Owning a Dog and Working: A Telephone Survey of Dog Owners and Employers in Sweden

Authors: Norling, Anna-Yezica; Keeling, Linda

Source: Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, 1 June 2010, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 157-171(15)


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Many dog owners are faced with the problem of what to do with their dog when they go to work. Different solutions to the problem may affect dogs, owners, and employers. In this study, 204 working, Swedish dog owners and 90 employers were interviewed by telephone regarding practical issues and attitudes, in order to identify problems and possible solutions. Results show that leaving the dog at home was the most common solution (73%), followed by bringing the dog to work (16%) and using some form of dog day care (11%). Although dogs were rarely left alone at home for longer than 6 hours, 53% of dog owners preferred or would prefer to bring the dog to work, if possible. However, 81% of all employers had never noticed such a demand. Written dog policies at the workplace were unusual (18%), and there seemed to be great uncertainty among dog owners about the current rules. Studies support the beneficial effects of dogs on many human health aspects, and a majority of dog owners (76%) felt they were healthier because of the dog. There was also a widespread view among employers (59%) that dogs contribute positively to a more social and pleasant workplace, but many argued that allergies (68%) and fear of dogs (66%) could be a problem. Leaving the dog at home will probably remain the practical solution for many dog owners, while bringing the dog to work could be the option with the greatest potential for expansion.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175303710X12682332910015

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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