What Is Take Your Dog to Work Day?
The Friday following Father’s Day is Take Your Dog to Work Day, designed to draw attention to the bond we have with our dogs, and to the many dogs available for adoption. After all, your co-workers will surely want dogs of their own after meeting your pal.
Another benefit of Take Your Dog to Work Day is both dog owners and employers may all find that having a pet at work makes for a happier workplace and produces an increase in productivity. Here’s how everyone can benefit.
Why You Should Bring Your Dog to Work
Take Your Dog to Work Day showcases the benefits of having a dog around the office.
A 2006 survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) found that nearly 1 in 5 companies allows pets in the workplace.
Participants said pets make for a more creative work environment, improve employee attendance and productivity, and help employees to relate better.
“Having a dog (or any pet) around has a soothing and mood-lifting effect on people,” explains Lori Meyer, a pet sitter and dog walker in the Los Angeles area. “When people are happy and calm, they are more productive. Allowing people to meet and interact with their co-workers’ pets increases the bond and camaraderie between co-workers, leading to a cohesive team atmosphere and a positive work environment.”
Is it OK to Bring Your Dog to Work?
Several dog owners were happy to share their tales about working with their best pals by their side.
Raising Luna in the Store
Luna began coming to work when she was just an 8-week-old puppy, says Robin Banchik, owner of Crystalarium, a store that sells crystals and related items in West Hollywood, Calif. “She loves being at the store, and everyone seems to enjoy her,” says Banchik. “She’s now an 8-pound, 5-year-old fluffball who dives into her bag to come to work every morning. As soon as she gets to the store, she jumps out and says, good morning to each of her friends. She’s one of the gang.”
The Chief Morale Officers
Golden Retrievers Maddie, Zoe, and Gracie are considered Chief Morale Officers at BroadReach Public Relations in Portland, Maine, says Kate Bachman. They help the BroadReach staff stay healthy, relaxed, and productive.
“Most days of the week, the dogs are in the office,” she says. “Having them around reduces stress in the office. How can you be frazzled when petting a loveable Golden Retriever? It gets the staff outside periodically for walks. These walks add to our healthy atmosphere and even encourages our social media efforts since the dogs have their own Facebook profiles, ‘author’ blogs, and provide entertaining photo content for our company’s social media outlets.”
Dogs as Icebreakers
The assortment of dogs that show up at Phoenix-based advertising agency Moses Anshell offers real appeal for the firm’s clients, says Chris Fiscus, director of public relations. “They are a great icebreaker, either for potential clients or for clients,” says Fiscus. “On most days, numerous dogs are here. The clients love them, and some even swing by to chat about something that could have been handled by email.
The dogs are one of the secret weapons to the agency named one of the top 20 creative shops in the country by Creativity magazine. “They’re a huge part of the culture,” says Fiscus.
Sharing Puppy Love
Every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day at Yost Engineering in Portsmouth, Ohio, says marketing manager Amy Shropshire. “We have 18 employees and sometimes up to six dogs with us,” she explains. “It’s nice to take a break from your day and play with them.”
The dog-friendly atmosphere helped sway Shropshire when she took the job, even though she doesn’t own a dog. “I don’t have a dog myself, but I love them,” she says. “This way, I get to have six dogs, even though I don’t have room in my studio apartment for one.”
Preparing Your Dog For Take Your Dog to Work Day
If your company welcomes dogs on Take Your Dog to Work Day, do some homework before you pack your briefcase and leash. These tips should help your dog feel comfortable in your workplace and help you avoid any mishaps:
Consider Your Dog’s Temperament
Your dog should be well-behaved, friendly, relaxed, and gentle, recommends Deb Bennetts of Best Friends Pet Care in Norwalk, Conn., whereas many as a dozen dogs show up for work. “Behaviors you think are cute may not go over well with coworkers,” she suggests.
Make a Brief Visit First
A “dress rehearsal” for the big day will help your dog prepare, advises Joan Mayer, a dog trainer in Ventura, Calif.
Teach Your Dog How to Meet and Greet
Train your dog to keep all four paws on the floor or to sit when meeting new people. “Both the guardian and the others meeting the dog can give treats for nice behaviors,” says Mayer.
Think Like Your Dog
You might not notice the phones ringing all day in your office, but the noise could bother your furry friend. Consider your work environment and how your dog might respond. Practice appropriate behaviors, such as sitting and waiting at doors, elevators, and office entryways advises Mayer.
What You’ll Need, to Take Your Dog to Work
You wouldn’t leave for work without your work-related tools, whether you wear a hard hat or carry a briefcase. Your dog’s day at work will go smoother if you take these along as well:
A Well-Exercised Dog
Burn that excess energy with a brisk walk or a game of fetch before you go to work.
Your Dog’s Bed
Bring a familiar blanket or bed, and set it up in a calm corner where your dog can relax. You can try a crate if your dog is accustomed to crates, and your workplace has room.
A Baby or Pet Gate
You may need to restrict your dog to a particular area in the workplace or to define some spaces as off-limit areas.
A Heavy-Duty Water Bowl
Be sure to bring a mat to place under the bowl as well, to avoid spills.
Letting your coworkers dispense treats is the right way for your dog to make friends.
Toys and Food Puzzles
Your pooch needs something to occupy its time while you’re working.
Doggie Waste Bags and Wet Wipes
You should only bring a trained dog into the office, but bring backup waste bags and wet wipes just in case of an accident.
Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day
If your company doesn’t allow dogs on Bring Your Dog to Work Day, you can still celebrate the day by bringing your pet photos to share or by setting up a fundraiser for local shelters or dog adoption organizations. If your dog is allowed, your preparation for the day could go a long way toward encouraging dogs’ acceptance in public places.
“Thinking and planning ahead is the key when exposing your dog to situations that might be outside its norm,” says Mayer. “If we can make this type of special occasion successful for everyone, then maybe it’ll turn into something even bigger.”
Article written by Author: Kim Boatman