Are you planning on celebrating Take Your Pet to Work Day by bringing your best friend into the office on Friday?
This Friday, 23 June, is the 25th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day; we speak with the organisation behind the internationally-recognised event, as well as a local animal welfare organisation helping to promote the day and what it stands for.
- TYDTWD aims to celebrate the great companions dogs make, as well as to promote the adoption of shelter animals
- Starting with a few hundred companies in the US, companies around the world now take part in the event
- Australian employers are encouraged to take part in the day and experience the joys of pets in the workplace for one day.
- It won’t come as a surprise to most dog owners to hear that studies have shown the benefits of allowing dogs in the workplace.
Take Your Dog To Work Day 2023
Pet Sitters International – a leading educational organisation for professional pet sitters – created Take Your Dog to Work Day in 1999.
Marking its 25th anniversary this Friday, the event was created to celebrate the wonderful companions’ dogs make.
The event encourages employers to experience the joys of pets in the workplace for one day to support their local pet communities.
Importantly, the day is also to create awareness of, and promote, adoption of shelter animals.
PSI President, Beth Stultz-Hairston, says Take Your Pet to Work Day started as a small grassroots initiative in America and it’s amazing to see the many countries now participating.
“It was initially a unique way to give back to the pet community through which the PSI members earn their living,” says Beth.
“An estimated 300 businesses participated in the inaugural celebration – since that time, interest in Take Your Dog to Work Day has grown by leaps and bounds.”
These days PSI is not only seeing companies celebrating across the U.S., but internationally as well.
“We are thrilled to see the growing popularity of the event around the globe,” Beth says.
“And with recent data showing that almost half of Australian households have at least one dog, we are not surprised that more Australian companies are choosing to highlight the important role dogs play in our lives!”
At the core of Take Your Dog to Work Day is an important message about the importance of adopting shelter dogs.
“Take Your Dog to Work Day encourages employers to experience the joys of pets in the workplace for one day to support their local pet communities.
“It also allows non-pet owners to witness the special bond their co-workers have with their pets firsthand.”
“This then might encourage them to adopt a new best friend of their own.
“We hope participating companies use Take Your Dog to Work Day to highlight the importance of promoting pet adoptions.”
Support for the cause
Animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS Australia is helping promote Take Your Dog to Work Day.
The organisation says it’s a good opportunity to bring the best part of working from home, to the office.
“One positive from the lockdowns was working from home alongside our pets,” said Rebecca Linigen from 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.”
The benefits of a dog-friendly workplace
Bringing your pooch to the office can provide just as many benefits, mentally, as exercising.
Studies have shown that working alongside dogs increases productivity by offering social support and reducing stress.
Not only do dog owners benefit from this, but also work mates who share their work environment with the dogs.
“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.”
Tips for making your office a dog-friendly workplace
While working alongside our pets has been proven to relieve stress, and ultimately increase productivity, a few things need to be considered to make the office comfortable for you, your dog, and your colleagues.
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 by bringing 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 chewable hazards and that 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 Go 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 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.