The Pros and Cons of Pets in the Work Environment

Corporate culture has become a huge issue when it comes to talent recruitment and retention. Young employees are often more interested in how a place feels than the actual work they do. Allowing pets in the office can be a great incentive for employees, but if left unchecked, what seems like a morale boosted can turn into a mess. Literally.

Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of having a pet friendly workplace to help you decide if your office should be Fido friendly.



Pets love unconditionally, are completely ignorant to your interpersonal or work struggles, and live completely in the moment. These personality traits have a lot to offer to you workspace. They can bring a change of perspective that will be very welcome by your employees or colleagues.

It’s good for Your Health

It’s hard to be in a bad mood with a furry friend hanging around your workspace. Pets offer known benefits that can be both physical and emotional. Among those known benefits is the potential to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. This has an obvious benefit within the workplace. With rising healthcare costs forever looming, a healthier workplace is beneficial to employees and employers alike.

They’re Fun

They also create positive social interactions by generating natural conversations. Pets are never socially awkward and often even if your employees are they can generate interactions that might otherwise not exist. They can also help to defuse tense situations that might arise within the office by refocusing the attention on positive person-pet-person interactions. Getting people talking is sometimes the first step towards stronger teams.

They’re Great Recruiting Tools

In the corporate culture focused world we live in, allowing pets in the office is a great free perk that can really help you land some top candidates. When considering multiple offers with similar pay and benefits little perks like a pet friendly office can push candidates over the edge. Our furry, feathered, and finned friends add a special personality to our workplace that we can market as part of our culture. After all, there’s no better way to show the open minded nature of your company than to have a Golden Doodle greet potential employees at the door. So use those puppy dog eyes to your advantage and have them help you land some solid talent.


They Can Be Distracting

Barking and meowing and chirping may not be the most conducive to concentration. Sometimes having pets in the office can be more of a distraction than it is a benefit. Even when they’re behaving people are hard wired to pay attention to our four legged friends. There are already enough distractions lurking on the web to cut down productivity without adding a cute interactive one right in the office.

They Can Be a Health Concern

Pet related allergies are no joke and can result in serious issues for some people. Many people are allergic to the dander that emits from beneath an animal’s coat. This can cause respiratory issues and major discomfort. An employee that has to go home as a result of an allergy attack will likely lose productivity for at least the remainder of that day. Sometimes allergy attacks can last multiple days and could result in a huge loss of production.

They Can Be Messy

If you open your office to clients or vendors it can be risky to allow pets. The potential for accidents can make an otherwise positive experience turn negative very quickly. No client or vendor wants to deal with ruined clothes or the unpleasant smell that a pet could leave behind. It’s important to weigh the risks before allowing pets into your office.

Not everyone is an Animal Lover

Pets are not universally loved by all. Some people have had bad experiences with animals and those experiences can leave them uneasy around animals. This can lead to major issues in the workplace. Employees that have anxiety around animals will likely struggle to focus when animals are around and may even have to leave the workplace due to their anxiety. It’s important to know if employees are okay with pets being in the office. There should be policies and rules in place to ensure that everyone has a comfortable work environment that is conducive to the productivity and well being of the employees.

If planned properly, pets in the workplace can be a great addition to the culture of your company. If planned poorly or not at all, they can leave you at risk and create an unpleasant workplace.

What’s your opinion of having pets in the workplace?

By Francis Santos

Francis Santos is the Marketing Manager for Benchmark Email. He graduated from Cal State Long Beach and holds a degree in Journalism. In addition, he is also the executive editor for separate popular news blogs. Follow him on Twitter.

By Guest Author

Puppy Education is a site dedicated for dog owners on how to train and look after their puppy. If you have a puppy and would like to share your own experiences and knowledge, you can write for Puppy Education.