Take Your Dog to Work Day was created in 1999 by Pet Sitters International to celebrate the companionship that dogs make in an owner’s life and to encourage people to adopt from local shelters. The event allows non-pet owners to see the special bond their co-workers have with their dog and be encouraged to adopt a dog of their own.
Many employers also incorporate a fundraising component, with proceeds from the event going towards a local shelter or rescue center.
Studies have shown that bringing dogs into the workplace can reduce workplace stress, increase job satisfaction and promote team cooperation. Having a dog in the workplace allows people to get to know one another by bonding over their pets. Also, having a pet at work creates natural breaks in your day and forces you to stretch your legs when Fido needs a bathroom break.
Before bringing your dog to work, make sure that your dog is ready so that it is a pleasant experience for everyone, including your dog. Here are some other things to consider to ensure everyone enjoys Take Your Dog to Word Day:
Is your dog socialized?
Think about how your dog reacts when meeting new people or other dogs on walks or at the dog park. If you are usually able to take your dog anywhere and your dog loves meeting new people and new dogs, he should be fine at the office. On the other hand, if your dog does not do well meeting new people or new dogs, and has difficulty adjusting to new environments, you may want to rethink bringing him to the office. Work on these social skills and maybe your dog will be ready next year.
Is your dog house-trained?
If your dog still has “accidents”, you may want to reconsider bringing him into the office, unless the floors are easily cleaned up and you are willing to clean up any messes that do occur. Extra excitement may also cause extra accidents!
Is the office ready for dogs?
Everyone be on-board with dogs coming into the office. It may be helpful to designate certain areas, such as the kitchen, as off-limits. Discuss and decide ahead of time if dogs should be kept on a leash or allowed to roam. Dog-proof your office before you bring in your dog, and make sure you know where you can take him to relieve himself and where to dispose of his waste.
Make sure you have all the essentials: food and water bowls, food, treats, a dog bed, a new toy, waste bags, paper towels, and disinfectant for any accidents that may happen.
Have a back-up plan.
In case things do not go as planned, have a back-up plan to get your dog back home. If you are unable to leave work, arrange to have someone available to pick up Fido.
If you are thinking of trying this in your office, but aren’t sure where to start or how to convince your boss to participate, Pet Sitters International has a free Take Your Dog to Work Day toolkit. This toolkit includes step-by-step instructions for planning the event, tips for winning over your boss, and samples of “dogs at work “policies.
With a little planning and dog preparation, Take your Dog to Work Day can be a fun and memorable event for you and your dog!