Do you think your workplace could become pet friendly? Here’s how you can get started.
1) Get management and staff on board
Be sure to engage management up front, so you have full support for your programme from the top. Identifying who manages the site that you work on is key to understanding whether it can become pet friendly – and to what extent. Start by reading our tips for getting your manager on side.
But while management is important, so is employee enthusiasm. Talk to your colleagues and encourage any supporters at your work to help. If you’re an employer, see our tips for introducing the idea of pets at work to your staff.
2) Work with management to establish guidelines
Decide which types of pets can come to work. At PURINA®, we primarily allow dogs but other workplaces may allow cats, fish, birds or other types of pets. You should also establish some pet-free areas, like toilets, kitchens and meeting rooms. Remember to ask about any pet allergies in the office as well.
Finally, make sure your guidelines encourage responsible pet ownership. This includes, for example, rules for cleaning up mess, providing healthy treats for people to feed pets, and deciding where water bowls or litter boxes should go.
3) Do the paperwork
Create an authorisation and release form for employees to sign. Here’s an example of one of the forms we use at PURINA®. Ours is only a suggestion, and can’t serve as your company’s waiver. We suggest your company contact their legal representative to tailor a contract.
4) Get your office cleaners on side
That way they’ll be equipped with all the proper cleaning materials for any accidents!
5) Adapt your facilities
If you don’t own your workspace outright, check with your landlord to make sure you can start a Pets at Work programme. If you do own your premises, you might like to think about whether it’s a good idea to enlarge your space to better accommodate pets.Take a look at our FAQs for advice.
What we do for pets at PURINA®
- Provide space. If your workplace allows, provide a dog park so that pets (and employees) can stretch their legs. If a dog park is not feasible, consider a large, grassy area that can be a designated as a pet play area.
- Poop bag stands. Make it easy for staff to be responsible for cleaning up after their pet.
- Lead ties. Provide posts or areas where leads can be secured. It’s good to have a space where staff can take a moment to be hands-free, especially if they have to run to a pet-free area of the office, like the canteen.
- Make it inviting. Have treats or snacks handy in reception and other open areas. Also keep receptionists, security and other employees up-to-date on guidelines for Pet Visitors in the Workplace. Make it clear which workspaces are pet friendly.
We hope this helps you to take the first steps to make your workplace pet friendly. Before you start, read up on other companies that have successfully integrated pets into the workplace.