hello! paws up if you’d like to know more about us, our puppies or our events.
These FAQs have been created to help everyone 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
where did the idea come from?
Founded by Ashley Fry, Paws in Work was inspired at heart by the unconditional and life-changing love of an English Bulldog named Nelson. He changed the lives of those around him and left behind him a wealth of loving memories. His memory inspired Ashley, who had been working with employee well-being sessions for some time, to bring the unfettered joy of dogs into the arena of improving the mental health of colleagues in businesses
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 it has proven to be every bit as uplifting as we had hoped. Ashley wanted to continue Nelson’s legacy at home as well and introduced his wife Rebecca to a new friend, a beautiful English Bulldog girl named Margot, who became a part of their lives at just nine weeks old and even part of Paws in Work as a canine superstar in her own right.
We believe that spreading awareness of health implications around brachycephalic breeds, such as bulldogs, helps others build a checklist of what to look for to ensure your short-nosed friends are as healthy as possible.
why puppy therapy?
Because we think puppy therapy is brilliant. Even at the most conscientious workplace, the working day can be very stressful for employees and have an effect on their mental health. 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 decreasing blood pressure and reduced levels of cortisol.
where are you based?
Paws in Work is based in the UK in Twickenham, so we mostly deliver our puppy therapy sessions in London and surrounding areas.
are you insured?
Yes. We have public liability insurance as well as insurance for our puppies to ensure our events are covered to the finest detail.
how can I get involved? what are the staff qualifications?
The majority of the Paws in Work team are MHFA trained, have full DBS checks, full clean driving licenses and are coached by our affiliate dog trainer and handlers. Take a look at our current vacancies on our careers page.
what effect does this have on the puppies?
The puppies get a great deal of 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, positive atmosphere which is perfect for them to become more used to meeting different people.
The welfare of our puppies is our number one priority and each event is structured to absolutely ensure their care and happiness throughout it. The effect that these events have on the puppies can be even more positive and important than the interaction your staff members receive from the sessions. Your staff will benefit from being part of this important stage of a puppy’s development. 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 our events.
where do you get the puppies from? do you own them?
No, we don’t own them. Our puppies are sourced from vetted, fully trusted owners. Each owner goes through a stringent screening process to ensure that they are ethical and to check their puppies are being socialised properly from an early age in the run up to them going to their forever homes.
We meet regularly with the owners before their puppies go to an event, and any owners who do not meet our strict criteria cannot take part in our partnership. We only deal with reputable, ethical and trusted owners and 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.
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, we will happily pass on your details to our vetted breeders if you meet a pup you’d like to rehome. Don’t be too quick to fall in love though, most litters that we work with have already got a home to go to in the near future. They might even already be living in their forever home and be spending the day with their brothers and sisters.
We’re just facilitating some really positive contact with people, with the idea being that the mental health of your colleagues can be helped along with the development and socialisation of the new canine best friends you’ll meet at the events.
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 8 to 16 weeks old. We take many measures to make sure that during a puppy’s first ‘fear period’ they are presented with nothing but positive reinforcement, and their time with us depends on when the little pups are due to go to their forever homes and if the puppy wishes to carry on socialising with their brothers and sisters afterwards.
do paws in work include 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 happy to work with litters in rescue.
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 bit. We do have a break in proceedings also so our puppies can eat and digest without any 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 household, however, this has a few more checks for us to go over.
where is the puppies’ mum while they’re off having fun?
Mum is at home, relaxing! The time away from her pups is beneficial for both her and her little ones, as it can help the weaning process and developing independence. By the time her pups are aged around 6 weeks, mum needs a break from them suckling so as to avoid stress on her. Our events are a great way for mum to gradually detach herself from the puppies prior to them leaving for their forever homes.
how are the puppies transported to the event?
We’re glad you asked! We have a specially modified puppy vehicle (the puppies don’t drive though as none of them has a licence yet). The vehicle has a camera in the back with a heads up display, and staff just in front, so they are always observed from all angles. To be honest they generally sleep during the journey to the event and on the way back. Getting the experience of travel with brothers and sisters is one of the most beneficial experiences for our puppies.
do the puppies eat at the event?
Yes. We’ll look after all that, please don’t bring food to the event. Puppies have their breakfast when we arrive to ensure travelling is comfortable for them and lunch during their break unless their owners specify otherwise.
where do the puppies go after their time with paws in work?
The majority of the puppies that join us at our events go to their forever homes when we have completed their socialising. This means when they go to their forever homes they will be more comfortable, as many of the key aspects of their socialisation have already been covered. They settle in better away from brothers and sisters as they have been positively reinforced with human interaction.
which is the cutest puppy of them all? come on, you must have a favourite?
It’s too hard to choose as we love them all, but Ashley has his flat-faced favourites!
what happens at the event?
At our events, small groups of employees come along to our specially constructed puppy spaces in the workplace and get to spend precious time with beautiful puppies who want to play and cuddle and snooze and have fun being puppies.
Our puppy areas are comfortable for the pups and the employees and also offer spaces for the puppies to relax if it all gets a bit too exciting. Basically, busy staff are encouraged to take a break from their relentless schedules and to come along and play with beautiful puppies for a while, then heading back to their desks feeling uplifted and energised and ready to work well. Our sessions last around 25 minutes per group.
what hygiene measures do you take?
We set up our own artificial turf which is completely sanitised for every event. Staff have 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.
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 set up, we minimise the spread of allergens as much as possible.
can I take photos at the event?
Yes, go for it! 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. It’s good to note here that the pups never come into contact with office spaces themselves. Once they arrive in their puppy travel crate, they are taken straight to the area where the event will take place, upon artificial turf with a special protective underlay.
What are the room requirements to stage one of your events?
The minimum requirement is a space 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 our pups’ 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 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 do i wear to an 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. 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 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.
how do we book an event?
Head over to our booking page. Fill in your details and we’ll get back to you asap.
do you offer half-day events or events over multiple days?
We do, however, the booking fee remains the same as a full-day event in order to cover the costs of staging the event safely. If the company is large enough we’re happy to facilitate events over multiple days so plenty of colleagues can spend some time with our pups.
Still have a question? Drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org