Why office dogs are more than add-ons

I am self-employed since I initially started my professional career in 2001 and – apart from some minor exceptions – was always very tied to the work I did. Mostly it was coding or at least very tech related work that needs hours of focus without communication and – if you are in the dev tunnel (as a coder you know what I mean) – without interruptions. This can – for complex things – be an ongoing matter of weeks.
But how do you de-stress yourself and get some relaxation between those focus work time-slots? This is the story how I found my inner peace.

First time learning - Amy

It was in 2008 – and by accident – that we adopted a small street puppy, which from day 1 on, joined us in our office and – like puppies mostly do – won all team members‘ hearts within seconds. We called her Amy!

It took me around one minute in the office to understand that this was not only a win for Amy herself to leave the streets of Lardos (a small town in Greece, Island of Rhodos) but also for our team. Ever since at least one office dog was an essential part of the offices we ran.
In the meantime we saw numerous office dogs within our companies (our own and from team members) and I never regretted to encourage people to have dogs and also to bring them to work.

My learnings from having office dogs

Over the years I had lots of discussions with partners, clients and other managers about this topic. Sure, there might be downsides, e.g. that some people would not join your company if there are dogs around. But from what I learned, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, whereby my top reasons are:


A dog is a heart opener

I believe that a good start into the day is essential. This is why I value excellent coffee and a run with our dog as first action of the day. Now imagine you are coming into the office and the first thing that happens is that you are welcomed by a lovely dog and then you fetch your first cup of excellent Espresso. Sounds great, right?

A dog is a stress killer

Since more than 10 years there have always been dogs around us in the offices and I cannot remember any team member who did not one or the other time over the day just pet them for a minute or two. Even the ones that initially stated that they were afraid became close friends to our four-legged feel-good managers.
Sure, this only works with friendly dogs, but this in my opinion is a basic requirement if your dog joins you anywhere. Also this needs very open communication in the beginning – we do not hide our dogs anywhere, so when people apply they meet the dog as well as all other team members.
Having said this, everyone knows these days where nothings works out as expected. You might have done something wrong, a client was very angry or unfriendly (fortunately this rarely happens for us) or you are just not feeling well. There is someone who does not care for all this and will just be your friend: Have a bit of interaction with the dogs, use our large office hallway to throw some tennis balls, hand over some treats. People feel instant relief and have a smile on their face again.

Statistically dogs reduce sick leaves

To be honest, I cannot proof this one, because there was no real „without dogs“ office time to measure against. And also this was never the reason why I was very open for people bringing their dogs to work (I grew up having a dog around me and always enjoyed it so I never saw a reason to not enable the team to experience the same). But there are so many interesting reports from people who measured this that I would not want to proof them wrong ;).

Dogs increase the mood

Usually I do not like generic statements like this, but this is what we encounter. When our previous dog Izzy passed the Rainbow Bridge I could not really think of having a new dog. So it became quiet in the offices and the general mood went to an all-time low. I would never want to see this kind of mood killing „I do not want to see the office“ feeling anymore. In the meantime Wilma joined us – and since the first day there is this heart-warming friendliness back in the work space.

Current situation

Honestly, Corona hit us hard! Not in terms of our daily work process, as we were always very open regarding home office and our whole infrastructure always foresaw working from anywhere. And also not in terms of business – we deliver digital support, software development and e-commerce consulting. Not the worst industry to be in since Covid hit the world. But we were hit in terms of personal well-being.
Not having daily personal interaction with the team, since one year now, left big marks on the inside of everyone on the team. And as stated above, our services were more demanded than ever (not that we had boredom or not enough work before 2020) and without an „office day“ you just continue working in the evening, you start earlier in the morning and you basically lose your daily balance (I do not use the term „work-life-balance“ on purpose – see my other blog post about it).
Not everyone on our team has a dog, so the daily interaction with the office dog is not possible anymore – I am the lucky one who has Wilma with him, so I am out in the forest at least twice per day (regardless of mood and weather) which – now looking back on the last months – makes me feel better than most others I know. I could not even imagine how this would have gone without the dog keeping me sane, especially on the stressful days.


I would advise anyone who runs a team to encourage people to have dogs. There are reasons why companies like Google explicitly have a Dog Policy.
If you think that you want an office dog around you – or additionally look for a place to work that feels like family and that welcomes not only you, but also your own dog – we are always hiring top tech and e-commerce talents (including their four-legged friends), please check our vacancies – or send us your speculative application.

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