Take Your Dog to Work Day

 

FOUR PAWS Australia is sharing tips for dog owners ahead of this year’s National Take Your Dog to Work Day.

This Friday marks the 24th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day.

The day celebrates the bond between humans and dogs, and to encourage adoptions for dogs currently in shelter care.

Many studies show the benefits of allowing dogs in the workplace, which won’t come as a surprise to most dog owners.

Working alongside your pet has been proven to relieve stress and, ultimately, increase productivity. like stress relief.

However, a few things need to be considered to make the office comfortable for you, your dog, and your colleagues.

FOUR PAWS Australia says it’s an ideal chance for Australians to bring the best part of working from home to their at-work environment.

“One positive to come from the past two years, was the ability to work at home with your pet by your side, said Rebecca Linigen, National Director of FOUR PAWS Australia.

“The pandemic reinforced just how important pets are in our lives for both our physical and mental wellbeing.

“This should not only be an advantage in home life, but also in the workplace,” said Rebecca.

Take Your Dog to Work Day
Take Your Dog to Work Day is celebrating 24 years (image: stock)

 

Take Your Dog to Work Day – tips for making it work

 

Preparation is key

Check the company policy for bringing animals to the office as well as the building management to check it is ok.

You should also confirm that your dog’s vaccinations are in place, especially if there is likely to be other pets there.

If you are all clear to bring your pooch into work, circulate an e-mail beforehand to let all your colleagues know.

Also include your mobile number and your dogs’ details and photo, so your colleagues know who your dog is.
 

Choose a pet-free zone

Allocate a shared space, like a meeting room, where dogs are not allowed to go, which colleagues can use if they choose.

It’s vital to respect colleagues’ who may be allergic or afraid of dogs; you don’t want to put anyone offside.

Maybe arrange just a visit to the office for an hour in an outside area, away from anyone who may feel uncomfortable.
 

Create a safe space for your dog

Create a safe space for your dog in your workspace with their bed, favourite toys, and treats.

If you have a removable dog gate at home, you could install it at your own office door to keep your dog from roaming.

Check the office for any hazards like items on the ground your dog may chew on,  the bins are out of reach, and kitchen area is not accessible.

Squeaky sound toys are popular with dogs but might be unpopular at the office, so bring one that can be quietly chewed.
 

Plan breaks throughout the day

Be sure to take your dog for walks at regular intervals and come prepared with supplies to clean up behind your dog.

If colleagues are also bringing their dog into the office, it is a good idea to introduce the dogs first outside the office.

That way they can get to know each other without the added stress of the office environment.

 

Take care of your furry best friend

After two years by your side as you work from home, your dog will undoubtedly be delighted to keep spending the day with you.

But with a new environment can come new potential stressors such as elevators or unfamiliar people.

So, keep an eye on your dog and ensure they are always at ease and comfortable in the office.
 

The benefits

Dogs offer social support, reduce stress, increase cognitive abilities and social interaction, and counteract depression and anxiety in people.

In fact, bringing your pooch to the office can provide just as many benefits, mentally, as exercising. 

Not only do dog owners benefit from this, but also work mates who share their work environment with the dogs.

Ultimately, this means their colleagues and the company benefit.

“Many companies and employers are recognising that a pet-friendly workplace helps improve employee satisfaction,” says Rebecca.

“It also increases work ethic and has a positive, motivating and performance-enhancing effect.

“As Australians head back into the office, it is an ideal opportunity to experience the benefits of having dogs in the office.

“It’s also great to encourage colleagues to adopt a loving companion today.”

Take Your Dog To Work Day® was first celebrated in 1999 and was created by Pet Sitters International (PSI).


Background

As mentioned, there has been numerous studies on the impact of dogs in the workplace.

In one case, a research team compared three groups of employees.

One group brought their dogs to work, the second left their dogs at home, the third did not have dogs.

The study focused on the following factors:  stress, job satisfaction, organisational commitment, and social support.

The results showed that the presence of dogs in the office made a meaningful difference.

For the group who had their dogs with them there was a significant reduction in stress during the workday.

The dogs also ensured more positive interaction that would not have existed without them, creating a more relaxed environment.

Some non-dog owners even took the animals for a walk.

If you’re dog has developed anxiety, there’s some great suggestions for easing them back into the new normal.

Head to their website to learn more about FOUR PAWS Australia.

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