Want to Bring Your Dog to Work?

| Jodie Otter MSW

Want to bring your dog to work with you? Here's how to get them trained and prepped for the daily grind. Learn even more with AKC's Dogs at Work guide.


Transitioning back into the office is difficult enough without having to leave your dog behind. Let’s face it: your coworkers may be great, but having your furry best friend by your side might give you the extra motivation you need to make it through the workday.

Here’s the good news: many companies are making the change to allow dogs in the office. Think your office is up for it? Check out these tips for making the case to your boss or to help transition your workplace into a dog-friendly environment.

First Things First

While many of us agree it would be fantastic If every office were dog-friendly, it might not be the safest or most feasible option for your workplace. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself before deciding if your office is ready to make the move to being dog-friendly:

  • Is your workplace free of heavy equipment and machinery?

  • Does each employee have a personal workspace, such as an office or cubicle, where they can confine their dogs?

  • If visitors come into the office, can you easily separate them from the dogs, if needed?

  • Are there spaces you can easily designate as a “No Dogs Zone?”

  • Are there employees that could and would help implement and oversee this program?

If you answered “No” to one or more of these questions, now may not be the best time to become a dog-friendly workspace. If not, let’s take a look at how you can get started!

Tips to Get Started

Your office may have specific rules in place before approving a dog as work-ready; however, the following general guidelines will help your dog put their best paw forward. Always refer to your company’s policy on what is required before stepping a paw in the office!

Start with Training

Keeping your dog well-trained results in a well-behaved dog. For training, we recommend Canine Good Citizen (CGC) testing. Started by the American Kennel Club in 1989, this program was designed to reward dogs who have mastered basic commands. If you’re interested in CGC testing, you can prepare at home or enroll in a training class with a certified evaluator near you.

Get Insurance

Your workplace may require you to obtain renter’s or homeowner’s insurance with a minimum $100,000 liability to cover any incident that may occur with your dog. When applying to have your dog approved by your workplace, you will likely be required to submit proof of insurance.

Keep Up on Vaccinations

To ensure your dog and everyone else in the office is healthy and safe, provide your employer with proof that your dog is up to date on their vaccination schedule and parasite prevention. 

Help Your Dog Apply for Their First Job

Once you’ve checked training, insurance, and vaccinations off the list, you’re ready to start filling out your dog’s application paperwork!

Before submitting your application, coordinate with a coworker to be your dog’s “buddy” in the office. This is someone who will be physically near you in the office and can step in and supervise your dog if you need to step away from your desk.

Keep Records

If your dog meets all the requirements, then they will be approved! If your office chooses to print certificates for approved dogs, proudly display it at your desk or cubicle to let the world know your dog is office ready!

Next Steps

Check out our Dogs At Work guide for more tips on how to get your dog office-ready!

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jodie otter
Jodie Otter MSW

As an avid fan of all things that meow or bark, Jodie uses her expertise in human and animal health to have a positive impact on the well-being of pets and their owners. Jodie lives in Durham, NC with her cat, "Noodle", and two dogs, "Lilly" and "Clementine".


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