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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 498; doi:10.3390/ijerph14050498

Dogs in the Workplace: A Review of the Benefits and Potential Challenges

1
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
2
College of Education and Human Services, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
3
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jo Williams
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 1 May 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Interventions and Activities for Health and Wellbeing)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [343 KB, uploaded 8 May 2017]

Abstract

Pet dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs can be seen in workplaces with increasing frequency. Although dogs may provide many benefits to employees and employers, their presence may introduce additional hazards and concerns to the work environment. Therefore, decisions to accept dogs in the workplace may include many considerations including the health, safety, and well-being of employees, legal and cultural sensitivities, and animal welfare. The present paper serves to introduce the issue of dogs in the workplace and outline the potential benefits and challenges to their presence. The legal accommodations afforded to certain types of dogs in workplace settings are discussed, and the research findings pertaining to the potential benefits of dogs on human health and well-being are summarized. The paper concludes with considerations for human resource management personnel in the areas of diversity, employee relations, ethics and corporate responsibility, organizational and employee development, safety and security, and legal considerations, as well as suggested topics for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal-assisted activities; animal-assisted interventions; pet effect; mental health animal-assisted activities; animal-assisted interventions; pet effect; mental health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Foreman, A.M.; Glenn, M.K.; Meade, B.J.; Wirth, O. Dogs in the Workplace: A Review of the Benefits and Potential Challenges. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 498.

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