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Work is for the Dogs - at least it should be!

By: Rebecca K. O’Connor

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Have you ever thought that life would be better if your dog could just come to work with you? Sure there are many people telecommuting these days, working in their PJs with their favorite pooch sleeping under the desk, but for many workers this just isn't an option. However, more and more offices and businesses around the country are making the work place a dog friendly environment. For some pet crazy folks with office jobs a good canine is good for business and good for morale.

These days it's not just CEOs and business owners that get to bring their favorite pooch to the office. A survey several done several years ago by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association found that having a pet in the office results in more productivity and decreased absenteeism. It's no secret that keeping a friendly canine or kitty around the house lowers blood pressure and improves overall emotional and physical health, but now businesses are starting to think about how this might apply to an office environment. Bringing pets to the workplace may be an excellent solution to corporate stress.

A report from the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association found that nearly 20 percent of U.S. companies allow pets to come to work with their employees on occasion. Some businesses have gone as far as creating a dog friendly environment in their offices. Carpet that can be removed in squares, crates for dogs to nap in, and a fenced and grassy yard specifically for play time and just as important as the copier and fax machine at some offices.

Pet Sitters International in recent years has organized a "Take Your Dog to Work Day." Thousands of businesses participate in the event which is designed to bring attention to the issue of pet overpopulation and the number of homeless animals in a positive way. The event is meant to demonstrate what wonderful pets dogs can be and get those without pets to think about adopting a homeless animal. Of course, what it has also done is get people thinking about how great it would be to have their pets at work with them all the time.

A recent study by online placement agency Simply Hired.com and the website Dogster found that 43 percent of dog owners would take a cut in pay up to 10 percent if they could bring their dog with them to work. Forty-nine percent also noted that they would change jobs if a comparable dog-friendly business was hiring. Pet crazy people are happier at work with their pets and clients are often happier as well. Las Vegas attorney Steve Morris has been bringing dogs to his firm's offices since the early 1990s and agrees. "Litigation can make people jittery. It's a high-stress activity. Dogs have therapeutic value in those kinds of situations." Millions of Americans would agree.

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