Do you want to take your dog to work? Here is what is allowed or forbidden

An office dog can reduce stress and improve productivity. (© LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS / AdobeStock)

Spending the day at the office with your dog is an idea that seems to gain ground. In France, 39% (according to Canine Central’s 2022 barometer) want dogs to be better received in their workplace. A number that has even risen to 53% for dog owners.

This trend, which is often observed in some countries, especially the United Kingdom, is slowly taking hold in our country, driven by a change in mentality. “In Western countries, the image of the dog has gradually shifted from a utilitarian animal-used for hunting or keeping-to the pet “, explains André Varlet, director of the Canine Center.

The dog is especially considered a family member, a companion we want to be with often, on vacation but also at work.

Andre Varlet

What does the law say?

However, only 7% of French owners now allow this practice. In some companies, dogs may be banned health or safety reasons. “Most of it is reserved for office work,” André Varlet continues. “Besides, employees may not dare to ask questions, even if this approach is no longer considered inappropriate”.

With the exception of a few special cases – health establishments, public administrations and the food sector -, the law does not prohibit bringing your dog in his workplace, with outside, however, in the 1st category attacking dogs because their presence is prohibited “in the area open to the public and in public places”.

How to proceed?

Initially, the dog owner must make the request of his employer and raise the subject with corporate officials. Of course, colleagues should also be consulted and express their discomfort or possible phobia.

If permission is granted, it is advisable to write one charter of good conduct, to determine, for example, the areas prohibited by dogs, the days of presence or the obligation of owners to remove their animal droppings. In addition, the latter should be clean, sociable and up to date on his or her vaccinations. A security should also be considered to cover possible damage.

The company can plan facilities within it : “At the Canine Center, our floor was unsuitable and so we replaced the carpet with a laminate floor, washable and disinfectable”.

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In the case of denial, no recourse was found. As André Varlet points out, “bringing your dog to the office is not a right but a permission”.

How to take care of your dog?

The employee may bring toys for his dog to take care of himself while waiting to walk. Also provide a sturdy plastic basket or a transport box to leave it on when you need to move. And of course, don’t forget his tie and his bowl.

What are the benefits of having a dog?

“It creates a friendly climate and better relationships between colleagues; those without a dog at home can benefit from it! The presence of a dog can also reduce stress and improve productivity because owners no longer have to worry about coming home early to pick up their dog.

“As for the dog, his joy on earth is in the company of his master. It supports loneliness less well than the cat, it requires activity and can bark or hurt if it is worried ”, concluded André Varlet.

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