Pets at Work: Animal Lover’s Dream or Liability Nightmare?

Americans love their pets. In fact, pets have become such a part of our lives that we celebrate National Bring Your Pet to Work Day each June. Some employers are even known for making this a year-round event. Corporate giants Amazon, Google, and Salesforce all have open-door policies for employees’ dogs.

But is this a good idea for your small business? That depends. If you want to make your company paw-friendly, it’s important to keep PUPS in mind.

Property damage: Allowing animals in your work space increases your risk for property damage. From chewing to scratching to surprise restroom breaks, pets can wreak havoc on your surroundings. It’s important to weigh these risks with the benefits.

Unproductive workforce: The presence of animals could increase morale and improve productivity, or it could have the opposite effect. Employees might be distracted with pet care. Others might not be fans of animals or may suffer from allergies.

Personal injury: Bites are the obvious concern if dogs are in the workplace, but scratches, allergic reactions, and trips-and-falls are also possibilities.

Standards: If you rent your office space, you must adhere to the regulations established by your landlord. Your lease may have a standard no-pet policy. Be sure to check this out before you decide to put out the animal welcome mat.

As you determine your pet policy, consult with your insurance agent to determine whether these pet-related incidents are covered under your property and liability policies.