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pet in doctor officeHave you heard of businesses that allow their employees to bring pets to work? There are plenty of perks associated with allowing dogs in the workplace, including lower stress levels, increased employee satisfaction and less absenteeism. But before making the announcement that furry friends are welcome at your own business, you have to start with a bit of research and consideration.

Cover Your legal Bases

First and foremost, you must ensure that your landlord allows pets if you lease the space. Once you’ve surpassed that hurdle, you must also check with your business insurance provider to see if pet damages and/or injuries are covered. In many cases, that obstacle can be overcome by requiring employees to sign a waiver stating that they accept legal responsibility for their pets while in the office. You must also check for any licensing regulations, particularly if your business handles food, beverages or personal care services.

Develop a Pet Policy

Before allowing dogs through the door, set up some guidelines and boundaries to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort. Some common regulations include:
  • Zero tolerance for aggressive behavior

  • Three accidents and you’re out

  • Dogs must respond to basic training commands like “sit” and “stay”

  • Proof of up-to-date vaccinations
While some people enjoy the company of man’s best friend, others are not as fond of animals; and it’s important to respect everyone in the workplace. Ensure that there are pet-free zones, particularly the break room. Additionally, it’s wise to limit the number of pets that are allowed in the workplace at any given time.

Adopt the Policy Gradually

Once everyone is made aware of the new pet policy, start slowly by allowing dogs to accompany their owners one day per week. Be sure to ask if anyone has concerns such as allergies and take action to accommodate their needs. If the policy is a success, you can expand it to everyday and create a signup sheet for people to bring their pooches so everyone knows how many dogs to expect on a given day.

We’ll be your partner in growing the success of your business. Call First Insurance Group at (800) 511-2892 for more information on Somerset business insurance.
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