Jo Ann Woodsum
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Templates for Creating Your Company’s Workplace Dog Policy

A comprehensive workplace dog policy may include a variety of forms:

1. Pet Policy

The company’s pet policy may include the company’s philosophy about dogs in the workplace.  Google’s policy famously notes that “Google’s affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture”.  In addition to the company’s dog philosophy, the pet policy should outline the responsibilities of each employee dog owner when bringing dogs into the workplace.  For an example of such a policy, see Trackster’s which is included on its website.

2. Pet Owner Application

Each employee will need to complete an application detailing the dog(s) who the employee wishes to bring to the workplace.  Details will include name, size, breed, confirmation of spay/neuter and age.  A photo of the dog and owner should be included in the file.

3. Vaccination Records

Each employee will need to complete a record of vaccinations for each dog and the form should be signed by the dog’s veterinarian.

4. Pet Rules and Regulations in the Workplace

The pet rules and regulations will lay out all of the basic rules – addressing everything from path of travel to the “elimination” area, to no barking, to requirement for supervising dog at all times, establishment of “dog-free” zones and other issues related to dogs being in the leased premises.  In addition, the rules and regulations will include the grounds for losing the privilege of bringing a dog to the office.

5. Employer/Employee Agreement

Many dog workplace policies include an agreement between the company and the individual employee.  Standard elements of this form might include: (i) agreement of employee to be responsible for his or her dog at all times; (ii) agreement that pet is healthy, current on all medications and has been temperament tested, (iii) a representation that the dog has no history of biting or other aggressive behavior; (iv) a waiver of the right to bring any claims against the company, and (v) an indemnification of company by employee for all losses suffered as a result of such employee’s dog(s). Purina has a helpful template on their website.

Sample Tenant Policy – has a useful set of templates available on their website and outlines the process for adopting a dog policy.  The Humane Society of the United States includes numerous forms in the appendices of their book, Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces (2008).

Pets at WorkJo Ann Woodsum