group of dogs and puppies

Does Your Facility Need a Facility Dog? The Answer Is Yes

Facility dogs are a growing trend for healthcare and educational facilities.    October 4, 2022

By Greg Zimmerman, senior contributing editor

In the competitive sprint to give building occupants perks to make facilities more inviting, a newish trend – or a new take on an older trend – is again sweeping the educational and health care facilities industries: Facility dogs! 

What are facility dogs? Facility dogs are a type of therapy dog trained to provide certain services and behavior that will suit the needs of the facility. 

Take, for instance, Mac, the golden retriever, who lives at the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center. Mac helps soothe children during forensic interviews, and performs other functions just being there to help comfort children. Mac’s just one of hundreds of examples. There are dozens of organizations – PAWS with a Cause is one – that have specially trained facility dogs that can come to your facility for any sort of function. 

Now, this may be just a bit far afield from what facility managers do on a day-to-day basis. It’s not like facility dogs are helping you tweak HVAC setpoints or running your waste management program (though they could probably help a little with the latter). But if you buy the argument that, of any function in an organization, the facility manager is the catch-all generalist, and the facility managers is involved in just about every organizational function, then facility dogs should at least be something on an FM’s radar. Besides, “facility” is right there in the name: Facility dogs!  

Greg Zimmerman is senior contributing editor for and Building Operating Management magazine. 


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