It’s that time of year again. Friday, June 26th is the 17th annual PSI’s Take Your Dog to Work Day®! Yep, it’s a real holiday, well—sort of. It was started in 1999 by Pet Sitters International to highlight how dogs benefit our everyday lives and to promote pet adoption. Sounds like a great idea, right? But what if your company doesn’t participate or has never heard of Take Your Dog to Work Day?
Before I started blogging, I wasn’t able to take Haley into the office where I worked. I often wondered how far I might get if I tried to sneak her into the building before someone might say something. I even imagined throwing her ball down the long, carpeted hallways; she would have loved playing fetch in those hallways after hours! I’m sure she would have received a lot of love from my co-workers and other people in the building, but I’m sure she (and I) would have gotten a few disapproving looks too.
Not everyone loves dogs as much as I do and occasionally someone out there reminds me of that fact. I understand, there are people that simply don’t like dogs, others may be allergic to dogs and some individuals just reject the principle of dogs in the workplace because, well—they just do!
My son and daughter-in-law live in San Francisco where most people don’t give a second thought to seeing a dog in an office or other places of business, but here in the Midwest, it’s rare to see workplace pets other than service dogs or a random cat in a flower shop or bookstore. I had to laugh while watching a recent episode of Silicon Valley when a candidate was interviewing for a job and insisted on a dog friendly workplace including the right for his pup to use the pool. Maybe attitudes are changing.
It’s wonderful that some lucky individuals have the option of taking their dogs to work each day. I wish I could’ve had the freedom to do that with Haley instead of leaving her home alone everyday. She would’ve loved the attention and ability to socialize with different people, but I wonder what she would have done when it was time for me to focus on work. Would she have complained with her “It’s time to go and do something fun” whining routine? I’m sure she would’ve settled down for a nap at times but I’m also sure there would have been plenty of requests to go outside and sniff around just because she was bored.
I’m hoping the trend of dog-friendly businesses continues to grow and more dogs have a chance to at least occasionally visit their owner’s workplaces. When businesses participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day, they have the perfect opportunity to test the concept of pets in the workplace and to realize the benefits that go along with it, such as boosting morale, reducing on-the-job stress and increasing the fitness levels of their employees.
Obviously, not all businesses are a good fit for pets, but if you think your company may be interested in participating, talk to your supervisor or HR department and have them download the Free Action Pack from Pet Sitters International. It explains everything they need to know about Take Your Dog to Work Day. It also provides tips to make the event a success and other ideas such as how to turn the day into a fundraising event for a local shelter. If you’re a cat owner, don’t worry about being left out. The entire week from June 22-26th is Take Your Pet to Work week.
Are you able to take your dog to work?
Do you think your dog would enjoy going to work with you?
I would love to hear your thoughts and any tips you might have on how best to manage having your dog in the workplace.