Is your office pet friendly or interested in allowing employees to bring pets to the office? There’s science that supports this as a good decision. A study from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business found that “animals in the workplace buffer stress for workers and make the job more satisfying for those who come into contact with furry friends.”

The Barter Company is home to two rescue cats Bobo and Roscoe. The office cats have been keeping employees and visitors company for four years. “We wanted to do more to promote pet adoptions and show other companies the advantages of being a pet-friendly workplace,” explained Ric Zampatti, CEO of The Barter Company. Employees take turns feeding and caring for the cats and even check on them during long weekends. The cats in return provide love and affection to everyone in the office.

As a business owner, before deciding if your company should become pet friendly, here are a few tips to consider courtesy of The Bark’s website, a national magazine for dog enthusiasts:

  1. Start off with a dog committee made up of dog owners and non-dog owners to draft a policy.
  2. Dogs must be friendly to humans and other dogs.
  3. Make sure there are readily accessible outdoor areas for dog “breaks.”
  4. Follow a dog “hire” policy where a new dog is interviewed for acceptability into the workplace.

If you’re still unsure, a good time to try this out without making a commitment is during Take Your Pet to Work Week June 20-24. This annual event, established by Pet Sitters International, encourages offices to welcome pets to the workplace for a day or the week.