The Soothing Power Of Office Dogs
Pets are known for their therapeutic qualities, so it’s not surprising that more and more employers are welcoming dogs into the office. It may not come with a job description but as Molly, resident Jack Russell at pet food company Town & Country Petfoods, explains, their role is all about offering support.
From my vantage point, it’s easy to spot when one of my co-workers might benefit from a little time with me. Starting a new job is always a nerve-wracking experience, so whenever someone joins us, I always go over to greet them and it naturally starts a conversation – do they like dogs (I hope so!), do they have one at home, what is their favourite breed?
Since becoming part of the team, I’ve seen first-hand how soothing my presence can be. I’ll often sit under a colleague’s desk by their feet or fall asleep on their lap as they work, bringing a sense of calm during hectic periods. No matter how busy they are, I always encourage people to take a walk at lunchtime as it really helps them to focus their mind on the afternoon ahead. A breath of fresh air and a brisk walk around the local park really can do wonders for your concentration and stress levels.
Around the world, it seems dogs like me are playing an increasingly important role in boosting morale in the workplace. Such is the positive effect of an office pooch, we have even been credited with helping to attract and retain staff, as well as being a talking point for clients – not bad considering I spend most of the day snoozing.
Sadly, not everyone is lucky enough to have their own dog even if they would like to. Perhaps they live in a city apartment with limited space or they simply don’t have time for daily walks. In other cases, a member of their household might have an allergy that prevents someone with fur moving in. Whatever the reason, I’m only too happy to share my time and affection with them during the working day.
Anyone who needs further persuasion that dogs help people to relax or become more confident should take a look at the wonderful work of the charity, Pets as Therapy. Each week, volunteers and their pets go along to places like hospitals and nursing homes, providing comfort and companionship to people who may be feeling vulnerable. Dogs also go into schools to listen to the children read in a more relaxed environment, helping them to come out of their shell and boosting their self-esteem.
We have been sponsoring the HiLife PAT (Pets as Therapy) Dog of the Year for well over a decade now and it’s not surprising really. My co-workers understand more than most how we can lift spirits.