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How to Convince Your Boss to Make the Office Pet-Friendly

In researching a new series highlighting pet-friendly companies in New York City, I was surprised to find just one office open to having employees bring their dog, cat or related furry companion to work. It was The Onion of all places, and they actually relocated to Chicago last year. I guess while the company had their New York location for some of their writers, Fido and Mrs. Whiskers served as the muses. I will press on with my investigation to arrive at what I hope to be a pretty comprehensive list of cool companies in the city open to pets. But until then, here are three tips I’ve gathered to convince your boss that transforming your place of work into a pet-friendly institution is a great idea.

Dog at Work (Photo: iStockphoto)

Talk about the stress-relieving benefits
According to the Purina PetCare Company, the presence of pets in the office tends to relieve stress, increase collaboration and generate a positive work-life balance in an otherwise chaotic professional setting.

Highlight the increase in morale and employee trust
Allowing employees the benefit of bringing a pet to the office has proven to increase morale among workers by a significant margin. Moreover, pets tend to serve as an icebreaker between people who otherwise would have no reason to speak, thereby sparking a connection and developing trust across functions and cliques.

Tell her it won’t be as messy as she thinks!
Present your boss with a detailed plan that includes clearly articulated ground rules in which pets will be allowed into your office. Only well-trained and socialized animals will be welcome, minimizing disruptions and objectionable behavior. Also, tell your boss that as part of your plan, any pet who does misbehave will be sent home immediately and asked not to return.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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