Pets at Work: 74 Animals Living the Startup Life

In a 2012 study published by Virginia Commonwealth University, researchers found that employees who brought their dogs to the workplace saw an 11% decrease in their stress levels, whereas those who left their dogs at home saw a 70% increase. Along the same vein, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites many animal experts who claim that owning a pet in itself can lead to increased opportunities for exercise and socialization, and consequently lead to a decrease overall blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Despite the potential/real benefits of bringing a pet to the workplace, not every office environment has a pet-friendly policy. Indeed, in many traditional offices, the thought of bringing an animal to work lends a perception of unprofessionalism and laid-back hippie-ism. Startups, however, recognize the benefits of implementing non-traditional policies that can help improve the quality of life at the workplace, and many allow pets at work. For many startups, these pets are not just mere pets; rather, they are a valuable part of the core team – essential in boosting overall morale and energizing members.

We reached out to startups and asked them if they had any animal coworkers around their offices, and we received close to 150 submissions.

Below, you can find 74 animals that are living the startup life alongside their human counterparts:


“Diamond is a one-year-old pit bull rescue that resides at the AffinityLive office in San Francisco along with two others. Watching the dogs do silly things at the office adds quite a bit of fun. It’s also great because they lift the whole vibe of the office, if things are slow or not going our way for a bit, the dogs are always happy to see everyone.” – Geoff McQueen, CEO of AffinityLive



“Kaida (a Shiba Inu) is Appeagle’s office dog, and she belongs to our CEO, Koby Kasnett. She comes in most days and always manages to put smiles on our faces. Sly, loving, and mysterious…she’s one foxy lady!” – Izabella De Souza, Marketing Coordinator at Appeagle


Ask a Stranger

“Our startup is of Hungarian origin so we have a Hungarian Vizsla called Lea. On the picture Lea is demonstrating her core competence: laying around and resting. To be fair, as she is over 10 years old, therefore she is allowed to do this while we are working day and night. Her symbolic age inspires us: we want our start-up to be around in 10 years time as well!” – Gabor Sved, Ask a Stranger



“Lily and Marshall are brother and sister dachshunds who often nap on desks, nestle behind us in our office chairs, bark at the postman, and stand on their hind legs to beg for belly rubs, which we are all more than happy to dole out. They make our office a happier place, except maybe when they have an accident on the wood floor. Still, we love them and couldn’t imagine work without their cute little faces.” – Alex Zaragoza, Head of Public Relations, Social Media at PRHaus/Brighthaus



“Meet Ginny, aka ‘Gigi’! Ginny is often prancing around the office sporting her BuildMyBod dog t-shirt! If she’s not busy ‘flirting,’ you will most likely find her curled up on someone’s lap.” – Kelsey Rypl, Marketing Director at BuildMyBod



“Ronak is a four-year-old Chocolate Lab. He is owned by CallFire’s President, Komnieve Singh…He spends a great deal of the day asleep, but he does perk up around lunchtime when he prowls around the office and goes trashcan diving. His primary daily exercise consists of bounding up and down the stairs between the second and third floors every time someone opens the door. Chloe is a three-year-old border collie owned by Evan Coury, a consultant working for CallFire. She lives in Phoenix, and comes to visit when Evan is in Santa Monica. Chloe knows an amazing amount of tricks, including “play dead” and “say your prayers,” which earn her well-deserved treats…[She] also sports a pink bandana, so that she is not mistaken for a male dog.” – CallFire Team



“The Chippmunk office stays productive and fun with the addition of our canine interns plus a rotating cast of foster dogs! Lily (white dog) provides moral support and mid-day break reminders, while Chance is monitoring coupon quality (the cone is proof of his work hard/play hard motto!). They also help with blog content, with Chance putting his paw up for all treat taste-testing duties – such as with this Barkbox.” – Brain Nickerson, Cofounder and CEO of Chippmunk



“That’s Maggie, an 8.5yr old Cavapoo and lead blogger over here at DoggyBnB next to me and the DoggyBnB Command Center. She is 100 percent of the time hanging out as close to a human as possible, so we fixed her up a day bed so she can be comfortable while she is in the mix all day. All of her creative thinking is done with her eyes closed. My partner Dan, our designer, and I work out of my two-bedroom in the West Village with their dogs joining the fun probably three days a week.” – Adam Pokornicky, CEO and cofounder of DoggyBnB



“Droplet is reinventing the way plants get water, using the latest technology in robotics, cloud computing and connected services to transform the way sprinkler systems function. But, for Buddy, it’s more of a toy and a reason he gets to hang out with all of his Dad’s co-workers. ‘Son’ of Steve Fernholz, founder and CEO of Droplet, Buddy is a purebred Border collie and entered Steve’s life when he was 7 weeks old and 7 pounds. Today, he’s nearly 12 years old with a birthday coming up shortly.” – Droplet Team



“This is Housta. Our UX Designer, Assaf, found her living on the streets of Tel Aviv and immediately fell in love with her. Fast forward four years and Housta (and Assaf) have come to the Bay Area to be a part of the Duda team. As you can see, her main job is laying around and looking cute.” – Josh Brost, Director of Communications at Duda



“Bella is almost as old as Educents (only a few weeks older). She will be two-year-old at the end of October. She delights in keeping the office safe from every UPS man, participates in staff meetings, and has fallen in love with our graphic designer after she accidentally ate his lunch that was left out on his desk. Charlie Browner is three years old. He started prancing into the office once a week in November 2014. Not sure you would call him the office dog; Charlie has more catlike qualities. When staff members arrive in the morning, Charlie greets them at the door and rolls on his back for a belly rub. Charlie spends most of his office hours sunbathing, rolling around on the carpet, and running in circles with Bella.” – Educents Team



“Nana is a great office companion because she’s the one ’employee’ that shows her loyalty 100 percent of the time. She loves to sit guard outside my office and sleep, but if I go anywhere in the office she follows me around; so, I’m never out of her sight for very long. Nana is the best tool for screening new employees that we’ve ever had, because she’s the best judge of character. She’s only barked at a new hire once, and that person didn’t work out. If Nana doesn’t like you, [then] you’re out. My other baby, Cruz, spent his entire puppyhood at the eZanga office. It was essential for bonding with my new baby in the early months, and everyone loved having him around!” – Beth Kahn, CFO of eZanga



“Belka is the highlight of our days when she’s in the office – she entertains us by doing doggy yoga in the center of our huddle circles during our weekly standing staff meetings, and she hangs out on the couch with us during team check-ins.” – Molly Cronin, Partnerships Manager at Flocabulary



“Our Food52 Shop Editor & Stylist Bryce Longton’s dog Spanky is like family in our office. He stars in our photo shoots, takes long and luxurious naps at his desk and is known for have the loudest sneeze in the office. He is potentially the quietest dog – he rarely barks and as such is invited to all meetings.” – Haley Sonneland, PR and Audience Development Director at Food52


Fusion Charts

“Novio is the office’s golden boy(retriever). He usually goes by RedBull, NuNu and Novio at work. Having him at work is an absolute thrill. Folks actually book slots to play with him. At 5 months, he’s quite a handful. His day at office pretty much includes being slobbered with love, getting wet in the rain, chasing Shilpi (our colleague) and nibbling anything he can get his teeth into.” – Ashika D’Souza, Marketing Specialist at FusionCharts

FusionCharts- Novio+Supreet

The Good Line

“This is Penny the puppy. She’s a Havanese/poodle/chihuahua mix and spends most of her afternoons here at The Good Line. She enjoys finding sticks, licking exposed toes, chasing after her stuffy bunny and acting as model when we test our new cameras. She even made a cameo in one of our films!” – Natalie Dance, Marketing Director and Account Manager at The Good Line


Go Up

“We’re a digital marketing startup in London with an office dog called Winston. He’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel but he’s also our K9 authority on all things SEO and runs our blog section, appropriately named ‘Blog Dog.'” – Melissa Byleveld, Head of Content at Go Up



“We have four office-mates that work here at Guestfolio. Here’s a little more about two of the regulars: Avi (White Husky mix adopted…from Nunavut – yep, that’s wayyyy up north!) and Sable (Black Dock jumping Champion) are our regular office wildlings. They keep up with the fast pace of the office and are especially helpful when it comes to trouble shooting.” – Melissa Trottier, Production Manager at Guestfolio



“These are the animanagers that keep the offices of Hatch in order. The Beagle, Ashebrooke, is the Chief Animanager, his duties include trash clean up and security supervisor. The Husky, Eros, is our Chief Footwarmer and his main responsibilty is testing Ashebrooke’s patience.” – Zack Miller, Founder of Hatch



“Meet our office mascots Bella and Bentley! They are always roaming around the office looking for treats and attention from our team.” – Sierra Coughlin, Marketing Assistant at iDevices



Gunner is a one and half year old German Shepherd/Black Lab mix that was rescued from a kill shelter in Missouri. One of Insureon’s employees, Tanveer Hira, discovered Gunner at the shelter last spring and fell in love. However, he was worried about adopting a puppy and leaving him at home while he worked a full-time job. So Insureon’s CEO, Ted Devine, suggested he bring Gunner to the office. Gunner has been the office dog for over a year now, and in addition to becoming the office mascot, he has greatly improved the office’s morale. Fetch has even become the office’s favorite break activities.” – Betsy Gregg speaking on behalf of Insureon


Killer Infographics

“Langston’s mom is Amy Balliett, co-founder of Killer Infographics. Langston is 13 years old, and has been coming to the office since Killer Infographics was founded more than three years ago. In fact, one of the main reasons Amy wanted to start her own business was so she could bring Langston to work. Susie is a ‘bug’ — a Boston Terrier-meets-pug — who will turn 1 year old on Sept. 1. Her mom is Alaina Johnson, art director at Killer Infographics. Susie started visiting the office regularly when she was only a few months old. Today, she stands only about a foot tall. Buster is a corgi puppy who is almost 11 months old. His mom is Alex Blackstone, vice president of operations and creative at Killer Infographics. He may be small but he’s got a big personality, and likes running from desk to desk to visit everyone during the work day!” – Erin McCoy, Public Relations Director at Killer Infographics



“Meet Goocha! She is the personality of the Ku office. She enjoys long walks to cafés and flirting with the golden retriever next door. Her superpowers include being able to relax her uptight coworkers when start-up stresses become a bit crazy and being great at napping.” – Paul Curran, Community Manager at Ku



Spencer is the lone non-human at LockerDome. He started coming to work due to separation anxiety and is now essentially a full-time office dog. He’s a shy guy, but has warmed up to the staff of roughly 30. He attends daily standups (meetings) and sits in on conference calls without making a peep. When he’s not napping, he’s roaming the office, going to the nearby dog park, sniffing for food, or prodding someone to play fetch.” – Jess Gitner, Communications Manager at LockerDome


The Love Your Job Project

“Here is a photo of Dillon (aka Pickles) who spends most days when I work from home at my feet sleeping. He is a one year old Golden Doodle and he is so spoiled because of the amount of “mom time” he gets on a regular basis. The best brainstorming happens on the days when I go run 3-4 miles with my VP of cute and furry (Dillon). It’s a great excuse to get out of the office and get some perspective.” – Stephanie Lindquist, cofounder and CEO of The Love Your Job Project



“Duke is our OG office dog. Some would argue he is not a dog at all, but in fact a pig, bunny or bear. He was originally coined the Duke of NYC but the truth is, he is the Duke of Mashwork. His current position is Lap Dog but he is slowly moving into the roll of Team Napper, due to his incredible ability to nap anywhere in the office.” – Nick DeStefano, Software Developer at Mashwork



“Meet Botten (Botten means peanut in Hebrew)! Botten is the mascot of the Web team at Matific and Botten are hard at working creating educational Math games for grades K-6!” – Guy Vardi, Cofounder at Slate Science (which created Matific)


Media Management

“We actually have four regulars at the office. Hank is the big dog at the office. At a whopping 45 lbs, he keeps all the little ladies in check. He is a three-year-old Australian Shepherd/Catahoula Leopard dog mix who greets customers and enjoys trying to slip a tug toy into the hands of unsuspecting guests. He also took it upon himself to look after and gently play with Boots the most recent office dog, a rescue pug puppy. The big eyed critter-eyed critter is Boots. CEO of Media Management Cody Beeson saw this little puppy being dropped off at the Humane Society covered in acid burns, and immediately stepped in to help. He fell in love with her and she joined the rest of the team. She now leads the life of a spoiled and loved office dog. Indy Pug was the original Media Management dog and enjoyed all the attention to herself until the last year as the company grew. Growth of course came with more visitors, and office dogs. Indy enjoys office time and also tags along with her owner, Cody Beeson for his appearances as Deputy Mayor of Yuma on the local talk-show radios and around the local City Hall, among many other places. Lastly, there is Mika the pug. She was also rescued from a local home and is now a happily spoiled and spunky office member.” – Kaysha Riggs, Copywriter and Community Manager at Media Management


Medix Dental

“Rez is my 3 year old beagle-basset, and thanks to Medix Dental’s pet-friendly policy, myself and many other coworkers bring our dogs to work regularly. Medix Dental provides technology and support to dental practices all over the country. Having our pets around keeps us energized, happy, and laughing… And we find that is awesome for business!” – Laura Simmons, Client Communications Manager at Medix Dental



“Mojo (“Mo”) is the mascot and office dog of Mogl…and the adorable dog of CEO Jon Carder. Mo spends everyday in the office and is even such a representative of the company that he has his own social media pages and is featured on the website.” – Mogl



“I wanted to introduce you to Dylan…He’s a poodle-maltese mix that lives in Milan, Italy and keeps the team entertained and upbeat at Musement, a multi-platform booking service for travel activities. When he’s not in the office, he can be found traveling the world.” – Elena Ciprietti, Digital PR Manager at Musement


Nano Magnetics

“This is Keetah, the 10 month old Savannah cross Bengal kitty, also known as our office cat. She’s a little wild and crazy, which means she gets along well in our office of young, scrappy staff. Pets bring out the best in people, especially during hard personal times and just bad days. She is best known for sitting behind you on your chair while you work, and slowly but surely pushing you out of it (as per the attached). Pets like Keetah bring out the humanity in even the strangest of human creatures.” – Nano Magnetics



“Nala isn’t just a pet, she is the inspiration for my company PawPosse. We specialize in sourcing cool stuff for big dogs, because as Nala grew up, I found it harder and harder to find stuff to fit her. I even used an image of Nala for our logo. She also has some medical issues, which led to our creating a blog for other dog owners to learn about solutions to all kinds of dog related problems. But overall Nala is a pretty chill dog, and I like to use that as inspiration when dealing with the ups and downs of running a startup.” – Hernan Charry, Director of Operations at PawPosse



“The birds who hang around Pixelkeet are not pets, they are employees. They review projects and are very vocal about their opinions on design. Our current bird-in-charge is Lord Jello Worthington II, who holds the title Vice Parakeet of Markeeting.” – Jessica Greenwalt, Founder of Pixelkeet



“Captain (a Vizsla) is the unofficial Rockbot office manager. He bikes two miles in to work each day and does his best to greet everyone that comes in the door. He does not like people carrying large objects in or out of the office which acts as a great security system unless it’s the UPS man trying to deliver packages. His favorite song on Rockbot is ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’. Most days he has at least one other pup helping him keep order (or disorder).” – Garrett Dodge, Cofounder and CEO of Rockbot



“Caramel is a cream/orange colored 12 year old Pomeranian. She’s an absolute sweetheart and loves all people. She digs bacon, asian cuisine, and belly rubs.” – Charlotte Longley on behalf of Rover



“Tesla, our Boston Terrier, has been coming to work at our agency’s office in Toronto since he was a puppy — he’s lying on my feet right now and has spent about half his life at this office. He grew up on our creative director’s desk drawer. Each time we leave for a team meeting or event, he commandeers one of our chairs, at random.” – Orun Bhuiyan, Marketing Technologist at SEOcial



“We have quite a few office pets, including two resident dogs, a few canine visitors and a resident tortoise! Opal is ShortStack’s original resident dog. She’s been with us from the beginning and even has a bio on our website that discusses her love her hiking and fear of ceiling fans, feet and shadows. Pancake came to use from South Africa and to date has been the most un-exciting office pet we’ve ever had. He’s named Pancake because he’s a pancake tortoise and he lives at ShortStack. He enjoys doing literally nothing, all day. Oscar is the newest animal to join the ShortStack team but has become a quick favorite. He started coming to the office as a puppy and we’ve been told he mopes and whines on the days he’s left at home. He spends his time visiting everyone at their desks and being the calmest puppy you’ve ever met.” – Sara Piccola, Mistress of Propaganda at ShortStack


The Silver Telegram

“Our resident woofer is four-year-old Chaka (named after The Land of the Lost) a Cairn Terrier Mix. He sits in on meetings and make sure everyone has a daily dose of puppy love and fetch. Picture attached. He also doesn’t mind helping us eat our lunch. His faves are french fries and doggy treats. Of course he barks at intruders like the mail man, UPS, Fedex and the property manager; he greets clients and guests, sunbathes in the afternoon and he makes sure everyone’s feet are warm.” – Ronjini Mukhopadhyay, Owner of The Silver Telegram



“Nico hangs out every day in our office, and always has great advice for our startup. She’s a bullmastiff with a heart of gold. Nico definitely pulls her weight around here.”- Michael Riley, Founder at Simplpost



“Ziggy is thrilled that Spand-Ice is about to launch. He gets to hang out with his favorite founder everyday in [founder Helen Behn’s] home office.” – Spand-Ice



“At Spendgo, Theo’s job is to be adorably cute.” – Stephanie Yang, Communications Lead at Spendgo


“This is Maizey on her favorite chair here at the offices. She loves to inspire the team through her unwavering dedication to napping.” – Mike Newman, President at


“Solar puppy, Luca, leads her staff on daily outdoor walks to visit StrongVolt’s favorite client, the sun. When she’s not exploring new boxes and greeting office guests, she manages to squeeze in a little nap. Luca is an expert at occasional chair drop-ins to ensure the best quality work at StrongVolt.” – Stephanie Beyer, Marketing Director at StrongVolt



“At TaskUs, we believe that teamwork makes the dream work.” – Mr. Carter, Resident Dog at TaskUs


TIMIT Solutions

“Smokey (the cat) largely lays around, but keeps things exciting in the office when he decides to mess with Lou (the Guinea Pig) or try to reach into Speedy (the African Frog) tank. Cash Flow and customer issues don’t seem to phase them a bit, nor does winning a big deal affect their ability to just lounge around the office!” – President and CEO of TIMIT Solutions



“Meet Riley. He’s a food crazy, attention-loving Cavalier that joins us at the TINYhr office everyday. His main job functions are searching for dropped food, brown nosing those who have food and sleeping under his owner’s desk.” – Brian Bradley, Communications Manager  at TINYhr


Trend Nation

“Howie is Trend Nation’s Chief Security Officer. He is the first at the door whenever there is a visitor, and he is not afraid to show them who’s boss. Riley is the oldest of the office pets. He is a complete sweetheart and the most obedient dog known to mankind. Riley will sit quietly next to your desk while you work and not make a sound. Chewbacca AKA ‘Chewy’ is the baby of the family. He first came to the office as a little puppy, and now he’s bigger than the other dogs! His long legs make it hard for anyone to catch him as he runs around the office. Ricky is the newest addition to the Trend Nation. He loves to play fetch and if you ever start playing with him, don’t expect to get any work done for the rest of the day!” – Annie Huynh, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Trend Nation


Wobo Inc.

“We have our furry friends here in the Wobo Inc office on a regular basis. Meet Captain The Vizsla, the mascot of our Business Development office. His responsibilities include: Attending company meetings, as well as alerting the office to mail deliveries, squirrels, garbage trucks and any unexplained noises. He is an excellent listener and has never taken a vacation. When he’s not romping around the office begging for treats, he can be found sleeping loyally at our VP’s feet to protect her from the dangers of dust bunnies. Meet Chloe, a seven year old Maltese born to brighten your day. She loves long walks, playing fetch, and any food that she can get her paws on. She currently works as a secretary for one of our sales reps, and couldn’t be happier to work for a pet friendly office.” – Janet Rodriguez, Director of Marketing and Business Development Wobo Inc.

Wolfgang Man/Beast

“Twister is the perfect “show” dog: He greets everyone with the happiest of grins and shows off Wolfgang-wear with spirit.” – Wolfgang Man/Beast Team



“[Bella] was born in Taiwan so she has a Chinese passport (genuinely) and therefore speaks fluent mandarin. She was rescued from a graveyard and flown to San Francisco to her foster home until her now proud owner — and marketing director at ZehnerGroup — picked her up. Bella was in pretty bad shape with a broken tail and malnourished. She needed a lot of love and although she has come a long way, she is still a little shy around the office. She hasn’t quite mastered the concept of a tail wag so when owner Jenny returns from a meeting to greet Bella, who lives in her office during the work day, Bella wags her entire body with delight. Sometimes wanders into the library for inspiration or the kitchen if she smells something good. She pretty much has free rein of the ZehnerGroup offices because she’s such a valued member of their team. Life in the office is good and Bella gives a lot in return for being there each day. She’s an important part of ZehnerGroup and the office wouldn’t be the same without her!” – ZehnerGroup Team


Bonus: Tech Cocktail

At Tech Cocktail, we have our very own resident dogs, Wolfgang Wolfdog and Honeybadger Surfdog! Look at them – working so hard!




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Written by:
Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.
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