in my life seen someone who gave a shit if you didn’t like dogs, unless you personally singled out *their* dog.

      12. SittingDuck

        I’m with you, I don’t like dogs and never have either. I was terrified of them when I was younger and have grown past the fear, but I still just don’t like them. I have had many interaction like you mention, where certain dog people don’t seem to be able to understand that I don’t have any interest in their dog, or letting the dog touch me, or lick me, or anything else. But I do feel that its a ‘what stands out’ situation, where you notice all the ‘bad’ behavior but the owners who don’t do this go unnoticed because you don’t interact with them since they don’t ‘force’ their dogs on you.
        My best friend has a dog, and is one of the most respectful dog owners I know. She knows exactly how I feel about dogs, and is more than willing to control her dog when I am around so that I don’t get jumped/licked/cuddled with. She is probably one of the owners you would never notice because she understand that some people just don’t like dogs, and makes sure she is in full control of her dog when around other people.

        I work from home now, but the office I used to work in was dog friendly. I almost didn’t take the job when I found this out, but i desperately needed the work. The one dog that came to work most often quickly learned that I was not interested in interacting with her, and a quick snap of my fingers would have her turning around and leaving my little cube and me in peace. She begged for everyone’s food, which I always find extra annoying with dogs, but I taught her very early that she had nothing to gain from begging from me, and she eventually stopped. I guess you could say I took a hard line with the dog, and successfully was able to be mostly dog-free in a dog friendly office for 3 years. The other dog that sometimes came in wasn’t quite as trainable, and required some hands on redirecting (shooing her out of my cube, pushing her head out of my crotch….) but she was only in the office very rarely.

        I don’t think dogs have any place at work – just as most people would agree that kids have no place at work.

      13. Kittyfish 76

        I know I am days late, but am so impressed that you would have a 5 gallon tank for a betta. Most people keep them in those little jars and that is just cruel.

    5. The Original K.

      I completely, wholeheartedly agree. I have opted out of an interview when I realized that the owner brought his dogs to work every day. I have also opted out of applications when I saw very clearly on the website that an office was dog-friendly (and I was grateful and commended them in my head for making this very clear and un-miss-able). I like dogs. They do not belong at work, unless they are service animals or you work in an environment that serves them, like a vet’s office or animal shelter.

      (And I don’t like cats at all and don’t want them around, so a cat-friendly office would be even more unpalatable to me.)

      1. mark132

        Seriously the fact that an office is dog friendly needs to be stated at the top of job opening in flashing neon letters. (And I like dogs, but I have no desire to work in a dog friendly office)

      2. IfYouReallyLovedDogs

        But the problem with this is that you might as well post a giant sign saying, “People with allergies need not apply.”

        It’s discriminatory.

        1. Ego Chamber

          It really isn’t though. They’re not saying they won’t make necessary ADA accommodations, they’re letting people know about something in the office that might cause them to opt out of wasting their time applying.

          I wish companies would be this forthcoming about other potential dealbreakers. Like: Here at Teapots Inc, we believe in working hard and playing hard. Ideal candidates will enjoy working independently, and as part of a team, and won’t be bothered by Lucretia’s total lack of personal boundaries or Chad’s habit of applying Axe body spray in the break room no less than 4 times a day like. Apply today and get ready for Nerf War Wednesdays in our rat-friendly office! His name is Smeagol and he lives in the walls (we’re pretty sure it’s just the one).

    6. TK

      If I had my own office with a door at work. I would love to be able to bring my dog. He basically sleeps or chews his toys, but is happier with company than alone at home. However, I wouldn’t do it in an open office, and I definitely feel that anyone with allergies would supersede my slight happiness of having my dog here.

  1. CatCat

    Our executive director very occasionally (like 4-6 times/year) will bring in one of his extremely well-behaved, calm, quiet, clean dogs to work on a Friday. Everyone in the vicinity seems to really enjoy when one of the dogs visits and this crowd particularly likes dogs. If anyone were allergic or afraid though, I can’t imagine the ED would continue to bring in the dogs nor can I imagine anyone holding it against that person.

    I really enjoy these occasional visits myself, but I definitely would not like it if there were a lot of dogs around all the time.

    1. aebhel

      We have a program at my library where volunteers bring in therapy dogs and the kids can read to them, which is always really nice. But I can’t imagine having dogs running around all the time.

        1. Justme, The OG

          YES. The testing from a certified agency to have your dog certified as a therapy dog is rigorous. Even just the training to get to the testing is rigorous.

  2. Not a Blossom

    I feel like the best way for an employer to offer this perk with the fewest problems (none might be impossible) would be for them to pay for an onsite but separate from the actual office space doggy day care. That way, people could avoid leaving pets at home alone for long stretches or paying a dog walker and could see their furry friends at lunch, but those who are allergic, afraid, or just not into dogs wouldn’t have to deal with them.

    1. Not Elizabeth

      I think this is a great idea, and employers should start doing this — right after they all start paying for day care for human children.

      1. Justin

        Yeah I have a baby and a dog, both of whom I love, but a dog CAN be left at home all day, in fact most people do, and a child cannot be until they are of a certain age.

        1. SignalLost

          Well, babies can be left at home, but the police, the fire department, and your insurance company would likely all have questions. ;)

      2. ElspethGC

        +1000

        If somewhere offered perks “so your dogs won’t be at home on their own!” but no perks related to, say, prohibitive childcare costs or flexibility around school drop-off/pick-up or (in countries where there’s no legal parental leave requirement) generous parental leave, I would seriously be questioning their priorities.

        1. JS

          I think it would be logical for a tech start up where most people are in their 20-30s and dont necessarily have kids yet. But that said they shouldnt balk if someone did need flexibility for childcare.

          1. e271828

            Lack of child care is a contributing factor to people (meaning, people in the class of workers at companies where doggie day care is a possibility) not having children. I don’t have a dog or children and I would consider it seriously forked up if a company offered doggie day care perks and did not substantively address day care for children.

            1. JS

              But think of it this way, it is also far more expensive to provide a child daycare over a dog one. I would even say double or triple the expensive cause 2-3 people can watch 20+ dogs. 2-3 people cannot watch 20+ children especially at the daycare age. That’s not including facilities, food, regulations around childcare, safety proofing, etc.

              But you have to know your industry and employees. I would think whatever money lets say $100k you were putting into doggy daycare a year parents of young children would appreciate a monthly stipend for childcare even if it is just $50-100 a month. Or even a transit subsidy for parking, bus, train, etc. Theres certainly lots of other things that money should be going to first.

              1. OfOtherWorlds

                Not to mention that in many parts of the US, such as Washington DC, childcare workers need a degree or certificate in early childhoodeducation to do their jobs legally. A doggie daycare’s workers don’t need to be licensed. Don’t get me wrong, I instinctively agree that workplaces should offer on site kid daycare instead of on site doggie daycare. But an on-site daycare is a large can of worms for an organization to open.

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/district-among-the-first-in-nation-to-require-child-care-workers-to-get-college-degrees/2017/03/30/d7d59e18-0fe9-11e7-9d5a-a83e627dc120_story.html?utm_term=.4f2d26722950

          2. Half-Caf Latte

            @JS:

            I think this is a chicken/egg situation. Would tech start-ups be primarily 20-30 somethings who don’t have children yet if they had good childcare options?

              1. Bionerd

                Not necessarily. In some high cost if living areas, full time infant care can cost more than a mortgage. And that’s only if you can find a place with an opening.

                Factor in the already high COL in these areas plus any pre-existing debt (school loans), and lots of people will delay having children, opt not to have them, or reduce the ultimate number of children they have.

              2. mrs__peel

                There are tons of articles out there about people in tech hubs (e.g., Silicon Valley, Seattle, San Francisco) who have to sleep in their cars or try to squeeze into a tiny apartment illegally with 10 other people because housing is so incredibly expensive there.

                Childcare could be easily $2-3K a month in those areas, on top of the ridiculous housing costs and any student loans they have to pay back.

            1. JS

              I agree with Temperance below that if you are working at start up in tech you can afford childcare. However the issue isn’t expense there it is time. The reason why tech has so many perks is that want to offset the strain of how many hours you spend at work by making it as convenient for you to be there as possible. Having kids is a commitment that both mentally and physically (as far as time) re-prioritizes your life. You aren’t going to want to work 10-12 hour days knowing you are missing out on your child growing up even if you could afford healthcare. Most parents arent going to want to leave their child with someone that long anyway.

                1. JS

                  Everyone has their own expenses which could make what someone could “afford” different from anyone else. I am speaking on the fact that the majority of people working in successful tech start ups make $100k+ a year at the low end. An industry, unlike food service, retail, etc, where you know people aren’t likely making comfortable salaries at the worker bee level.

                2. mrs__peel

                  @ JS-

                  Have you checked out housing costs in those areas (especially Silicon Valley)? Even a $100K income doesn’t necessarily mean that you can afford a place to live, especially one that can accommodate a family.

                3. Thursday Next

                  @JS I believe the poverty line for a family of four in Silicon Valley is in the six figures. $100K doesn’t buy what it does elsewhere. Of course it is even worse for people making less than that; no one could argue that.

                4. Courageous cat

                  JS – regarding “I am speaking on the fact that the majority of people working in successful tech start ups make $100k+ a year at the low end” – I am honestly a little confused because you’re saying this very authoritatively when it is definitely not necessarily (or even frequently) true. And I work at a tech start-up.

                5. JS

                  I used to live in SV. I now live in NYC in some ways it was more expensive in other ways it was a lot cheaper. Most people who had engineering jobs, marketing, development could afford childcare and to buy a home. It just wasn’t practical given commute, work hours, other things besides expenses to have children or their own house. I am speaking on my experiences.

                6. mrs__peel

                  I don’t know how long ago you lived there, but the average home price is now apparently around $1 million while the median household income in (e.g.) Palo Alto is $137K.

                  The cost of living has exploded in many places just in the last couple of years.

      3. The Original K.

        For real. If I worked at a place that offered dog day care but did nothing to make the day to day realities of working and parenting easier, I’d side-eye the heck out of it (and I have neither children nor pets).

    2. Silicon Valley Girl

      That would be a brilliant compromise, but, of course, expensive & complicated. Compared with just letting dogs run around an office, which is easy & lazy :(

    3. Arya Snark

      Kong does it this way. Before I landed at my current job that’s 100% remote, I wanted to work there so badly! My dog is well behaved and clean but I wouldn’t want to take him to work in most places. He’s fine lying around at home but he’d be bored and whine about it if he was forced to sit in a cube/office all day.

  3. starsaphire

    I could see this working better, perhaps, at a big company with a campus. Like, “You can apply for a cube in Building 14 if you want to bring a pet to work,” sort of thing. Then it’s a little easier to handle, because only the people with pets will *want* to work in 14, and everyone in Buildings 1-13 and 15-xy can be pet-free.

    But then I suppose you’d get into issues with preferential treatment if someone gets bumped up the waiting list, or that sort of thing.

    Yeah, I suspect that, as much as I would absolutely delight in having a cat snoozing on my desk, it’ll probably never happen. But, dammit.

    1. NotAnotherManager!

      My issue is that the cat does not snooze on my desk; the cat snoozes on my keyboard or whatever piece of paper I’m trying to read/edit. :)

      1. Jadelyn

        Get the lid to a case of printer paper or an Amazon box or something, and set it on your desk beside your keyboard. The cat still gets to be near you, but cannot ignore the siren song of a box to lay in, and will gravitate to that instead of the keyboard.

        1. NotAnotherManager!

          Only 1/3 of our cats are currently box cats, which is very weird to me. Two of them won’t go in them at all. My last cat would shove his enormous self into any and every box we had, including breaking nearly all of my kids’ puzzle/game boxes at the seams. (Of course, that was the same cat who liked to lay in the printer and somehow managed to set it on non-language that had its own alphabet for the menu prompts, too.) And the current cat who isn’t box-averse prefers his human (my spouse) to any box we could offer – when he started teleworking, we tried a cat bed, various boxes, and a fleece blanket as alternatives. The cat was not deterred. (He is also elderly and becoming more set in his ways as he ages and is quite hard to dissuade once he gets something in his tiny little peabrain.)

          In short, our cats are weirder than average.

          1. Jadelyn

            You…have…non-box? cats? That’s a thing? o.O

            I sympathize on having Weird Cats, though. My partner and I refer to ours as The 1% Cat, after we got her spayed and our vet told us we didn’t need to put a cone on her or wrap her incision or anything because “99% of cats don’t lick at it enough to be a problem.” Well…ours did lick at it, constantly, and couldn’t be dissuaded. The cone didn’t work (she panicked and went tearing around the house backward and couldn’t be calmed enough to stop, so we had to take it off). An alternate cone-type thing, a padded collar to prevent her from reaching all the way to her belly to lick didn’t work (she somehow managed to contort herself to reach her belly anyway). We had to take her back to the vet to get the incision re-glued, and ended up buying a baby onesie and having to literally duct-tape it closed around her to get it tight enough, because she could squirm out of it if we didn’t.

            Mine at least does love boxes like most cats do – but she also chews them up, for some reason. Any box she sits in for longer than a few minutes winds up with chew marks around the rim and chunks laying littered on the floor around it.

            1. NotAnotherManager!

              I am very impressed you got a baby onsie on a cat in the first place!

              My dearly departed, box-loving cat liked to rip up paper. When we moved, he’d sit on a big pile of newsprint and alternatively jump on it with claws out and then tear strips off and throw them around. And cat-spit confetti is so fun to clean up. One of the current non-box cats is a goat. We had to hide the Easter grass after he tried to eat it, and he recently ate a plastic kite tail from my kid’s room, which we found when it… started making its exit from Goat Cat.

              So, yeah, I feel you on the 1% cat. Even my Cat Whisperer spouse thinks our current crew is a bit off.

            2. Countess Boochie Flagrante

              I have had a non-box cat! Poor thing was neurotic beyond belief and claustrophobic, so anything that felt enclosed made her wig right out. We wound up having to buy a medium-sized dog carrier for this 7-lb ball of stress.

              (Also, our vet told us the same thing about not needing to put a cone on her, out of concern that the cone would be a bigger stress trigger than the incisions. That episode ended very poorly for all involved.)

            3. square toes

              I have a non-box cat. No interest at all. She does love a good lap, and will patiently wait for my spouse to finish eating to jump in his arms on the table. No, the cat’s not allowed on the table.

          2. Turquoisecow

            I’ve heard of non-box cats. I follow one on twitter actually!

            My cats are indoor only cats, and they are very interested in sniffing the air if I leave a window open. I have a radiator in my home office, and I set a scratching pad on top of the radiator and open the window a little bit. The cats lounge on the radiator most of the day, napping. They’re near me but not on me, and my desk is not large enough to let them lie on the desk itself, or they’d do that, as they do with my husband’s large desk.

          3. ElspethGC

            My dad was working on his MSc when we had one of our old non-box cats – the solution was an old jumper “left” on the desk (anyone else’s cats refuse to go near things you deliberately give them and only use things that you “accidentally” left on the floor?) that was under an angled desk lamp. Warm and cosy. The key is to pretend that you *don’t* want the cat to lay on the jumper.

      2. SignalLost

        Your cat snoozes on your keyboard – luxury. For my cat, nothing will do but that he is snoozing on me.

        1. Marion Ravenwood

          If I’m working from home, one of my cats gets really huffy if I don’t sit with my feet up on the couch and to the side so he can rest his head on my ankle and go to sleep. And then flex his claws in my foot as a warning if I so much as dare to lean forward and get my coffee mug off the table…

          The other one does sit on the keyboard, but only when he gets bored and decides I’ve been at home all day so that means it’s food time.

      3. Anonyme

        Whenever I need to study, I have the book I am reading, and I open one next to it on the table for the cat to sit on.

    2. mark132

      Even that only partially solves the problem. It only works if the employee with the dog works exclusively in building 14, and never needs to visit any other building on the campus.

  4. Les G

    I’m cracking open a crisp, frosty IPA and waiting for the inevitable shartstorm that ensues whenever–and I do mean *whenever*–anything adjacent to dogs comes up in this comment section. Hoo boy.

    1. Dankar

      Yeah, I’m avoiding this one, because it’s guaranteed to be nasty. And after all this anxiety over the hurricane…I think we need a more relaxing topic for Monday on AAM!

    2. Loopy

      I don’t know, I LOVE dogs and my dog but I can still see it as being super problematic. My own dog wouldn’t be a good fit for it!!

      1. Justme, The OG

        My dog would be the absolute worst to have in my office building for more than 5 minutes. He would need to sniff everything and everyone and then get pets from everyone and I guarantee he would drool all over something important or try to steal something from someone’s desk.

          1. Persimmons

            I take that as a (fun!) challenge. I worked in a Euro-beer bar for years, and never failed to find an enjoyable beer for someone who claimed to dislike beer as a whole.

            This would make a good open thread conversation.

    3. ThatGirl

      Honestly, there are fewer than 200 comments, and they all seem pretty respectful (I realize this may snowball later, but as of 3 p.m. CST on Monday, anyway). It’s not terribly helpful to anticipate a sh&tshow before it’s even happened.

  5. Loopy

    When I think about times digs have worked in the office it always seems to be some magical combination that I suspect is hard to get just right:

    A) It’s very occassional
    B) It’s a very small office where everyone is okay with it
    C) The dog is excellently behaved and silent
    D) Everyone had offices with doors.

    1. sfigato

      I think it works if people are into dogs, there aren’t that many of them, and the dog(s) are really well-behaved. As someone else noted, owners of disruptive pets tend to be about aware of their pet’s bad behavior as parents of rowdy kids are of their kids behavior, i.e. Not Very. I worked somewhere where someone’s lab would try to rip my face off if I got near the desk it was leashed to…which I had to do because I had to put stuff in said employees inbox. Instead of considering not bringing Cujo in, she insisted that everyone change their behavior to not send Cujo into a homicidal rage. Twenty years later I am still irritated about that.

      1. Justin

        My last job allowed dog and I brought mine exactly once, he was hard to manage and annoying. Luckily I picked the day before Labor Day so the office was pretty empty.

      2. JJ

        The only dog office I ever worked in was all small dogs, and one owner was a puppy pad person. She’d put the pads wherever the dog crapped, including UNDER MY DESK and almost never clean them, so there was feces just airing out all over the office. Cool!

        1. Elspeth

          Wow. That is awful – that owner is a bad dog owner and should NEVER have placed puppy pads under your desk! I do believe I would have removed the puppy pad and had a word with her about keeping her dog in her own desk area. I love all animals and have no skin in this as I’m a cat owner and doubt very much if they’d want to be schlepped to the office every day. I think it would be better for companies who want to do this to give a discount for doggy day care, or have their own doggy day care set up onsite.

    2. AvonLady Barksdale

      I have my own office with a door I can close and a big window that faces the front of the building. My dog would be in heaven here. He could hang out with mama all day AND watch the world go by, and people could come by to give him rubs. My current office does not allow dogs, though. My last office did, and my bud loved it (he usually roamed from sofa to chair to sofa and snored a lot), but that was an open space and occasionally it got a bit nuts, especially when my boss got a puppy who wasn’t yet housebroken. Sigh. That said, it was nice to be able to have him with me once in a while, especially when things were stressful. He was an ideal office doggy.

    3. cncx

      agree with what you said with one more e) the dog doesn’t have a very strong smell. I used to work in a small office with several very clean, very well behaved dogs. One lady brought in her lovely and good mannered but absolutely stinky dog, the entire office smelled like dirty wet dog, couldn’t bring clients in, couldn’t eat at your desk the smell was so overpowering. Because no one wanted to tell her that her dog smelled, all the dogs had to go. Which i disagree with, i’m not sure if her dog hadn’t been bathed or couldn’t be bathed for medical reasons- but that should have been offered as an option before a blanket ban.

  6. Cassandra

    It’s worse yet when “it’s okay to bring your dog to work” only applies to the people at the top of the hierarchy.

    Been there, dealt with that dog disrupting meetings, very very glad to be out of that place for good.

  7. MD

    At a prior organization we had a 3 strike rule when it came to dogs in the office, and if they misbehaved more than 3 times they were “fired”. This included any floor accidents, eating out of trash cans, barking loudly, etc. It worked well for us.

    1. JS

      That’s a good system! I think its important to layout that not every dog is an office dog and wouldn’t work for whatever reason so a dog friendly office doesn’t mean a free for all on dogs.

      I would love to work in a dog friendly office but I wouldn’t bring my dogs in. My pekingese pees when he is in an environment that doesnt smell like him or me. So unless I had a personal office where he could chill, it would be a no go. My Shar Pei is well behaved and chill however she has a guard dog nature, so she likes to make rounds and paces which could distract people. Also she has Alpha demeanor and dogs tend to challenge her (I would say it was her fault but shes never been the aggressor, first to bear teeth, bark or approach and she is cool as a cucumber 8/10 times even when the other dog is going crazy).

    2. smoke tree

      Yeah, I think the essential part about having a dog-friendly office is that they need to have strict rules that they’re comfortable enforcing. You can’t expect people to police their own dogs’ behaviour because they’re too invested in keeping them at the office.

  8. Kara

    I won’t work in an office that is dog friendly. I like dogs. I do not currently own a dog (because I work, and don’t have time for one). But, dogs, like children, do not belong in an office (with the obvious exception for Service Animals, who are also working while their owner is at work).

    1. Cat Lady

      I agree with all of this. I love animals in general, and dogs are no exception. Still, I would not want to be in the office with a bunch of them. When I’m working from home, my cat by herself is enough to drive me crazy, lol.

    2. Katniss

      I’m with you on this. I like dogs just fine. I do not want to have to be around them all day, especially not at work. Service dogs are an exception.

    3. aebhel

      I feel like dogs in the office should be treated more or less like children in the office: occasionally, and only if they’re well-behaved and completely (and I do mean COMPLETELY) non-disruptive. But turning the whole office into a daycare or a dogsitter? No thanks.

      I wouldn’t bring my noisy extroverted toddler into work; I expect the owners of boisterous ‘friendly’ dogs to have the same consideration.

    4. SignalLost

      Same. I generally like dogs, but I do find some reeds to be very annoying, and owners are often oblivious to their pet’s real feelings, which is frustrating.

      1. NotAnotherManager!

        This is a good point, too. I have a dear friend who takes her small dog a lot of places, and the dog is clearly nervous being in crowded places and around a lot of people’s feet. This nervousness is obvious to me – he shakes/trembles, emits a low growl a lot of the time, and has nipped people’s ankles. But she loves having the dog with her all the time and seems oblivious to the fact that, while the dog enjoys trips to the dog park and visiting friends, hanging out on an urban sidewalk cafe is stressful and street festivals aren’t a great fit for the dog.

      2. IfYouReallyLovedDogs

        I wish more people would think about their dog’s feelings and true needs. Dogs are not human babies. They want to run and be with their own kind, outdoors. Not live in cubicles all day.

    5. Countess Boochie Flagrante

      Amen. I like other people’s dogs, just like I like other people’s children. I can interact with them happily and then — this is the important part — give them back and be done. Having dogs in the office makes the ‘be done’ part essentially impossible.

  9. LuJessMin

    The best day I ever had at my former workplace was when a coworker brought in her new bulldog puppy to work (she was on PTO, just dropped by to show us puppy). No work was done for about two hours, and everyone had smiles on their faces the rest of the day.

    1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)

      Yes! A colleague of mine breeds dogs and brought in a litter of puppies to be socialized. Our building has a large yard, so she just parked in the yard and those who wanted to hang out with puppies came down and did so. It was amazing.

      The rescue that I volunteer with does “Pup-Ups” at offices. For a $500 donation (either paid by the company or collected from staff) they’ll bring a batch of dogs and puppies to an office for a couple of hours. I’m planning on doing that with next year’s annual donation — I hope it will help generate some fostering or adoptions by my colleagues.

  10. Quackeen

    I liked working at a hospital that had a team of Therapy Dogs for visiting patients and staff, and I was good friends with one of the owners of one of the therapy dogs. That way I could schedule a visit with the friend and her dog when I needed it, but didn’t have the headache of dogs in the office full time.

  11. Annie Moose

    We’ve talked at work before about having an office cat. A lot of people (myself included) would love it! But our directors are quite realistic about it and recognize it simply wouldn’t work because of allergies and people who aren’t comfortable with cats.

    1. Scubacat

      Same where I work! I would love to have an office cat. However, there are several coworkers who are allergic to cats. Their health is more important than my desire to cuddle cats.

      However, there is an employee with a Service Dog. When she’s not working, I can scratch her ears.

      The ears of the Service Dog, not my coworker!

    2. Close Bracket

      Not to mention the question of who feeds it and changes the litter box. When an individual brings a pet in, it’s their responsibility. When it’s an office pet, the responsibility would need to be spelled out, and it will end up just like every other office responsibility- not everyone will pull their weight, and someone will get stuck with it.

        1. NotAnotherManager!

          We have two of these, and they still require emptying and cleaning regularly. They also get stuck and have to be reset, usually when there is poop stuck in the rake or the waste repository got jammed open and reeks. And finding the right litter to use with them is a special sort of hell. The one we had that worked just got discontinued, and the replacement stuff works nowhere near as well.

          I am honestly ready to go back to regular litter and just pay the kids to scoop it daily.

        2. Annie Moose

          Some cats also just don’t like ’em. And a cat who doesn’t like its litterbox will always find the worst possible place to poop.

    3. Sapphire

      This is why I’m very sympathetic to people who have dog allergies and wouldn’t want a dog-friendly office. I have cat allergies that are so severe it triggers my asthma and stops me from breathing. I wouldn’t want that inflicted on me, and I wouldn’t want to inflict that on anyone else.

  12. JS

    I’m still in the camp of if you are applying to a small company/office that has a bring your dog to work policy and you are allergic or don’t like dogs, you need to decide if you if can deal with it or just walk away from the opportunity. I’m not saying its fair to the person to forgo a job opportunity or means of income because of it but ultimately its better for your mental, emotional and physical health to just opt out. Especially if its the majority who bring in their dogs, one or two people you could possibly work around for accomodation.

    It’s just part of office politics sadly. You could be a rockstar at your job and the most likable person ever but no human is more likable to a dog owner over their dog, you will forever be resented and known as “that person who banned dogs”. I actually envy anyone with enough fortitude and confidence who could whether that storm.

    1. Christie

      I agree with you. If I was interested in a company that encouraged bringing children to work, I’d pass up the opportunity just because I don’t like kids. Shouldn’t people just do the same if they don’t like dogs? There are plenty of jobs out there. The employer should be able to decide whether their policy is helping or hurting them with regard to acquiring and keeping talent. Our office is dog-friendly, and a new hire who was responsible for ending that policy would not be forgiven. Some things are just part of office culture and applicants should accept or reject those things, not try to change them.

      1. Essess

        For many of us, it’s not a question of whose “likes” are more important “liking children” versus “not liking children”. It is a comparison of “it’s fun to have my pet around” versus “I will end up in the hospital or taking extreme amounts of sick days while attempting to recover from being around an animal.” One is a preference, the other is a severe life-threatening reaction.

      2. Bend & Snap

        Well, kids don’t cause health issues the way that animals do.
        Although I HAVE a kid and would opt out of a kid-friendly office.

        1. JaneB

          No, but many of them are extreme germ vectors as their immune systems are still developing, and that can be quite a strain on some people…

            1. Renthead

              Actually, no, it’s not. I have multiple family members who are immunocompromised. Children and their germs pose a real danger for them. Being around a sick child could easily mean a stay in the hospital.

            2. ErinW

              There have been letters in AAM that show that this happens. Search the site for the letter about norovirus.

        2. MissDisplaced

          Actually yes, kids do cause health issues because kids are always sick with something. Little germ factories.

      3. EPLawyer

        The problem is there aren’t plenty of jobs out there. If you have been job searching for 6 months and finally found a job that will give you an interview, the pay is decent, etc., the only problem is the dogs, you can’t really just cavalierly say “no thanks I’ll just take the next job.”

        People’s livelihoods do not come before pets. Just as people were pointing out up above about offering doggy daycare after kid daycare not before, same here. An office privilege does not come above someone’s need to eat.

        1. JS

          If you are job searching for 6 months with no luck you have to evaluate yourself. Job market might be better but there is still competition. You are either presenting yourself in the wrong way, resume is off, positions you are applying for you do not meet qualifications, the need for X in your town/job market is low, etc. Pet friendly offices aren’t the norm so it’s highly unlikely if you are doing everything you should the only places you are getting interviews for are places with dogs. This isn’t about dogs over people its about finding a work environment that fits for you.

        2. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesInYourHouse

          Businesses can offer what perks they want. Pet daycare is much easier than child care and I can certainly see a business offering that first–after all, daycares are much more expensive for kids and pets don’t require anywhere near as much. I see nothing wrong with a business having on site doggy day care and no child care.

    2. SignalLost

      But then it becomes a legal issue, as Alison noted. Hosting an office environment that means some people can’t work there because of something beyond their control is not, in very broad strokes, different from a business saying people of other races than the owner can’t work there. It’s not the same as my aversion to shared desks and open offices. I can work in those environments; I don’t want to. Someone with a dog allergy can’t help that and is being discriminated against.

      1. JS

        Allergies aren’t covered by ADA unless they are extreme. Even then like I said a person has to consider whether the place is suitable. If someone is SO allergic to qualify for ADA it is likely they wouldnt be able to work there at all depending on where dogs were allowed and how long they were there, a deep clean wouldn’t get out all the dander. Not to mention coworkers who have pets bringing in dander with them everyday.

        I have 2 dogs and I find their hairs EVERYWHERE. In my hair, in my clothes, everywhere. There is no way I would be able to lint roll or even wash all the hairs off (hairs end up woven in and embedded in fabrics). You would have to separate them from everyone who had a dog which might not be realistic depending on the job function and the amount of space.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          That’s not necessarily true. The ADA doesn’t specifically cover any conditions except for HIV. For everything else, the bar is “physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities,​ such as seeing, hearing, speaking, walking or breathing.” The Allergy and Asthma Foundation says, “Asthma and allergies are usually considered disabilities under the ADA.”

          1. JS

            My mistake I worded it wrong. I was getting at the fact that banning dogs would likely be the ADA accommodation only if the person had an extreme case to qualify for that extreme measure. Comping allergy shots, getting a person their own dog free enclosed office space where they spend 90% of the day, ability to work from home some days, could also be solutions.

    3. Essess

      This is going to come out pretty harsh, but I don’t know how to make it softer and still get people to realize the extreme difference in comparison of animals in the office versus people in the office.

      This is the same attitude that used to occur when people smoked in offices. Fortunately, it was finally realized that the basic necessity of an employee to breathe and not suffer medical side effects at work was more important. A person can delay smoking, but a person cannot delay breathing. I realize people get attached to their pets and like to have them around (I love animals too and wish I could be around them), but I find it incredible that everyone feels that something that they like but don’t NEED to have in the office is more important than keeping a coworker out of the hospital. The hostility toward a human being who would end up hospitalized because of something you could easily live without but just don’t want to is something I’ve never understood. Telling someone to go elsewhere to work so you can pet your cat/dog for a couple extra hours a day while you are supposed to be working is bizarre when they need to be able to earn a living and support their family just as much as you do.

      The harsh way to sum it up is the human being cannot live without breathing. You can live without seeing your pet for 8 hours.

      1. Typist Calligraphy

        This person was talking about coming in to a company that had a dog-friendly policy, not implementing one and forcing out anyone who’s opposed.

        If there were smoking vs. non-smoking companies, it would come across rather the same. If you’re choosing to work in a space that has a policy allowing a thing you are against/are unable to work with, that’s rough. You can choose not to go there. You can choose to join and trigger a roll-back of policy. You have the right to accommodation, and a lot of employers will make it, especially for the right person (or when they’re legally required to not consider it at all before making a decision, as would be the case for ADA-level reactions). It won’t make you popular, though.

        1. JS

          Thank you. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from taking advantage of their ADA benefits at a job. But people are human and I think even at the BEST office there would be ill feelings. A business is a business and needs to decide if its worth causing others to leave over a change.

      2. JS

        No what you said is fair, I did not find it harsh. I’m not trying to diminish the health or well being of a human. I am simply putting things in perspective of what is the most logical, the good of the well being of the whole or just one? I don’t think anyone should be fired to allow dogs but prospective employees need to be aware of culture/benefits. When you evaluate if a job is a good fit, you not only evaluate compensation but benefits. If you need a good healthcare plan and the one provided is bare bones, you would pass. If you wanted more money, you would pass. If the hours weren’t right, you would pass. If you knew it was required for all employees to travel to HQ once a quarter and travel did not align with your lifestyle, you would pass.

        While I do think we should make accommodations for disabilities where we can sometimes its just not practical. I live in NYC now and contrast to PNW and I was surprised that many pre-war buildings have not been updated. Buildings with restaurants, apartments, office spaces, with no elevator nor ramp. The same for subways, majority of smaller stops have no elevator. NYC isn’t a very friendly place for those who do not have full function of their legs which is something someone would need to consider before they moved to NYC. (To be fair the city is doing what they can with the subways but NYC subways are a full MESS and there are so many other changes that need to be implemented).

        It’s just not practical to change a benefit for an entire business for one person for any reason.

        1. Essess

          Its really not “practical” for a company to implement a benefit that makes the office unworkable for a large population of future workers in the first place. 1 in 13 people (8.3%) of the population are asthmatics and 15% of the population are allergic to dogs http://www.aafa.org/page/asthma-facts.aspx and https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/AllergyAndAsthmaResourceCenter/story?id=1728413&page=1 Once you start having dogs in the office, that becomes a non-workable zone for any asthmatic/allergic job seeker from that point on until forever unless the company rips out all carpets, wipes down all walls, removes all cloth draperies/wall-hangings, and has all the air ducts cleaned. I can’t imagine why a company would want to put themselves in a position of limiting their available work pool. It’s a very very slim possibility that a jobseeker will skip applying because they don’t allow dogs, but a huge possibility that a jobseeker will skip because they DO allow dogs. It puts a serious dent in the the pool of skilled applicants. People might like a dog-friendly policy, but it’s a bad business policy in the long run. It’s even worse if it is a customer-facing office where clients and customers come to the office because that impacts whether clients will use your company when they have allergies and asthma.

          1. JS

            Late to reply but if you are THAT allergic, wouldn’t being around coworkers who all have pets and track in pet dander on their clothes, etc be an issue then as well? I have 2 dogs who both shed and no matter what I do hair is everywhere on my person. Lint rolling doesnt do much.

            Also it is up to the company to decide that if its worth it for them or not. Amazon has a TON of people working for them and they allow pets. Although they do have pet safe spaces, if you chose to work there and no not like pets you will be separated from your team most likely so you have to decide if its something thats worth it for you still.

      3. attornaut

        While I agree that a company needs to accommodate someone who works there and has allergies… why, if you had severe allergies, would you actively apply for and accept a job in a workplace that would trigger them?

        Legally, you have every right to. But from a practical perspective, people aren’t going to be pleased that a perk that they enjoyed is being taken away so that you, a person who knew it existed before applying to work there and did so anyway knowing they would need to change the policy, could start working. I would not want to start off my relationship with a company/co-workers on that note. Especially given how few and far between companies with this perk are.

        1. JM60

          Maybe because you want to eat.

          It’s one thing if the source of the allergies are intrinsically related to the job (e.g., a veterinary doctor’s office). But if it isn’t related to the operation of the business, it’s unfair to make people who would suffer health issues to self select out.

        2. Courageous cat

          Agreed. I get this “people have bills to pay” mentality but unless the work is highly specialized, I can’t imagine many situations in which the dog office will be the Only Chance for work a person will have during their job search.

          I guess I sort of get it, but also sort of don’t.

          1. JM60

            “will be the Only Chance for work a person will have”

            You could say that about a lot of employment related issues. “If someone didn’t want to work in our sexist workplace, they could probably find work elsewhere.” When it comes to something that’s unnecessary for the core function of the organization, this justification for a soft discrimination isn’t very convincing IMO.

            1. ErinW

              I hate the comparison of a dog-friendly workplace to a sexism-friendly workplace. They are not qualitatively the same. Leaving people with serious allergies/animal traumas out of the equation (because many offices do have that luxury), a dog-friendly workplace is more like a workplace where there’s always free cake. For the people who like it, it’s awesome. Little things may annoy some people, like that there are always crumbs everywhere, and it’s hard to diet, and whoever is picking the flavors is leaning too hard on lemon-lime, but it’s not toxic, exclusionary, discriminatory, illegal behavior like sexism. It’s not the same.

              1. JM60

                You completely missed the point. The point isn’t that dogs in the workplace are equivalent to sexist discrimination, the point is to show that it’s a really bad argument. I’m making a reductio ad adsurdem argument of explaining why this is a really bad argument to make.

                “Leaving people with serious allergies/animal traumas out of the equation”

                Why would you take these people out of the equation? Pet allergies are ubiquitous, with major pet allergies not being uncommon (maybe ~10% depending on what you mean by major). They’re a substantial part of the population, and things that cause health issues for a substantial portion of the population shouldn’t be foisted on all employees unless it’s intrinsic to the core function of the organization.

                I find the analogy with cake to be inappropriate. With cake, it’s only annoying or inconvenient. With dogs, it’s a health issue for a significant number of people. Even for those who don’t have “I can never be around dogs” levels of allergies, the health effects are cumulative, and well beyond a personal annoyance (like with cake crumbs).

            2. Courageous cat

              With all due respect, that false equivalence is pretty ridiculous. Not liking dogs is not a protected class nor should it be. Please do not compare things like this to sexism/racism/other isms – it’s that kind of attitude that spirals into diluting ignorant people’s ideas about those things and leads them to think they’re not as big of a deal as they are.

              1. JM60

                I didn’t equate them. I pointed out that this attitude of “They could probably find another job” could apply to any job related issue, and I chose an example where most people would agree that it’s an issue. It’s a form of a reductio ad adsurdem argument.

                “Not liking dogs is not a protected class”

                I’m not merely talking about “not liking dogs”, but rather dogs causing health issues. That’s beyond a mere dislike, and it effects a large segment of the population (in the double digits).

                “Please do not compare things like this to sexism/racism/other isms – it’s that kind of attitude that spirals into diluting ignorant people’s ideas about those things and leads them to think they’re not as big of a deal as they are.”

                Please make sure you’re correctly understanding what someone is saying so that you don’t strawman them and completely miss the point. I’m impressed by people’s ability to comply miss the point whenever a reductio ad adsurdem argument is made.

                Look up reductio ad adsurdem. Just because someone says, “That argument in support of X could be used to justify the Holocaust” doesn’t mean that they’re equating X to the Holocaust! It means that it’s a bad argument (since it leads to the absurd conclusion of the Holocaust being just), and is therefore a bad argument.

      4. no dogs, please

        THIS. I commented downthread to this effect, but it’s also not just a threat to people with the most severe allergies. Exposure to dander can be cumulative. I’ve never been sent to the hospital by an allergic reaction to dogs and I doubt I ever will be, but working in an office full of dogs would likely make me ill much more frequently, cause me to go to the allergist more often, etc.

        “If you don’t like it you can go work somewhere else” is not how we treat most health and safety hazards and I’m kind of surprised by the attitude that people who can’t be around dogs should just go suck it up and work somewhere else. (Which is easier to do in some industries and locations than others. In my industry, a city absolutely overflowing with opportunity has maybe four or five places where I could plausibly work, all of them extremely competitive.)

        1. JS

          How would you react to people who have dogs. I am pretty much a walking dander ball and at any given time can pick a dog hair off of my clothing as I have 2 dogs that both shed. Lint rolling doesnt help much as some hairs are woven into the fabric. Would you not be able to work next to coworkers who owned dogs?

    4. SittingDuck

      I actually did just this. I am not a fan of dogs at all. I tolerate certain ones (my best friends, my dads) through personal choice to preserve those relationships that are very important to me. Both my Dad and my best friend also understand my view about dogs and respect it, and keep their dogs under control around me.

      I took a job at a small office where I found out at the interview that one dog came to the office every day. I was none to pleased about this fact – BUT – I had been looking for a job for 3.5 years, was a single mother with a child to care for, and REALLY needed the income. So I sucked up my dislike for the policy and quickly taught the dog that I wanted nothing to do with her. Its actually well known around the office that I don’t like dogs, and her owner does a pretty good job of keeping her away from me. The dog quickly learned that if she was coming into my cube and I snapped my fingers, she wasn’t welcome and she would turn and leave. I feel I ended up in a fairly good situation considering my options. I still work for this company but from home now so I no longer have to deal with any dogs.

      Sometimes people don’t have a choice – they need a job – there aren’t always ‘tons of jobs out there’ that you can choose from.

    5. Courageous cat

      Agreed. Like yes, it’s not fair, but I kind of fall into the camp of… not everything is fair. There are lots of things at workplaces that might be considered dealbreakers, like open offices.

      The only thing that’s different in this one is the ADA issue with allergies. But, for simply not liking dogs… best to look elsewhere, just as if it were any other preference that you didn’t mesh with.

  13. Bea

    My first job included babysitting my supervisors show dogs…I was hired as an accounting clerk. I’m delighted I’ve never dealt with another setup like that and I adore dogs. I’ll pet all dogs when I’m not trying to focus on work.

  14. Dog Academy Student

    I’m currently enrolled in the Academy for Dog Trainers, and this has given me an idea to offer training services to companies that allow dogs (not to usurp benefits such as human childcare, etc.). There are lots of dog-friendly workplaces in the are I live, Greater Boston.

    My dog does come to the office with me while we work through his separation anxiety but I work in a very small church office, with a close-able door, and everyone is OK with his being here. He happens to sleep the entire day, getting up to get cookies from visitors he likes.

    1. OlympiasEpiriot

      I think there should be a movement to have that for any company that has dog-friendly offices. There NEEDS to be a minimum standard of training, and really, to train a dog one needs to train the owner.

      :-/

      1. Goya de la Mancha

        There needs to be a minimum standard of training for all pets in public – but that’s a whole other story…

  15. SometimesALurker

    Thanks for this post! I have a friend who had to retire her seeing eye dog because he became skittish after another dog (not a service dog) tried to start a fight with him. She tried to keep him, worked with a trainer, but he was just too distracted to be a seeing eye dog anymore. She was brokenhearted and had to wait almost a year for a new service dog (and that was with being put on the “priority” list). This didn’t happen in an office, but it made me think that a “dog-friendly” office has the potential (not a guarantee, but the potential) to be really bad for service dogs!

    1. It's me

      yes! It’s insane how one interaction with another dog can alter your own dog’s training. I used to volunteer with an organization who trained service dogs and it is so important to keep an eye on other dogs when you are out with yours because you never know if somebody else’s fluffy is actually friendly or not.

    2. DogTrainerGuy

      This!

      I train assistance dogs. Poorly run “dog-friendly” offices can be very dangerous and damaging for employees who actually rely on service dogs. This is serious enough it should be part of the discussion about allowing dogs into a workplace, along with people who are allergic to dogs.

      Also – one perk of working at a facility that trains assistance dogs is that well-behaving pet dogs are allowed to come to work with you. Some of the pet dogs were released from the program, but others come from more typical backgrounds (rescues, shelters, etc.). Of course, these dogs are temperament tested, must have appropriate manners, and are gated, crated, leashed or tethered. It’s not a given that all dogs are welcome, and by definition, the people who work there like dogs/don’t have severe dog allergies.

  16. Collarbone High

    It’s been years since the original letter ran, but I’m still not over “they accused me of discriminating against a dog with a medical condition.”

  17. Ol' letter writer update

    If any of y’all remember my letter last year sometime about someone’s agressive dog and her asking me how to get him illegally registered as a service animal then bringing him back in, where he even growled at our CEO…

    we moved to a new building and our boss banned dogs, saying that the landlord forbade dogs. Possibly true, but I know it’s also because she was sick of this terrible dog. The co-worker later got fired for multiple things, but mostly because she never got her work done and was a nuisance. I recently caught up with her. By sending a screenshot of someone else’s Facebook post about a fake service dog attacking her 70,000 dollar service dog. I sent the post to her then blocked her. I am not sorry.

    1. Ol' letter writer update

      this is my letter, by the way, for anyone that hasn’t read it: https://www.askamanager.org/2017/11/my-coworker-brings-her-aggressive-dog-to-work.html

      And the facebook post I sent her before blocking her is as follows:

      “when I am walking out of Hobby Lobby with a $17,000+ trained, working dog, and a boxer in a crate in the back of an open hatched Jeep wearing a generic service dog vest JUMPS at us so hard the entire cage moves. The dog is snarling and barking at us like we’re a Thanksgiving Turkey. I’m terrified the cage is going to break open, I’m praying this doesn’t traumatize Luna. Meanwhile other patrons in the parking lot are amazed at how classy Luna is being while psycho sally is losing her s***.
      The problem is, when you bring your untrained dog in a public place where a working dog has federal rights to be there, you’re putting all the other working dogs at risk, because if your untrained dog bites or even tries to attack the other service dogs they are ruined. Forever.
      So all of the $17,000 that that family has fundraised, all of the years of training, all of the weeks of class to learn commands, all of the seizure alert and tracking that you RELY on for your child’s safety, is gone because you think it’s fun to take your dog everywhere. It’s not fun. Thousands of families would give anything to NOT need this medical equipment, but we do. The least you can do is respect it.” (I thought it was 70,000 in my first comment, I had forgotten the amount)

      Again… after what Jane did to spit on ADA and her fellow coworkers… I am not sorry.

      1. JS

        A bit confused, so the dog that attacked the person and their service dog was wearing a service dog vest even though they werent a service dog? If so, thats horrible.

          1. JS

            The only time I’ve heard of someone doing this, not the vest, but claiming a service dog when not was a friend of mine who moved with her dog across country and claimed it was a service animal to get out of paying a $300 ticket for her dog on the flight. Which to be fair it was a lap dog that stayed crated under the seat and didn’t bother anyone but still a bit bad. I didn’t give her a hard time since she couldnt have afforded the extra $300 and found out it was that much last minute. It is a bit ridic of airlines to charge more than you would a carry on if its going under the seat like one.

            I have heard of people claiming things like that just to bring there dogs places they shouldn’t be which tbh is horrible just in case something does go wrong but never someone who had a vest when they shouldn’t have.

          2. ThursdaysGeek

            I’ve only been bitten by a dog once, and that was recently. The dog was wearing a Service Dog vest. It wasn’t a bad bite, and I didn’t want the old guy in the wheel chair to lose his pet dog, so I didn’t report it.

        1. LavaLamp

          In the United States; there is no service dog registry or licensing. If you take Cujo to the store and say he’s a service dog they can’t refuse you until/unless your dog starts being well. . .Cujo. It gets abused a lot by people who want to bring their dog everywhere, and it makes people wary of the legitimate animals who do their jobs.

          Real service dogs have thousands of dollars of training and you can generally tell by their attitude and how totally chill they are around everything. A lady in my high school administration used to do preliminary training for service puppies for children with autism. Chillest dogs ever even with loud screeching matches between other students. Heck, there was Roselle the guide dog who led her human down 70 flights of stairs in the WTC on 9/11. Well trained service animals are good at their jobs because dogs like to please their humans. Generally speaking here.

          1. Typist Calligraphy

            A couple comments to clarify:

            1 – They are allowed to ask you if the animal is required because of a disability, and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. Behavior leading to exclusion would still necessitate the human be taken care of as fits the business, just without the animal present (I imagine this one rarely happens).

            2 – Real service dogs do not require professional training. They need to be -trained-, absolutely, but just as there is no requirement in certification, there is no requirement in training. People are allowed to train their own service dogs, or have friends train them, or whichever.

            Just want to clarify because it’s important to know what a service dog is or is not, and how business is supposed to handle the questioning of them.

            1. LavaLamp

              Yes, you are correct. Real service dogs don’t have to have professional training, but most do. They do have a very different demeanor than non working dogs.

        2. Ol' letter writer update

          Yup, that’s pretty much what happened with my coworker, minus the vest. She passed him off as a service dog while he got away with biting people and growling at everyone. Sending her that Facebook post then immediately blocking her is everything I’d wanted to do while we were coworkers.

  18. HoorayCollegeFootball

    Topics like this one make me very glad to have a private office with a door that I can close, no questions asked. Although, AFAIK, this is a no pets allowed zone. Note that pets /= service animals.

  19. Bunny Girl

    I would absolutely love to work some place that allowed dogs. I don’t currently have one, as I’m in an apartment and don’t have time between work and school. But the second I graduate and get a house, we’ll be welcoming a couple new babies into our home.

    That being said, I do think there need to be strict rules about people’s dogs in the work place. The company needs to have it posted on their hiring notifications, the dogs all need to be well behaved, vaccinated, and well groomed, and there needs to be a zero strike policy. I also don’t think this would work in an open office setting.

    I understand some people wouldn’t like this, but I’d love it. I personally wouldn’t like, and wouldn’t work some place where people bring their children to work constantly. That would drive me insane and I’d quit in an instant.

  20. Colorado

    I love dogs. I have 5 dogs. I come to work to escape them for a while. Although I’ve always worked in medical manufacturing type environments where any animal (or even plants) is forbidden, I’m still in the no dogs at work camp (unless a service dog of course). Now a cat… ;-)

  21. Aphrodite

    I’m a cat person myself so I have no dog, so to speak, in this issue. Well, I have an opinion–NO dogs in offices at any time for any reason. (I feel the same way about kids.) I was raised with a St. Bernard so it’s not out of fear though I admit untrained or enthusiastic but unrestrained dogs worry me. What I loathe is barking, the smell of dog, slobber, etc. In short, I really don’t like them though I would never hurt one, not even its feelings.

    Recently I watched a Judge Judy episode online where a man had taken a work dog (a pitbull that stayed at his work site) out to a dog park for a couple of hours. He took him off the leash; the dog promptly went after two other dogs–the guy tried to claim it was just playing but the other owners were fearful. The man and another man got into an argument it escalated to physical violence and police were called.

    The memory of that show prompted me to wonder what the employers would do if anyone’s dog bit someone. It’s probably only a matter of time until this happens somewhere. Would it make the employer completely vulnerable to a major lawsuit should it happen?

  22. OlympiasEpiriot

    I have had dogs and cats. Currently have a cat…The Love Sponge who just FILLS whatever space you are in getting you to pet hum, rub him and generally make a HUGE fuss. No one can get work done with an aggressive cuddler.

    Have had jobs where I could bring my dog (timber framing…dog rode shotgun and hung her head out the window). My office??? Noooooooooooooo. Sweet thing my last dog was, well-trained too (and yes, I know I’m biased…I confess she wasn’t trained to Swiss standards, but, she was very well-trained)…even she could have her off days. Definitely not bringing her to an unfamiliar environment with lots of strangers where someone(s) could be allergic, too.

    1. OlympiasEpiriot

      *him*, not “hum”, although he does kinda hum while he purrs. Sounds like a very small, well-tuned diesel Mercedes.

  23. Amber Rose

    We had a kitty in the office last week. He hopped up on the desk across from mine and peered around my cubicle wall, causing me to crack up for several minutes. The office was full of people wanting to pet him.

    That was fun for one hour on one day. It would be frustrating full time.

  24. HS Teacher

    I am an animal lover and a dog owner. I don’t think dogs belong at work. It’s unfair to those with allergies or who just aren’t into dogs. Keep them in doggy day care or at home.

  25. ElmyraDuff

    I’ve been trying to convince my boss to let me bring in my rats for over a year now. They’re so old and fat and chill. Everyone will love them.

    1. EmmaBird

      Yay for exotic pets! My mom’s friend had rats when I was a kid and I adored them.

      I have a 20-year-old bird and a coworker actually asked me to bring him in once when I was talking about his speaking ability. As much as I would love that, pretty sure my bird would not and I don’t think my coworkers actually want to find out how loud he can scream when he’s distressed. Especially if they find barking loud and annoying, ha.

    2. Elspeth

      Awww! I used to have two ratties. They were actually “feeder” rats, so rescued them from that fate. While they were cage-aggressive (I always let them come to me), they were the sweetest things outside of the cage. Sarina Silverstar and Fifi Trixibelle were their names.

  26. New kitty mama

    I worked at an office that the CEO brought his smaller dog every day to work. Normally very friendly till one day it wasn’t. It had a visceral reaction to one vendor and bit him pretty badly. Not sure why, he just didn’t like him or had a bad vibe. The vendor never saw it coming. CEO didn’t bring the dog to the office anymore after that.

  27. no dogs, please

    Hi. I’m the killjoy who loves dogs and thinks dogs do not belong in the workplace under any circumstances.

    I have allergies. Not terrible, life-threatening allergies. Ordinary, “oh, I’m going to hang out with my friends’ dog for a few hours so I’ll take an Allegra” allergies. If my employer decided to start allowing dogs in the office, there’s a decent chance I’d have to quit.

    Dander is cumulative. It’s not just a matter of keeping a public space reasonably tidy and free of hair — dander accumulates on the floors, walls, ceiling, furniture, in the ductwork, etc. It will stay there for weeks. I can’t buy a couch off Craigslist previously owned by a household with pets, and I couldn’t go to work every day in an office where dander was constantly in the air. I’d likely have chronic sinus infections. I’d be tired and fuzzy-headed all the time. My allergist would blow a freakin’ gasket. (Allergists aren’t cheap, by the way. I’m lucky to have a great health plan that covers the cost of mine, and a visit is still $50 each time. Allergy shots would cost me about $1000 out of pocket. And the line from my allergist is that I could not own a pet even if the shots worked for me.)

    I know most people love having dogs around — I do too, in an environment where I can easily get away if my allergies flare. I know having a dog is expensive — but it’s not your employer’s responsibility to defray those costs. It baffles me that dog-friendly offices are becoming more popular.

  28. arcya

    We’re a mid-size company and allow dogs at work. Honestly it hasn’t been much of a problem? Sometimes someone’s puppy cries during the day but they usually settle in pretty fast. People who have dogs put up baby gates in their cubes. There are anywhere between 5-10 dogs in the building on any given day and it’s kinda nice to see them around / pet them. So far any the owners of dogs that are super irritating just don’t bring them back.

    We’ve allowed dogs since the company was founded about 20 years ago. It’s about 500 people now. I don’t have a ton of illusions that as we continue to grow this will be sustainable, but for now it’s fun.

  29. tangerineRose

    I think that a company that wants to allow people to bring dogs should work should have a dog section and a no-dogs section that are separated somehow so that people who are allergic or nervous can be in the no-dogs section. Also, I agree about only allowing well-behaved dogs.

    I love dogs and enjoy well-behaved dogs around, but I know not everyone does.

    1. Essess

      Haha…. I had flashbacks to when there were “smoking” and “no smoking” sections on airplanes and somehow a magic curtain would keep the two areas from ever meeting. :-D

  30. Anna

    My favorite part of this whole discussion is the moral stance everyone is taking, whether they’re pro-dogs in offices or anti-dogs in offices. You’re all morally superior for liking/not liking dogs in the office. Congratulations.

  31. Jen

    I dislike and fear large dogs that are jumpy and super excitable, so I’ve resigned myself to the fact that working at a dog friendly place wouldn’t be great for me. Way too many owners here fail to train their dogs properly, meaning that most dogs one encounters on a day to day basis have at least a couple of bad habits/behaviours. It annoys me that I am seen as a ‘bad guy’ or even untrustworthy by some because I dislike certain dogs (and it’s not even all dogs! I really like little dogs or larger dogs that are well trained and calm).

    Luckily there aren’t too many dog friendly work places in my city as it is a trend that hasn’t really caught on (and one I hope doesn’t ever catch on here).

    1. Cat Person

      +1,000 Have you ever seen Zoltan Kaszas’s comedy bit about dog people? I feel the same way that the second I tell a dog person that I prefer cats (or any other animal for that matter) I’m all of a sudden anti-dog. What I really want to say is “no it’s just your dog I don’t like” but I’m sure that would get me in hot water with most people.

  32. Chaordic One

    This is one of those things that depends on the dogs involved and on their owners. Certainly not all dogs are comfortable and well-behaved enough to be taken to work, and even worse, not all dog owners are smart enough to realize when their dogs should not be taken to work.

    The manager of my favorite bookstore used to bring his Westie to work and I could see her in her crate in his office. The dog was alert, but was quiet and did not bark at people. The P.A. at my doctor’s office brought her toy poodle to work and he usually slept quietly on her office chair. The poodle was very good with children and served as kind of a therapy dog for patients. The P.A. would let people pet the dog after they had shots. (I suppose this was a bit of a risk, but nothing every happened.) The doctor himself brought his dog a couple of times, and while the dog was very friendly and gentle, I found myself feeling afraid of him because he was so very large. He was a big black New Foundland who weighed 300 pounds. Sadly the bookstore went out of business and my doctor had to retire because of health problems.

    She seemed quiet

    1. usual

      Newfies are the gentlest of dogs – unless you’re swimming and they decide you need rescuing, which can be quite the shock…

  33. Oranges

    Regardless of allergies (which I do indeed have), I can’t stand the dog “smell”. All dogs have this smell that I can’t describe but it’s there. The amount of it can vary from breed to breed and even from dog to dog but… I hates it.

    Even “clean smelling/hypoallergenic” dogs have it; they just have less of it. It annoys me the exact same way “garbage” smell does. So a dog friendly office is not for me. Which is fine. I’ll self select out.

    1. MissDisplaced

      Yes, doggy smell. And wet dog smell is worse! I love dogs, but not that smell. Interestingly, cats don’t have that smell about them, though they are prone to dreaded “tuna” breath.

  34. MissDisplaced

    I love dogs and cats, and even though I like the idea of having them at work, I think it’s probably better for them not to be at work. Wouldn’t offering some degree of work at home flexibility be better a better perk for everyone?

  35. Quickbeam

    I love dogs but hate them in the office. It’s put forth as a benefit ( added after I had worked there) and we don’t get other benefits because we have this ‘special’ one. I resent having to split focus in meetings and 1:1s with baby talk for dogs. It does not make the environment any better for me, the worker. I’ve also been tripped twice by running dogs and had to go to HR on a ‘safety in the work place’ concern. I’m rounding the corner to retirement so I have to weigh that in but it is in no way a plus for me.

  36. Courageous cat

    This one is honestly so tough, but ultimately I come down on: if you absolutely cannot be around dogs no matter what the accomodation (like working in a different part of the building), find somewhere else to work. I get allergies and everything but god, if I were allergic, I just could not be the new person that took away the perk from everyone else. To each their own but I don’t personally think I could bounce back from that.

    1. Courageous cat

      I also think some of the comments comparing dogs in the office to kids in the office is laughable. I get it if you don’t like one, or either of them, but it’s kind of insulting to people’s intelligence to imply that it’s practically the same exact thing.

      1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesInYourHouse

        Why? Many people dislike children. Like poorly trained dogs, they smell, run around, are loud, etc. They can be well trained but rarely are. And children can easily set people on edge/irritate/set off health concerns such as people who are affected by loud noises.

        1. Courageous cat

          Because it’s not the same! I mean, yeah sure on paper they both can be irritating, but as I just said, it’s kind of insulting to imply that people aren’t of course thinking of really obvious differences like, I don’t know “dogs can’t talk/laugh/cry/scream” and “dogs sleep most of the day” and “dogs can be trained to be well-behaved”. Dogs and children are pretttttty far apart in terms of what would be acceptable in an office setting. Which is why so many offices allow dogs and not children.

  37. Flying Fish

    One of the practice owners where I work occasionally brings his elderly dog in on particularly long days. “Rover” is impeccably well behaved and groomed. He mostly stays in the owner’s office (unless being taken outdoors to relieve himself), so it’s easy for any allergy-prone employees to avoid him. He has his own office badge with the title, “Happiness Ambassador”.

    I’m generally against ambulatory office pets, but I can see why it is sometimes okay. I wouldn’t want any sort of permissive policy for all the reasons outlined by other commentators.

  38. crookedfinger

    I worked as an intern for a few months in an office that allowed dogs. While I love animals in general, I didn’t really enjoy having a dog demanding pets from me/getting into my trash can/shitting on the carpet in the middle of the office while I was trying to work.

  39. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesInYourHouse

    I love pets at work–the health benefits they would provide to me outweigh the problems. (Lower blood pressure, aid in mental illness such as anxiety, etc.) If a business is pet friendly, that’s a wonderful perk.

  40. Erin W

    I had an office on a college campus that was super dog-friendly and one day I had to come back to the office around 6 or 7 to pick something up so I just brought my pup with me. Everyone who was still working freaked out with happiness and within five minutes we were all, including the director of the department, literally sitting on the lobby floor playing with the dog.

    The director talked sometimes about allowing us to bring dogs in, but it was ultimately decided against because many of our constituent students came from other cultures (India, the Middle East) where people’s relationships with dogs are fraught. I had a neighbor from India, for example, who was white-knuckle terrified of my completely placid, medium-sized dog, and explained to me that it was because she had been badly bitten by a stray when she was a child, developed rabies, and almost died. So yeah, not a good recipe for a welcoming office in that case.

    1. TiffanyAching

      I also work at a higher-education campus, and it’s generally very dog friendly. Like your experience bringing your dog in, my office — and pretty much everyone I’ve seen on campus — gets excited when there’s a dog.

      I think colleges and universities might generally be a little more open to dogs than some other types of workplaces, just due to the setup and the people. Typically a campus has multiple buildings with plenty of open space to take the dog for a walk, a number of employees with flexible schedules/not in the office standard 8-5 (like faculty), and students, who at least at my employer are often young adults who desperately miss their pets. During finals time, we actually have designated times where staff and faculty bring their dogs to campus for students to pet and play with, as stress reduction.

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