Should we be able to take our dogs to work?

Graphic designers with dog working at computer in office
Some might love it, but the majority of people don't think dogs should be allowed in the office (Picture: Getty)

Google do it. So do Amazon. In the UK there’s even a special day dedicated to bringing your dog to work.

But despite a growing number of companies allowing dogs into the workplace, two thirds of Brits don’t think it should be allowed.

A YouGov poll for Yahoo UK asked people if, excluding service dogs like guide dogs, people should be allowed to bring their four-legged friend to work with them.

Just under two thirds (65%) said no, while one in four (23%) said they don’t have an issue with it, while 12% said they don’t know.

Younger people are more likely to be pro dogs in the office, with 35% of 18 to 24-year-olds saying yes compared to 17% of over 55s. Yet those picking no still outweighed the ‘yes’ votes, with half of 18 to 24-year-olds (50%) said they don’t think dogs should be allowed in the office.

Listen to the full episode of Britain is a Nation of... below

The issue is discussed on the latest issue of Yahoo UK’s podcast Britain Is a Nation Of…., which looks at the topic of animals.

Speaking on the podcast Nat Ingham, canine behaviourist and training manager at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, said while she agrees with animals in the workplace because of the benefits they bring, it’s about making sure it’s the right environment for that particular dog.

“You have to have the right animal in the right situation,” she said. “We have dogs in all of our offices at work so the dogs in kennels at Battersea have a bit of time out by going and hanging out in the offices.

“You can guarantee that there will be one dog per day who goes into the offices and we’re like, ‘actually you’re not suitable for this environment’ because they’re leaping on top of all the desks.”

Dog on chair, messy office
It's important to prepare a dog if you want to take them into work, says Nat Ingham (Picture: Getty)

Deciding to take your dog to work with you is more complicated than just dragging it into the office, says Nat, especially if you’ve rehomed that dog.

“The biggest thing is if somebody’s looking to rehome a dog or take on a dog and they can take their dogs to work they shouldn’t assume that just because they can do that it’s going to work.

“Every dog is an individual and every work environment is very different so I think you should always take on your pets being prepared to have to leave them at home and get a dog walker in or cat sitter if you’re working full time.

“Think of all those contingencies and then it’s a bonus if it works out and they settle into an office environment. People just think, ‘oh I’ll just walk in and let my dog off lead, in an office environment it’s going to be fine’.”

While she thinks it’s a great idea, Nat says various preparations have to be put in place, from taking time to train your dog to be in the office - perhaps taking a week off but still going to the office and taking the dog to get used to it, to having bins with lids and making sure people’s bags are zipped up.

“I think it is about thinking about the animal. You couldn’t have an office where all of a sudden 20 people come to work with their dogs - 20 dogs might not get on - so you’d have to have a rota.

“There’s things that would need to be thought of around it and also you’d need to educate people in that work environment on dog body language so they’re not interacting with dogs that maybe want to chill out and be by themselves for a bit.”

This survey was made possible by YouGov’s panel of 6 million respondents. Join the trend and share your opinions with the world today.