Take Your Dog to Work Day was first started in 1996 by Pet Sitters International in the United Kingdom.  The day celebrates the great companions dogs make and encourages adoptions from local shelters, rescue groups and humane societies.  It’s a fun way for employees to introduce their four-legged “best friend” to co-workers in hopes that dog-less co-workers will be encouraged to adopt when they witness the human-animal bond.  The United States took up this tradition in 1999.

Having dogs in the workplace has been shown to reduce stress and improve employee morale. Employees are more willing to work longer hours and it’s also a nice recruiting tool. A company that has a pet-friendly policy will appear more attractive to prospective employees. 

Take a look at the official TYDTWD website.  It offers handy PDF downloads for Preparing your Dog for the Office, Introducing your Dog to New People, and Tips for Adopting a New Pet.  The site also offers some tips on dogs in the workplace.  Some are:

  • Dogs should be kept on a leash, unless in the employee’s office or cubicle.
  • Employees should use a baby gate to prevent dogs from leaving their office unsupervised.
  • Have a back up plan for taking the dog home if he is not comfortable in the work environment.

Make sure you read their 7 Rules for Success.  Good Planning + Good Dog = A Good Day.  You can also find some good Office Dog Etiquette at the ASPCA website.

It can be challenging to a company having pets in the workplace. Some people are allergic to dogs, and some are frightened of them. There’s also the issue of potty breaks and cleanups for accidents.   When a company commits themselves to the event, and has established guidelines in advance, it’s a win-win.  Your dog should be clean, well-groomed, and socialized. It is not the place for dogs with an aggressive nature, and for ones that are shy, or nervous.

But there is nothing like taking a break from all the busy and taking your dog out for a stroll to recharge your batteries.

It’s a fabulous event and employers should examine the benefits of a pet-friendly environment – at least for one day out of the year.  Besides, a dog-less coworker may find the inspiration to finally adopt a homeless dog; giving him lots of love, good food, and squeaky toys!

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