Employees benefit as dog walks replace traditional cigarette breaks at the Kennel Club

  • Dog welfare charity celebrates ten years of canine colleagues this Bring your Dog to Work Day
  • Almost a third of staff bring their dog to work citing benefits including increased morale, more social opportunities and positive effects on mental health in the workplace
  • Staff replace traditional cigarette breaks with team dog walks, increasing productivity and creativity, with 66 per cent also agreeing this improves relationships
  • And it’s not just dog owners who benefit, 94 per cent of those who don’t own a dog enjoy having dogs in the office

As Friday 21st June marks Bring your Dog to Work Day, the Kennel Club, the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs, is urging businesses to consider trialling a dog-friendly office policy to reap the positive benefits.

Celebrating ten years of welcoming canine colleagues into the office, the organisation has led the way in dog-friendly office policy and is sharing insight to encourage others to follow suit. Currently almost a third of Kennel Club staff bring their dog to work, with 50 per cent agreeing they have met more people in the office because of their dog, and 66 per cent stating that dog walking with colleagues during breaks and lunchtimes has improved their relationship, a far healthier and beneficial alternative to the traditional social cigarette break.

Of those who don’t own a dog, 94 per cent enjoy having dogs in the workplace and three quarters would enjoy walking a colleague’s dog, leading the organisation to consider a ‘walkies scheme’ to buddy up dogs and staff in the office for walks.

One survey respondent said: “Giving access to dogs in the office was a bold step but immediately led to a happier, more interesting work environment. The Kennel Club led by example by allowing dogs into the office - the policy is often commented on in a highly positive way, with many people admitting to being envious that their employer does not have a similar policy. As someone on the tube said to me only the other day ‘If I could take MY dog with me I'd be HAPPY just to go to work’! But most important of all, the dogs themselves love being in the office and bring us all joy and laughter every day.”

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary added: “Every day is bring your dog to work day at the Kennel Club and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Companies are barking mad to ignore the advantages that canine colleagues can bring to staff and the workplace - they improve morale, encourage socialisation among staff, and it’s scientifically proven dogs lower stress, heart rate and blood pressure. An overwhelming 88 per cent of our staff agree that having dogs in the office helps to decrease stress levels, showing how they can positively impact on staff wellbeing, and this can cost employers literally nothing.

“Of course there needs to be some form of office ‘petiquette’ or ‘pawlicy’ for our four-legged friends – and businesses can look to other dog-friendly workplaces to see how they do this successfully, or refer owners to the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme awards as a route for dogs hoping to become an office regular. But really, having a dog-friendly office is a simple way to help boost productivity, happiness and morale in the workplace that we would urge all businesses to consider.”

Only about 8% of employees in the UK are allowed to take their dogs to work, according to research by Reed.co.uk.

More information about becoming a dog-friendly workplace can be found at https://www.purina.co.uk/meet-purina/pets-at-purina-offices