12 most dog-friendly offices in the U.S.

Most of us aren’t able to bring our best friends to work regularly — unless the friend happens to be a dog and you happen to work at a pet-friendly employer.

In honor of the upcoming Canine Co-Worker Day, on June 26, dog-sitting website Rover.com highlighted offices across the U.S. that are exceptionally open to our four-legged friends. These companies offer a range of dog-friendly amenities, from discounts on pet insurance to dog spas and complimentary treats. Three of them are located in the Bay Area.

Rover.com did not follow a formal process to obtain information for its list of 12 offices, which includes Rover.com. The Seattle company researched offices with dog-friendly policies and followed up to make sure those policies were still in place.

Rover.com and Wakefield surveyed more than 1,000 pet owners to find their feelings about bringing animals to the office. 78 percent of employed respondents said they would bring their dog to work if their company allowed it and 63 percent said they would do so frequently. Dogs can provide stress relief at work and may be able to lower blood pressure, according to Kathryn Lisko, training and on-boarding project specialist at Rover.com.

“You can take a break to get cuddles or play tug-o-war, and you have to get fresh air several times a day when you take your dog outside,” Lisko said in an email. “It’s pretty hard to be stressed in a meeting when a dog jumps up on the table and starts licking your face! They’re also fantastic ice breakers between teams, as dogs are convinced everyone in the office is employed to pet them, and that’s a great conversation starter.”

Are you looking to add pups into your office? Veterinarians and veterinary technicians at pet insurance company Trupanion created a guide for introducing pets to the workplace. Steps include executive buy-in, landlord approval, pet policy creation, pet-proofing and employee notification.

Lisko recommends providing a safe space, like a crate, for the dog to have time to itself. New dogs should meet other office dogs one-on-one, rather than all at once. Co-workers should give the new dog treats so that the dog associates them with good things, according to Lisko. Even potty-trained dogs should be taken for a walk every two hours or so to avoid accidents.

Not all canines are able to handle the noise and activity of an office environment. Some are happier snoozing at home all day, according to Lisko, while other dogs get over-excited by all the potential friends an office provides and spend the day making noise. And, like with people, not every dog gets along with every other dog.

Julie Balise