We love our pets and wish we could bring them everywhere with us. While there has been an increase in the number of pet-friendly workplaces, not all industries can make the same accommodations. Pet owners who work on construction sites, warehouses, farms, and other places with heavy equipment face a bigger challenge when it comes to bringing four-legged friends to work. To help keep you, your pet, and other on-site workers safe, Equipment Trader has come up with eight questions to ask when bringing your pet to a jobsite.
Does My Supervisor Allow Pets?
Before you consider bringing your pet to a jobsite, you’ll need to ask if your supervisor or on-site manager has any strict rules against them. Some supervisors will allow pets as long as they can be safely situated away from the hustle and bustle of a jobsite. Ask your manager if there are any procedures already in place for bringing a pet to work. Once you work out some logistics, which we’ll discuss below, you can emphasize the necessary safety measures you’ll take if you do bring your pet to a work zone. Be prepared to answer any questions your supervisor may have, and possibly fill out pet-related liability paperwork. You’ll also want to work with your manager to find out if any workers have allergies to pets.
Does the Property Owner Allow Pets?
Similarly to asking your supervisor if you can bring your pet, you should also check with the property owner, if applicable. Getting the approval from your manager does not mean that the owner of the home or business where you’re working will be just as accepting of your animal. If you work as an independent contractor, you may be your own boss, but you’ll still need to check with whoever owns the property before bringing your pet.
Is My Pet a Service Animal?
Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are considered a reasonable accommodation to a job. An employee can request that their service animal is present as an accommodation for their disability. Title I applies to private employers with 15 or more employees, as well as labor unions. Under the ADA, service animals are defined specifically as dogs and do not include emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals.
Is My Pet Trained Well Enough?
Before you start packing your pet a bag, make an honest assessment of whether or not they will be able to adjust to the environment you work in. The buzzing and banging of loud machinery in an unfamiliar environment can create extreme stress for your pet. You know your pet better than anyone, so you’ll need to decide if their social and behavioral skills would be a good fit for a busy jobsite. Your dog should be comfortable and trained enough to be around other people without barking, jumping, or—even worse—biting. You also want to ensure your pet will return when called. If your pet tends to run away as soon as they get off the leash, they don’t belong near a jobsite. Keep in mind that you will likely be personally liable for any onsite accidents that involve your pet.
Where Will I Leave My Pet?
On certain jobsites, you may be tempted to let your pet roam free. However, it’s best for the safety of your pet and for the efficiency of everyone working around you to find a designated space for your pet to relax while you work. If your warehouse or construction site has an on-site office or trailer, you could set your pet up there with permission from the employees who work inside. Create a comfortable set up for your pet, outfitted with a small bed or pillow, a quiet toy, treats, and a water dish. If your pet is crate trained, and won’t bark too much when left alone, that is also a great solution, as long as you give your pet time out of the crate to stretch their legs and use the bathroom.
If you are working on a farm or landscaping a property with large green space, ask your manager or the property owner if there’s an enclosed area for your pet to run and play. This gives your pet some freedom while staying out of the way of other workers and equipment.
Will My Coworkers Be Able to Work Around My Pet?
Having your pet on the jobsite will surely make you happy, but what about the people who work with you? Even if your pet is well-behaved, animal interactions always have the risk of taking a turn for the worse, especially in the sometimes-intense atmosphere of a work zone. Here’s what you need to find out about your coworkers:
- Are they afraid of pets?
- Are they allergic to pets?
- Will they be unsafely distracted by pets?
- Will they be able to safely work and operate machinery with pets around?
- Do they know how to appropriately interact with a pet if they decide to say hi?
- Do they know to not purposefully or accidentally let the pet out of its enclosure?
If you work on a small team, these questions may be easy to answer with confidence. However, if you work with a large crew, it’s likely more difficult to determine these responses. If you cannot confidently address each of these concerns, err on the side of caution and leave your pet at home.
Should I Really Bring My Pet to a Jobsite?
You may go through each of the above questions and find that technically you are able and allowed to bring a pet to a jobsite. However, it still might be the wrong choice. Work zones are always unpredictable, with constant risks of accident and injury, not to mention plenty of loud and scary stimuli that can startle a pet. Animals, including the cute ones, also come with a level of unpredictability, with the chance that wild instinct can override even the best training. Is it really a good idea to put those two sources of uncertainty together? If you, your manager, the property owner, or your coworkers have any doubt at all, don’t bring your pet to work. If you’re worried about your pet being left alone at home, there are plenty of pet-sitting, walking, and boarding options that can give your pet the attention it needs while keeping it safe and secure.
How Did My Pet Do?
If you ultimately decide to bring your pet to work, remember that their first day on the jobsite should be a trial run. Instead of a full day, you may want to only have your pet there for a few hours, just to see how they behave. Evaluate your pet’s demeanor. If they’re showing signs of stress, aggression towards others, or unruly behavior, a return visit to work is not a good idea. While you can’t expect everyone on the jobsite to be thrilled about having your pet around, try to have some conversations with your supervisor and coworkers about how the situation is working out. There may be room for compromise to help everyone, including your pet, get along great.
Conclusion: Having your pet at work can help improve your mood on the job, while also being a good way to keep an eye on your furry companion if you don’t want to leave them at home. These questions should help you decide if bringing your pet to a jobsite is a good idea, along with how to help your pet adjust if you are able to bring them. It’s important to think ahead and take any necessary precautions before your four-legged friend sets one paw on your jobsite.
While a pet is not a necessity on a jobsite, top-of-the-line heavy equipment is. Shop for your next piece of machinery on the nationwide marketplace at EquipmentTrader.com or our sister site RockAndDirt.com.