Hello! Paws up if you’d like to know more about us, our puppies, or our events?
These FAQ's have been created to help you understand what we do and how we care for the pups who come along to your workplace, to help give you your best day at work. Ever
What is Puppy Therapy?
Puppy therapy is a chance for employees to take time away from their desks, switch off and spend a memorable 25 minutes with a gorgeous litter of puppies in our expertly crafted summer garden set-up. It’s not always possible for employees to enjoy the benefits of time with animals thanks to busy schedules and lengthy commutes, so it seemed like the perfect fit to bring puppies in, and for the last 5 years, it has proven to be every bit as uplifting as we had hoped.
Why Puppy Therapy?
Because we know puppy therapy is absolutely brilliant! Even during the busiest working day, we believe that cuddling and playing with puppies is an ideal way to redress the balance. Scientific studies have shown a positive effect from the activity of interacting with a pet, including decreased blood pressure and reduced levels of cortisol. Combine this with the benefits to the puppies also, and it's a win-win.
Where are you based?
Paws in Work is based in the UK in Chiswick W4. Currently, we deliver our puppy therapy sessions in London and surrounding areas (65 miles from Chiswick to be precise!) but plan to be expanding soon.
Are you insured?
Absolutely. We have the highest level of insurance for our events, including Public Liability insurance, Transport insurance, and full insurance for our puppies to ensure our events are covered to the finest detail. We are also extremely proud to be the only fully licensed puppy therapy company in the UK. Our licence ensures the welfare of our pups is of paramount importance.
Please don't settle for unlicensed imitations of our service. It really is in the puppies' best interest!
How can I get involved? What are the staff qualifications?
All Paws in Work staff are MHFA trained and Pet First Aid trained and have completed a Level 2 award in Principles of Puppy Socialisation. Take a look at our current vacancies on our careers page to find out if we have the perfect job for you.
Is it beneficial for the puppies?
Believe it or not, the puppies benefit the most from this heartwarming experience! The puppies get a great deal of vital socialisation from our events, which is essential to their development and a great basis for them to grow into happy, healthy dogs.
The ideal opportunity to socialise puppies doesn’t always present itself to every dog owner, but with Paws in Work, the puppies are given a fun, safe environment that is perfect for them to become more used to meeting different people, experience new textures, smells, sounds, sights and getting used to travelling too. We simply pick them up in the morning and take them home in the afternoon after their fun day of socialising!
The welfare of our puppies is our number one priority and each event is structured to absolutely ensure their care, safety and happiness throughout it. During events, we work on the basis of no more than a ratio of 2:1 of people to puppies so the young pups aren’t overwhelmed by it all. The pups have nothing but a positive experience at all our events and regular feedback to our breeders on their development is all part of it.
Where do you get the puppies from? Do you own them?
No, we don’t own them. Our puppies are sourced from vetted, ethical, reputable and fully trusted owners. Each potential owner must go through a Home Visit Check whereby one of our Animal Welfare Breeder Team will visit the home of the owner and there's a strict criteria that must be met in order to work with us. If we are happy that they fulfil the criteria and represent what good ethical breeding looks like, they will be fully onboarded to be a part of our programme.
We are working to raise awareness of ethical breeding and what to avoid in order to put a stop to puppy farms. We’re trying a new spin on raising awareness, and what to avoid if you are looking to get your forever pup. We are a nation of dog lovers, but are still very uneducated on what 'good' really looks like.
It is also our aim to create a movement via viral content in order to support the rehoming of dogs to loving new homes as well as to generate income for trusts, re-homing centres and mental health charities alike. Considering the welfare and happiness of our puppies is at the heart of everything we do.
Are the puppies for sale?
Paws in Work do not breed puppies, we don’t sell them and we don’t get involved with their rehoming. However, if you have fallen in love with a pup in session, you can fill out our Breeder Match Form on our website, where our Animal Welfare Breeder Team will then pass your details on to the appropriate trusted owner.
Where do the puppies go after their time at Paws in Work?
The majority of the puppies that join us at our events go to their forever homes when we have completed their socialisation programme. This means when they go to their forever homes they will be much more prepared for the next big step. Many of the key aspects of their socialisation will have already been covered through our structured programme, and they in-turn settle in much better away from brothers and sisters.
How old are the puppies at your events?
The age of the puppies at a Paws in Work event can differ on a litter-by-litter basis, but typically the puppies are aged between 6 and 12 weeks old. We won’t work with a litter of puppies until they are fully weaned off their Mum. We take many measures to make sure that during a puppy’s first ‘fear period’ they are presented with nothing but positive reinforcement. Their time with us depends on when they are due to go to their forever homes, or if they get too big and start trying to climb over our fencing (we’re looking at you Labradors!)
Do Paws in Work work with rescue dogs?
If a rescue centre is able to pass our checks and meet the criteria we need and we are satisfied that working with us would be in the pup’s best interests, we’re very happy to work with litters in rescue. Our events are aimed to give the puppies the best start to life as possible throughout the socialisation program; an important stage of a puppy’s development. By completing our programme, it reduces the chances of dogs being rehomed in the future, something we at Paws in Work are extremely passionate about.
We find at times that rescue pups require much more specific one-to-one training due to a range of possible traumas, and therefore, whilst the idea is lovely, it may not always be in their best interest to join us. Regardless, we are determined to do our bit for shelters in other ways. Find out more here.
Do the puppies get to have a break?
The events themselves are like a break for the puppies, as the events allow them to just get on with being puppies, so while many will play, some will just want to relax or sleep, so that’s exactly what they do. This is all about the puppies feeling safe and happy in nice surroundings, and your work colleagues getting lost in the puppy life for a short while. We do have a planned lunch break in proceedings also so our puppies can eat and digest without any human distractions.
How many litters are at an event?
We work with an individual litter from one household at each event due to the young age of the puppies and their need to be around their brothers and sisters at this stage of their development. On very rare occasions, we may be able to work across litters from the same breed and household, however, this has a few more checks for us to go over, mainly in line with their specific socialisation requirements.
Where is the puppies’ Mum while they’re off having fun?
Mum is typically at home, relaxing! The time away from her pups is beneficial for both her and her little ones, as it can help the natural weaning process and help develop independence. By the time her pups are weened, Mum needs a break from them suckling so as to avoid unnecessary stress on her, as well as other undesirable symptoms. Our events are a great way for Mum to gradually detach herself from the puppies prior to them leaving for their forever homes and to focus on herself getting back up to speed.
How are the puppies transported to the event?
We’re glad you asked! We have a specially modified puppy vehicle to get the puppies to each event safely. There will always be a Paws in Work staff member in the back with them monitoring their behaviour, and keeping them company! Generally, most pups can be found sleeping during the journey to and from our events. Travelling with brothers and sisters is one of the most beneficial experiences for our puppies. A puppy's first time in transit tends to be when they are getting vaccinated, which obviously can be a very daunting experience. At Paws in Work they are travelling with their siblings and by the end of their time with us, they associate the travel with playtime and fun, and it being a positive, reinforcing experience!
What happens at the event?
At our events, small groups of employees come along to our specially constructed puppy spaces, set up in your office, and get to spend precious time with a litter of beautiful puppies.
Our summer garden set-ups are comfortable for both pups and employees and also offer spaces for the puppies to relax if it all gets a bit too exciting. Busy staff are encouraged to take a break from their schedules and to come along and play with beautiful puppies for a short while, before heading back to their desks feeling uplifted and energised and ready to deliver their best work. Our sessions last around 25 minutes per group.
Each session will play a specific part in our puppy socialisation programme, meaning your staff play a direct part in their vital development, giving a sense of gratification on top of it all!
What hygiene measures do you take?
We set up our own artificial turf which is completely sanitised for every event. Staff are required to remove shoes and lanyards to join in with our sessions and are provided with antibacterial gel for their hands and fresh blankets for their clothes. We use a veterinary-approved sanitiser to kill viruses that may have an effect on puppies, minimising as much risk as possible, just to be extra safe. We ensure we never cross-contaminate our setups from litter to litter. Our team (of nearly 30) ensures we can operate sustainably to a very high standard, without compromising our pups' safety.
What about allergies?
We bring along air filters with HEPA and active carbon filters which remove 99.97% of allergens, dust, pollen, smoke and pet dander. Combined with our enclosed setup, we minimise the spread of allergens as much as possible.
Can those in a wheelchair/ unable to sit on the floor join a puppy therapy session?
Everyone is welcome to our sessions and our team will always be on hand to help, regardless of disabilities. If an attendee has a wheelchair, we can help bring their wheelchair into the set-up before the session starts. Our fencing panels are designed to be easily removable which makes this process nice and simple.
All attendees are able to get involved in our socialisation programme and for those who prefer a more hands-off approach, quieter 'sleepy' sessions can be recommended! Perfect for those who want to make a step towards conquering their fear of dogs.
For people who cannot sit on the floor, we also have the option of adding a sanitised chair to our setup.
Can I take photos at the event?
Yes, of course! If you post them on social media, please tag us so we can share the joy.
Have Paws in Work been to offices that aren’t dog-friendly?
Yes, we have, many times. It’s good to note here that the puppies never come into contact with office spaces themselves. Once they arrive in their discreet puppy travel stroller, they are taken straight to the area where the event will take place, on artificial turf with a special protective underlay. Our RAMS documents are on hand to support your building services ready for the event.
What are the room requirements to stage one of your events?
The minimum requirement is a space of 6mx6m, but if you can offer us a bigger space then that’s great too! We monitor the temperature of our space also, to ensure the puppies comfort throughout the day. We like to set up quickly when we get to your location, so if any chairs or desks can be cleared away prior to our arrival, that would be a huge help. We always complete a risk assessment prior to the event day to make sure the place is suitable for our pups. Board rooms, breakout rooms or enclosed office spaces work really well for us.
Can we bring children to the event?
Unfortunately, our events have a minimum age of 16 years for participation.
What shall I wear to puppy therapy event?
There’s no dress code at a Paws in Work event, but we do ask that you take off your shoes, loose jewellery, and any lanyards before the session starts. We would recommend wearing clothing that you are comfortable sitting down in during the puppy therapy session. We provide throws to cover up clothing (also for the pups to get nice and comfy). And don’t worry about dog hair - we provide lint rollers to remove any puppy hair from your threads, but you'll soon see that puppies don’t really moult all that much anyway. Please ensure your clothes are clean, however, for our puppies interest at heart.
What about waste? Will there be mess everywhere at the end of the event?
Nope. Paws in Work will clear away any mess and take it with us at the end of the day. We make sure the room is left as it was when we arrived. You won’t even notice we were here (apart from the grins on your employee's faces!)
Do you offer half-day events or events over multiple days?
Head to the above booking link to let us know your specific requirements. Our bookings team will help talk you through the approach to make your event a complete hit!
Do I have to manage booking my employees onto sessions?
We are happy to say that the whole booking process is taken care of. Our bespoke built booking system ensures your team are able to book on, join the waiting lists, receive photos and give their feedback without you having to lift so much as a finger. Making the whole event seamless. As an event organiser, you have the ability to add VIP's on ahead of time and keep up to date with how the bookings are looking.
How can I be sure each slot is filled?
We have made sure that any 'no shows' are cancelled off after 10 minutes, and all those on the waiting list are updated automatically. With one button click, those waiting for some puppy cuddles will be able to swap into the empty space, ready for their puppy experience to begin! This process will also happen if an attendee cancels their slot ahead of time.
How do I communicate the event to my team?
Once you have booked your event, our Team Lead will be in touch to get you set up on your unique dashboard. We will show you how to set up your event, ready to go live at the time you specify. People say it's "like waiting for Glastonbury tickets to drop!"
Will I know if people don't attend?
As the event organiser, you will see those colleagues who were a no-show, those who cancelled their slots, and even those who have been kind enough to 'donate' their sessions to colleagues.
How can I book a session?
Head over to our booking page. Fill in your details and we’ll get back to you asap.
Still have a question? Drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org