Did you know that this Friday 21st of June is a worldwide, officially recognised ‘Take Your Dog to Work’ day?
TYDTWDay® was first celebrated in the United States on Friday, 24th June 1999. It was created by Pet Sitters International (PSI) to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage employers to experience the joys of pets in the workplace for one day. PSI felt that through the event, non-pet owners were able to witness the special bond their co-workers had with their pets firsthand and be encouraged to adopt a new best friend of their own. An estimated 300 businesses participated nationwide.
Get Your Workplace On Board
There are plenty of benefits of having dogs in workplace. They provide social support for employees, as well as opportunities for co-workers to interact in a positive setting. Studies show that bringing dogs to work can reduce stress and make the job more satisfying for other employees. Not only does your cortisol level drop when you stroke a dog, you also produce more of the hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel more relaxed and happy. Happy employees are 12% more productive and they are more effective collaborators working toward common goals.
Dogs are social animals and they love spending time with their owners. They are always happier when their owners are around. When a dog looks at his or her owner, the dog’s level of the feel-good hormone oxytocin goes up significantly. Yes, that means just looking at you makes your dog feel better. So think how much more your dog would enjoy a day at the office with you than a day alone at home or even in doggy daycare.
Some Tips for a Successful ‘Take Your Dog to Work’ Day
Do an office check
No one will mind your dog being in the office, right? How can anyone not love dogs, especially mine. Well, believe it or not, some people do mind. Check with the management and co-workers to see if anyone is allergic, afraid of or opposed to you bringing your dog to work on this special day. Be respectful of those you work with and plan an alternate celebration, if necessary. Allow plenty of time to plan, warn others or butter your boss up 🙂
Puppy-proof your work space
Make sure your office environment is safe. Remove poisonous plants and pesticides, hide electrical cords and wires, secure trash bins and toxic items such as permanent markers. Any office items in question should be placed out of paw’s reach.
Make sure your dog is fit for work
As much as you love the idea of working with your dog around, but you know your dog the best. Will he or she be ok in your working environment or with strangers or when he or she is left to him or herself when you’re working or going to meetings? Be a responsible owner. Make sure your dog’s shots are current, and he or she was bathed and groomed before accompanying you to work. No one like smelly dogs!
Prepare a doggie bag
Include food, treats, bowls, toys, leash, paper towels, clean-up bags and pet-safe disinfectant. If you are routinely in and out of your work space, consider bringing a baby gate for your doorway or a portable kennel for your dog’s comfort and your peace of mind.
Plan your dog’s feeding times carefully
During an important call or meeting is probably not the best time for a puppy potty break. Plan your dog’s feeding time around your work schedule and be sure to choose an appropriate area for your dog to relieve him or herself afterward.
Don’t assume that everyone is a dog lover
Avoid forcing co-workers to interact with your dog. Dog lovers will make themselves known. And NOT everyone is a dog owner, so they may not know what NOT to give your dog. Don’t assume – make sure you let your co-workers know ahead of time – OR perhaps put on a ‘Do Not Feed Me’ collar or bandana or vest. That’s a nice ice breaker! 🙂
Have an exit strategy
Although most dogs enjoy TYDTWDay, but sometimes, like us, your dog can have an ‘off’ day. Have an exit plan just in case your dog has enough of TYDTWDay. Never, under any circumstance, leave your dog alone in a vehicle for a long period of time while you work especially on a warm/hot day.
If your employer says NO, you can always bring work back home to be with your pooch 🙂
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