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Owning a dog and working: a telephone survey of dog owners and employers in Sweden

By A. Y. Norling, L. Keeling

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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.

Publication Title Anthrozoos
Volume 23
Issue 2
Pages 157-171
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
Publisher Bloomsbury Journals (formerly Berg Journals)
DOI 10.2752/175303710X12682332910015
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Environment and Health, Section of Ethology and Animal Welfare, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7068, S-750 07, Uppsala,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Allergy
  2. Animal diseases
  3. Animal physiology
  4. Animal rights
  5. Animals
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Anthrozoology
  8. Attitudes
  9. Canidae
  10. Canine
  11. Carnivores
  12. Developed countries
  13. Dogs
  14. Effect
  15. Europe
  16. Health
  17. Mammals
  18. OECD countries
  19. peer-reviewed
  20. Pets and companion animals
  21. Policy and Planning
  22. Research
  23. Scandinavia
  24. Social psychology and social anthropology
  25. Studies
  26. surveys
  27. Sweden
  28. vertebrates
  29. work
  1. peer-reviewed